Background Vietnam


Integrating ecosystem-based approaches into flood risk management for adaptive and sustainable urban development in Central Viet Nam

FloodAdaptVN analyses spatial dynamics of current and future flood risks in the Thừa Thiên Huế province in central Vietnam. The aim is to support urban planning with a newly developed modular information system for sustainable flood risk management. Ecosystem-based and hybrid adaptation options, as well as potentials of risk transfer, are compared as complementary solutions to conventional measures.

FloodAdaptVN Website

Project Objectives

FloodAdaptVN aims to support decision-making processes of local stakeholders in such a way that flood risks in central Vietnam can be minimised by means of adapted risk reduction and adaptation measures. The project team investigates and compares ecosystem-based approaches that can be integrated into flood risk management in the study area for adaptive and sustainable urban development. Implementation aspects for disaster risk reduction are investigated by FloodAdaptVN as well as prioritisation factors for successful risk management. In order to support local authorities in developing practical measures, the project generates a sound information base on flood-prone regions. Central to this is the »capacity development« strategy, which is intended to enable Vietnamese decision makers to implement successful risk management in the long term and also guarantees an increase in knowledge and experience on the part of the German actors involved.

Addressed Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations

clean water and sanitation
sustainable cities and communities
climate action
life on land
Partnerships for the goals
SURE - funding priority


©Assoc. Prof. Dr. NGUYEN, HOANG KHANH LINH, International School – Hue University.

Flood Hue, October 2020


In central Vietnam, small and medium-sized coastal towns are particularly characterised by a rapid urbanisation trend. The concomitants include extensive surface sealing, the expansion of settlements into flood-prone areas, and a decline in infiltration and retention areas, so that heavy rainfalls lead to enormous surface runoff. Additionally, the narrow and flat settlement area between the inland mountains and the coast only allows very short reaction times to heavy rainfall, which is exacerbated by degraded land and deforestation. Moreover, climate change is expected to lead to stronger and more frequent extreme weather events, such as typhoons with resulting floods in central Vietnam. Such storms cause considerable infrastructural, agricultural, health and economic damage. Due to changing settlement patterns, housing and lifestyles, local vulnerabilities and civil adaptation practices need to be rethought and integrated into planning.

Focus Topics

Research in Action

Flood Hue, October 2020


Flood Hue, October 2020


Flood Hue, October 2020


Flood Hue, October 2020


Research Approach and Methods

FloodAdaptVN rests upon a participatory, transdisciplinary research design and an extensive stakeholder network. The network is composed of local and national stakeholders as well as (inter)national experts in order to achieve the project objectives and to ensure their integration into political and planning processes. The assessment of current and future flood risks is carried out through a modular framework, which is adapted to local conditions and also transferable to other regions. Methods and products from geodata analysis, earth observation and risk and vulnerability assessment are used. Existing and planned disaster risk reduction, risk transfer and adaptation measures are identified and assessed using a multi-criteria catalogue. The modular approach will be brought together in a flood information system (»FRAME«) and made accessible to local stakeholders.

Expected Solutions and Innovations

In order to reduce current and future flood risks, the FloodAdaptVN project focuses on risk management. The project addresses existing and urgent knowledge gaps regarding the identification of flood risks and adaptation approaches in urban regions of central Vietnam. At the same time, however, those measures have a high potential of also being transferred to neighbouring provinces as well as to other similar urban and coastal areas worldwide. Innovative aspects of the approach include the assessment of multi-risks on the basis of a chain of effects that reflects local and regional complexities. In addition, future risk scenarios are developed and simulated based on locally adapted »Representative Concentration Pathways« and »Shared Socioeconomic Pathways« (2030, 2050, 2100) with and without adaptation measures. Finally, a portfolio of adaptation options is identified and assessed, including risk transfer and ecosystem-based approaches. For risk-informed planning, the modular information system »FRAME« is implemented.

Current Achievements

The FloodAdaptVN project aims at displaying present-day flood hazard. Therefore, information is collected from diverse sources, including Earth observation for hydrological and hydraulic modeling, scenario development, and ecosystem assessment. These data are assessed in a model chain for evaluating exposure and vulnerability. Additionally, a scenario framework was developed for the assessment of risk factors and impact chains. Scenarios for future exposure and vulnerability of the province are currently being finalized.

The FloodAdaptVN team actively worked for the strengthening of interprovincial cooperation among stakeholders in Central Vietnam, resulting in the First Regional Networking Forum on Climate Change Adaptation, Flood, and Disaster Risk Reduction, held on April 25, 2023. It fostered collaboration among stakeholders from Thừa Thiên Huế and neighboring provinces, facilitating the exchange of experiences, identification of joint action topics, mutual learning and laying the groundwork for future cooperation between researchers and institutions.

Currently, a cost-benefit analysis of measures is underway using the European Court of Auditors (ECA) framework. The evaluation of planned risk reduction measures is in progress. Simultaneously, the risk information system FRAME (Flood Risk Assessment, Modeling, and Evaluation of potentials for additional flood risk reduction), combining the multifold aspects of the FloodAdaptVN approach, is being co-developed with stakeholders. In the next phase, efforts will be directed towards preparation for the interpretation and integration of information into the planning frameworks in the Thừa Thiên Huế province.



Dr. Felix Bachofer

Dr. Felix Bachofer

With FloodAdaptVN, we pursue a transdisciplinary approach in which we consider different measures for flood risk reduction and adaptation in central Vietnam as different parts of one solution, combine them with each other and identify options for action. This approach is embedded in a dynamic environment of challenges due to climate change and socioeconomic development. At the same time, we see an enormous potential to draw valuable conclusions for Germany and Europe from the experiences of the project partners, as well as from our project results.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen, Hoang Khanh Linh

Assoc Prof.Dr. Nguyen


@André Assmann

Thua Thien Hue province is building and developing Hue city as a central urban area, surrounded by satellite towns. However, the development of the periurban area towards the sea is being seriously endangered by climate change, e.g. by sea level rise and coastal erosion.

Within the framework of FloodAdaptVN, the experts involved in the research project will provide the province with recommendations for the areas affected by floods. This will provide the province with proposed solutions and guidance for future urban development, as well as to ensure a stable livelihood for the affected people.

Download Project Profile

Project Profile FloodAdaptVN

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Project coordination

Dr. Felix Bachofer

Dr. Felix Bachofer
German Aerospace Center, German Remote Sensing Data Center