Assoc. Prof. Tran Duc Tuan[1] & Dr. Le Hong Phuong[2]

November 2018

(Access full report here)

The Mekong Delta is critically important to Vietnam’s national agricultural production and  dominates the largest agriculture and aquaculture production in Vietnam and facing big challenges of climate change and sustainable development.  With rising sea levels near low-lying land/area at the mouth of the delta and the (current) increase in rainfall, average temperatures, number of extreme weather events, and saltwater intrusion, the Mekong Delta is considered as one of the world’s three most vulnerable deltas (together with the Nile Delta in Egypt and the Ganges Delta in Bangladesh) affected by sea level. Moreover, excessive use of  chemical pesticides and fertilizers as well as the waste of too much water in production has led an agriculture in the Mekong Delta to an unsustainable development.  In this context, local people have great concerns on agricultural transformation to sustainability to climate adaptation and really want to have opportunities to approach different forms of social learning to understand the climate-water-food-energy and social justice nexus and to develop their competence in adapting and overcoming big challenges of climate change and sustainable development. The need for transformative learning and knowledge sharing for agricultural sustainability amongst various stakeholders is increasingly recognized in the Mekong Delta and transformative social learning for sustainability (T-learning) seems to become a one of the most important dynamics of transformation to sustainability in Mekong Delta.

challenges of climate change transgressive learning

Fig.1: Challenges of climate change
in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

sustainable livelihood transgressive learning

Fig 2: Learning interaction of farmer for applying sustainable livelihood models in Can Tho, Vietnam







  1. Selection of study site

To explore and identify the role and potentials of T-learning for sustainability to climate adaptation in the Mekong Delta, since 2016  Can Tho city has been chosen as a case study site of T-learning  for in Me Kong Delta, because in this site the nexus of climate change – water – food – energy –  social justice is clearly presented, insights into  opportunities and challenges of T-learning for sustainability can be provided and basic kinds of T- learning (instrumental learning, communicative learning and emancipatory learning) can be observed.  In this study, My Khanh commune has been selected as main location for researching T-learning because of three main reasons. Firstly, as a typical rural community of the suburban district in Can Tho city,  My Khanh is in the process of transforming agricultural mechanics towards sustainable livelihood development adapting  climate change. Secondly, in My Khanh community several sustainable livelihood models has been appeared and has been expanding and developing, among them the VACB[1] model is considered to be more prominent, because it is  not only a sustainable livelihood  model, but only an effective and  practical solution for farmers to adapt to climate change. Thirdly, this community has appeared, maintained, and been on the process of expansion and development of initiatives  (germ cell activities) which present possibilities of moving towards sustainability, T-learning potentials (Tuan, 2016).

VACB model transgressive learning

Fig; 3: A VACB model in My Khanh commune, Can Tho

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[1] VACB : V-garden/orchard, A-fishing farm, C-livestock farm, B-biogas


[1] He works for Institute of Research and Education for Sustainable Development (IRESD), Vietnam Union of Science & Technology Association (VUSTA) and Center for Research and Promotion of ESD (CEREPROD), Hanoi National University of Education (HNUE), Vietnam

[2] She is a lecturer of Faculty of Extension and rural Development, University ỏ Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University, Vietnam