Timber Trafficking and its Impacts on Human Security in Vietnam

Anh, Cao Ngoc (2016) Timber Trafficking and its Impacts on Human Security in Vietnam. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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As with other forms of green crime, timber trafficking is frequently overlooked by traditional criminology. This research is an exploratory investigation into the problem of timber trafficking in Vietnam, which aims to obtain a detailed understanding of the typology of, victimisation from, and key factors driving this crime. To achieve this aim, 41 semi-structured interviews with seven different cohorts (environmental police, investigative police, forest protection officers, commune authorities, forest-based inhabitants, timber traders, and green NGO staff) were conducted. Over one hundred pages of official documents (criminal case records, operational reports, and conference papers), and more than two hundred relevant newspapers were collected and analysed to enhance and triangulate the primary data.

This research reveals a multifaceted typology of timber trafficking in Vietnam, comprising five different components: harvesting, transporting, trading, supporting, and processing. Each of these components is further constituted by distinctive, parallel forms of illicit operation. There are, for example, three parallel forms of illegal timber harvesting, termed small-scale, medium-scale and large-scale (SSITH, MSITH and LSITH). While having certain overlaps, in general SSITH, MSITH and LSITH are fundamentally distinctive not only in terms of the volumes of illicit timber they produce and the methods of illegally felling trees they employ, as typically identified in the previous studies, but more importantly in terms of the harvesters‘ attributes, their motivations, and the sophistication and security implications of the criminal operations. It is thus argued that the typology of illegal timber harvesting in this research challenges the typical classification in the existing literature, and offers an alternative way of understanding more comprehensively the dynamic of illegal logging.

Regarding the victimisation from timber trafficking, due to the employment of a broad conceptual framework of human security, it is revealed that timber trafficking has substantial harmful impacts on all seven elements of human security: economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community, and political. These impacts are closely interconnected, but vary between different groups of victims. These findings culminate in the proposal that there are three main typical characteristics of green victimisation: suffering hierarchy, victim-offender overlap, and multidimensionality. Additionally, the employment of a human security paradigm in this research leads to another proposal that it is highly achievable and productive to integrate perspectives from the field of security studies into the discipline of green criminology, for the purpose of systematically examining green victimisation. Finally, this research offers five solutions to control timber trafficking in the context of Vietnam, by refining the current policy framework of forest governance and improving the efficiency of law enforcement.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L400 Social Policy
L700 Human and Social Geography
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2016 11:39
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 23:08
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/27316

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