Livelihoods and Climate Change in Vietnam

Over 12 million people in Vietnam remain trapped in poverty.

Despite recent strides in economic development, poverty continues to persist in Vietnam. Today, poverty is highly concentrated in rural areas and agricultural households. A whopping 90 per cent of the country’s poor is located in rural areas. Due to their remoteness, rural households often have difficulty accessing information, markets, public services, and education. For landless families, limited education and skills mean they have few options for employment.

Poverty disproportionately affects vulnerable groups, particularly ethnic minorities. While the 53 ethnic groups make up only 15% of the overall population, they account for nearly half of the country’s poor.

Rural and poor households are especially vulnerable to shocks and exposed to natural disasters. Vietnam is prone to natural disasters, such as tropical storms and flooding. The severity and frequency of these events are only worsening with the effects of climate change. Further, saltwater intrusion is destroying once fertile rice paddies, leaving farmers struggling to make a living.

Our work

At Action on Poverty (AOP) in Vietnam, we focus on equipping people with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty and build resilience to climate change. We apply an assets-based approach to enhance what communities already have for sustainable development.

  • To help communities make economic decisions, we offer economic empowerment and financial management training.

  • To help communities build their resilience, we offer advice and technical support to diversify their sources of income and select climate adaptive models.

  • To help communities increase their income, we offer micro-loans to women and offer training to add value to local products.

  • To help communities preserve their environment, we engage with local leaders to improve management and with school children to promote environmental awareness and protection.

Our impact (2017-18)

  • 2,350 local farmers (1,300 women) have improved their capacity on more effective production or service provision.

  • 72 local and 01 national training workshop were conducted for farmers on critical soft skills such as negotiation, value chain analysis, and market access.

  • Income of 165 farmers has been improved.

  • 304 women are accessing microfinance services.


Project In-depth: Community-Based Tourism (CBT)

Our Community-Based Tourism (CBT) project offers a unique, adventure travel experience while making a lasting social impact in the community.

6 reasons to visit Da Bac

The Context

In mountainous Hoa Binh province, flooding from a hydroelectric dam displaced tens of thousands of ethnic minorities. Living conditions in the upland are harsh. In this beautiful landscape, much of the population lived in poverty.

Our Intervention

At Action on Poverty (AOP) in Vietnam, we saw an opportunity in the lush landscape and rich ethnic cultures for socially and environmentally responsible tourism.

Through our CBT project in Da Bac district, we’ve:

  • Conducted feasibility studies and researched appropriate forms of responsible tourism to identify best practices

  • Developed partnerships with relevant stakeholders, especially the local community and local government

  • Provided assistance technically and financially for upgrading traditional stilt and ground houses into homestays

  • Provided CBT-related training and other capacity-building activities for local communities

  • Supported ancillary livelihood models by establishing local service groups, and promoted traditional dance and local products such as tea and brocade

  • Supported the restoration of traditional performance, herbs and crafts

  • Engaged with the private sector to promote the development of the CBT model

  • Engaged with the local government to better oversight the project and integrate tourism development into the local development plans

  • Supported local communities to establish an appropriate locally led management structure to that ensures the benefits of CBT are distributed equitably

  • Raised awareness about environmental protection and the link between environmental protection and sustainable livelihoods.

Not only have we seen incomes rise, but confidence and social cohesion in the community have also soared. We’re proud that the community-driven CBT projects are moving forward, with Da Bac CBT now registered as a social enterprise. We are also scaling up CBT in neighbouring provinces.

Book your trip

Visit our Action on CBT website