Participatory wetland conservation in Yok Don National Park, Vietnam

Phan, Chi Thi Bao (2017). Participatory wetland conservation in Yok Don National Park, Vietnam PhD Thesis, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland. doi:10.14264/uql.2017.442

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Author Phan, Chi Thi Bao
Thesis Title Participatory wetland conservation in Yok Don National Park, Vietnam
School, Centre or Institute School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Institution The University of Queensland
DOI 10.14264/uql.2017.442
Publication date 2017-03-27
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Marc Hockings
Rebecca Laws
Catherine Robinson
Total pages 176
Total colour pages 20
Total black and white pages 156
Language eng
Subjects 0502 Environmental Science and Management
Formatted abstract
Protected areas are the ‘backbone’ of conservation, essential to supporting a diverse, healthy and resilient environment. They also play an important role in contributing to the culture and livelihoods of Indigenous communities, often leading to conflict between conservation and the needs of local communities. Collaborative management has been found to be an effective strategy to decrease this. However, a lack of communication and shared understanding can be an impediment to developing co-management arrangements. I examined levels of natural resource use in Indigenous communities in Yok Don National Park, Vietnam. I identified the most important cultural keystone species and examined the effectiveness of using a conceptual social-ecological modelling approach to enhance mutual understanding and the potential for more collaborative management through a case study of wetland use in the park. A semi-structured interview process with multiple choices and open-ended questions together with quantitative data, focus group discussions and a collaborative workshop were used to collect information on the views of 259 members of Indigenous communities in nine villages surrounding the park and 12 park managers. After the workshop, through semi-structured, open ended questions and semantic differential scales, the effectiveness of this modelling procedure on communication and shared understanding between Indigenous communities and park managers was evaluated. The results have elicited the patterns of natural resource use of Indigenous communities living in and adjacent to Yok Don National Park. Types of local community users of the park could be classified as Wetland specialists, Mixed resource users, Crop-focused mixed resource users and a Low income group. These groups were divided based on group characteristics comprising the amount of income sources, the frequency of park visitation and the strategies of each group. Understanding the impact on park resources and managing resource use by villagers can be informed by this understanding of the different strategies employed by community members. This understanding provided a starting point for identifying the important wetland species which have been used by Indigenous communities. The most important cultural keystone wetland species of Indigenous communities are elephants, cogon grass, Indian mulberry, turtles, snakes, lizards, fishes, frogs, crabs, shrimps, sweet leaf, rice paddy herb and sticky adenosma. The first four most important cultural keystone species were unpacked by multiple dimensions of relationship between these cultural keystone species and Indigenous communities. The results illustrate the complexity of cultural keystone species and how people value them differently. These differences were rooted in the attributes of those animals and plants and the way they are used by people. A conceptual social-ecological systems model was developed in a workshop of community representatives and managers to gain an understanding of the social and environmental relationship between Indigenous communities and the protected area. The accuracy of this conceptual model was examined by developing individual conceptual social-ecological systems models for the most important cultural keystone species. After the workshop all participants from the communities reported an increased awareness of the importance of wetland resources and the need to maintain these, as well as a better understanding of the functions of important species in terms of their conservation. Managers reported their understanding of local people’s desires to ensure local livelihoods through investment in cultivation, planting perennial plants and breeding some species around their villages. They saw a role for the park management through employing local people as guides and providing permission, funding, training and source animals for rearing and breeding instead of concentrating just on the management and conservation of the forest. All representatives from the Indigenous communities felt more comfortable initiating discussion with park managers, who had previously been reluctant to share their knowledge. Identifying potential areas where collaborative management might be improved will allow managers and local communities to move toward negotiations for more formal collaborative management agreements.
Keyword Natural resource use
Cultural keystone species
Social-ecological systems model
Additional Notes 49-50, 52, 66, 73-76, 101, 105, 109, 112, 114, 151-157

Document type: Thesis
Collections: UQ Theses (RHD) - Official
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 15:50:55 EST by Chi Thi Bao Phan on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)