Motivations for the application of co-management in protected areas in Vietnam: A case study of Xuan Thuy National Park

Author: Xuan Bui

Bui, Xuan, 2017 Motivations for the application of co-management in protected areas in Vietnam: A case study of Xuan Thuy National Park, Flinders University, School of the Environment

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This thesis builds on previous doctoral research conducted in Xuan Thuy National Park (XTNP) that concluded that there was a high level of co-management with strong vertical and horizontal networks compared with management of other protected areas in Vietnam. The aim of the thesis is to: (1) analyse the levels of involvement of various groups of stakeholders; (2) understand the motivations behind improvements in co-management; and (3) make recommendations for improving the co-management model of the park. In order to investigate these aims, a questionnaire was administered to a stratified random sample of stakeholders. Forty-five completed questionnaires from nine groups of stakeholders were received and analysed. The result of the analysis concludes that the co-management model in Xuan Thuy National Park is an “administration co-management” type model where government players retain power over park governance, despite the fact that local people are legally recognised as resource users. Private sector organisations are absent in all stages of the natural resource management process, while NGOs and education and research institutions play important roles in giving support for operating co-management processes. High importance is attached to eight particular incentives: (1) Introduction of co-management policies; (2) Support from government agencies; (3) Support through specific projects; (4) Financial support; (5) Education and awareness raising programs; (6) Establishment of co-management working groups; (7) Clear co-management guidelines; and (8) Benefit gained from co-management. The three most important motivations for involvement in management were the introduction of co-management policies; support from government agencies; and awareness raising programs. The motivations contribute to the improvement of three dimensions — power, representation and process — in the co-management model adopted by Xuan Thuy National Park through enhancing institutional arrangements and operational processes. However, limitations and challenges to the application of co-management still exist. Potentially there are measures that could be applied to overcome these limitations and barriers to improve the sustainability of co-management such as conducting advocacy strategies, amendments to the proposed co-management policies, and making long-term financial and operational plans.

Keywords: co-management, co-operation management, Xuan Thuy National Park, motivation, protected areas, participation, natural resource management, local community

Subject: Environmental management thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2017
School: School of the Environment
Supervisor: Andrew Millington