Abstract—The environmental sensitivity of coastal areas is
attracting significant attention from researchers because it can
predict the consequences of water environmental incidents.
Environmental sensitivity is usually estimated based on various
criteria that are related to specific aspects of the physical or
environmental conditions in an area combined with its
socioeconomic conditions. The main objective of this study was
to develop a suitable set of criteria that covers all three aspects,
namely, physical, socioeconomic, and environmental conditions,
to support sensitivity assessments and zoning in the southeast
coastal region of Vietnam, which is the most dynamic
developing coastal region in the country. In the study,
multiple-criteria decision-making was used to develop the
coastal environmental sensitivity criteria and calculate the
criteria weights. Remote sensing was used for data collection
and geographical information system for the assessment and
zoning of the study areas. A set of eight suitable criteria were
proposed: coastal type, coast slope, species, nature reserve,
population density, vulnerable population, tourism, and
aquaculture, with optimal weighting for each criterion was
proposed. A thorough site survey with data collection was then
conducted in 27 sub-regions of the study area. The proposed
criteria were applied to evaluate and zone the areas into four
sensitivity levels: low, moderate, high, and extreme, which
accounted for 7.41%, 29.63%, 37.04%, and 25.93% of the study
area, respectively. Practical and effective solutions were
proposed for 17 sub-regions with high and extreme
environmental sensitivity. The research results are expected to
enhance knowledge of coastal environmental hazards and
provide a reference for sustainability decision-making and
Index Terms—Coastal sensitivity, multiple-criteria decision-making, geographical information system, remote sensing
Cuong Tan Le, Huyen Thi Thu Do, and Minh Thanh Tran are with the Institute for Environment and Resources, National University of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Phuoc Van Nguyen is with the Ho Chi Minh City Union of Science and Technology Associations, Vietnam.
Quan Hong Nguyen is with the Institute for Circular Economy Development, National University of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
*Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org (C.T.L.)
Cite: Cuong Tan Le*, Phuoc Van Nguyen, Quan Hong Nguyen, Huyen Thi Thu Do, and Minh Thanh Tran, "Environmental Sensitivity of Coastal Areas to the Water Environmental Incidents: A Case Study in the Southeastern Coastal Region of Vietnam," International Journal of Environmental Science and Development vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 170-179, 2023.Copyright © 2023 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).