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Type: Conference paper
Title: Integrated assessment and decision-support tool for community-based vulnerability and adaptation to storm surges in four coastal areas in Bangladesh
Author: Younus, M.A.
Sharna, S.S.
Rahman, T.B.
Citation: Opportunities for the Critical Decade: Enhancing well-being within Planetary Boundaries. Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics 2013 Conference Proceedings, 2014 / Lo, Alex, Pearsons, Leonie, Evans (ed./s), pp.168-188
Publisher: The University of Canberra and the Australia New Zealand Society of Ecological Economics
Publisher Place: Canberra
Issue Date: 2014
ISBN: 9781740883986
Conference Name: Australia New Zealand Society for Ecological Economics 2013 Conference (11 Nov 2013 - 14 Nov 2013 : Canberra, Australia)
Editor: Lo, Alex
Pearsons, Leonie
Statement of
Md Aboul Fazal Younus, Sabrina Shahrin Sharna, Tamanna Binte Rahman
Abstract: Bangladesh has been identified as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and rising sea-level. This is because it is located at the northern end of the funnel-shaped Bay of Bengal, and as a consequence it has experienced a number of severe storm surges in the last three decades. The inhabitants of the coastal region are very poor, and the surges have pushed them to a ‘tipping-point’; that is, the point of desperation which is exacerbating the socio-economic threats to their existence. The study reported here aimed to explore the perceptions of coastal communities with regard to vulnerability and adaptation (V & A) strategies in four different areas of Bangladesh in order to reduce their vulnerability to future storm surges. After reviewing the impact assessment guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), United States Country Studies Program (USCSP) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the researchers applied the Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) method (a behavioural environmental decisionmaking tool) to survey 160 participants in four case-study areas,with 20 participants in two sessions in each case. The evaluation of V & A was implemented and prioritised in this study by a measuring scale, called the ‘weighted matrix index’. This study not only considered the integrated assessment of V & A but it also classified the levels of vulnerability and adaptation in different categories. Additionally, it provides a comparative picture of the vulnerabilities for similar risks in different types of communities. The study emphasizes some key aspects: a. the composite nature of various levels of V & A issues; b. the constraints to adaptation implementation; c. how to overcome those constraints. These key aspects demonstrate and stress that adaptation policy needs to be implemented immediately in Bangladesh in order to reduce and manage future vulnerability in the coastal region of Bangladesh under the potential climate change regimes.
Keywords: Bangladesh; Cyclones; Storms; Impact Guidelines; Vulnerability; Adaptation; PRA; Weighted Index; Adaptation Limits/Constraints; Climate Change
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