July 19, 2022

On the road in Vietnam on climate change adaptation

Vietnam is now one of the countries most affected by climate change. At the same time, Vietnam's Central Highlands are experiencing increasingly frequent pronounced droughts. In the Drought-ADAPT project, German and Vietnamese project partners are developing adaptation strategies to make Vietnamese agriculture more climate resilient. The EOC coordinates the project and contributes its expertise in Earth observation.

In Vietnam, droughts occur regularly at intervals of a few years due to the weather phenomenon El Niño. Climate change is increasingly exacerbating the situation. Vietnam's highlands are particularly sensitive to the changes. It is one of the country's most important agricultural regions. Cashew nuts, coffee and pepper, among others, are grown here for the world market.

Drought-ADAPT works in a multi-disciplinary way. Experts from Earth observation, climatology, hydrology, and climate policy analysis are working together until 2024 to develop prototype climate services that will support local stakeholders in their short-, medium-, and long-term planning and allow them to consider the impacts of climate change.

A wide range of information is needed to develop the adaptation services. How are climate conditions evolving in the region? What will be the impact on water availability? What irrigation techniques can be used and what infrastructure will be needed? For planning purposes, data is collected before, during and after drought events, among other things. For this purpose, the EOC provides time series analyses that show where and how vegetation reacts particularly to droughts. In addition, the EOC contributes its expertise in information management, data sharing, and knowledge transfer.

Drought-ADAPT launched in the middle of last year. After the pandemic-related break, the first consortium trip to the project region could now be carried out in early July. The first workshop was held with local stakeholders in Gia Nghĩa, in the project province of Đắk Nông. Initial field visits took the research group to Krong No District, which has been frequently affected by drought in recent years. 

In addition to DLR, the German Research Centre for Geosciences, the Chair of Climatology at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, SEBA Hydrometrie GmbH &Co.KG, Hydroplan Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH and adelphi research gemeinnützige GmbH are involved in the German-Vietnamese project on the German side, and the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research and the Space Technology Application Center of the Vietnam National Satellite Center on the Vietnamese side.

The project is funded over the three-year period by the BMBF as part of the Client II program.