RISK AND RISK MANAGEMENT IN A TROPICAL REGION- VIETNAM THROUGH AN AFRICAN EYE
E. SCHULZ, R. HERRET
ABSTRACT. - Risk and Risk Management in a Tropical Region- Vietnam Through an African Eye.Tropical countries are known for physical and social risks, their principal vulnerability and the limitations of risk management. These issues are bundled in the case of Vietnam. The country had to recover from devastations of decade long wars and Stalinist policies for the one and for the other there is the need to combat ordinary threats like damaging floods, soil erosion or deforestation in combination with general poverty and exposure to parasitic diseases. However, the country shows that it is possible to manage a tropical region contrary to the rumours of principal weakness out of limited physical resources. In contrast to other – comparable – countries it had been possible to repair huge ecological damages, even under the burden of a rigid Stalinist regime and war-economy and to drastically reduce the hunger and poverty of the people. Today there are signs of two contradicting developments. For the one there is a sophisticated agriculture based on traditional experience of a “hydraulic” society and extensive use of new techniques and for the other an overexploitation of natural resources with an immanent risk of degradation. Today it seems, that on some fields - as protection against damaging floods and river regulation the country has reached its limits and on other fields they have to limit exploitations or to develop protection measurements. Concerning risk and risk management the greatest problem is that there is no buffer anymore on various ecological fields; even the exploitation is based on old and adapted traditions.
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