A research proposal presented to committee members university of florida

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March 25, 2005

Managing human impacts on national parks has been a major challenge for government agencies and other natural resources managers. This task is more challenging in developing countries such as Vietnam because local human populations – being driven by poverty -- often rely primarily on protected areas for their livelihood (Polet, 2003). The issue becomes even more complex if protected areas are created on the same land that has been traditionally used by local communities for generations (Primack, 1993). In order to address this issue, integrated development and conservation projects (ICDPs) are proposed to help reduce incursion pressure on protected areas by creating alternate income generating opportunities, designing land tenure arrangements, developing innovative management strategies for natural forests in the buffer zone (Sanayan et al. 1997). These projects are thought to create local groups and enhance networks among communities, commonly referred to as social capital (PPP, 2000), which in turn are thought to influence households’ behavior towards collective actions such as participation in protected areas management.

The concept of social capital has emerged in the recent years as a theoretical framework that best explains successes in conservation and development initiatives in the developing countries (Pretty, 2003). To understand social capital as an “applied concept”, Scoones (1998), in his analysis of sustainable livelihoods frameworks, distinguishes five forms of capital – natural, physical, financial, human, and social. In simple terms: natural capital is what you find, physical capital is what you make, financial capital is what you save, human capital is what you know and social capital is whom you know. In the context of environmental conservation and rural development, the strategies of intervention prescribed by this applied concepts of social capital also mean the promotion of the creation of and strengthening of local groups (community associations, cooperatives, farmer groups, etc.) and their empowerment through participatory methods as a strategy to transform their practices and social organizations into sustainable and socially just systems (Pretty and Ward, 2001). Through the creation and support of local groups, building social capital is viable mechanism to generate collective practices of natural resources (Pretty, 2003). Thus, participatory management of protected areas has been proposed by scholars of common property as the most viable options for combining poverty reduction, enhancement of local level economic development and biodiversity conservation.

Background of the Study

Since 1997, the World Bank started to support the project “Vietnam Forest Protection and Rural Development” (FPRD) with a goal of improving environmental protection in Vietnam by protecting and managing remaining natural forests with high biodiversity. Toward this goal, the project objectives are (a) the effective protection of high priority protected areas (b) the effective management of remaining natural forests in the buffer zone (c) the reduction in dependency on protected areas for subsistence and cash income by improving the livelihood status of residents in the buffer zone; and (d) the strengthening of government capacity to effectively design, implement, and monitor integrated conservation and development programs.

The project area includes Chu Mom Ray Nature Reserve (CMRNR) located in Kontum Province, Cat Tien National Park (CTNP) located in Dong Nai, Lam Dong, and Binh Phuoc provinces and surrounding areas of agricultural and forestry land (buffer zone). For Cat Tien National Park, because of existing Dutch-funded conservation project – the World Bank project supported only buffer zone community development activities. Buffer zone has been defined as a continuous band of those communes adjacent to the protected areas. The buffer zone also includes additional contiguous communes within three kilometers of the national park in which human population may present an actual or potential threat to biodiversity conservation. This definition was adopted because the commune is the smallest administrative units within the Vietnamese administrative systems through which project activities can be effectively managed.

For the development of the buffer zone, the project aim is to reduce the incursion pressure on the national park by providing alternative income-generating opportunities, securing land–tenure, and enhancing the management and use of existing natural forests in the buffer zone. Development of rural communities and better management and use of forests located in the buffer communes of the national park is the key to reducing the incursion pressure on the protected area. A participatory process-oriented approach is use to derive commune action plans (CAPs) based on priority needs identified by the participating communes. The project funded (i) community development planning process to formulate CAP and negotiate a conservation agreement based on the CAP in exchange for community cooperation in PA protection; (ii) land allocation to improve access to institutional credit, promote sustainable land use, control in-migration, and increase social stability; (iii) social support program to improve basic social infrastructure and increase income and employment opportunity for communities particularly the very poor; (iv) agricultural support activities to improve yields and diversify farm incomes; (v) issuance of long term forest protection contracts to households to jointly protect the remaining natural forests in the buffer zone and the feasibility study to restructure State Forest Enterprises (SFEs) adjacent to the PA as a means to improve management of estate under their control; (vi) small-scale irrigation expansion and constructions to increase food production and security and road upgrade to improve service to rural community and expand market opportunities.

For management and institutional development, the project objectives were to establish the institutional structures and management process needed to implement the projects and to strengthen of institutional capacity at all levels, particularly provincial and commune to implement project activities and sustain project interventions.

