Climate Change Adaptation in Bangladesh
The coastline of Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to the sea level rise in the Bay of Bengal on account of the low-lying deltaic environment. The tropical cyclones, which strike the coastal areas periodically, create misery and loss of life, property and damage to the ecosystems. The total area of the coastal belt is about 39,300km² (27% of the country’s total area) and more than 29 million people (22% of the national population) live in this fragile and vulnerable area. Climate change may influence erosion, accretion, floods, waterlogging, cyclones and tidal surges in the coastal region. Against this backdrop, the people who live in the coastal areas are dependent on its resources for their livelihood sustenance and already belong to a vulnerable category. The livelihood of the people has been affected through the impacts of climate change on agriculture, fisheries, livestock, shrimp farming, off-farm activities and even the locations of human settlements. These situations have led the people to devise unique coping strategies for their survival. The future of their livelihood and for that matter, the human settlements in this region will depend on viable adaptation measures to cope with the future extent and consequences of global warming.
The activities of the Netherlands Climate Change Assistance Program (NCAP) have been designed in order to explain the three common questions:
- What are the demands of stakeholders?
- What is available to them?
- How can their needs can be communicated to policy makers to steer necessary action?
A combination of the participatory approach and scientific tools and data was adopted in this project, to attain maximum input and ensure the interaction of stakeholders. Sustainable livelihood framework was used extensively to understand the local vulnerability issues. These approaches were based on the premise that there was a need to acquire an in-depth understanding of the lo- cal issues in terms of people’s perception and understanding of climate change and institutional capacities to respond to the perceived changes.
This project was carried out under the Netherlands Climate Assistance Programme (NCAP)] which was funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ETC International managed the overall NCAP project.
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