The International Journal of Environmental Studies vol:70 issue:6 pages:877-892
This paper examines issues of culture and power in regard to the Mu sacred forest, Vietnam, a community forest. The research uses Foucault’s notion of ‘heterotopia’ as a heuristic tool to interpret forest management. It appears that the Mu sacred forest can be understood as a space of “self reflective construction”, but also a space that might dissolve, destabilise, interrupt, and suspend power. The moment of power suspension is frees people from their usual frames. They can escape to some extent from authority and repression. This suggests that sustainable forest management can be promoted through acceptance of local culture and that community forest can be a “space of suspension and learning”.