Indigenous knowledge in relation to climate change: adaptation practices used by the Xo Dang people of central Vietnam

Heliyon. 2020 Dec 4;6(12):e05656. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e05656. eCollection 2020 Dec.


Even though indigenous knowledge (IK) is considered as one of the most effective strategies in response to climate change issues, this form is not being sufficiently integrated into the climate change planning and policy at both local and national levels in Vietnam. This study investigates the role of the traditional agricultural practices of the Xo Dang ethnic minority groups in Central Vietnam and provides insights into the factors that influence farmers to adopt these practices in response to climate change. Primary data was obtained through three focus group discussions and 87 household surveys involving the Xo Dang people through face-to-face semi-structured interviews in the Tra Doc commune, Bac Tra My district, Quang Nam province, Central Vietnam. The binary logistic regression model was used to examine the factors which have influenced the choices made by this community in response to climate change. The results showed that Xo Dang people were highly aware of climate change risks and had, in response, employed their current adaptation practices. The major adaptation strategies implemented by the Xo Dang people included the use of flora and fauna indicators, native plant varieties, the adjustment of planting calendars, irrigation practices, and the application of intercropping. The results indicated that the living years, their monthly farm incomes, and farmer's perceptions of ongoing climate change effects on their environment were the factors that significantly affected farmers' adaptation decisions. Understanding indigenous knowledge plays a fundamental role in the processes of deciding the appropriate adaptation techniques more effectively and making use of human resources. Therefore, policy makers should pay much attention to indigenous knowledge to combat climate change in future national policies and projects.

Keywords: Adaptation practices (APs); Agricultural science; Central vietnam; Climate change; Environmental science; Human geography; Indigenous knowledge (IK); Social sciences; Xo Dang people.