Environment, climate change and disaster

Climate change and natural disasters hit hardest among those already suffering from poverty and exclusion. Reducing the risk of disaster and planning for future climate change is essential for truly sustainable development. Our projects help to:

  • protect ecosystems
  • plan for and reduce the risk of disasters
  • diversify incomes and livelihoods
  • advocate for environmental policies
  • adapt to climate change
  • recover from natural disaster
  • strengthen their natural and man-made infrastructure


climate changeCase study: Vietnam

Mr Le Van Vui, a 57-year-old father of six and grandfather of 11, comes the Soc Trang province, and grows soursop – a popular fruit in the region. Soursop thrives in fresh water, but with the increasing salt from rising sea levels, Mr Le has been struggling. To adapt to the changing conditions, he grafts pond apple root onto the soursop tree, which makes it grow better in salty water. He also pollinates the flowers by hand since the number of bees in the region has fallen – another consequence of a changing climate.

This year, AOP helped 30 local farmers form a soursop cooperative, led by Mr Le. They meet once every two months and members discuss disease prevention and prices. The co-op gives the farmers collective bargaining power, and a forum where they can ask questions and pool knowledge. Through their co-op, they can establish a decent price for their produce, which helps to stabilise their income and livelihoods.

The co-op has provided stronger links to markets, so Mr Le is able to sell the 20 tonnes of soursop he harvests per year in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, southern Vietnam and Cambodia, earning him about AUD$17,500. He also supplements his income by growing and selling seedlings, making an extra AUD$7,500 per year.

In the future, Mr Le hopes to diversify his business and sell soursop tea, candy, juice and smoothies. He and his co-op group members are also receiving training so they can obtain Vietgap certification – a program to ensure their fruit meets rigorous standards so they can sell in international markets at better prices. Mr Le calls soursop the “poverty reduction tree” – providing food to eat when hungry, and fruit to sell. With new farming techniques that will help him adapt to climate change and offer better prospects, Mr Le hopes to send his children and grandchildren to school and save for a more prosperous future.

Want to help more families like Mr Le’s adapt to climate change?

Action on Poverty

Action on Poverty