Red Books for Greener Trees: Strengthening Community Forestry in Vietnam

August 2009

Authors: Nguyen Quang Tan, Tran Ngoc Thanh, Hoang Huy Tuan, Yurdi Yasmi, Thomas Enters


This brief presents findings on the extent to which legal forest rights contribute to the management and protection of local forest resources, and conversely, how the absence
of forest land-use title disadvantages local communities and negatively affects forest condition. It finds that while the connection between legal rights and good forest protection is not straightforward, local communities with legal rights to forests are entitled to benefits they would not otherwise have.

Policy Messages

  • Legal title is important for communities to be able to protect their rights to forests as it provides a strong basis for them to negotiate with outsiders over resource conflict, and ensures adequate compensation for their forests if the rights are reclaimed by the State.
  • However, legal title does not automatically guarantee effective forest protection and management. Other factors, including strong local institutions, also matter.
  • For community forestry to work in practice, capacity building is needed at not only the community level but also at higher levels.
FGLG_Policy_Brief_29.pdf311.38 KB