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The paper examines emigration from Vietnam in the context of global climate change. Vietnam is among the five countries, most vulnerable to water level rise in the oceans associated with global warming. The areas of potential flooding include territories with most dense population and are extremity important for the economy of Vietnam. The country has a significant demographic potential exceeding 90 mln people. Vietnamese migration has a relatively long history. Large Vietnamese communities have grown in the countries of Eastern Europe; these communities are relatively well integrated into the host countries. Increase in global mean temperatures could lead to severe storms, tsunamis, and flooding and force significant portion of the population out of the Mekong Delta regions and Central provinces of Vietnam. The paper discusses the potential of Atlas Information Systems (AISs) for the assessment of social-economic and demographic consequences of climate change in Vietnam. The authors describe an AIS they are developing. This AIS consists of blocks that provide for a close link between socio-political, economic (production), natural resource, and environmental components for the integrated assessment of the provinces of Vietnam. Simulation of events shows that the flood zone could affect such populated provinces as An Giang, Kien Giang, Hau Giang, Dong Thap, Long An, Tien Giang, Vinh Long and Can Tho. To address this problem, the Vietnamese authorities, in 2008, approved the state target program to respond to climate change. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was commissioned to create a scenario of climate change and sea level rise in Vietnam. However, the problem requires an immediate response at the international level, as the threat cannot be localized within the borders of Vietnam. Flooding may require mandatory relocation of the population in the country and, possibly, beyond its borders. If people are not relocated gradually, a reduction in the country’s territory with high population density, considering the specifics of the settlement pattern and reproduction trends, could result in a significant migration flow of forced migrants - environmental refugees. The territory of Vietnam may not be sufficient to absorb the entire flow of immigrants and, as a result, the flow would be directed out of the country. However, if the resettlement program starts now in the form of organized labor migration, it may be possible to anticipate and mitigate the negative scenario. Besides, organized labor emigration would be even beneficial for Vietnam in the socio-economic respect. The paper suggests measures to improve Russia’s migration policy aimed at attracting and using Vietnamese workers in a regulated way that would benefit Russia socially and economically.

About the Authors

Artem S. Lukyanetz
Center for Social Demography and Economic Sociology (Institute for Socio-Political Studies)
Russian Federation

Nguyen Canh Toan
Institute for European Studies, VASS
Russian Federation

Elena E. Pismennaya
Department of Theoretical Sociology, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation
Russian Federation

Sergei V. Ryazantsev
Center for Social Demography and Economic Sociology (Institute for Socio-Political Studies)
Russian Federation

Vladimir S. Tikunov
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography
Russian Federation

Pham Hoang Hai
Institute of Geography VAST
Russian Federation


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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)