Resilience, adaptability and transformability of coastal aquaculture systems to climate change: the Mekong Delta's case

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Nhuong Tran presents 'Resilience, adaptability and transformability of coastal aquaculture systems to climate change: the Mekong Delta's case' at the Climate-Smart Agriculture, Global Science …

Nhuong Tran presents 'Resilience, adaptability and transformability of coastal aquaculture systems to climate change: the Mekong Delta's case' at the Climate-Smart Agriculture, Global Science Conference, held at the University of California, Davis, from the 20th - 22nd March, 2013.

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  • Alternative def: capacity to absorb shocks and reorganize system following climate change disturbance while still delivering benefits for involved stakeholders.


  • 1. Resilience, adaptability and transformability ofcoastal aquaculture systems to climate change:the Mekong Delta’s caseNhuong Tran, Conner Bailey, Neil Andrew, Suan PhengKam, Quyen Le Cao, Giang Hoai Tran, Chau Van Lam20 March 2013, UC Davis, California, USA
  • 2. OVERVIEW• Changing climate in the MD• Aquaculture in the MD• Study background & approaches• Resilience to climate change• Adaption to climate change• Transformation under climate change• Policy implications
  • 3. Changing climate in the MD• MD: one of global hotspots for climate change• Sea level rise: 30cm by 2050; up to 1m by 2100• Consistent assessment revealed by science based scenarios and community consultation (sea level rise, erratic change in rainfall and temperature, increasing storms and wind threats, etc).
  • 4. Aquaculture systems in the MD (Farmed species is not completed!)Type/species Culture system Monoculture, polycultureFreshwater    Stripped catfish (Pangasius) Pond, cage, pen MonocultureGiant prawn Pond, fence, rice fields Monoculture  or Rice-prawnChinese carps Pond PolycultureIndian carps Pond PolycultureClimbing perch Pond MonocultureSnakehead Pond MonocultureTilapia Pond MonocultureBrackish and marine water    Tiger shrimp Pond Monoculture/integrated, alternateWhite leg shrimp Pond MonocultureMud crab Pond PolycultureCobia Cage, pond MonocultureBarramundi (sea bass)   MonocultureBivalves Open waters Ranching with stock enhancement
  • 5. Diversity of species for marine, brackish-water and freshwater environmentsSource:
  • 6. Spatial distribution of aquaculture in the MDLegends:Green =extensive/improvedextensive shrimpYellow = rice- shrimpDark yellow= Semi-intensive/intensiveshrimpCircles= strippedcatfish/Pangasius
  • 7. Study background and approaches• CCAFS funded activity “Integrating climate change adaptation into aquaculture development planning in Vietnam”.• Fieldwork conducted in 3 provinces: focus group discussion at province, district, & commune level.• Previous studies funded by World Bank (2010), Borlaug LEAP grant.
  • 8. Coastal Aquaculture Systems in the MD• High functional diversity• Low species diversity- dominated by shrimp• Spatial dimension-large farmed area concentrated in Ca Mau peninsula (Ca Mau, Bac Lieu provinces).• Located near sensitive coastal ecosystems (e.g., mangrove forests).
  • 9. Delta-wide perspective on coastal aquaculture resilience• Resilience - Capacity of coastal aquaculture to operate, respond and react to climate change disturbance to continue to deliver benefits/value to involved stakeholders/local communities.• No “one size fits all”: extensive to intensive system has pros and cons.• Small scale and low intensification systems are socially and ecologically resilient. But resilient capacity is decreasing due to increasing accumulative pollution, resource degradation caused by increasing intensive production and other factors.• Large scale (intensive) system may be able to protect themselves from climate change impacts with infrastructure
  • 10. Adaptation of aquaculture to climate change• Autonomous adaptation: various actions are taken by farmers: changing farm management practices, upgrading pond dykes, adopting alternative species, improved strains, etc• Planned adaptation: improved broodstock, feeds (lower food conversion ratio), production systems with more efficient nutrient and energy flows; research and market development for new species to diversify away from shrimp and pangasius• => Diversification is the key for enhancing resilience of the aquaculture industry & making use of opportunities created by sea level rise
  • 11. Transforming under climate change• Limited market for species other than shrimp and pangasius• Potential markets for other species should be explored to allow farming system transformation• Transforming from shrimp monoculture to shrimp-rice culture integration• Aquaculture/coastal ecosystems will experience area relocation, contraction and expansion; some new areas are available for brackish water. This is a slow process but is happening
  • 12. Policy implications• Smart strategy is to maintain farming system diversification• Support small scale and low intensive systems to enhance social-ecological resilience• No-regret adaptation: protect and conserve sensitive coastal ecosystems, provide incentives for farmers to restore mangroves, adopt ecosystem based approaches to aquaculture