A new forest policy of allocating forestland to individual households for management and development, has been applied in Vietnam since the early 1990s. This study was designed to examine how local forest-related people have used forestland and forest resources under the new policy, and to determine their level of dependency on forests. An upland forest-related community in northern central Vietnam, where the policy was introduced in 2002, was chosen as a case study. It was found that local residents in the community have not complied with the forest allocation policy well, in that they violated the policy to freely lend forestland to and borrow from villagers for cropping purposes, regardless of whether they were rich or poor, had enough land or not, or were legally forest recipients. Regarding forest dependency, all households studied lived on forest resources (forestland and forest products). More than 65% of the total annual income of poorer households was derived from the forest, compared to less than 40% for the richer households. Forest-derived income accounted for more than 75% in their total income in some of the poorest households.
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