Community resilience and climate change in Cambodia and Vietnam - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Community resilience and climate change in Cambodia and Vietnam

Resilience and adaptation strategies 

The impacts of climate change are forcing many rural communities to adapt in different ways, and can affect the success of broader livelihood development strategies in rural poor communities.

Understanding the links between food security, migration and climate adaptation is essential so that communities can become more resilient and avoid maladaptive strategies.

As part of the Asia-Pacific Network Global Change Research project, SRC staff member Dr Chris Jacobson worked with the University of Battabmang, UN FAO and the Ministry of Environment to conduct household surveys of migration, food security and social consequences in Cambodia.

Climate related migration rates can affect up to 57% of households, and lead to labour shortages, youth safety and education issues, and female safety issues.

What is more, the use of migration as an adaptation strategy appears unrelated to irrigation access in these communities, and does not always increase food security in the longer term.

This data, combined with community resilience analyses and policy workshops suggest mean agricultural development and climate adaptation strategies need to address the earlier and more significant onset of food insecurity in migrant households, and build community resilience given the riskiness of migration as an adaptation strategy.

Both Cambodian and Vietnamese case studies highlight the value of a simple community resilience tool and dialogue as means of identifying and leveraging alternative strategies from existing resources and relationships.

Community resilience assessment and climate adaptation planning guidebook 

A key output of this project was to develop guidebooks that can be used by government staff, NGOs and development practitioners to mainstream climate adaptation into community development planning.

These guidebooks are available in English/Khmer, and English/Vietnamese. This project was funded by the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research, grant CAF2015-RR18NSY-Jacobson, with additional co-investment from the University, and was delivered in conjunction with our partners University of Battambang and Ministry of Environment (Cambodia), Hue University of Economics and Institute for Social and Environmental Transitions (Vietnam), and in collaboration with United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation Life and Nature Project (Cambodia).

  1. Tran, T., Tran, P., Anh, A.T. And Jacobson, C. (2016) Community resilience assessment and climate change adaptation planning, a guidebook (PDF 13MB). USC, Hue University of Economics (in English and Vietnamese). ISBN ISBN-10: 1-925476-05-7 ISBN-13: 978-1-925476-05-7. 76 Pages.
  2. Jacobson, C. and Ngoun, C. (2016) Community resilience assessment and climate change adaptation planning, a guidebook (PDF 6MB). USC, University of Battambang (in English and Khmer). ISBN 10: 1-925476-04-9, ISBN-13: 978-1-925476-04-0. 96pages.’

Further information

Dr Christine Jacobson: