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Community Adaptation Initiatives in the Kien Giang Province of the Vietnam Delta
Location: Kien Giang, Vietnam
Implementing Partner: AMDI (Asian Management and Development Institute) and VNRC (Vietnam Red Cross)

Located on the coastal plain of the Mekong Delta, Thuan Hoa Commune of the Kien Giang Province is particularly susceptible to sea level rise due to its very low elevation (0.2-0.4 meters above sea level). USAID Mekong ARCC is working through Vietnamese organizations, Asian Management and Development Institute (AMDI) and the Vietnam Red Cross, to assist communities in Thua Hoa Commune better understand and prioritize climate risks and take actions to strengthen their resilience to food and livelihood insecurity resulting from climate change—particularly related to key income and sustenance food sources generated through rice production, aquaculture (shrimp and clam), livestock rearing (ducks and pigs), and coastal shellfish farming.

The Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment 2012 map (the 5th picture) shows the impact of a one-meter Sea Level Rise by the year 2100 in the Mekong Delta. Most of Kien Giang will be under water (red) and 39 percent of the Mekong Delta will be flooded. The approximate location of Thuan Hoa is marked with the blue arrow.

Site Information

Thuan Hoa Commune falls within An Minh District of Kien Giang, approximately 50 km south west of Rach Gia, which is the main city in the province. The total land area of the commune is 8,246 hectares and its population is 16,401 spread among eight villages and 3,622 households. Approximately 20% of the households in Thuan Hoa Commune live below the Vietnam poverty rate for rural areas of approximately $150 per year per capita. (View site map)

Analysis of Climate Impacts from USAID Mekong ARCC Project’s Study for the Lower Mekong Basin

  • Estimated Sea level rise (SLR) of 30 cm in the rainy season will exacerbate floods and crop damage; Dry season SLR will increase in intensity and duration causing salinity intrusion into water and soil;
  • Projected 3°C increase in annual mean temperature with the peak maximum temperature for a typical year rising from 38.5°C under baseline conditions to 41.8°C under climate change conditions;
  • Annual rainfall will increase from 1,280 mm/yr to 1,370 mm/yr (+90 mm/yr); monthly rainfall during Sep-Oct will increase more than 10% while Jan, Feb, and April will see a -10% reduction;
  • No large rainfall events  (>100 mm/day) occurred in the 25 year baseline; such a storm will begin to occur once every 25 years under climate change;
  • April-May, the historical transition from the dry to wet season, will be drier, prolonging water stress at the end of the dry season. Droughts will occur more frequently. 

Projected Climate Vulnerabilities on Key Livelihood and Food Security Options in Kien Giang Province

  • Temperatures exceeding 35°C will create heat stress for crops and livestock;
  • Sea Level Rise will increase saline water intrusion with significant rice yield loss at >4% salinity concentration;
  • Flash floods that cause sudden drop in salinity at coastal shrimp farms, which will invite disease and lower reproduction;
  • Heat stress in areas that have lost mangrove shade will impact habitat for coastal shellfish;
  • Decline in rice production will reduce running areas for scavenging and thus cause population loss of layer ducks.

Community Identified Adaptation Activities for Thuan Hoa Commune

  • Modifications to the existing shrimp-rice farming system to increase the system’s resilience to salt intrusion;
  • Diversification of income, especially for women, through climate smart pig rearing techniques on ‘bio-mattress’ composed of organic materials that reduces waste, and improved pig pen design and construction to prepare for changes in climate that will impact productivity of local breeds;
  • Water quality monitoring for saline to increase information available to farmers necessary to carry out aquaculture livelihood activities; and
  • Increased understanding of weather threats and climate change livelihood strategies through installation of commune loudspeaker system.

Additional Stakeholder Engagement

  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment (IMHEN);
  • District Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD);
  • District Department of Environment of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE);
  • People’s Committee;
  • Women’s Union, Farmers’ Association, Youth Union as members of the Committee for Flood and Storm Control;
  • Economics department at An Giang University and Can Tho University;
  • Department of Meteorology, Hanoi University of Science.

Learn more about Thuan Hoa Commune:

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Last update: 13.08.2015