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Building Coastal Resilience in Vietnam

An integrated, community-based approach to mangrove management, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation

A high level of exposure and a host of underlying social and environmental challenges render Vietnam’s coastal communities highly vulnerable to climate change. The case of Da Loc and Nga Thuy communes in Thanh Hoa Province demonstrates how these complex factors interact to drive a downward spiral of vulnerability. Over the last half-century, degradation of coastal ecosystems like mangrove forests has exposed local residents, their homes, and productive assets to more serious storms and tidal floods. Poverty creates additional pressures on natural resources, as households exploit mangrove forests for timber and seafood or are forced to apply chemical fertilizers to crops. Coupled with external stressors like upstream river pollution, these factors further degrade the quality of local soil and water resources.

Experience from CARE’s work in Da Loc and Nga Thuy communes provide a number of important insights for how coastal communities can more sustainably manage natural resources and respond to climate change. The recommendations provided in this report will be relevant for national and local policy-makers, staff and leaders of mass organizations, international and Vietnamese nongovernmental organizations, or other organizations seeking to reduce risks from natural disasters and climate change in rural coastal communities.