International Development Policies and Coastalscape Metabolism: the Case of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Andrea Zinzani

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Over the last few decades, coastalscapes have been seriously threatened by the rising effects of climate change such as sea level rise, coastal degradation and extreme flooding. To cope with these threats, since 1992, international development organisations have promoted Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) and its implementation in particular in coastal regions of the “Global South”. Inspired by a political ecology of development approach, this paper analyses coastalscape metabolism and community level socio-environmental transformations in relation to ICZM implementation politics in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. ICZM was designed to integrate management of coastal regions and to promote socio-economic and environmental sustainability. By adopting the concept of metabolism to coastalscapes, and reflecting on their interactions, data were collected through qualitative field-research at the community level in the Mekong Delta. Research shows that ICZM and its development initiatives implementation slightly shaped coastalscape governance and communities relations, merely influencing policy-making and state bureaucratic structure and legitimation. Rather, the Mekong Delta coastalscape was reconfigured by complex metabolic socio-environmental transformations which embed global political-economic processes, shifting water flows and climate change dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalSocial Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2018

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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