Vietnamese Farmers Livelihood Under Threat With Rising Seas

BEN TRE, VIETNAM - APRIL 29: Tran Van Tinh, 34, waters his winter melon field with water with acceptable level of salt taken from his digged well on April 29, 2017 in Tan Thuy Village, Ba Tri District, Ben Tre Province, Vietnam. He said the water at his village luckily has acceptale level of salt because the village locates 5km away from the sea. The Mekong River Delta is amongst the most vulnerable regions in South Vietnam, which is home to more than 17 million people and produces around half of the country's rice harvest with its fertile fields. However, climate change is causing the rise of salt content of water in land that has ben used for rice paddies, coconut groves and other crops, threatening the livelihoods of millions of farmers and fishermen. The Vietnamese government report have stated that 40 percent of the delta could be submerged if sea levels rise by one-meter in decades to come while residents in the low-lying delta have already been affected by more frequent typhoons and heavier floods that could potentially drive hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, according to reports. As many locals have been forced to abandon their rice cultivation due to salinization and risk their livelihood on other ventures such as shrimp farming, reports also state that cycles and storms linked to climate change would not only risk the Mekong Delta, but also up to the coffee crops in the highlands as well as the Red River Delta in the north, affecting large areas near the country's capital, Hanoi. (Photo by Linh Pham/Getty Images)
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