A Brief Description of Cat Tien National Park

Cat Tien National Park (CTNP) is located in southern Vietnam. It is approximately 150 km North of Ho Chi Minh City and nearly 150 km south of Dalat. The protected area totals 73,878 ha, with a buffer zone of 183,479 ha. The Park embodies three sectors: Nam Cat Tien (38,100 ha) in Dong Nai Province, Tay Cat Tien (5,143 ha) in Binh Phuoc Province and Cat Loc (30,635 ha) in Lam Dong Province. Cat Loc in the North and geographically disconnected from the southern park of by a 10 km band of heavy populated rural land.

The approximate coordinates of the Park are:

11o20’50” to 11o50’20” N Latitude

107o09’05” to 107o35’20” E Longitude.

Map 1: Cat Tien National Park

Nam Cat Tien received protected status in 1978 (Decision 360/TTg of July 7, 1978). It became a National Park in 1992 (Decision 08-CT of January 13, 1992). Cat Loc received protected status in 1992 from Lam Dong Province. The area remained managed by Cat Tien District and a formal Management Board was established only in 1996. The decision of January 13, 1992 (08-CT) included the suggestion to extend Nam Cat Tien National Park with Tay Cat Tien and Cat Loc. Decision 38 1998 QD of February 16, 1998 approved the integration of Nam Cat Tien, Tay Cat Tien and Cat Loc in what currently known Cat Tien National Park. The documents regulating the handing-over of responsibility from Provinces to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development took place on December 22, 1998.

The area of Cat Tien National Park is currently 73,878 ha. With the re-demarcation of the Park boundary the area will be 70,549 ha in two separate forest blocks: the Cat Loc sector (26,970ha) in the north and the Nam Cat Tien and Tay Cat Tien sectors (43,579ha) in the south. The topography of the area varies greatly between the three sectors. Cat Loc is situated in at the beginning of the southern foothill of the Central Highlands and, although elevations only reach 659m, the topography is steep. Nam Cat Tien and Tay Cat Tien are the situated in the lowlands typical of southern Vietnam and the topography of this area is characterized by low, gentle hills.

Numerous springs and streams originate in the area and drain into the Dong Nai River, which is the second largest river system in southern Vietnam. The Dong Nai River flows through the Park, forming the western boundary of Cat Loc and the eastern boundary of Nam Cat Tien. The lowlands in the north of Nam Cat Tien are poorly drained, resulting in a network of swamps and lakes, which expands the contracts seasonally. Annual rainfall range from 2,300mm in the lowlands to 2,850mm at higher elevations.

The flora of Cat Tien region is typical for the Dong Nam Bo biogeographic region (the eastern part of the southern Mekong Delta) with Dipterocarpaceae and Lythraceae the most commonly represented families in areas where human modification is minimal. In forests disturbed by humans, the major families represented are Euphorbiaceae and Moraceae. One percent of the species found in Cat Tien region are endemic to Vietnam (FIPI, MOF&WWF, 1995).

The variety of habitats supports a rich diversity of biological life. Currently 76 mammal, 320 bird, 74 reptile, 35 amphibian, and 99 fish species have been confirmed in the Park.

As valuable as the number of species, the area is known to be important for ungulate, primate and bird communities. Amongst the ungulates Sambar (Cervus unicolor), Wild Boar (Susscrofa), and Gaur (Bos gaurus) reportedly occur at relatively high densities compared to other areas in Vietnam (Ling 2000).

Of the fauna occurring in the area, 40 species are IUCN red listed. The key species amongst them are: the Vietnamese sub-species of the Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus), which is the rarest large mammal on earth with a population of less than 7 only found in Cat Loc; the Orange-necked Partridge (Arborophila davidi), which another endemic to this region of Vietnam, Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis),which were locally extinct, but have been re-established in the Park; Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), Black-shanked Douc Langur (Pygathrix nigripes); Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon (Hylobates gabriellae); white-shoulder ibis (Pseudibis davisoni); and white-winged wood duck (cairna scutulata)

A total of 9,442 people live inside CTNP. Some 81% of these people live at the edge of the park, but five villages are isolated deep inside the park (1,794 people) (CTNP, 2003). They have no land tittles in their current location but are treated as de facto legal inhabitants. A small proportion of these people originate from lowland areas, which they left after people of the Kinh majority settled in their ancestral lands. Most of them however settled inside the park after the American War as immigrants from other parts of Vietnam. The human population of the buffer zone, which comprises 31 communes and 2 towns in eight districts, is, however, far higher.

