Vulnerability to Environmental Stress

Household Livelihoods, Assets and Mobility in the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam

image of Vulnerability to Environmental Stress

This study explores vulnerability and household response measures in the contexts of environmental stress in the Mekong Delta of Viet Nam. Displacement estimates are often based on broad assumptions derived from macro-scale geographical data, viewing individuals’ vulnerability to hazards through the lens of their physical proximity to hazard-prone areas. Given that household assets shape responses to opportunities and threats, this report examines key household assets which determine the household vulnerability, livelihood outcomes and those critical for mobility decision-making in the face of environmental change. The report also provides analysis of government relocation programmes targeting households susceptible to hazards and draws attention to the most asset-poor, who are often trapped and the least able to both adapt to stressors in- situ, or migrate elsewhere.



Conceptual frameworks

This section explores the conceptual frameworks informing this study. The two concepts underpinning the study – vulnerability and political ecology – are first explored. Against this backdrop, the “household assets” aspect of the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework is further incorporated, ultimately leading to the notion of asset vulnerability, the primary conceptual framework employed in the study. While rooted in the concepts of vulnerability and political ecology, asset vulnerability is proposed as a practical approach through which household vulnerability can be measured, using household assets as an analytical lens and unit of measurement.


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