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How Vulnerable are Bangladesh’s Indigenous People to Climate Change?

This paper compares the vulnerabilities to climate change and climate variability of the indigenous people with the Bengali population of Bangladesh. It distinguishes between (a) individual vulnerabilities that are related to an individual’s capability to adapt to climate change and; (b) spatial vulnerabilities, that is, vulnerabilities that are related to the location of a person (like the exposure to climate change-induced disasters). While an individual’s capability to adapt to climate change is determined by many factors, some relatively simple approximation is to look at poverty, landlessness, and illiteracy. Spatial vulnerabilities are reviewed by looking at drought hazard maps, flood hazard maps, landslide hazard maps, and cyclone hazard maps. Hence, the paper compares levels of poverty, landlessness, illiteracy, and the more direct though also more subjective exposures to increased droughts, floods, landslides, and cyclones across the two population groups.