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|Community-based assessment of vulnerability and adaptation to storm surges: A case study in Barguna, a coastal town in Bangladesh
|Water and Climate: Policy Implementation Challenges: Proceedings of the 2nd Practical Responses to Climate Change Conference, 1-3 May 2012, Canberra / Katherine A Daniell (ed.): pp. 132-141
|Practical Responses to Climage Change Conference (2nd : 2012 : Canberra)
|M.A.F. Younus, N. Harvey, T. B. Rahman
|A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) warned that the mega deltas in South Asia (such as the Ganges Brahmaputra Meghna River basin) will be at increasing risk due to increased flooding from the sea, and the region's poverty will reduce people's ability to adapt to such changes. The IPCC, United States Country Study Program (USCSP), and the UNEP have formulated guidelines regarding vulnerability and adaptation (V and A) to climate change, and in these 'adaptation' is emphasized. Indeed, the IPCC's 2007 special report on adaptation stresses that adaptation efforts, particularly in developing countries, should be accelerated. Based on the above guidelines, this study adopted V and A assessment methods to focus on the V and A issues of an exposed, low-lying part of the Bangladesh coast. Bawalkor village, five kilometres north of Barguna Paurashava (a coastal town in Bangladesh), was selected as a region suited to this case study, the area having been affected by storm surges that accompanied cyclones 'Sidr' in 2007 and 'Aila' in 2009. Twenty participants (farmers, fishermen, rickshaw pullers, Union Parishad members, and professionals) were chosen in a Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) session. The PRA method was applied in order to assess vulnerability and adaptation to storm surges in this region. The evaluation of V and A assessments was accomplished in this study by a weighted matrix index value derived from the PRA which was conducted in 2011. This study investigated two major issues. Firstly, it examined local people's perceptions of future storm surges resulting from climate change. Secondly, it assessed vulnerability and adaptation issues in response to the two recent surges that accompanied Sidr and Aila. It was found that the local people have limited understanding of climate change and its likely impacts, and they are not prepared for handling climate change impacts in the near future. However, they have a wide experience regarding adaptations to regular large storm surges. The V and A issues were categorized by means of a weighted matrix index. The vulnerability issues were classified into four categories according to degrees of severity, and these, together, offered a picture of vulnerability in a region regularly stricken by storm surges. The adaptation issues were classified into three categories and these revealed that some inbuilt, routine, and tactical adaptation techniques are already being implemented, but there are other high-priority adaptation techniques that affected people are requesting. Where the community's threshold to adapt is exceeded, some tactical interventions (V and A issues) have been identified and adopted. The PRA methodology used in this study makes an important methodological contribution for assessing vulnerability and adaptation. The required adaptation techniques can be adopted for immediate policy-making in order to reduce future vulnerability.
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Geography, Environment and Population publications
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