Session 14_Mokhlesur Rahman and Bob Pokrant

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Session 14_Mokhlesur Rahman and Bob Pokrant

  1. 1. Climate Change and Vulnerability of Coastal Communities in Bangladesh: Preliminary Observations on Villager Perceptions of Climate and Non-climate Stressors<br />Presentation at the 5th International Conference, Community-based Adaptation held in Dhaka during 24-31 March 2011<br />By<br />Mokhlesur Rahman<br />And <br />Bob Pokrant<br />School of Social Sciences and Asian Languages<br />Curtin University, Perth WA, Australia<br />
  2. 2. Where are we doing it? <br /><ul><li>2 villages: Shaymnagar sub-district, Shatkhira – in the southwestern coast of Bangladesh bounded by the Sundarbans on the south
  3. 3. One of the country’s main brackish water shrimp farming areas
  4. 4. Impacted by upstream withdrawal of water mainly from the River Ganges through Farakka Barrage
  5. 5. Local livelihood base varies: land-water-forest based resources to rice/shrimp farming
  6. 6. Sundarbans mangrove forest livelihood base for many local people </li></li></ul><li>Where are the Study villages? <br />Village 2: Chakbara<br />Village 1: Fultala<br />Village 1: <br /><ul><li> Mainland, less exposed to hazards
  7. 7. Rice farming is major livelihoods
  8. 8. No dependence on Sundarbans
  9. 9. Poor subsists on wage laboring, earth cutting, seasonal fishing, van pulling, out migration
  10. 10. Less affected by the Cyclone Aila</li></ul>Village 2:<br /><ul><li> Island like setting, more exposed to hazards
  11. 11. Shrimp farming village
  12. 12. Poor heavily dependent on Sundarbans, rivers and lower estuary for livelihoods
  13. 13. Severely affected by the Cyclone Aila </li></ul>S u n d e r b a n s<br />To Bay of Bengal<br />
  14. 14. Community views on weather<br />No specific awareness of CC; main reference is to weather . Understanding varies by occupation, political status, gender etc. E.g,<br />Fishers: Increased cyclones/ rough sea weather (disrupt fishing efforts- loss of income), cyclone induced siltation (degrades fish habitats, fish stock shifted), drought (affect fish migration and breeding –less fish)<br />Rice farmers: Increased drought (crop damage), erratic rainfall (crop damage), salinity (crop loss), lack of freshwater (hampers boro rice farming)<br />
  15. 15. How do local people express their views? <br />No clear reference to CC. More combination of weather and non-weather stressors. E.g. <br /><ul><li> Reduced rains, drought and salinity cause declining freshwater fish (part-weather stressor) - but illegal grabbing and converting canals to crop lands/fish ponds (non -weather) cause major damage to freshwater fish
  16. 16. Cyclone-borne siltation degraded fish habitats in upper Sundarbans (weather)- while widespread use of harmful gears downstream (non-weather) affected fish migration and spawning causing more damage to Sundarbans fisheries</li></li></ul><li>Concluding Remarks <br /><ul><li>A few villagers mention global warming and CC but not aware what it is – causes and consequences
  17. 17. Previous development impacts have complicated how to make CC impact assessment
  18. 18. Climate-resilience means better homes, embankments, drainage, freshwater availability, good governance, etc.
  19. 19. Villagers considered adaptive measures as means to cope with immediate and seasonal water shortages, salinity, flooding, cyclones and the like rather than as potential packages of measures to deal with longer–term changes in climate </li></li></ul><li>CBA, context and scale<br />Some issues resolvable locally. CBA appropriate<br />Some issues require expanded notion of CBA<br />Ecosystems-based approach for CBA for wider area management one way to extend<br />Trans-boundary measures are a necessary condition for success of some types of local adaptation. E.g. uncertainty of future upstream water supplies threatens stability of local adaptation.<br />Abstraction, regional modeling and lateral networking<br />
  20. 20. Thanks from the climate hotspot- Munshigonj, Shaymnagar, Satkhira, Bangladesh<br />

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