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Green for Whom? Exploring Ecotourism as a Climate-Adaptation Strategy in Trang An, Vietnam

  • Hoang, Thao
  • Pulliat, Gwenn
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
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This chapter adopts a contextual vulnerability approach to examine the urbanizing Truong Yen commune in Trang An scenic landscape complex, a natural and cultural UNESCO World Heritage site in the Red River Delta of Vietnam. Trang An exemplifies the rise of ecotourism in Vietnam as a solution to the country’s need for both economic growth and environmental protection, while responding to climate change adaptation and mitigation challenges. Located in an area undergoing peri- urbanization, Trang An contributes to the fostering of a ‘greener’ urban development pattern while providing local communities with less climate-sensitive livelihoods. However, new vulnerabilities emerge from this transition as a result of redefined power relations and differential access to resources. Our critical approach provides a more nuanced picture of a project that is often represented as a success story. While pitfalls are inevitable in such a transformational project, the lived experience of local residents reveals the complex, elusive, and inefficient governance between the various stakeholders on the management level and begs troubling questions about environmental and social justice.

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