Large parts of the world's remaining mangrove forest are lost due to the expansion of shrimp farming in coastal areas. Current forest allocation and subcontracting policies of the Vietnamese government with respect to the devolution of forest management and participation of local people in sustainable forest management reflect both environmental and economic concerns. The paper aims at investigating how the devolution of rights over forestland and benefit sharing mechanisms are related to actual rights and the distribution of benefits of forest management practices. The findings show that farmer's decision-making over mangroves is very much influenced by shrimp farming since the income from mangroves is very low compared to that from shrimp. Farmer's decision making over forest is very much influenced by the way in which the benefit sharing policy is implemented by the state-owned forestry companies and management boards. However, their attitudes towards mangrove plantation and protection are far from negative. The study supports the claim that shrimp farmers may well be able to plant, protect and manage mangroves if they have more rights and responsibilities over forests and are able to benefit more from the production of mangroves. In this way more sustainable management of mangrove forests may be promoted.
- resource degradation