Viet Nam

  
 © IOM 2014 (photo: Susanne Melde)

Given its geographical location, current level of development and projected climate changes – particularly with respect to sea-level rise, extreme weather events and rainfall patterns – Vietnam has often been identified as a country that is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change (World Bank, 2011). Slow-onset processes and sudden-onset events in Viet Nam are already leading to large scale displacement of people (Melde, 2015). From 2008 to 2014, 2,088,417 people have been displaced by natural disasters within the country (IDMC, 2015). Some relocation projects have been implemented in Viet Nam in recent years (e.g. in the Mekong Delta) but their success has been often undermined by a lack of sustainable income-generating activities (Melde, 2015).

 

MECLEP publications on Viet Nam: 

  • Entzinger, H. and P. Scholten, 2015. Relocation as an adaptation strategy to environmental stress: Lessons from the Mekong River Delta in Viet Nam. Migration, Environment and Climate Change Policy Brief Series, Volume 1, Issue 6. IOM, Geneva. Available from here
  • Chun, J.M., 2014. Livelihoods Under Stress: Critical Assets and Mobility Outcomes in the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam. Migration, Environment and Climate Change Policy Brief Series, Volume 1, Issue 1. IOM, Geneva. Available from here

 

 Basic Facts

 Geographic location

 South East Asia

 Population

 93.4 million (2015)

 Area

 331,689 km²

 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita PPP

 USD 5,629.0 (2014)

 Income level

 Lower Middle Income

Notes
Population, 2011, based on data from the United Nations Population Fund's The State of World Population 2011.
Area refers to Total Surface Area Data from UNSD Demographic Statistics 2008, United Nations Statistics Division.
Gross Domestic Product (Purchasing Power Parity). The sum value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year valued at prices prevailing in the United States of America. GDP Per Capita (PPP), 2010, is Gross Domestic Product on a Purchasing Power Parity basis divided by the population. GDP Per Capita PPP based on data from the World Bank's World Development Indicators. Data are in current international dollars.
Income level. Income levels show the income category of a particular country as identified by the World Bank. For more information on income level, including the methodology used by the World Bank, please visit the World Bank’s Country Classification.
Human Development Index (HDI). A composite indicator that measures development and human progress based on health, education, and purchasing power. The higher the HDI rank, the higher a country's level of development. HDI Rank, 2011, based on data from the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report 2011.

Migration patterns

 Net Migration Rate

 -0.4

 Total Migrant Stock

 68,290 

 Women as a Percentage of Immigrants

 36.6%

 Number of Refugees

  313,418

Number of Internally Displaced Persons  (IDPs)

 68,689* / Not Available** / Not Available***

 Urbanization rate

 2.00% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

 Remittances (in-flows)

  •  6,4% of the GPA (2013)
  • Remittances to Viet Nam have been previously used mainly for supporting families and relatives and meeting year-end spending needs, but they are increasingly used for other purposes: the development of high profit-making economic activities, such as stock markets and real estate, is one of the reasons that attracts more overseas Vietnamese to invest remittances in domestic investments (Nguyen Anh, forthcoming).

 Internal remittances

  • As compared to international remittances, internal migrants remitted a much lower amount to their households in their places of origin (Nguyen Anh, forthcoming).

Notes
Net Migration Rate, 2010-2015. The difference between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1,000 persons. An excess of persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration (e.g., 3.56 migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the country is referred to as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population). Net Migration Rate based on data from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division's World Population Prospects: the 2015 Revision Population Database.
Total Migrant Stock. Estimated number of international migrants at mid-year, 2013.  United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division's World Population Prospects: the 2013 Revision Population Database.
Women as a Percentage of Immigrants. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division's World Population Prospects: the 2008 Revision Population Database.
Number of RefugeesUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2014. *Residing in country/ **Originating from country
Number of IDPsInternal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 2015. *IDPs newly displaced by disasters / **IDPs newly displaced by conflict and violence / *** IDPs displaced by conflict and violence (protracted displacement).
Urbanization rate: Average Annual Rate of Change of the Urban Population by Major Area, Region and Country, 1950-2050 (per cent) as per the United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2014). World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision.
Remittances in-flows. World Bank staff calculation based on data from IMF Balance of Payments Statistics database and data releases from central banks, national statistical agencies, and World Bank country desks.

