Adapting to Climate Change through Migration: A Case Study of the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta

Han Entzinger and Peter Scholten
Type of Publication: 
Language of Publication: 
Viet Nam
Year of Publication: 

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In the framework of the European Union–funded Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy (MECLEP) project, this report presents the findings of the household survey conducted in Viet Nam. The key question addressed in this study is how and why migration (including relocation) has been applied as an adaptation strategy in response to climate change in the Vietnamese Mekong River Delta, and what implications this has had for migrants and their households as well as for their areas of origin and destination. More specifically, the social and economic characteristics of households that have migrated as well as the implications of migration for these households and for the areas of origin and destination are presented in this report.

The findings presented in the report shed light on the factors that need to be considered in order to design successful relocation programmes. Furthermore, contrary to what the literature establishes, migration results to be much more common among households with lower income. In general, the findings show that migration clearly plays a positive role in helping people to adapt to environmental change.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Executive summary
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The context: Climate change and migration in the Mekong River Delta
    2.1. International and internal migration in Viet Nam
    2.2. Climate change and Viet Nam
    2.3. Migration and relocation in and from the Mekong River Delta
  • 3. Methodology
  • 4. Empirical findings: Environmental stress and migration in the Mekong River Delta
    4.1. Introducing the survey
    4.2. Climate change and environmental stress
    4.3. Migration at the household level
    4.4. Impacts of migration
  • 5. Managing movements
    5.1. Viet Nam’s policy regarding migration and relocation
    5.2. Relocation projects in the Mekong River Delta and their impact
  • 6. Conclusion
  • 7. Bibliography
  • 8. Appendix: Workshops, focus group discussions and key informant interviews

Number of pages: 48