CBA Viet Nam: Applying Technologies to Address Flash Floods and Drought in Cam Tam Commune


This Community-Based Adaptation project aims to strengthen the preservation and sustainable use of natural resources to reduce impacts of droughts and flash flood on agricultural production at Cam Tam Commune. Cam Tam is a poor commune of the midland mountainous area of Thanh Hoa. It is typical for the region in its of topography, soil conditions, social custom, culture and agricultural practices. Recent environmental degradation and unsustainable resource will be exacerbated by future climate change impacts. In particular, an increase in flash floods and droughts will threaten farms, buildings, livelihoods, and lives.

The project seeks to address these threats by fortifying local ecosystems and water resources through sustainable resource management techniques. Local stakeholders will be trained in land and water conservation practices, then provided with the tools they need to implement them on-the-ground.

This project is part of Viet Nam's Community-Based Adaptation portfolio. *

Project details

Cam Tam commune is a midland mountainous commune in the southwestern region of Viet Nam’s Cam Thuy district, Thanh Hoa province. In 2008, the commune was home to 3,451 people, of whom 51.4% were female. The poverty rate is quite high, with 38.1% of residents considered to be poor.

Forested land area in the commune totals 1,126 ha. In the 1960s, Cam Tam housed a large broad-leaved forest, with tropical characteristics and a diversity of species. The forests also used to provide a habitat for many local animal species. There used to be many land snails and land crabs. In particular, ant eggs – a local specialty - were abundant.

In the past 40 years, however, forest resources have been overexploited and destroyed. Losses have been exacerbated the impacts by natural disasters. A decade ago, when local rainfall totaled more than 600mm, Cam Tam observed no flash floods. Nowadays, rainfall events of even 200 mm have given rise to flash floods, resulting in deaths, casualties and property damage. Flash floods have also reduced the amount of land area available for agriculture due to sand and clay deposition.

Additionally, droughts and associated land degradation have negatively affected forest resources. Some plant species have developed soft-stem disease and died off. Many animal species have faced similar plights, with even the local leech populations experiencing a decline.

Local farm and plantation owners have faced their own difficulties. Cam Tam used to accommodate 7 farms, which were recognized as meeting provincial standards. Droughts and water shortages have now brought them hardships and made it difficult to find crop species suited to the changing climate. As a consequence, their land has been reclaimed due to ineffective land use. Areas that have been adversely affected include goat raising pastures and sugar cane plantations.

The impacts of water shortages and flash floods will be greatly exacerbated by climate change, which will consequently affect agriculture production. Rice paddies would be deposited, degraded and eventually abandoned, rice productivity will be unstable and yields will decrease, threatening food security, income sources, and lives.

This Community-Based Adaptation project seeks to develop the community’s adaptive capacity to mitigate these adverse effects by enhancing knowledge and awareness, strengthening sustainable land and water resource management, experimenting with drains to mitigate floods, testing dam possibilities, building a rainwater storage tank, and modeling changes in plantation species composition.

Signature programmes: 
Thematic areas: 
Climate-related hazards addressed: 
Level of intervention: 
Key collaborators: 
Primary beneficiaries: 
Mountain Communities; Vulnerable Populations; Farmers
Implementing agencies and partnering organizations: 
Thanh Hoa Irrigation Associations
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
The GEF Small Grants Programme
Project status: 
Financing amount: 

Key results and outputs

Objective 1: Promote local stakeholders’ awareness and understanding of climate change impacts on local sustainable development.

Enhance related partners’ awareness and understanding of climate change impacts and adaptation options through a leaflet, posters, talks/diaologues, and meetings (Output 1.1).

Objective 2: Build a model to apply scientific-technological advances that limit drought- and flash flood-related damages

Successfully establish a model of protecting and sustainably using water resources through rainwater collection and storage. Assist families with irrigation and daily activities by building (or improving) water-collecting tanks, holding technical workshops, establishing a water efficiency group with the participation of 10-15 households, and preparing technical documents for dissemination (Output 2.1). Successfully establish a sustainable land resources and biodiversity model by establishing 20 ha of rice cultivation land with drought-resistant varieties and crop rotation, holding training workshops, establishing a user group, preparing technical documents on drought-resistant cultivation measures, and experimenting with drains to limit the effects of flash floods (Output 2.2).

Monitoring and evaluation

The Vulnerability Reduction Assessment (VRA) will be measured at the planning stage of the project, at the mid-point, and at the end of project. Given that the VRA is qualitative and is based on the community perceptions, the first VRA was conducted to establish a baseline during the Project planning phase. A second VRA will be done at mid project after all the project activities to build the model has been completed. A final VRA will be done at the end of the project to assess the overall impact of the project on the community adaptive capacity.

The VRA questions that will be used are as follows:

1. Rate the impact of droughts, flash flood and land degradation on your livelihood

2. Rate your ability to cope with the negative impacts of droughts, flash flood and land degradation

3. Rate the impact on your livelihood if droughts, flash flood and land degradation doubles

4. Rate how effectively you would be able to cope with the doubling of droughts, flash flood and land degradation

5. Rate how effective you think this project will be in reducing your risks from increasing droughts, flash flood and land degradation.

6. Rate your confidence that the project will continue to reduce droughts, flash flood and land degradation risks after the project ends.

7. Rate your own ability to cope with increasing droughts, flash flood and land degradation and other climate changes after this project ends.

Global Environmental Benefits (GEBs)

The Impact Assessment System (IAS) indicator will be measured at the end of the project using the following components:

  1. The number of hectares of land protected from degradation due to droughts and flash flood
  2. The number of innovations developed/applied under the project
  3. The number of policy recommendations proposed in disaster, land and ago biodiversity management

The targets for the above are as follows:

  1. Twenty hectares will be sustainable managed by the project
  2. The project will apply 3 technologies (namely, drought tolerant and local rice varieties and cultivation, rainwater harvesting, flash flood control)
  3. Three to four recommendation on policies in disaster, land and ago biodiversity management will be proposed to local authorities
  4. Availability of information and data on CC impact in Cam Tam Commune

UNDP Adaptation Indicators

The project will contribute to the UNDP adaptation indicators adopted by the Viet Nam CBA country programme strategy, namely:

  1. The number of measures that address the additional risks posed by climate change deployed as part of sustainable resource management activities;
  2. Percentage of area concern in which climate change risk management activities, in the context of sustainable resource management are implemented; and
  3. Number of local and national level policy recommendations proposed as a result of lessons from CBA projects

The targets for the UNDP Adaptation indicators are outlined below:

  1. Three measures will be deployed as part of the activities for sustainable farming in the project area.
  2. Twenty hectares of land sustainbaly used.
  3. Three to four policy recommendations proposed as a result of lessons from the project.


CBA Project Management Unit