Objectives and Overall Goals

Objectives of the project

In multi-disciplinary research project DeltAdapt about 20 scientists from both countries will explore the current and historical land-use pattern, socio-ecological drivers of land-use changes, their feedback on climate, soil fertility, and evaluate the socio-ecological sustainability of the adaptation and adaptability of the coastal agro-ecosystems in the Mekong and Red River deltas to salinity intrusion and market challenges. The main focus is laid on the local drivers and consequences of management shifts between paddy rice, rice-shrimp farming, and saline aquaculture because these on-farm adaptation processes to salinity intrusion have immense consequences for soil quality, biodiversity of wild fish, climate, and livelihood. Furthermore, we aim to develop recommendations that enable farmers to stop the ongoing removal of topsoil to reverse soil fertility loss. 


In detail we will:

Provide an analysis of the current farming systems and the historical changes, together with an analysis and identification of the environmental, social, economic and political drivers of agro-ecological changes in both deltas
Provide an assessment of the soil and water related ecosystem services (direct and indirect provisioning services, supporting services, and regulatory services), of their changes in shifting management regimes, and of the specific risks and mitigation options associated with emerging practice of topsoil removal and evaluate the regeneration potential of such soils
Explore feedbacks of the management shifts on the climate system and on livelihoods and food security

Provide an evaluation of different land use options based on the regionalized scenarios of salinity intrusion and farmers’ livelihoods
Recommend methodologies for sustainably shaping the agricultural landscape,

Disseminate the project results to Vietnamese decision makers and relevant stakeholders

These objectives will be addressed by analyzing and integrating data from different research fields ─ spanning from geochemistry, microbiology, geography and sociology, to earth observation ─ in three research clusters: i) State of socio-ecological systems and drivers of change, ii) Changes of soil- and water related ecosystem services, and iii) Implications for livelihood and climate.


Overall goal of the project

The overall goal of DeltAdapt is to advance ecologically- and economically-based decision-making processes towards a more sustainable and resilient agro-ecosystems management in both deltas by providing practice-oriented recommendations. This will enable the sustainable shaping of agricultural landscapes in both deltas as well as similar coastal agro-ecosystems. It thereby helps in securing global nutrition and producing safe and healthy products. Since both the research approach and the implementation of the results are based on the dual involvement of German and Vietnamese scientists as well as local stakeholders and German and Vietnamese small and medium enterprises, a high relevance and practice-orientation of the research is ensured.

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