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Type: Thesis
Title: Adaptation to climate change: the attitude and behaviour of rice farmers in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
Author: Dang, Hoa Le
Issue Date: 2014
School/Discipline: School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Abstract: Adaptation to climate change is a critical issue to many developing economies. The issue is particularly important to agriculture, a sector relying substantially on climate-sensitive resources. However, understanding of adaptation is limited in Southeast Asian contexts, including Vietnam. This thesis, therefore, investigates the attitude and behaviour of rice farmers in the Mekong Delta, a major agricultural region of Vietnam, in response to climate change. The thesis is guided by an integrated conceptual framework that was predominantly developed from protection motivation theory. The framework incorporates socio-economic and psychological factors to explain farmers’ adaptation intentions and behaviours to climate change. Focus group discussions and agricultural officer interviews generated insights into the research context and supplemented the questionnaire design. A structured questionnaire was used to interview 600 randomly chosen rice farmers in the three selected provinces in the Mekong Delta. Those provinces were identified as highly, moderately, and mildly vulnerable to climate change. The focus group discussions and agricultural officer interviews indicated that farmers were aware of climate change. However, they had limited knowledge of the importance of adaptation to their livelihoods. Barriers to farmers’ adaptation were not exclusively limited to economic factors and resource constraints. Some psychological factors also hindered adaptation (e.g. maladaptation, habit, and perception). There were differences in the perspectives of farmers and agricultural officers regarding barriers to farmers’ adaptation. This indicates some of the complexity and importance of understanding the actual barriers to farmers’ adaptation. Multiple regressions highlight that risk experience, information, belief in climate change, and trust in public adaptation influenced perceived risks of climate change to one or more dimensions of farmers’ lives (e.g. physical health, finance, production, social relationships, and psychology) and overall perceived risk. This presents policy implications for the quality, timing and channels of information about climate change, as they shape farmers’ perceptions of climate change risk significantly. Farmers’ adaptation assessments were represented by perceived self-efficacy, perceived adaptation efficacy and perceived adaptation cost. Multiple regressions helped to understand significant factors influencing those assessments. Those factors were demographic and socio-economic factors, belief in climate change, information, and objective resources. It is advisable to pay attention to the sources and quality of information; and improve the accessibility and usefulness of local services (e.g. agricultural extension, credit, irrigation, market, education, and health care). Structural equation modelling reveals that farmers’ intention to adapt to climate change was significantly influenced by farmers’ perceived risks of climate change, farmers’ adaptation assessments, maladaptation, disincentives and the subjective norm. Multi-group analysis helped identify factors influencing adaptation intentions to climate change in each of the three provinces at high, moderate or mild vulnerability levels. The findings suggest that attention should be paid to the characteristics of each province and the corresponding significant factors in planning adaptation. The thesis offers an improved understanding of farmers’ private adaptation to climate change. It demonstrates that protection motivation theory, a major theory in health risk studies, is useful in research into adaptation to climate change. Important policy implications were drawn for effective adaptation strategies.
Advisor: Li, Elton
Bruwer, Johan de Wet
Nuberg, Ian Kinloch
Stringer, Randy
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, 2014
Keywords: adaptation; climate change; farmers; Vietnam
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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