Rising sea levels and the increased intensity and magnitude of precipitation linked to climate change, place the Red River catchment in Vietnam on the front line of climate emergency. Whilst intense rains, localised flooding and extended dry periods have always formed an important part of the natural monsoonal seasonality, sinking land in the Red River delta is placing urgent pressure upon those communities to respond to more severe and more frequent flood events. In the upland areas of the basin, increased rainfall variability and intensity is exacerbating soil erosion, landsliding and flash flooding as well as periods of drought.
With one of the highest population densities in the world, these risks mean Vietnam’s citizens, government and policymakers are faced with significant challenges concerning flood and climate change mitigation, adaption and resilience. High cost interventions and flood defences to combat such impacts in a low to middle income country like Vietnam are unlikely. Therefore, enabling communities to adapt to their changing climate, including through education, awareness-raising and capacity development amongst its citizens is an essential step in building community-led climate action and resilience.