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mpact of global climate change and desertification on the environment and society in Southern Centre of Vietnam

Research project BL/V/28 (Research action BL)

Contract BL/03/V28 :

Duration of the contract :


Partners :

  • Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology VAST 
  • Université de Liège 
  • Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek 

Description :


Vietnam is one of the countries in South-East Asia that is severely affected by climate change. The country has about 21 million hectares of agricultural and forest land, and the surface affected by drought is approximately 9.34 million hectares (approx. 45%) of the total agricultural land. Of these, about 7.8 million hectares (or approx. 30% of the total country’s agricultural and forest land) are severely degraded. Desertification and drought mainly occurs in the Southern part of Central Vietnam, including the provinces of Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, and Khanh Hoa, which cover about 300,000 hectares.

Binh Thuan is the most seriously affected province by prolonged drought during recent years. The areas near the coast of this province have an arid and hot climate with an annual rainfall of 500-700 mm in the worst affected areas. The lack of water for the households and agricultural production during the 6-month dry season offers a serious threat to rural life. Additionally, the communities face difficulties due to prolonged droughts that affect all traditional uses of land and water resources such as water storage, farming activities, and hillside cultivation. In the Binh Thuan province unsustainable farming practices and deforestation are reported as the main reasons for desertification and land degradation.
International, regional and Vietnamese studies show that scientific, technological, and policy responses are needed to combat climate change and desertification. In Central-Southern Vietnam, projects have been implemented to study climate change and its effects. In these studies, the main focus was on sea level rise, floods and storms. Systematic and integrated research on drought and desertification and the impacts on the biophysical and social environment has not been addressed. This project aimed to address this gap such that policy responses can be adequate.


The main objective of the project is to enhance the understanding of the impacts of drought using a multi-factorial approach. The results will contribute to policy making and to mitigate adverse impacts of the global climate change and desertification on the human welfare in Southern Central Vietnam. The focus will be on an adaptation strategy to increase the resilience of the local communities and a more rational use of the agricultural resources in environmental sensitive areas.

The specific objectives are to:

- describe and analyse primary information for indicators and aspects related to desertification (WP1);
- assess the current status of desertification and drought stress based on the analysis of meteorological data, land use changes and soil characteristics. To forecast desertification related climate parameters (WP2);
- study the impacts of drought stress on selected socio-economic aspects: water availability and accessibility, shifts in agricultural crops, income, expenses, poverty and migration (WP3); and,
- provide an integrated risk assessment as a basis for mitigation and adaptation options (WP4).

Documentation :

Impact of global climate change and desertification on the environment and society in Southern Centre of Vietnam : final report  Gobin, Anne - Hai, Le Trinh - Ha Linh, Pham... et al  Brussels : Federal Science Policy, 2013 (SP2568)
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