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Connecting people help us deal better with cimate change - making disaster less disaster.



Climate change has occurred globally (FAO, 2018a) and resulting in more frequency of extreme weather events (such as drought or flooding) and natural disasters (such as cyclone and tropical storm). Besides, local farmers become more impassive with unusual extreme weather events and the level of extreme which has occurred due to the climate change, for example, the mountain regions often face with drought and low land often face with drought, however, the extreme rainfall events could cause the flooding in mountain regions (Schad et al., 2012) and unbalance rainfall distribution could be cause for drought in low land (Thilakarathne et al., 2017). Moreover, the rural areas are the higher risk areas by climate change impacts, because these regions are more relevant to poverty and vulnerability, especially, farming practices in developing countries still strongly depending on the weather conditions. Improving the knowledge in coping and adapting with climate change impacts especially post-disaster decision-making of local people could help to reduce the negative impacts of climate change to sensitive groups such as farmers in rural regions.


What actions do you propose?

Globally, many projects and programmers have been established to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change, however, many main issues still remain, herein, three issues are in focus: (1) Adoption: The local stakeholder retain their belief and cultural on farming practice, for example, the re-allocation farmers did not work in prone areas in Fiji, because they still returned to prone areas while they believe that their ancestors are still there ( and Birkmann, 2011); (2) Dynamic of climate change: Extreme weather events are unpredictable by time and location, for example, adaption strategy to plant the drought tolerant crops will not be suitable for flooding event; (3) Conflict in a singular climate change adaptation strategy, for example, in Fiji, farmers indicated that, to save the food during disaster such as cyclone, fruit production from tree are better than cereal or tube products, however, to prevent the damage of houses, first thing the farmers has to do is cut down the tree (Climatechangeplus, 2017).

Understanding and transfer experience and adaptation strategy from experience of local stakeholders who have experience in adaptation with different types of natural disasters could enhance the social protection under dynamic climate change conditions (Phuong et al., 2017).

Main action of this project is connecting farmers and raising the topic for avoidance of risk from climate change to livelihood in rural areas. The action will increase the social protection/insurance for rural farmers to reduce the negative risk of climate change.

This project aims to (1) identify the main phenomena of climate change across Vietnam, northwest mountainous regions, middle and south of Vietnam; (2) collect the mitigation strategies by local farmers: How upland farmers and lowland farmers adapt with past and current impacts of climate change? For example, how to mountainous farmers store food for drought, how farmers in the south store food or choose crop while the flooding occur.

Specific objectives

  • Mapping the negative phenomena of climate change by regions: Use PRA - Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools (Chamber, 1994) - such as farmer focus group discussion, informal key interview. Main task: Define and name the phenomena of climate change in three regions - Northwest mountainous regions - Middle high and low land and Southern delta Mekong regions.
  • Identify the mitigation strategies by local farmers using PRA tools: Group discussion
  • Sharing experience of disaster mitigation strategies  - Farmer workshop
  • Introduce external systems: Smart farming adapt with climate change: such as climate smart agriculture (CIAT, 2017), transfer flooding adaptation strategy of Mekong Delta to store food in mountain regions - Farmer workshop

Materials and Methods

Phase 1: Pilot project/ pre-survey (1 year)

Phase 2: Identical phase: Identify the phenomena and adaptation strategies (literature review and farmers survey) (3 years).

Phase 3: Transfer phase: Spreading and sharing adaptation strategies: farmer workshops – sharing by information and practices (3 years).

Main strategies:

  • Saving (food and finance) to cope with disasters
  • Cropping strategy copy with disaster
  • Moving up the house (due to flooding, but then not suitable of cyclone comes)
  • Safe house


Who will take these actions?

This proposal includes two main actors:

  • Researchers: Cooperation between Researcher in CARES - Center for Agriculture Research and Ecological Studies (CARES), Vietnam National University of Agriculture - VNUA in cooperation with Food security center - Hohenheim University in corporation with Agricultural extension service in each study site.
  • The farmers from selected provinces: Hue, Son La, Kien Giang province, each province choose 1 district, main activities in 2 communes each province.