There are 11 ethnic groups living within CTNP. They can be divided into three main groups, which have different histories in the area, different connections to administrative structures, and also differ in land use strategies. These three groups are: mainstream Vietnamese (Kinh); Indigenous ethnic minorities (S’tieng and Chau Ma); and recently migrated minorities from Northern provinces (Lang Son, Cao Bang, Bac Kan provinces: such as Tay, Nung, Dao, Hoa, H’Mong etc.)

S’Tieng, Chau Ma, and Chau Ro tribes have lived in the region of the park for several centuries. Village 5, village 6 and K’Lut (Tien Hoan), K’Lo—K’it (Phuoc Cat 2) are mainly Chau Ma. Stieng people are concentrated in Village 3 and Phuoc Son (Phuoc Cat 2) and Village 4 (Ta Lai). These indigenous minorities have a long history of shifting cultivation. For these people, it takes time to change their traditional cultivation practices and style of living to more sedentary livelihoods.

The recently migrated minorities from the northern provinces started arriving around 1987-1988, but most settled after 1990. Their traditional livelihood strategies consist of fishing, hunting and shifting cultivation, but now they are mainly engaged in farming. They predominately occupy the Da Bong Cua area (Dang Ha Commune, Bu Dang District, Binh Phuoc Province).

Nearly 200,000 people live in the direct vicinity of the Park. This buffer zone is heavily farmed with little conservation value. Part of the Park’s boundary is share with the government operated State Forest Enterprises (SFEs), which have been previously, or are being, logged to varying extents, but most are currently under logging ban. Illegal settlers have converted large parts of these SFEs into agricultural lands, but they also contain large areas of important forest habitat with a variety of wildlife.

Statement of Problem and Study Objectives

Various studies on social capital and sustainable rural development (Pretty 1995, Dagupsta and Serageldin 2000, Pretty and Ward 2001, Krishna and Uphoff 2002) have used social capital as an indicator for institutional results of projects aimed at sustainable rural development and conservation at the local level. Social capital was incorporated as an indicator of successful intervention and therefore become the new conceptual framework for the strategy of community development and empowerment. It is thought that social bonds and norms are critical for sustainability – and where social capital is high in formalized groups, people have confidence to invest in collective activities, knowing that the others will do so too (Pretty 2003).

This research project will add to that body of knowledge by quantitatively examining how social capital affects the attitude and behavior of households toward biodiversity conservation in the National Park in Vietnam. It will also attempt to analyze the relationship between social capital and level of participation in FPRD project – a project that started in the past few years and greatly impacted the communities who reside in the buffer zone of the Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam – one of the last remaining lowland jungles which holds the last surviving population of Javan Rhinocerus on mainland Asia.

Using social capital as an exogenous variable, researcher seeks to address the general question: How do households’ social capital and household’s participation in FPRD project affect households’ attitude and behavior towards Cat Tien National Park?

Specifically, the research project is going to answer the following questions:

  1. How does households’ social capital affect its general conservation attitude and its specific behavior towards Cat Tien National Park?

  2. How does households’ social capital affect the level of participation in FPRD project?

  3. How does participation of households in FPRD project affect their conservation attitude and behavior?

To develop a better picture of the study population, other demographic variables will be included in the analysis of social capital, level of participation, and conservation attitude and behavior such as: ethnicity, religion, length of residency, education, occupation, income, age, marital status, gender.

Significance of the Study

As the study seeks to examine how social capital and participation in FPRD affect the attitude and behavior of households toward biodiversity conservation in the national park, it can contribute to the policy formulation and help in the effective implementation of sustainable rural development and conservation program in the buffer zone of protected areas in Vietnam. The results of the study about social norms and networks can provide information for government agencies, NGO organizations thus helping them either investing in social capital or carrying more development activities in the areas.

Moreover, this study provides additional knowledge of the human population characteristics of the Cat Tien National Park thus help managers to better manage the park. Especially, data on ethnicity may help government, donor agencies, … in planning the development interventions. Local perspectives on development and conservation thus can be helpful for any development action plan.

Hopefully, this study will also contribute to the limited knowledge on social capital literature in Vietnam – a socialist country under the social economic transformation as resulting from the itegration into the world economy. This can provide a perspective to compare with social capital in post-communist countries (Hayoz and Sergeyev, 2003).

Scope and Limitation of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to look into the relationship between social capital and conservation, in the specific context of national parks in Vietnam, in the context of recent government interventions to conserve biodiversity. It does not intend to evaluate the impacts of these projects on the such issues as local livelihood, equity, … and other practices of rural life. In addition, the study’s findings maybe not applicable to other protected areas elwhere.

