Vulnerability of climate change and its adaptation in the Mekong Delta: monitoring and resident’s perception along the coast

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 8:50 AM
Makoto Tamura and Kazuya Yasuhara, Ibaraki University, Mito, Japan
The Mekong Delta in Vietnam is expected to face challenges from various forms of climate-induced events. In addition, a growing population, which currently stands at 18.6 million people lives in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Therefore, the Mekong Delta is the focus of international action for adaptation. However, many climate sensitive regions and communities are unprepared for climate-induced natural disasters due to mismatch in perception with their respective risks.

This study examines the vulnerability and appropriate adaptation in the Mekong Delta from both scientific and regional aspects. First, we show the change in coastal areas in Soc Trang province, comparing the past to the present images using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and satellite. We identify some vulnerable areas which derived from multiple factors due to coastal erosion, flooding, and sea level rise. Second, we present results of perception survey about climate change and the adaptation at community level in Ca Mau, Soc Trang, and An Giang Provinces, which were conducted in 2012 and 2014. While the findings suggest varying degrees of adaptation to seasonal flooding by raising the ground floors of their homes and repairing houses, their capacity to prepare for extreme flooding is limited in spite of the residents’ awareness of the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters. Third, we propose an erosion-resistant dyke reinforcement technique by mixing natural palm tree fiber and cement, both of which are locally available materials in the Mekong Delta. It is expected that adaptation with multiple protections in accordance to regional feature can work well for such coastal disasters.