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.
; Planning & Development
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
; Public Administration