Dissertation Organization

This study will consist of five chapters. Chapter I will present the background of the study, problem statement, a profile of the study site in cluding the description of the Cat Tien National Park. Chapter II will review of relevant social capital theory and research related to social capital and conservation. This will come up with the theoretical framework underlying the study. Chapter III will describes the methodology used in this study, including a presentation of the major concepts, variables, and theoretical linkages between these concepts and variables. Chapter V will present a backdrop of ICDP projects in Vietnam which will include relevant government policies toward conservation and development. Chapter VI will present a statistical analysis of household survey data. This will analyze the relationships between social capital and conservation attitude and behavior, social capital and participation, participation and conservation. Chapter VII will provide a basis for implication and general conclusions.


Social capital

Although the concept of social capital was first defined by Pierre Bourdieu in the 1970s (Bourdieu, 1980), James Coleman has been widely recognized for introducing the concept of social capital in its current usage within the field of development (Coleman 1988, 1990). Social capital, as envisioned by Coleman, is largely defined by its function and consists of a number of entities that have at least two elements in common: “they consist of some aspect of social structures, and they facilitate certain actions of actors—whether persons or corporate actors—within the structure.” Social capital, like physical and human capital, is distinguished from other social interactions by its productive quality, and as such, should be perceived as a resource that helps actors achieve their specified interests. Coleman pointed to various forms of social capital which include: obligations, expectations, trustworthiness of social structures, information channels; and norms and effective sanctions (1988).

While Coleman can lay major claim for introducing social capital as a conceptual tool, there is no doubt that this term gained considerable academic popularity and practical prevalence through the works of Robert Putnam (1993, 1995) in Italy and the United States. Putnam defines social capital in this way: “By analogy with notions of physical capital and human capital – tools and training that enhances individual productivity – ‘social capital’ refers to features of social organization such as networks, norms, and social trust that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit” (1995:67). In his highly influential book, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy, Putnam provides a convincing argument that the strongest determinant in Italy for socio-economic development is the vibrancy of what he labels as “civic involvement” or “civic traditions”, which he measures by associational life, newspaper readership, and other indicators of political participation. Much of the recent thinking on social capital has developed from the premises and empirical research carried out by Putnam in Italy and the United States, for as Putnam himself argues: “…working together is easier in a community blessed with a substantial stock of social capital… The social capital embodied in norms and networks of civic engagements seems to be a precondition for economic development as well as for effective government” (Putnam 1993, in Harris and Renzio 1997).

Within the field of economics, particularly strong support comes from the school of institutional economists, where one can find striking similarities between economists’ description of economic institutions and the way social capital is conceptualized by sociologists and political scientists (Castle 1998). North describes economic institutions as “the rules of the game in a society or, more formally, are in the humanly devised constraints that shape human interactions” (North, 1990 in Castle 1998). North and others in the school of institutional economics recognize the importance of institutions in socio-economic development and distinguish between “formal rules and those constraints embedded in customs, traditions, and codes of conduct” (Cattle 1998:6). Social capital has also been recognized and embraced by the World Bank, which cites that “increasing evidence shows that cohesion is critical for societies to prosper economically and for development to be sustainable. Social capital is not just the sum of the institutions which underpin a society – it is the glue that holds them together” (World Bank 2000). Much as Coleman envisioned with the introduction of the term in the late 1980s, social capital has “seemed to promise answers which are attractive both to the neoliberal right – still skeptical about the role of the state – and to those committed to ideas about participation and grassroots empowerment. Thus it is that since 1993 ‘social capital’ has become one of the key terms of the development lexicon, adopted enthusiastically by international organizations, national government and NGOs alike” (Harris and Renzio 1997:920).

Even though the term has gained wider acceptability both by theorists and practitioners, social capital remains theoretically and conceptually elusive. There is still great debate on what exactly constitutes social capital, how it should be assessed and measured, and probably most importantly for practitioners, how social capital can be created or enhanced, sustained, and reproduced. While few would disagree with Woolcock’s (1998) broad definition of social capital, which is, “norms and networks facilitating collective action for mutual benefit,” there are few consistencies concerning social capital’s conceptual application beyond this. One reason is that such terms as norms, trust, and networks that are often used to define social capital are also incredibly elusive to define and measure as well. Another reason is that the level of analysis for studying social capital changes with each theorist area of expertise, often stretching the term beyond its practical use. Where Coleman (1990) explicitly references social capital as endowed in individuals, Putnam (1993, 1995) pushes much further by endowing social capital as the property of groups, and even nations (Harris and Renzio 1997). The conceptual and analytical ambiguity surrounding the term have left some to question its explanatory efficacy (Barron and Hannan 1994), but a far greater number of theorists support the basic premise surrounding the concept of social capital—that social relations are fundamental considerations in economic development and sustainability – and as such, are seeking ways to both clarify the terminology and explicate on its uses (and abuses), as well as its analytical and practical applications in the field of development economics.

