Vietnam has set a course for political and economic change. Decentralisation has allowed individual provinces in Vietnam significant autonomy to interpret national laws and policy. These changes are opportunities to harness the legal framework for change into community-based planning and participation in natural resource management. The MOSAIC programme in Quang Nam province, central Vietnam, has adopted innovative planning tools at the local community level, such as participatory three-dimensional modelling (P3DM). In the P3DM method accurate 3-D models of a chosen area are manufactured and used as a source for discussion. MOSAIC is building experiences, lessons and partnerships to frame provincial policy for sustainable land-use planning. The programme is navigating the complex State administrative structure to magnify site-based results into wider-scale policy and planning at provincial, regional, and up to national levels. This article gives account of experiences from and the participatory methods used in the MOSAIC activities in Tabhing commune and Song Thanh nature reserve. It starts by giving a brief introduction to the situation in Quang Nam province, which is one of the poorest in Vietnam and dominated by ethnic minorities, and where open-access resource regimes are rapidly depleting local forests. It describes the processes of participatory planning and P3DM used in working with the Ka Tu people in the region, and evaluates lessons learned from the use of P3DM in community-based planning. It concluded that efforts to link landscape-level planning into micro-level conservation action has benefited from P3DM as a cost-effective learning, planning, and mediating tool.
International Institute for Environment and Development