Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 311

Full Length Research Paper

The linkage between land reform and land use changes: A case of Vietnam

Ha Thuc Vien
Department of Nature Resources and Ecotourism, Nong Lam University, Linh Trung Ward, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 11 January 2011
  •  Published: 31 March 2011


Recently, land reform and land tenure have been once again considered as the important issue of development agenda. Land reform via land allocation and titling has been widely undertaken in transition and developing countries across continents. As a result, a massive transfer of land rights from state and collective bodies to private entities have been adopted. Such land reforms have significantly influenced land tenure, agricultural production, land use, rural livelihoods and environment. Like many other transitional countries, Vietnam has recently shifted away from its economy from plan to market- oriented system. Land reform by land allocation and land titling to individual land users is the breaking point of the reform policies. Land reform has been considered as one of the key factors that defines patterns and changes in the land use system. This paper examines the influence of land reform on household decisions regarding land use, agricultural intensification, and environment protection from three buffer zone villages of Cat Tien National Park in the southern upland of Vietnam. The empirical findings show that farm households have increasingly diversified their land use as well as increased agricultural intensification and commercialization. Moreover, shifts from subsistence land use practices to more intensified patterns have produced both positive and negative impacts on the rural environment and natural resources. Recommendations drawn from the findings are necessary to redefine land policies in particular and development policies in general for achieving sustainability of rural livelihoods and environment.


Key words: Vietnam, land reform, market liberalization, land use change, livelihood, agricultural intensification.