Social Capital and Conservation

The concept of social capital captures the ideas that social bonds and norms are important for people and communities (Coleman, 1988). As social capital lowers the transaction costs of working together, it facilitates cooperation. People have the confidence to invest in collective activities knowing that the others will also do so. They are also less likely to engage in unfettered private actions with negative outcomes, such as resources degradation (Pretty and Ward, 2001). As adopted by these authors, the concept of social capital has four important features that facilitate the cooperation: relation of trust; reciprocity and exchanges; common rules, norms, and sanctions; and connectedness in networks and groups. In rural areas where use of natural resources has been unsustainable, communities lack of social capital, mostly because it was destroyed by unfavorable policies and structures of social relations.

Krishna and Uphoff (2002)’s study on watershed development in Rajasthan, India found that an index of social capital is positively and consistently correlated with superior development outcomes, both in watershed conservation and in cooperative development activities more generally. These authors used some concrete and rigorous measures of development performance against which to test and validate the phenomenon of social capital in the very specific rural context. For them, “Social capital is a matter of more than academic concern”. They further argue: “Examination of social capital deserves all of the rigor that academic analysis can bring to them, but this analysis must also contribute to an understanding of social capital that can be applied to real-world setting”.

Household characteristics and social capital

Economists, imbued with methodological individualism, prefer to emphasize individual decisions about social capital. For instance, Glaeser et al. (2002) develop an investment model in which the individual’s stock of social capital (and the flow of investment in social capital formation) is a function of his or her age, discount rate, expected mobility, opportunity cost of time, and occupational returns to social skills, as well as aggregate stock of social capital in specific community and the rate of social capital depreciation (including that due to relocation). They compare the predictions of the model with available evidence, using data from the General Social Survey, a repeat cross-sectional survey in the United States. To measure individual social capital they use membership of organizations rather than subjective measures of trust, arguing that the latter do not necessarily reflect trusting behavior in practice, while the membership measure is reasonably well correlated with other measures of community mindedness, such as working to solve a local problem, forming a new group to solve a local problem, or contacting local government regarding a local problem. Their results indicate that social capital (1) first rises then falls with age, (2) declines with expected mobility (3) rise in occupations with greater returns to social skills, (4) is higher among homeowners, (5) falls sharply with physical distance, and (6) is correlated with investment in human capital. However, their prediction that social capital investment falls with the value of time is not supported by the available data. Moreover, while their model allows for groups level effects on individual investment decisions, they find no robust evidence for such effects. Their overall conclusion is that “individual incentives, not group membership, drive social capital accumulation decisions”.

Analysis of household survey data in a Landcare program in Southern Philippines (Cramb 2004) shows that social capital varied with individual incentives, rising then falling with age (peaking of 50-59 years) and increasing with farm size and education, but group level factors were also important. That is, contrary to Glaeser et al. (2002), an individual social capital depended as much on his or her local community as on individual characteristics. The research found out that the relationship between social capital and soil conservation is not a straightforward matter of investing in the rapid formation of self-sufficient community landcare groups in order to accelerate adoption of soil conservation practices on farm.
Theoretical Model

This study focuses on households’ social capital and its effects on conservation attitude and behavior toward Cat Tien National Park where government program on Forest Protection and Rural Development is in place. As literature has suggested, the following theoretical model and hypotheses about the relationships between independent and dependent variables are presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Theoretical Model

Three main hypotheses are developed for this study:

H1: Social capital is positively associated with conservation attitude and behavior.

H2: Households with higher social capital have more likely participated in FPRD project

H3: Household’s characteristics would influence its social capital as well as its conservation attitude and behavior.

H3: Social capital varies across ethnicity groups.


Concepts And Variables

Four primary concepts will be focused on in this study: social capital, level of participation, general attitude toward biodiversity conservation and conservation behavior toward the park. The first two are seen as being key components that influence the later two dependent variables - conservation attitude and behavior. The conceptual model of these is seen in Figure 1.

