NGOC LAN DINH1, GERTRUD BUCHENRIEDER2, FRANZ HEIDHUES2
1Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, Faculty of Rural Development, Viet Nam
2University of Hohenheim, Agricultural Development Theory and Policy, Germany
Over a period of time, the Viet Nam government has enacted several policies and laws that have had a fundamental impact on the use of agricultural and forest land. Those that have had the most significant impact on the forestry sector have been the 1993-Land Law and Decree 02/CP, enforced in 1994. These introduced a hybrid forest management system between the state and households and transferred the use rights of the forest lands to households. The system was founded on the assumption that involving households in forestry activities and granting them benefits, would encourage these households to protect and develop the forests better. It has been ten years since the forest land allocation (FLA) policy was initiated. A number of problems have been encountered during its implementation process. The objectives of this research were to assess the FLA process to households and its determining factors, and appraise the effect of FLA on forest land use.
The analytical tools comprise multiple linear regression and logit models. The empirical data, comprising 139 households was collected. The main results show that the important factors determining a households' decision to apply for forest land included the total land available to a household, household income, the farmers' ethnic affiliation and a farmers´ favourable perception of FLA. The total forest land allocated was significantly and positively influenced by the total farm land available to the household, the farmers' ethnic affiliation, the households' length of residence in the area, and the amount of support from forestry programmes to improve the forests. Forest land use after FLA has been influenced strongly by both, the FLA process and the socio-economic factors characterising households such as property rights, the size of forest land allocated to the household, the household head's standard of education, the distance to the market, and the income from the forests.
The study recommends that information on FLA policies should be widely disseminated. The government should assist the ethnic minority groups to invest in forests after FLA. It should also enable them to market their forestry products and provide infrastructure to improve the transportation links to the markets.
Keywords: Allocation, forest land, household, land use