Tran, VS 2016, 'Towards successful implementation of Vietnamese national government climate change policy at the provincial and local farmer level', PhD thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.
Copyright VS Tran 2015
Vietnam is a typical developing country with a large rural population and an economy dependent on agriculture, and is potentially vulnerable to effects of climate change. However, the long-term success of the country’s adaptive response is hampered by lack of data on climate change perceptions and drivers of vulnerability, and how these affect adaptive response and policy implementation. This study aims to examine the processes by which agricultural climate change adaptation programs, mandated by the Vietnamese Government, are successfully implemented at provincial and local levels. The intention is to advise on factors that will enhance the successful implementation of national climate change policy at the provincial and local farmer level. This study focuses on two central themes. The first addresses vulnerability by developing a nationwide province-level vulnerability index for rural communities. The second analyzes current levels of understanding and perceptions of climate change impacts, responses and adaptation measures among farmers and provincial officials with survey questionnaires, and by analyzing survey data from an ongoing Vietnamese ministerial project, National Target Program to Respond to Climate Change.
Environmental, social and economic factors influence rural communities’ vulnerability to climate change. Central coastal provinces yield the highest vulnerability index value, linked to projected temperature and rainfall change, and exposure to extreme climatic events. High vulnerability in the northern mountainous provinces reflects social characteristics, such as illiteracy and lack of infrastructure. Rural communities in the Mekong River delta, Central Highlands, and Red River delta have medium to low vulnerability. These diverse vulnerability levels should be considered in developing climate change policies tailored to local conditions.
Both poor and non-poor farmers have similar perceptions on climate change, but there were significant differences in the adaptation measures they adopt, the barriers they perceive to adaptation, and the factors influencing their decisions. Government policies should take these differences into account in promoting climate change adaptive responses, and in the design, dissemination and support of adaptation strategies.
Findings also demonstrate that provincial agricultural and environmental officials are aware of climate change and potential impacts, but weaknesses in understanding adaptation and mitigation measures are likely to affect successful development and implementation of national and provincial climate change policies and programs. Therefore, to enhance policy implementation by provincial officials in Vietnam, there is further need to disseminate information and increase awareness regarding climate change, sea level rise and its impacts, and response strategies, especially the role of adaptation and mitigation methods.