Concept: Social capital

There are two main kinds or categories of social capital: structural forms and cognitive forms (Krishna and Uphoff, 2002). Both pertain to and affect social relationships and interactions among people, and both affect and are affected by expectations. Structural social capital facilitates mutually beneficial collective actions through established roles and social networks supplemented by rules, procedures, and precedents. Cognitive social capital, which includes shared norms, values, attitudes, and beliefs, predisposes people toward mutually beneficial collective action (Krishna and Uphoff, 2002).

Participants in the survey will be asked to express their opinions using a Likert scale on a series of questions about involvement and perceptions about neighbors. General topics include: organizations that the respondent belongs to; collective activities participated in the last 12 months, feelings towards neighbors, friends, etc...


Community group/social organization membership:

Respondents will be asked if they are aware of or belong to groups/ associations/ organizations existing in their community. These groups are listed according to the pre-existing information available in the study site.

Involvement in community activities

Involvement in community activities will be measured by asking respondents how often they performed the activities in the past year. For each activity, response categories for this ordinal variable include 1) never, 2) once/year, 3) few times/year, 4) once/month, 5) few times/month.

Perception of your community

Perceptions about the community are thought to be important for social action and interaction (Wilkinson, 1991). The perception about community will be measured by asking respondents to agree or disagree with 30 related statements. These statements were derived from the integrated questionnaire for measuring social capital used by World Bank (Grootaert et al, 2004) and modified to suit with the specific context of the study site. These questionnaire explore respondents’subjective perceptions of the the trustworthiness of other people and key institutions that shape their lives, as well the norms of cooperation and reciprocity that surround attempts to work together to solve problems (cognitive social capital). These perception variable then can be measured through 3 variables: Trust and solidarity, (Q.3.a-j); Participation (Q.3k-t), Social cohesion and inclusion (Q.3u-dd). Responses will be measured via a five response ordinal scale with (1) strongly disagree (2) disagree (3) agree (4) strongly agree (0) don’t know.

Concept: Participation in FPRD

The main goals of the FPRD are to protect and manage the forests with high biodiversity. Households’ participation in FPRD can take many forms. In the case of buffer zone of the CTNP, a variety of FPRD project activities have been identified through the Commune Action Plan (CAP) that is available to the researcher.


Conservation-related activities

These activities include attendance at meetings to discuss a conservation agreement, attending training on improved use and management of cash crops and trees, forest protection training, agroforestry training, land use planning training, and water management training.

Each respondent will be asked to report if they participated in specific project activities in the past 12 months (these activities were elicited from the project report). Response categories will include 1) no, 2) yes.

Agricultural support activities

These activities involve getting a loan for fertilizer and pesticides, being provided with new and improved seedlings for agricultural crops, being allocated forestland by the forest enterprises, and attending training session or workshops in animal husbandry. Due to the non-periodical nature of these activities, respondents’ participation will be assessed by asking respondents “Have you ever participated in ….” The response categories will be 1) no and 2) yes.

Infrastructure development activities

Project’s infrastructure development activities include dyke construction against flooding, and electricity connection. Respondents will be asked whether or not they have participated in or benefited from these activities. The response categories are 1) yes and 2) no.

Credit support

The FPRD project also supports micro-credit for farmers. The question that will be asked is “Have you ever participated in micro-credit management training?” The participation in credit activities will also be measured by asking respondents “Were you able to get loan from the FPRD project?” Response categories for these questions will be 1) yes and 2) no. Respondents will also be asked to report the amount of money they can get on loan.

Concept: Conservation Attitude

Attitude is defined as the organization of beliefs about an object or situation that influences one’s response to that object (Rokeach, 1968). Conservation attitudes of the respondents are measured on the basis of their reactions to 15 statements that were adapted from the survey in the Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal (Nepal, 1993) and modified to suit the particular context of the study site.


Perceptions about biodiversity conservation

Respondent’s perception toward biodiversity conservation is thought to be an important factor influencing their behavior toward a protected area. This perception will be measured by asking respondents to express their feeling about the statements (Q.8 a-f) such as : “It is important to keep the park for the survival of various plants and animal species”, “The park is our country’s pride and is essential for a healthy environment”, … Responses will be measured via a five response ordinal scale with 1) strongly disagree 2) disagree 3) agree 4) strongly agree 0) don’t know.

Issues/ problems associated with biodiversity conservation

Respondents will be asked to rank issues or problems currently facing their community in a Likert scale. These are believed to provide an overall measurement of household attitude toward biodiversity conservation. The items will include statements (Q.8.g-l) such as “Conservation has taken land thus farmers do not have enough land to cultivate”; “Since the wildlife of the park are causing us trouble, wildlife hunting should be allowed under strict supervision”;… Responses will be measured via a five response ordinal scale with 1) strong disagree, 2) disagree 3) agree 4) strongly agree 0) don’t know.

