Climate vulnerability and capacity of ethnic minorities in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam

Climate vulnerability and capacity of ethnic minorities in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam

Report on the socioeconomic and climate vulnerability and capacity of ethnic minority communities in northern Vietnam.

This 2013 report, produced by CARE international in Vietnam, is based on a study conducted as part of the Civil Action for Socio-economic Inclusion in Sustainable Development Project (CASI III). It analyses the climate vulnerability and adaptive capacity of ethnic minority groups in the country's northern mountainous region - groups which suffer from persistently higher levels of poverty, with resulting growth in inequality when compared to the rest of the population.

Typically remote and reliant on natural resources, these ethnic minorities have less access to education, financial services, and markets, and also experience significant stereotyping and discrimination, which disproportionately affects women. With Vietnam likely to suffer severe consequences from global warming (for example, in its vulnerability to sea-level rise), it is important that these socioeconomic factors are understood and considered when assessing climate vulnerabilities and capacities.

The report takes the reader through the context of the study, including: an overview of CARE’s work in the region; an introduction to the project area; an explanation of the methodology and analytical framework used in the study; and an outline of local climatic knowledge. It then presents an analysis, including case study examples, of the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of ethnic minority groups in the region, covering the causal drivers of food insecurity, gender dimensions, sustainable livelihoods, and climate and disaster risks. The rest of the report concerns the underlying causes of vulnerability; the enabling environment for adaptation; coping strategies; and adaptation potential. On this last point, the report notes that there is evidence of existing capacity in the commitment within communities to work together, as well as in the disaster response capacity of the Vietnamese government.

The report makes several recommendations regarding strengthening capacity and reducing vulnerability, primarily to inform future planning for the CASI III Project. These include:

  • The need to fully integrate gender dimensions into every project component, including culture-specific training for staff.
  • Ensuring that knowledge gained is disseminated across multiple levels.
  • Facilitating the voice of ethnic minority groups in planning and policy-making.
  • Promoting and strengthening climate-resilient livelihood strategies.
  • Strengthening disaster risk management and improving access to timely, accurate climate related information.
  • Ensuring the climate and disaster resilience of investments through consistent, robust analysis.
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