 

 Environmental Facts and Changes

 Environmental performance index

 136th out of 178th countries

 Long-term climate change risk index

 8th out of 159 countries (2013)

 7th out of 159 countries (1994-2013)

 World risk index

 18th out of 171 countries

 ND-GAIN country index

 99th out of 180 countries

 Significant disaster events

 Type                     Date                Total deaths

 Storm                 28-12-1991             251

 Flood                  04-09-1994             310

 Flood                  21-09-1995             253

 Storm                 24-07-1996             585

 Storm                 02-11-1997             3682

 Drought              00-12-1997

 Storm                 13-11-1998              283

 Flood                  25-10-1999              622

 Flood                  02-12-1999

 Flood                  00-07-2000              460

 Flood                  15-08-2001              310

 Storm                 27-09-2006

 Storm                 28-09-2009

 Storm                 30-09-2013

 Flood                  14-11-2013

 Environmental change

  • Slow-onset events and rapid on-set disasters
  • Sea-level rise
  • Increasing temperatures
  • Salinization
  • Drought desertification
  • Land and forest degradation
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Coastal erosion
  • Floods
  • Storms
  • Since 1950, the country has experienced a rise in average surface temperature of 0.7°C, as well as a significant sea-level rise. Moreover, the country’s typhoon and flood seasons are observed to be longer than in the past; there is increased incidences of heavy rainfall and flooding while storms are tracking into new coastal areas and drought in areas previously not vulnerable to aridity (Carew-Reid, 2008).

 Climate change impacts

 

  • Ecosystems and Livelihoods 
  • The agricultural sector is expected to be significantly impacted by climate change, particularly in the Mekong River Delta, which is Vietnam’s most productive agricultural area and essential for food security and rice exports (World Bank, 2010).  The Mekong River and Red River Deltas already experience saltwater intrusion, which is projected to worsen with rising sea levels (Anh, forthcoming).
  • The aquaculture sector will also be affected by increasing tropical cyclone intensity, salinization, and increasing temperatures; capture fisheries are expected to be impacted by warmer oceans and ocean acidification associated with rising atmospheric and ocean carbon dioxide concentrations, and substantial reductions in catch potential are anticipated (World Bank, 2013). Coasts will be very likely exposed to increasing erosion directly threatening ecosystems (Anh, forthcoming). The high water levels may eventually lead to flooding and saltwater intrusion to farmland, with water masses destroying crops, and in extreme cases can result in the loss of life and property (Anh, forthcoming).
  • Moreover, the  conversion  of  naturally  forested  land  and  wetlands  for  agriculture,  industrial plantations  and  aquaculture,  coupled  with  urbanization  and  infrastructure  development already led to the loss or fragmentation of ecosystems and natural habitats, and contributed to the  degradation  and  loss  of  biodiversity (Anh, forthcoming).

Notes

Environmental performance index. The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks how well countries perform on high-priority environmental issues in two broad policy areas: protection of human health from environmental harm and protection of ecosystems (2014).
Long-term climate change risk index. The Global Climate Risk Index 2015 analyses to what extent countries have been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves etc.). The most recent data available – from 2013 and 1994–2013 – were taken into account.
World risk index. The WorldRiskIndex developed by UNU-EHS describes the disaster risk for various countries and regions. The main focus of the report is the threat from, or exposure to key natural hazards and the rise in sea level caused by climate change, as well as social vulnerability in the form of the population’s susceptibility and their capacity for coping and adaptation.
ND-GAIN Country Index. A project of the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN), summarizes a country's vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges in combination with its readiness to improve resilience.
Significant disaster events. Based on EM-DAT, which contains essential core data on the occurance and effects of over 18,000 mass disasters in the world from 1900 to present.