Impacts of conservation activities

Respondents will be asked to agree or disagree with the following statements about the impacts of conservation activities on them (Q.8.m-r): “Farmers have benefited from the conservation program”; “Forest land allocation ensures farmers’ownership of the forestland”; “Farmers can get more income because of forest protection and management activities”. Responses will be measured via five response ordinal scale with: 1) strong disagree, 2) disagree 3) agree 4) strongly agree 0) don’t know.

Concept: Conservation behavior toward the CTNP

Behavior is all the actions that an individual or group uses to respond to its environment. Respondents will be asked to report any activities related to their resource usage.


Going/not going to the park

First, respondents will be asked “Do you ever go to the park?” Response categories for this nominal variable will be 1) no and 2) yes. This question will be further explored by asking “If NO, why don’t you go there?” or “If YES, why do you go there?” Response options for the NO answer will be a nominal scale: 1) fear of rangers 2) fears of animal 3) no interest 4) no time 5) too far 6) other – specify. Response options for the YES answer will also be a nominal scale: 1) health related 2) hunting 3) building materials, 4) fuel woods 5) grazing 6) worship 7) other-specify.

Time spent/frequency of going to the park:

Respondents will be asked “How many working hours do you spend per trip, including time of travel to and from, to collect the items from the park?” “How many trips do you do per week?”; “How many items do you collect per trip?” and “How many people from your household collect items from the park?” Responses will be measured by filling in a number on a table for each item collected. (see appendix). Respondents will also be asked to report their income (if any) from the forest per month. This will be measured in local currency.

Control Variables/Demographics

Several sociodemographic variables will be included in this study and used in analysis as control variables. This will allow for differences in opinion to be compared among various characteristics (age, sex, etc.). These variables serve as a mechanism for understanding relationships between other variables. They also help to confirm and elaborate on the generalizabilty of the findings. Finally, sociodemographics will also be used in the sample validation process to determine how well the sample of respondents matches the overall population.

The following control variables and the corresponding item values will be used:

Ethnicity (1) Kinh (2) Tay (3) Hoa (4) Stieng

Religion (1) Buddhism (2) Catholic (3) Protestant (4) Others

Length of residency (1) Less than 10 years (2) 10-20 years (3) more than 30 years

Education (1) elementary school (grade 1-5) (2) Some high school (grade 6-9) (3) High school (Grade 10-12) (4) College

Household composition: (1) 1-4 persons (2) 4-8 persons (3) more than 8 persons

Household income (1) less than VND1,000,000 (2) VND1,000,000 – 5,000,000 (3) VND 5,000,000 – 10,000,000 (4) more than VND10,000,000

Age (1) 18-29 yrs old (2) 30-39 yrs old (3) 40 –49 yrs old (4) 50 – 59 yrs old (5) 60 yrs olds or above

Marital status (1) single (2) married (3) divorced (4) widowed

Gender (1) Male (2) Female

Index of Variables Included in the Questionnaire

The information in the Table 1 is provided to better aid in the identification of concepts, variables and corresponding survey questions,

Table 1: Concepts, Variables and Corresponding Survey Questions



Survey Questions

Social capital

Community group/social organization membership


Involvement in community activities


Perceptions of your community

  • Trust and solidarity

  • Participation

  • Social cohesion and inclusion





Participation in FPRD activities

Conservation-related activities


Agricultural support activities


Infrastructure development activities


Credit support


Attitude toward biodiversity conservation

Perceptions about biodiversity conservation


Issues/ problems associated with conservation


Impacts of conservation activities


Conservation behavior toward CTNP

Going/not going to the park

Q9, Q10, Q11

Time spent/frequency of going to the park

Q12, Q13, Q14, Q15, Q16

Control variables


Population To Be Studied

The population for this study will consist of all households residing within the three communes of Bu Dang District, Binh Phuoc province. These communes are located in the buffer zone of the Cat Tien National Park where the FPRD project has been implemented since 2000. The overall population estimate is approximately 16,500. These communities have heterogeneous populations with different ethnic groups and can be divided into three main groups, which have different histories in the area. These groups are Vietnamese (Kinh); indigenous ethnic minorities (S’tieng); and recently migrated minorities from northern provinces (Lang Son, Cao Bang, Bac Kan provinces, such as Tay, Nung, Dao, etc.).

