Elaborating a people-centered approach to understanding sustainable livelihoods under climate and environmental change: Thang Binh District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam: Thang Binh District, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam

Leslie Mabon, Nguyen Song Tung, Pham Thi Tram, Tran Thi Tuyet, Hong Ngoc Le, Doan Thi Thu Huong, Hoang Thi Ngoc Ha, Mueller Hirth Natascha, Stephen Vertigans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper explores the maintenance of livelihoods under climate, environmental and economic development pressures, through the case of Thang Binh District in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Within widespread recognition of the need to link sustainable livelihoods approaches with climate change adaptation, there is growing awareness of the importance of people-centered approaches which keep the diverse experience, capabilities and knowledges of the most vulnerable at the heart of sustainable livelihoods thinking. In response, this paper explores the conditions for changes in modes of livelihoods in a case study area where top-down strategies for sustainable livelihoods are met with residents’ diverse experiences of vulnerability, and where climate and environmental changes shape residents’ relations with the landscape. The research is undertaken via interviews with residents, farmers/fishers and local government officials. Our study finds that whilst government-led initiatives for sustainable livelihoods are welcomed in the locality, inflexible policies can make it challenging for the most vulnerable people to access support. Moreover, residents see the capacity to live with and respond to extreme weather events as a critical component of maintaining a sustainable livelihood. Our findings reinforce international literature showing that ‘the poor’ are not a homogenous category, and illustrate the importance of attention to the smallest levels of government who are tasked with putting sustainable livelihoods initiatives into practice in relation to people’s daily lives.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainability Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • coastal communities
  • Quang Nam Province
  • sustainable livelihoods
  • Vietman

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