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Landslides in Mountainous Regions of Northern Vietnam: Causes, Protection Strategies and the Assessment of Economic Losses

Michael Ahlheim, Oliver Fror, Antonia Heinke, Alwin Keil, Nguyen Minh Duc, Pham Van Dinh, Camille Saint-Macary, Manfred Zeller


Landslides are a severe problem during the rainy season in many mountainous regions in Asia where forests have been cut down so that mountain slopes are destabilized. In this study we analyze the extent and causes of landslides in a mountainous area in Northern Vietnam as viewed from the perspective of the population concerned. We also scrutinize the ideas of these people regarding suitable landslide protection measures and their willingness to contribute to the practical implementation of these measures. It is shown that the majority of people living in this area feels highly concerned about the frequent landslide events and that they support the idea of government programs to mitigate the danger of future landslides. We measure the utility they expect from such a landslide protection program, i. e. the social value of such a program, in terms of their willingness to contribute personally to its implementation. Since household budgets are tight in these rural areas where subsistence farming still prevails we also analyze the possibilities to measure these expected utility gains in terms of people's willingness to support the proposed landslide protection program through working time instead of money. The prospect of employing such an alternative means of contribution is, however, seen rather critical.


Landslide Protection, Economic Valuation, Vietnam

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