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Co-management is an increasinglyused tool in natural resource management around the world, in situations where the protection of natural resources has to ensure the livelihoods of local people who have traditionally relied upon these resources. It is a mechanism of sharing power in decision-making and sharing the benefits of natural resources between stakeholders (usually governments and local communities). In Vietnam, several governmental pilot projects on comanagement of PAs were launched over the past decade, with the purpose of eventually scaling up as a national policy. Nationwide, co-management initiatives have been implemented for protected areas (PAs). Therefore, a full assessment of the PAs co-management paradigm is needed. This paper aims to increase the understaing of the ''state-of-the-art" of the management that exist within PAs and to direct attention to the issues associated with property rights in conservation. It assesses the comanagement of PAs in terms of concepts, practices and implications that relate to indigenous peoples and community land and resource rights. The paper begins with a theoretical discussion about comanagement of PAs and property rights. Next, it analyzes a wide range of biodiversity-rich countries that have different time schedules for applying comanagement in PAs. The analysis also focusses on various types of PAs such as forests, game reserves, pastureland reserves, marine PAs, etc. It then encompasses experienced cases of community based forest management in Vietnam that may be applicable to co-managed PAs. This paper reveals that co-management could be an effective tool for PAs management as long as the property rights of local communities and their members are defined clearly and satisfactorily. Among them, land ownership/land-use rights have the most influence on the nature of the co-management agreements. The co-management of PAs officially acknowledges the rights of locals who live in and around forests, to enter, use and manage PAs. These management rights of communities are collective rights rather than individual rights, while ultimately management rights belong to governments. Governments retain the rights to control forest resources; to make decisions about forest products with high value; and to approve policies related to the PA management plan, exploitation license, development of forest management guidelines. In conclusion, governments usually do not empower local communities regarding their exclusion and alienation rights.

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Article Details

Issue: Vol 2 No 1 (2018)
Page No.: 38-49
Published: Mar 13, 2019
Section: Research Article - Social Sciences

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Creative Commons License

Copyright: The Authors. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0., which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

 How to Cite
Truc Phuong, V. N. (2019). Co-management of protected areas: a property rights point of view. Science & Technology Development Journal - Social Sciences & Humanities, 2(1), 38-49.

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