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Capacity strengthening in the least developed countries (LDCs) for adaptation to climate change (CLACC): adverse impacts of climate change on development of Bangladesh: integrating adaptation into policies and activities

Bangladesh is characterised by over-exploitation of natural resources due to poverty with rapid population growth, improper land use, absence of a land use policy, and ineffective implementation of existing laws and guidelines. This paper identifies gaps and necessary required measures for integrating adaptation in policies in the short, medium, and long-term development activities for addressing adverse climate impacts and reducing vulnerability in Bangladesh.

The paper identifies climate change induced challenges as:

  • scarcity of fresh water due to less rain and higher evapo-transpiration
  • drainage congestion due to higher water levels in the confluence with the rise of sea level
  • river bank erosion
  • frequent Floods and prolonged and widespread drought
  • wider salinity in the surface, ground and soil.

The paper has the following implications for developing country policy makers:

  • there is a general lack of explicit attention to “climate change” in many government plans and donor project documents in Bangladesh
  • there is need for inter-departmental coordination building rural infrastructure
  • regional collaboration is necessary for the trans-boundary water issue, taking into account the relevant sectors vulnerable to water with spatial and temporal context
  • there is need for international partnerships, capacity building, and assistance in terms of technical expertise and human resource development
  • the shift from policy to action needs participation of and cooperation from different stakeholders
  • the involvement of donors and development agencies from the very beginning, along with other sectoral agencies, will help mainstreaming adaptation to climate change
  • up scaling of the win-win measures that are already being implemented in Bangladesh and continuous persuasion with policy makers would help in mainstreaming adaptation to climate change.

The relevant research priorities for CDKN are:

  • what role do donor and development agencies need to play in order to facilitate and mainstream adaptation whilst at the same time increasing in-country expertise and capacity?
  • in what manner, and in what form, should regional-level collaboration take place to enhance capacity building for the coordination of action against climate change?
  • how can inter-departmental coordination of cross-cutting issues relating to climate change be facilitated? What tools/committees/action plans etc. need to be in-place to best facilitate such coordination?
  • along which criteria should adaptation interventions be deemed successful, or ‘win-win’?