Recommendations for Thua Thien Hue Province
The following are specific recommendations for the most vulnerable sectors and areas – agriculture, water resources and coastal zones – of Thua Thien Hue Province:
Adaptation options for agriculture and rural development
- Promote appropriate changes in crop patterns and domestic livestock in high risk zones, convert low-productivity rice areas into aquaculture; assess and familiarize with new crop seasons, implement suitable technical practices for agriculture.
- Use hardy crop varieties that can overcome excess water, drought and extreme weather conditions.
- Reorientate the existing 5 million ha forestation program towards an upstream protected forest, the coastal green belt and mangrove forests.
Adaptation options for water resource management and disaster prevention
- Develop and implement an integrated water resource management plan for the province considering climate change impacts and increasing water demand.
- Improve the water regulation and flood protection systems, dykes, irrigation infrastructure, dams and reservoirs in order to protect and better exploit cultivated areas.
- Develop and improve the disaster management and search and rescue plan for vulnerable locations.
Adaptation options for coastal and lagoon areas
An adaptation framework should be established for the coastal zone and lagoon area which should have the purpose of: preventing loss of life and property, avoiding development in disaster-prone areas and ensuring that critical coastal ecosystems, such as wetlands and coral reefs, are protected and remain functional. Specific adaptation options could include:
- Good practical implementation of the ICZM strategy with consideration of climate change and its potential impacts on the sustainable development of the coastal zone
- Protection for populated areas: construction of sea dykes is the measure of choice to prevent erosion in densely populated coastal areas. However, sea dykes do not resolve the underlying cause of erosion, and they can promote the offshore movement of beach sediments. The dykes are also costly to build and maintain and they will need to be extended as the sea level rises. Seawalls should be used only to protect valuable property and buildings that cannot be relocated. For new infrastructure development, the use of setbacks and relocation could be considered.
- Land use policies should encourage settlements away from low-lying and high-risk coastal areas through, for example, the use of coastal hazard mapping.
- Prevention of erosion: depending on the infrastructure and population density, adaptation options to prevent coastal erosion include (i) no response, where there is little habitation or infrastructure; (ii) accommodation, where property is replaced as it is damaged; and (iii) shoreline protection, in areas with large populations and significant infrastructure. In low land areas, where it is essential to retain over-wash sediments and other coastal vegetation to promote shoreline accretion, closing or narrowing selected passages between the lagoon and the ocean, and the strategic use of groynes to help minimize the transfer of sediments from the ocean side to the lagoons could be useful. Sea dykes, however, should be used only in key locations, such as along the edges of important waterways, as they tend to cause downstream erosion and require continual maintenance. In less developed areas the use of setbacks to control future development, beach nourishment and relocation of infrastructure might be preferable.
- Protection against inundation: in areas with little infrastructure, the costs of protection are likely to be prohibitive, and relocation or modification of structures to accommodate surface flooding should be considered. In more populated areas, strategies to allow over-wash sediment to naturally increase the elevation of the coastal zone may help offset the impacts of inundation. Where land ownership disputes are not an issue, new structures should be set back from the shoreline and elevated to allow for periodic flooding.
- Population relocation: if all other measures fail, population relocation may need to be considered. While some communities may opt to move on their own, population relocation would pose immense social and political risks for the Thua Thien Hue authorities, as nearly all inhabitable land is under some form of customary ownership.