Mountains in the Chaning World, Mountains in the Chaning World

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Md. Afjal Hossain

Last modified: 2017-08-22


The coastal region of Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to different natural disasters like cyclone, storm surges, tidal flooding, erosion-accretion, land subsidence, persistent water-logging, salt water intrusion, temperature and rainfall variability etc. Climate change impacts are increasing multiple vulnerabilities of coastal community to those disasters. In coastal region of Bangladesh, natural disasters cause widespread loss of lives, damage of properties, infrastructure and degrade the entire environment and thus disrupt the integrity of coastal ecosystem. The impacts of climate change have been severely affecting agriculture, fishing, forestry and livestock rearing. Coastal communities remain extremely vulnerable to disasters that impeded the key livelihoods in the coastal areas than any other place. The traditional agriculture cropping is decreasing in coastal areas due to variation of fresh water and salinity level and increasing abrupt weather events, tidal inundation and water logging. Large coastal population lacks of climatic information, improved crop varieties and diversified livelihoods to continue adaptation practices. In particular the marginalized and landless coastal people who have limited access to natural, social and institutional services of local government institutions are losing adaptive capacity in the long-run. This research is designed to identify the existing risks, hazards and vulnerabilities of coastal communities to natural and climatic disasters, to investigate the impacts of different natural and climatic hazards on the life and livelihoods of coastal communities and to assess and analyze the performance and sustainability of Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change through Coastal Afforestation (CBACC-CF) project’s interventions and particular emphasis is given on an innovative livelihood model-Forest, Fish and Fruit (Triple F) which shows integrated community based livelihood practices for short-, mid- and long-term adaptation. This study has been carried out in a remote and frequent disaster affected coastal island Char Kukri Mukri, situated at the south-central coast of Bangladesh. The study employed qualitative research methods and explored through both PRA based focus group discussions and climate risk screening tools of affected livelihood resources to gain insight into the process of short-term, mid- and long-term adaption to climatic hazards. The study reveals that the coastal zone is extremely vulnerable to sea-level rise, flood, cyclone, storm-surge, subsidence, salinity intrusion and coastal erosion. The research finds that the different interventions under CBACC-CF projects bring positive changes in the life of coastal people by facilitating collective resource management and income generation activities, enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening local institutional capacity to enabling collaboration between government departments and community effectively bring diversity of knowledge in climatic risk reduction measures, cost-effective implementation of the new adaptation technology and ensure social and gender equity and empowerment in the access to livelihood resources. Despite the fact, current adaptations will not supersede dynamic vulnerability of livelihoods in coastal areas to large extent due to multi-fetched threats and lack of sustainability in resource generation. The potential strength and weakness of adaptation innovations must be analyzed within immediate timeframe to address the short- to mid-term benefits for long-term policy making. More collaboration of local institutions and diverse stakeholders through enhancing the financial and technical capacity, and as whole, inclusive governance are important for sustaining the livelihood resource benefits.

Keywords: Afforestation, climate change adaptation, coastal community, disaster risk reduction, livelihoods

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