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PROJECT: Adaptation policy options and interventions for climate change induced displaced people of Bangladesh


Project Reference: RSAS-0014

Over the last decade a new term has entered the lexicon of policy makers and the media: climate change refugees or climate change induced forced displacement. The First Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR1) in 1990 noted that the greatest single impact of climate change might be on human displacement and migration. In Bangladesh, sudden disasters associated with climate change are most likely to occur in ‘hot spots’ in low-lying coastal areas, heavily populated river basin areas, low-lying islands, and other areas where communities are already highly vulnerable to climate-related hazards.

The issue of climate change induced displacement is not the focus of the country’s overall or sectoral development planning. Recently, this has been considered as an adaptation option, though the existing development policy planning for climate change adaptation are limited and are not sufficient to address the growing need to cope with displacement. Moreover, large-scale migration is not taken into account in the adaptation strategies.

This spurred the need to identify the policy options and gaps at the national policy planning level. At the national level there is an urgent need for the development of appropriate policies, institutions, and mechanisms to help target intervention strategies. In response to a request from the Government of Bangladesh, CDKN commissioned the Sussex Centre for Migration Research (SCMR) at the University of Sussex to follow the Government of Bangladesh’s request for research on two relevant topics – the consequences of climate change for human displacement, and a review of existing policies and key players in climate induced migration. They worked closely with the Refugee and Migratory Movement Research Unit (RMMRU) at Dhaka University.

The commissioned research was designed to provide the evidence and policy recommendations necessary to enable the government to respond to this priority topic within their Climate Change Action Plan. Recommendations resulting from the research were disseminated to government officials through national level workshops. The research was perceived as furthering understanding, and has been applauded by government stakeholders.

The team at RMMRU has gone on to be part of the team delivering the research project ‘Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation‘, which is taking this work further (not involving CDKN). This is a 5-year research project funded by DFID and IDRC through the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), which began in 2014.

Projects outputs and resources:

The research from this project has been documented in five briefing notes exploring these different themes:

A short documentary film was created to explore the stories behind this research: Climate change and migration – Living on the Go

For further information on this project, please refer to the case study.

For a summary of the work done so far, please read our feature on this project: New CDKN research shows the reality of climate-induced migration in Bangladesh

CDKN Funding: £150,000

Project Manager: Kashmala Kakakhel

 

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