Secondary Forests and Local Livelihoods along a Gradient of Accessibility: A Case Study in Northern Laos

Thanichanon, Puwadej; Schmidt-Vogt, Dietrich; Messerli, Peter; Heinimann, Andreas; Epprecht, Michael (2013). Secondary Forests and Local Livelihoods along a Gradient of Accessibility: A Case Study in Northern Laos. Society & Natural Resources, 26(11), pp. 1283-1299. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/08941920.2013.788429

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Rural livelihoods in developing countries can be enhanced by improving access to natural resources, services, and markets. In remote rural areas of the humid or semihumid tropics, forests represent an important resource for livelihoods. In countries like Laos, where most primary forest has been converted to secondary forest, and where an intricate and interlinked mosaic of forest and farmland prevails, people depend on secondary forests as a prime source of goods and services. The linkages between local livelihoods and secondary forest resources are subject to changes caused by improving accessibility. This article studies how accessibility affects the condition of forests and local livelihoods by comparing three villages along a gradient of accessibility in Phonxay district, Luang Prabang province, northern Laos. The results of this research show that accessibility strengthens the influence of the government and of markets, and that local livelihoods improve with increasing accessibility, while forest condition deteriorates.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Critical Sustainability Studies (CSS)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre [discontinued]
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Messerli, Peter; Heinimann, Andreas and Epprecht, Michael


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




Taylor & Francis




Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

02 May 2014 11:05

Last Modified:

23 Dec 2015 13:44

Publisher DOI:



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