Impacts of Environmental Pressures on Livelihood Transformations in the Mekong Delta

The main aim of this project is to quantitatively evaluate the impacts of environmental pressures on the livelihoods of farmers who are facing the perennial threats of climate change, as well as repercussions from recent surges in human activities. Geographically, the project focuses on the Vietnam Mekong Delta (VMD), the third-largest delta in the world and also one of Southeast Asia’s most important food baskets. The project has two objectives (i) to investigate how environmental pressures have triggered VMD’s farmers’ livelihood transformation, and (ii) to find out the sustainable pathways for the livelihood transformations of these farmers. To realise these objectives, the project team adopts methods from multiple disciplines: (i) geospatial analytical methods (GIS and Remote sensing) will be used to measure the biophysical impacts of different environmental pressures across the VMD landscape, (ii) a tri-step social survey campaign (expert in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and questionnaire-based survey) is planned to investigate the social aspects of the farmers’ livelihoods and explore the livelihood transformation triggers. This project has direct relevance to Singapore for the city-state is Vietnam’s largest investor in the ASEAN region, and third largest worldwide. Also, rice imports from VMD take up approximately 28% of the Singapore rice market, and thus any potential disruptions in rice production could have implications for Singapore’s food security.

Map of the Vietnam Mekong Delta showing the project's fieldwork sites (Source: Edward Park)

Funding Sources: 

  • Ministry of Education, Singapore

Project Years: 


EOS Team: 

Principal Investigator



Shaohua Zhan, Nanyang Technological University


Huu Loc Ho, Asian Institute of Technology

Khuong Minh Vu, National University of Singapore

Dung Duc Tran, Vietnam National University

Sameh Kantoush, Kyoto University