Spatial Planning and Climate Change Adaption in Coastal Regions: The Case of Vietnam1

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Boateng, Isaac
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International Federation of Surveyors
Spatial planning in coastal regions has emerged as a major issue in the 21st century due to the potential impacts of the changing climate and the associated rising sea levels in coastal regions. This paper explores the potential impacts of climate change and the vulnerability of the coast of Vietnam based upon geodetic information and the present coastal development. It then discusses how sustainable spatial planning approaches could be used to reduce vulnerability to climate change and ensure sustainable coastal adaptation of Vietnam’s coastal zone. Based on a large-scale flood risk assessment, the study identified that non-structural approach could be used by Vietnam to adapt her low-lying coastline in the North and the South to climate change as this strategy enables vulnerable areas to be occupied for longer before eventual retreat. However, structural adaption policies could be pursued at the central coast which has high elevation and relatively hard geology. The paper revealed that sustainable and successful adaptation to climate change could be achieved if it is perceived as a process similar to spatial planning. It should be planed, implemented well in advance, monitored and evaluated before the occurrence of a natural disaster or an environmental change. Based on this, it recommended that Vietnam should develop and implement coastal adaptation policies now in order to forestalled huge impacts of future climate related disasters. The paper concludes that though coastal adaptation to climate change is a new phenomenon, it does apply key principles of spatial planning concepts and therefore recommended that spatial planning principles should be adopted for the development and implementation of sustainable coastal adaption policies to reduce the impacts of climate change.
BOATENG, I. (2009). Spatial planning and climate change adaption in coastal regions: The case of Vietnam. In the 7th FIG Regional Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam (pp. 19-22).