Forest Resource Use and Poverty Alleviation for
Forest dependent Communities
in the Northern Rural Upland Areas of Vietnam
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Thu Hoa
Faculty of Urban & Environmental Economics and Management, National Economics University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Viet Nam is a tropical country with the total area is about 33 million hectares, of
which 57.6% is classified as forest land. Forest resources are spread across upland areas.
This paper examines the relationship between poverty alleviation and the forest sector, the
ways that forest resources contributes to poverty alleviation in Northern rural upland areas
Calculation and regression done with the employment of secondary and primary
data show that, there is a mechanical correlation between poverty, fragile soils, accessibility
or loss of forest resources that is largely due to association of uplands with high poverty
incidence. For the natural resource dependent poor, particularly in mountainous regions,
access to and management of forest resources is a major determinant of livelihood security.
On the other hand, with commitment to vigorously and sustainably develop forestry, there
is the potential for forests to play a significant role in economic development, job creation,
income generation and overall poverty alleviation in rural upland areas. Findings from the study allow to draw implications for forest and livelihood
enhancing development interventions, which emphasize the roles of the Government of
Viet Nam and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). Among the
implications, it is importtant that the Government and MARD to adopt a country-wide policy
and program on community forest management which should become one of the prime
means for forest protection and provision of alternative livelihoods for forest-dependent
Keywords: poverty, poverty alleviation, forest resources, forest - dependents, Northern
upland/ moutainous areas, Vietnam.