 

 Adaptation policies
 National Laws and Policies, Regional frameworks

 Climate Change and Adaptation Policies

 Inclusion of Migration

2003 - First National Communication
-2010 - Second National Communication

  • Link between environmental changes and migration is identified;
  • relocation and resettlement mentioned as potential strategies for facilitating migration (GoVN, 2003).

2007 - National Strategy for Natural Disaster Prevention, Response and Mitigation to 2020

  • Strategy to address sudden-onset events outlined;
  • strategy to complete the relocation, arrangement and stabilization of the life for people in disaster prone areas is established  (UN Viet Nam, 2014).

2015 - Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC)

  • Migration featured as a probable adaptation strategy to climate change, which can be managed through planned relocation and resettlement (GoVN, 2015).

 

IOM Country Specialists

  • KOEHLER Jobst – Project Development Officer/Advisor, Viet Nam, HANOI
  • NGUYEN Kim Nga – Bilingual Caseworker, VIETNAM, HO CHI MINH CITY
  • TRANThi Ngoc Thu  – Project Officer

 

For more information on IOM’s activities in Viet Nam: https://www.iom.int/countries/viet-nam/general-information

 

Key Documents / References

Anh, D. N. 
(Forthcoming)  Assessing the Evidence: Migration, Environment and Climate Change in Viet Nam. IOM, Geneva.

Carew-Reid, J.
2008  Rapid assessment of the extent and impact of sea level rise in Viet Nam. International Centre for Environment Management (ICEM), Brisbane, p. 82.

Chun, J.M.
2014  Livelihoods Under Stress: Critical Assets and Mobility Outcomes in the Mekong Delta, Viet Nam. Migration, Environment and Climate Change Policy Brief Series, Volume 1, Issue 1. IOM, Geneva. Available from http://environmentalmigration.iom.int/policy-brief-series-issue-1-livelihoods-under-stress-critical-assets-and-mobility-outcomes-mekong

Entzinger, H. and P. Scholten
2015  Relocation as an adaptation strategy to environmental stress: Lessons from the Mekong River Delta in Viet Nam.Migration, Environment and Climate Change Policy Brief Series, Volume 1, Issue 6. IOM, Geneva. Available from http://environmentalmigration.iom.int/policy-brief-series-issue-6-relocation-adaptation-strategy-environmental-stress

Government of Viet Nam
2003  Viet Nam Initial National Communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Available from http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/vnmnc01.pdf
2015  Intended Nationally Determined Contribution of Viet Nam. Available from www4.unfccc.int/submissions/INDC/ Published%20Documents/Viet%20Nam/1/ VIETNAM’S%20INDC.pdf

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
2015  Global Estimates 2015. People Displaced by Disasters. IDMC, Geneva.

Kelpsaite, L. and E. Mach
2015  Migration as adaptation? A comparative analysis of policy frameworks on the environment and development in MECLEP countries. Migration, Environment and Climate Change Policy Brief Series, Volume 1, Issue 5. IOM, Geneva. Available from http://environmentalmigration.iom.int/policy-brief-series-issue-5-migration-adaptation

Melde, S.
2015  The poor pay the price: New research insights on human mobility, climate change and disasters. Migration, Environment and Climate Change Policy Brief Series, Volume 1, Issue 9. IOM, Geneva. Available from http://environmentalmigration.iom.int/policy-brief-series-issue-9-poor-pay-price-new-research-insights-human-mobility-climate-change-and

United Nations (UN) Viet Nam
2014  Migration, Resettlement and Climate Change in Viet Nam. UN Viet Name, Ha Noi.

World Bank 
2010  Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change: Vietnam. World Bank, Ha Noi.
2011  Vulnerability, Risk Reduction, and Adaptation to Climate Change: Vietnam. Climate Risk and Adaptation Country Profile. Available from http://sdwebx.worldbank.org/climateportalb/doc/GFDRRCountryProfiles/wb_gfdrr_climate_change_country_profile_for_VNM.pdf
2013  Turn down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience. World Bank, Washington DC.