Main content area

Socioeconomic Conditions and Perceptions of Environmental Risks in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Hak, Danet, Nadaoka, Kazuo, Le Phu, Vo
Coastal Management 2016 v.44 no.6 pp. 585-605
coasts, correspondence analysis, environmental degradation, environmental factors, environmental protection, households, income, people, risk perception, risk reduction, river deltas, socioeconomic status, surveys, Vietnam
This study investigates the effects of sociodemographic and economic status on the differences in environmental awareness, risk perception, and stewardship of the Mekong Delta residents based on a survey conducted in person with 1,006 households across the delta system. Spatial visualization and a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) were performed on the survey results to discover underlying factors of the participants' responses. The study results revealed that public environmental awareness in the Mekong Delta is still limited. The level of environmental awareness, risk perception, and understanding of stewardship of local people varies by location. Furthermore, how the Mekong Delta dwellers perceive environmental risks and behave toward environmental protection is unlikely to be influenced by their demographic profiles. However, they are significantly affected by the economic status including income levels and sources. Poor economic status was found to significantly hamper pro-environmental behavior of Mekong Delta people regardless of their knowledge of environmental degradation and the related consequences. These findings provide key information to assist policymakers in developing a successful and sustainable disaster risk reduction mitigation plan for the Mekong Delta region. The implications may also be applicable for other coastal zones, which are composed of similar sociodemographic, economic, and environmental conditions.