The politics of landscape restoration: Lessons from Vietnam

Interested in watching this video? You have two options:

This video is part of the SER Conference Library. If you want to learn more about this resource please see this guide.

Buy a pass

You can purchase a pass for this video on our website.

Already purchased access to this video, or want to redeem credit for a new order? Just enter your order number or email below:

SER Member?
Sign in below to get unrestricted access:

Pamela McElwee

Publication Date:

For many years, Vietnam was the posterchild for wartime devastation and the need for remediation in the aftermath of conflict. In the decades since the end of the war, Vietnam embarked on several ambitious restoration projects, including replanting of coastal mangroves and the expansion of inland forest cover through large-scale afforestation efforts. A Five Million Hectare Reforestation Project (5MHRP) that ran from 1998 to 2010 spent over US$1.5 billion total through state investment in seedling provision combined with land allocation to households to encourage them to plant trees. Such programs often focused on afforesting lands the state classified as “barren”, and recipient households transformed these lands into smallholder forestry plantations, ostensibly to reap both environmental and economic benefits. However, the social impacts of these restoration efforts, and the degree to which they were able to include equity and participation concerns, have not been well assessed. In our research with households involved in reforestation, there have been clear privileges afforded to richer households, and land stratification has been one result. Further, there have been negative impacts on women in particular (who often provided labor for tree planting but lost access to common lands they had used for non-timber forest product [NTFP] collection that were privatized as a result). By examining the Vietnam restoration agenda in the post-war years, through several case studies covering different parts of the country and varying ecological landscapes, this paper will note particular challenges for restoration projects championed by national governments but carried out by local households.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration