EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

I’ll be dead by the time it happens: Children’s Perceptions of Climate Change in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Florence Halstead1, Dan Parsons1, Lisa Jones2, and Chris Hackney3
Florence Halstead et al.
  • 1Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (
  • 2Faculty of Arts, Culture and Education, University of Hull, Hull, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • 3Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam is one of the most at risk places globally to the effects of climate change and sea level rise, specifically in terms of flooding. It is predicted to change drastically over the next 100 years, with additional human-driven actions (such as sand mining and groundwater extraction) expected to exasperate the speed and severity of said change. Understanding the existing perceptions of those that will face these future challenges, and what contributes to forming those perceptions, is a critical underpinning required for the success of any future resilience and mitigation initiatives. A holistic view that takes account of these varying influences on societal perceptions, resilience and education needs to be taken. 

One of the most vulnerable groups to the consequences of climate change, and indeed the citizens that will go on to tackle the majority of challenges we are predicted to face in the future, is children. For this reason alone, ascertaining their perceptions and understandings, along with the influences and sources that shape their views, is paramount.

This paper will present the findings from a project that explored local children’s perceptions of climate change in the heart of the Mekong Delta. Creative and arts-based methods enabled children’s voices to be heard. Combined with further policy analysis and interviews with parents, teachers and government officials, these voices have been further contextualised within their socio-cultural context and environment. Through developing an understanding of these perceptions and the influencing factors, a more effective and holistic approach to shaping children’s climate change resilience can be executed, which will ultimately enhance a society’s ability to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change into the future. 



How to cite: Halstead, F., Parsons, D., Jones, L., and Hackney, C.: I’ll be dead by the time it happens: Children’s Perceptions of Climate Change in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20654,, 2020.


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  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-20654, John Bruun, 08 May 2020

    Dear Florence

    I thought your work was very helpful. You mentioned in your finding:

    “Agency and intergenerational knowledge exchange around these topics, was low. This was a shared finding amongst teachers and head teachers.”

    “Overall, the prevailing perception of children was that climate change was happening elsewhere and did not pose any major challenges to their region.”

    I think you are essentially capturing one of the challenges of communicating climate change science so it is relevant and taken on board by communities: especially where it really matters. As mentioned – I thought you could in addition write this into a form of personal perspective of the experience you had. It is a story that is relevant to us all – the feeling that climate change is happening elsewhere and it is someone else’s problem is in fact quite global.

    To help effect listening and local level cultural change – you could try mapping your finding through the reflexive tool we shared where the Analytical Collective is essentially the perception of the Community Voice:  happy to talk this through further if you would find this useful.

    Best John (

    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Florence Halstead, 16 May 2020

      Hi John


      Thanks so much for your comment, a personal persepctive piece is a great idea and I agree, this is a woldwide issue in climate change communication, hightened here because of the innate vulnerability of the location.

      I will email you personally to find out more,




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