Land-use dynamics in the Mekong delta: From national policy to livelihood sustainability

Quan H. Nguyen*, Dung D. Tran, Khoi K. Dang, Dorien Korbee, Luan D.M.H. Pham, Lan T. Vu, Tang T. Luu, Loc H. Ho, Maaike van Aalst, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD) is one of the most examined deltas in the world given its dynamics, complexity, and vulnerability. In the past decades, the VMD has changed rapidly, especially the land use in relation with the socioeconomic development. National policy has profoundly influenced these changes and the changes have significantly affected local livelihoods. However, these changes are not well reported systematically. In this study, we investigate land-use changes based on institutional analyses across multiple scales, that is, from national, provincial, to local livelihood based on institutional and sustainability analysis. The results show a strong relationship between legal settings over the last 30 years on land use and livelihood transitions. In addition, the constraints of implementing national legal frameworks at provincial level in practice were identified including effects to local livelihoods. We offer some recommendations for sustainable livelihoods in the VMD, with a focus on increasing socioecological resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-467
Number of pages20
JournalSustainable Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • agriculture development
  • land law
  • land-use change
  • sustainable livelihood
  • Vietnamese Mekong Delta


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