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Exploring adaptive capacity in mangrove social-ecological systems of rural Vietnam

Orchard, Steven Emmerson (2014) Exploring adaptive capacity in mangrove social-ecological systems of rural Vietnam. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Households highly dependent on mangroves for their livelihoods may face disproportionate burdens from mangrove loss and degradation, reducing their capacity respond to other changes. Livelihoods and social networks are vital components of adaptive capacity, and are shaped by institutional structures and processes at multiple governance levels. This research explores the distribution, recognition and procedural components of environmental justice in relation to adaptive capacity in mangrove social-ecological systems. Integrating livelihood, social network and institutional approaches, it draws on quantitative household surveys, and qualitative semi-structured interviews and focus groups, from three sites in northern Vietnam. Livelihood analysis reveals that high aquaculture activity is associated with uneven distribution of adaptive capacity. Female-headed households with high livelihood diversity, low income and less secure tenure rights face increasingly restricted access to mangrove goods and services. Social network analysis indicates that high levels of aquaculture are associated with lower adaptive capacity through the fragmentation of mangrove dependent communities, demonstrating that female-headed households are less recognised within mangrove management and decision making. Institutional and policy analysis illustrate that procedures reinforce the concentration of power and wealth among local elites, reducing mangrove entitlements and communities’ capabilities to participate in mangrove management. Multiple uses of mangroves in community livelihoods must be recognised in policies and projects, alongside the impacts of aquaculture on the most disadvantaged. The balance of network ties in mangrove governance network structures should be supported, allowing recognition of all groups in mangrove management and decision making. Finally, local governments should be more downwardly accountable to the communities they represent, through more transparent and democratic processes. Mangrove governance requires careful consideration of: the definition of community, gender issues, power relations, and the ability of communities to reorganise in response to change, if the already vulnerable, who contribute least to degradation, are not to be unduly burdened.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds) > Sustainability Research Institute (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.655249
Depositing User: Dr Steven Emmerson Orchard
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2015 12:38
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2015 13:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9302

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