Social vulnerability to disturbances is influenced by the economic and political context in which actors and institutions both enable and constrain household access to productive resources. These resources are crucial as a means for mitigating, coping, and responding to impacts of natural disturbances. The Vietnamese Government has formulated policies aimed at achieving dual objectives of socio-economic development and environmental protection through the expansion of plantation forests. Negative social impacts and worrying environmental trends have been noted by a number of scholars. However, few studies have examined these issues at the local level or analysed the interplay between plantation forest expansion, household vulnerability, and community resilience to climatic disturbances. The article documents the extent to which the introduction of acacia tree species has reinforced existing inequalities in landholding, which in turn increases household vulnerability to natural disturbances. This has resulted in the emergence of a social-ecological context characterized by decreasing resilience. The most vulnerable households are those of the landless and ethnic minorities, both of which depend on short-term insecure income from casual labour. A growing concentration of landholdings, coupled with a commune economy based on monoculture plantations, threatens resilience and potentially could constrain future government development interventions.