The Central Annamites Indigenous Peoples' (CAIP) Workshop. Vientiane, Laos.
February 27-28, 2012

The conference aims to advance knowledge and understanding of the indigenous societies in the region (speaking mainly Katuic and North-Bahnaric languages), their historical trajectories and current realities. It will address themes such as ethnic identity and transformation, trans ethnic interaction and processess of social change. The invited scholars come from a range of disciplines (anthropology, ethno-linguistics, human ecology, political science, etc.).
The Katuic Cultural Forest Project
Exploring the cultures and forests of Vietnam's and Laos' Central Annamite Mountains.
Ecology, Spirits, Modernity
The Central Annamite Mountains is a region of high conservation value, while simultaneously being a region where the indigenous groups have been living as shifting cultivators and hunters for hundreds of years. It is now also a frontier for state driven resource extraction. Many challenges face these indigenous societies in the coming years.
Upcoming Events
Development and forest conservation are both corner-stones of Vietnam's and Laos' current state policies towards its indigenous upland peoples who tend to live in some of the most forest rich areas remaining in these two countries.

Current forest policies, classifying all forest land into production forest aimed at industrial forest production and various types of protected forests excluding human forest use, increasingly enclose the indigenous upland population and dramatically reduce their access to traditionally used forest land. At the same time, state-development policies push for an all-out transformation of the local sufficiency-oriented economies towards market-oriented cash-crop production and small-scale agro-forestry.

An important step in this direction is the devolution of forest land to households and the conversion of swidden land into rubber-plantations and other forms of industrial tree plantations.

This project examines the social consequences of these twin processes, seemingly opposed but unfolding side by side as parts of a single "sustainable-development package", on the indigenous societies living in the uplands of central Vietnam and southern Laos.

The project explores how state policies engender growing inequalities and a progressive erosion of social cohesion in local communities as well as, seemingly paradoxically, accelerating environmental destruction and deepening poverty.

The Katuic Cultural Forest Project
a part of the Katuic Research Programme
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