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Assessing Livelihood Vulnerability of Minority Ethnic Groups to Climate Change: A Case Study from the Northwest Mountainous Regions of Vietnam

Tran Van Thanh (), Duc-Anh An-Vo (), Geoff Cockfield () and Shahbaz Mushtaq ()
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Tran Van Thanh: Centre for Applied Climate Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba 4350, Australia
Duc-Anh An-Vo: Centre for Applied Climate Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba 4350, Australia
Geoff Cockfield: Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Systems, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba 4350, Australia
Shahbaz Mushtaq: Centre for Applied Climate Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba 4350, Australia

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 13, 1-22

Abstract: Climate variability, climate change, and extreme events can compound the vulnerability of people heavily reliant on agriculture. Those with intersecting disadvantages, such as women, the poor, and ethnic minority groups, may be particularly affected. Understanding and assessing diverse vulnerabilities, especially those related to ethnicity, are therefore potentially important to the development of policies and programs aimed at enabling adaptation in such groups. This study uses a livelihood vulnerability index (LVI) method, along with qualitative data analysis, to compare the vulnerability of different smallholder farmers in Son La province, one of the poorest provinces in Vietnam. Data were collected from 240 households, representing four minority ethnic groups. The results indicated that household vulnerability is influenced by factors such as income diversity, debt, organizational membership, support from and awareness by local authorities, access to health services, water resources, and location. Results revealed that two of the ethnic groups’ households were, on average, more vulnerable, particularly regarding livelihood strategies, health, water, housing and productive land, and social network items when compared to the other two ethnic groups. The study shows the need for targeted interventions to reduce the vulnerability of these and similarly placed small ethnic communities.

Keywords: livelihood vulnerability; agricultural dependency; climate change (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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