Multi-scale assessment of social vulnerability to climate change: An empirical study in coastal Vietnam
Climate Risk Management
A B S T R A C T Climate change poses significant threats to the livelihoods of people living in coastal areas, especially in the developing world. There is a critical need to assess vulnerability to inform both scientific debates and policy makers in facilitating adaptation and coping strategies at different scales. This study advances existing approaches to assessing vulnerability by focusing on both household and collective scales in a coastal district in Vietnam: Ngu Hanh Son district. A
... dmethod approach was used including 100 household questionnaires, 12 key informant interviews and data from direct observations. At household scale, results indicate large variation in the degree of vulnerability to climate change among households in the same agro-climate zone. These differences are attributable to variations in socio-economic household characteristics and ability to access livelihood assets. Diversifying livelihoods and reducing poverty are important in contributing to the resilience of households. At a collective scale, qualitative data indicates a lack of multi-directional flows of information and highlights gaps in the current governance system. Findings suggest the need to bridge the governance gaps and establish an effective communication system to reduce collective vulnerability in the district. Findings also highlight the need to promote social equity, equality and democracy in formulating climate policies in an effort to reduce the overall vulnerability to climate change.