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Participatory integrated coastal zone management in Vietnam: theory versus practice case study: Thua Thien Hue province
Abelshausen, B.; Vanwing, T.; Jacquet, W. (2015). Participatory integrated coastal zone management in Vietnam: theory versus practice case study: Thua Thien Hue province. J. Mar. Isl. Cult. 4(1): 42-53.
In: Journal of Marine and Island Cultures. Institution for Marine and Island Cultures: Mokpo. ISSN 2212-6821, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Integrated coastal zone management; Bi-directional knowledge sharing; Participatory resource management; Social learning; Change management

Authors  Top 
  • Abelshausen, B.
  • Vanwing, T.
  • Jacquet, W.

    Sustainable management processes have undergone a shift from a top-down approach to a bottom-up approach. This bottom-up approach allows for a more apprehensive inclusion of stakeholders. In traditional hierarchical societies a combination of both is considered more desirable. This combination is described as a participatory approach that allows for bi-directional knowledge sharing. The question asked is whether this theoretical approach is viable in practice, taking into account different social, political and cultural influences. Qualitative research in bi-directional knowledge sharing and stakeholder participation in Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) was conducted in the provinces of Thua Thien Hue in Vietnam. Qualitative research was conducted using coding analysis. This analysis showed that in practice a great reluctance for change affects the implementation of ICZM. This reluctance is directly related to the level of power of stakeholders and the level to which stakeholders are embedded in the top-down tradition. Two contradicting results emerged. On the one hand the theoretical understanding of participatory ICZM is highest when reluctance for change is highest and vice versa. On the other hand a decrease in power results in an increase of the sustainability of the implementation of participatory ICZM. This research concluded that a ‘platform or structure’ is essential to achieve sustainability. In the Vietnamese context the tradition of power results in a platform which is both formal and non-formal. A non-formal platform is needed to create social capital, whereas a formal platform will limit the risk for arbitrariness and allow for institutionalisation.

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