Sampling Methods

Approximately 270 household respondents will be selected out of more than 5,000 households through a stratified sampling design. Selection of samples will be done as shown in the following chart:

By using stratified sampling, the researcher wants to capture the numbers of household respondents from three main groups -- those are mainstream Kinh (Vietnamese); indigenous ethnic minorities (S’tieng); and recently migrated minorities from northern provinces. At the commune level (fist strata), three out of five communes will be purposefully selected. These communes are thought to represent the characteristics of the population of Binh Phuoc province which are belonged to the buffer zone of CTNP. At the hamlet level (second strata), three hamlet will be chosen, with each hamlet represents the characteristics of each of three groups above. Because the population in each hamlet is relatively homogenous, 30 households out of more than 100 households will be randomly selected. The total sample size is thus 3 communes x 3 hamlets x 30 respondents = 270 respondents.

The sample size is not statistically representative of the population and it is based on the specific location characteristics, time/budget constraints, and availability of respondents. This sample size, however, is enough for the model in path analysis which requires at least 200 to 300 cases (Klem, 1995).

Survey Instrument/Questionnaire Development

A survey instrument will be developed to obtain data on social capital, participation in the FPRD, attitudes and behaviors towards biodiversity conservation of household residents (see attached draft). The design of questionnaire will follow suggested formats of the Tailored Design Method (Dillman, 2000). Substantive areas and content will consist of the concepts, variables and measurements discussed above.

Survey Pre-test

A random sample of 25 households will be drawn from the residents list in the Thong Nhat Commune. This pilot test will serve to identify any incorrect or misleading survey items, problems with data collection methodology, and additional areas for research that were not present in the literature. The selection of 20 residents would be considered an adequate sample size for this pilot test. (Isaac and Michael, 1997).

The pilot test will be conducted following the methodology to be used in the study. Following this, respondents will be asked to comment on the questionnaire content, design, clarity, wording, and format. If possible, all respondents will be gathered together to discuss the survey in a group setting or focus group. Based on this pretest, revisions will be made to the questionnaire and, if necessary, the data collection methods.
Administration of the Survey

The questionnaire will be translated into Vietnamese and administrated orally. A team of two (or three) trained research assistants will administer the questionnaire. First, the survey will be pre-tested with 20 community members of a chosen hamlet. After the pre-test, revisions will be made of the questionnaire.

The questions presented in the survey fall into five general categories: social capital, level of participation in FPRD project, general attitude toward biodiversity conservation, behavior toward the park, demographic characteristics.

Mode of Analysis

The statistical analysis methods used for addressing this data will take several forms. At an initial stage, correlations would be used to determine the bivariate relationship between independent variables and the dependent variable, as well as correlation among independent variables. Important in this will also be a bivariate correlation analysis for sociodemographic variables and the dependent variable. This will allow for significant control variables to be identified early in the analysis and for nonsignificant factors to be eliminated from further analysis plans.

Following these steps, a series of multiple linear regression models treating each variable grouping individually, would provide a unique analysis of the impact of each on social capital, attitude and behavior toward biodiversity conservation. Eventually the use of multiple linear correlation regression will measure how independent variables simultaneously account for variation in conservation attitude and behavior.

Alternatively, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) will be developed for analysis in this study. SEM will be built upon a measurement model and a structural model. A measurement model will be developed for each of the latent variables of social capital, level of participation and conservation attitude. Some structural models specify how social capital can be use to predict the level of participation as well as conservation of the respondent. For example, the logical step of analysis for SEM is proposed as follow:

Figure 2: Structural Equation Model (SEM)

Path Analysis

I will use the software LISREL in which unlike traditional path analytic models where one obtains reduce form equations first and then solves for structural parameters. In LISREL a path model is considered as a system of equations, all structural coefficients are estimated directly, and the reduced form is obtained as a by-product. Thus LISREL allows simultaneous estimation of direct, indirect, and total effects of a series of variables and constructs, including the estimation of reciprocal causation and interdependence. In testing a theoretical model of inter-relared variables, this type of analysis allows the linking of the measurement model – how well have the constructs been measured, and the structural model – what are the direct, indirect and total effects of the constructs in the theoretical model.

Timeline for Research

Proposal defense

30 March, 2005 (Wednesday)

IRB Protocal Submission

1 April, 2005

Data Collection

April 15 to July 15, 2005

Data Coding & Entry

July 30 – August 30, 2005

Data Analysis

Sept 2 – December 30, 2005

Create Tables and Charts

Jan 1 – Jan 10, 2006

Write up results

January 15 – June 15, 2006

Dissertation Defense

Before August 30, 2006


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