Tree-cover transition in Northern Vietnam from a gender-specific land-use preferences perspective
Vietnam is one of the countries where a shift from net deforestation to net reforestation is taking place. This study examines the pattern of tree-cover transition and gender-specific land-use preferences and decisions in northern Vietnam. We employed a mixed-method approach that combined a land-use transition analysis, gender-disaggregated survey and role-playing games (RPG) to assess the relationship between tree-cover transition and gender. The first two methods revealed continuous conversion of protection forest to tree plantations and upland crops (dominated by swidden rice). Factors affecting conversion identified through regression analysis were elevation and labor availability. The land-use RPG revealed gender-specific preferences for annual crops and tree-based agroforestry systems, and the underlying motivation of those preferences. The overall pattern of tree-cover transition in northern Vietnam falls under the smallholder agricultural intensification path. Agroforestry potentially balances the specific land-use preferences of men and women, and helps to achieve their specific land use related livelihood objectives.