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Climate change impact and disaster vulnerabilities in the coastal areas of Bangladesh

Focusing on the coastal areas of Bangladesh, this report analyses the impact of disasters with specific reference to the effects of climate change. It also looks at the nature of the disasters that frequently occur and discusses efforts to mitigate their impact.

The coastal areas of Bangladesh are different from rest of the country because of their unique geo-physical characteristics and different socio-political consequences that often limit people’s access to endowed resources and perpetuate risk and vulnerabilities. Bangladesh’s coast is the biggest victim to natural disasters and highly affected by climate change with problems including salinity and water logging, soil erosion, flooding and cyclones.

The hazards of natural disasters cannot completely be prevented, but the risks and vulnerability can be reduced through increasing capacity. The authors emphasise that capacity building also depends on the economical condition as well as political commitment of a country, which is why global cooperation is required as priority basis. Factors for consideration in capacity building at the local, national and international levels include:

  • training on disaster preparedness involving local institution/ local government
  • infrastructure development such as cyclone shelter, coastal embankment and ensure their regular maintenance
  • initiate rural-centric development activities and create rural employment that will reduce urban migration
  • increase budgetary allocation for disaster preparedness and rehabilitation activities
  • make alliances with the countries that will be affected by climate change and GHG emission and lobby with the industrially developed countries to reduce GHG emission.