Climate change will likely affect the effectiveness of future management of coastal ecosystems, impacting communities that reside within the coastal area. In order to formulate appropriate adaptation counter-measures it is important to understand the actual vulnerability of the communities that depend on these ecosystems. The present research proposes a tool for assessing the vulnerability of coastal communities to climate change by combining survey results with secondary and observed data available from national and local governments. The study focused on fisheries, given that they constitute the source of livelihood for many communities in developing countries such as Vietnam. The results showed that two coastal wards in Binh Thuan province, Vietnam, are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, mainly because of their dependence on fisheries and the topography of the area. The seasonality of their source of livelihood affects the adaptive capacity of residents, making it less likely that they will be able to successfully adapt to changes in fishery resources that could be brought about by climate change. The results also showed that the communities are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise, given that they are both located in the immediate vicinity of the sea and are particularly low in elevation.
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