Where will these actions be taken?

Vietnam is considered one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world. Typhoons, floods, storms, droughts and landslides are recurrent. They were responsible for losses equal to 1.5 percent of annual GDP between 2001 and 2010 (Climatelinks, 2018). Besides, those natural disasters kill hundreds people and cause millions of dollars of damage annually (Factsanddetails, 2018).

Vietnam’s climate includes a humid subtropical climate (South of Vietnam),) and a tropical savanna climate (North of Vietnam), Vietnam strongly influences monsoon climate. Cold (or dry) season occurs from November to April, hot season from May to October. (Weatheronline, 2018; Wikipedia, 2018).

Under climate change conditions, the negative impacts affect strongly to rural areas in Vietnam. About 66.4% populations of Vietnam are d living in rural areas in 2016 and increasing the immigration dramatically to 65.1 % in 2017, the avoidance disaster is one of the causes. The main income is still from agricultural activities in rural areas in Vietnam (FAOSTAT, 2018; IndexMundi, 2018; General statistics, 2018).

Table 1 shows the number of tropical cyclone in Vietnam in 10 years, from 2005 to 2015, the affected zone from the North to Soutth of Vietnam. Recently unusual extreme weather found, for example, in Mekong delta, climate change impacts became worse (Nature, 1027b). Table 1. Number of tropical cyclones across Vietnam and affected locations from 2005 to 2015 Source: Vietnam center of hydro-Meteorological data, 2018)

What are other key benefits?

Farmers – local stakeholders in Vietnam.

Numerous projects investigated the issues climate change impacts and adaptation with climate change from government programmes and NGOs (Give2asia, 2018), besides, extreme events occur in unusually by level and locations, and diversity. For example flooding occur in mountain and drought in low land, tropical storms appeared in South Vietnam (Thilakarathne et al., 2017). All small household farmers in rural areas in Vietnam may face similar coming issue because of climate change impacts, but become some common issues from the North to the South of Vietnam. Therefore, connecting the farmers and introduce the strategies after disasters could enhance the capacity of the local stakeholders in rural areas to cope with negative impacts of climate change.

What are the proposal’s costs?

Pilot project: 1 years: 40,000

Domestic travel: 5,000 (4 researchers, 4 times, 3 provinces)

Workshop: 10,000 (3 workshops, 3 provinces)

Survey: 10,000 (material, equipments)

Salary: 10,000 (4 researchers, 1 years)

Assistance: 5,000 (2 assistants)

The funding from Colab climate is for initial pilot project 

Detail: on request

Time line

Pilot: One year: From Sep 2018 to Sep 2019

Real duration: 6 years (from 2019 - 2024)

Related proposals


Project and Upland Program in Hohenheim University


Birkmann, J.First- and second-order adaptation to natural hazards and extreme events in the context of climate change (2011) Natural Hazards, 58 (2), pp. 811-840.

Bruun, O., Olwig, M.F. Is Local Community the Answer? (2015) Asian Journal of Social Science, 43 (6), pp. 811-836.


Chambers, R. (1994). The origins and practice of participatory rural appraisal. World Development, 22(7), 953–969.

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Nature, 2017b.

Phuong, L.T.H., Biesbroek, G.R., Sen, L.T.H., Wals, A.E.J.(2017.)Understanding smallholder farmers’ capacity to respond to climate change in a coastal community in Central Vietnam. Climate and Development, pp. 1-16.

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Schad, I., Schmitter, P., Saint-Macary, C., Neef, A., Lamers, M., Nguyen, L., Hilger, T., Hoffmann, V. (2012). Why do people not learn from flood disasters? evidence from vietnam's northwestern mountains. Natural Hazards, 62(2), 221-241.

Thilakarathne, M., Sridhar, V. 2017. Characterization of future drought conditions in the Lower Mekong River Basin. Weather and Climate Extremes, 17, pp. 47-58.

Vietnam center of hydro-Meteorological data, 2018 (assess at 13.00 date 14.01.2018)

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