The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies' (TES)
Volume 12, Number 2, 2013

ISSN 1602-2297

Different Ways to Decrease Vulnerability
to Increased Climate Variability and Extremes

Mogens Buch-Hansen
Department of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University. Denmark

Abstract: This article analyses two approaches to decreasing vulnerability to the impacts of increased climate variability and extremes (CC) in mid-central Vietnam: one based on investments in infrastructure to protect the environment (referred to as ecological resilience) and another with an emphasis on approaches of decreasing vulnerability through development more broadly by increasing incomes, especially for the poor, and strengthening of social capital and institutions (referred to as social resilience). The two approaches are analysed within the framework of sustainable adaptation which emphasizes targeting the risks and vulnerability stemming from the root courses of impacts of CC and the capacity to cope with the inevitable impacts of CC. The article describes how rapid economic growth and socio-economic differentiation in Vietnam during the past 25 years have diversified social resilience and the ability to adapt to the impacts of CC. This is exemplified by examining the effects on socio-economic groups in the three different agro-ecological zones in Quang Nam Province.

Keywords: Vulnerability and resilience to climate change, sustainable adaptation, Vietnam, economic growth and social differentiation.

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