Drivers of change and adaptation pathways of agricultural systems facing increased salinity intrusion in coastal areas of the Mekong and Red River deltas in Vietnam

Nguyen, Minh Tu, Renaud, Fabrice G. and Sebesvari, Zita, (2018). Drivers of change and adaptation pathways of agricultural systems facing increased salinity intrusion in coastal areas of the Mekong and Red River deltas in Vietnam. Environmental Science & Policy, 1-18

Document type:
Article
Collection:

Metadata
Links
Versions
Statistics
  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Nguyen, Minh Tu
    Renaud, Fabrice G.
    Sebesvari, Zita
    Title Drivers of change and adaptation pathways of agricultural systems facing increased salinity intrusion in coastal areas of the Mekong and Red River deltas in Vietnam
    Appearing in Environmental Science & Policy
    Publication Date 2018
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Elsevier Ltd.
    Start page 1
    End page 18
    Language eng
    Abstract Agricultural systems are increasingly considered complex adaptive systems. They are dependent on the integrated nature of biophysical and social sub-systems, continuously adapt to changing conditions and often display non-linear responses to various drivers of change at multiple scales. This research applied the lens of complex adaptive systems theory to analyze current and historical drivers of change and adaptation pathways of agricultural systems to increased salinity intrusion in coastal areas of the Red River and Mekong deltas in Vietnam since 1975. The analysis is based on 27 in-depth interviews with officials of local and national authorities as well as 198 semi-structured interviews and 11 focus group discussions conducted with farmers along three salinity transects in both deltas in 2015-2016. The results show that a dynamic interplay and feedback of various drivers of change such as policy intervention, farmers’ desire for profit maximization, changing salinity conditions, and technological development at different levels of the deltaic social-ecological system have shaped the changes and adaptations in agricultural systems over the last decades. In response to increased salinity intrusion, as exemplified by the historic salinity levels recorded in the Mekong Delta in 2015–2016, various adaptation options have been considered. These include adaptations that would lock-in agricultural production in particular systems or constrain changes in others, which is potentially problematic in light of the high uncertainty related to future changes. The study recognizes the need to apply both incremental and transformative changes and select adaptation pathways which allow for continuous change or that are reversible in order to avoid lock-ins and address future challenges. Additionally, attention should be drawn to interactions and feedbacks in future changes within and across adaptation pathways in order to prevent further increases in salinity intrusion and lock-in effects in agricultural systems within the deltas.
    Keyword Complex adaptive systems
    Drivers of change
    Adaptation pathways
    Salinity intrusion
    Vietnam
    Lock-in-effects
    Copyright Holder United Nations University- Institute for Environment and Human Security
    Copyright Year 2018
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    DOI 10.1016/j.envsci.2018.10.016
  • Versions
    Version Filter Type
  • Citation counts
    Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
    Access Statistics: 11 Abstract Views  -  Detailed Statistics
    Created: Tue, 04 Dec 2018, 21:19:16 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS