Building Responsiveness to Climate Change through Community Based Adaption in Bangladesh

Abstract: This article explores the drivers, benefits, and challenges to climate change adaptation in Bangladesh. It specifically investigates the “Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change through Coastal Afforestation Program,” a 5-year $5 million adaptation scheme being funded and implemented in part by the Government of Bangladesh, United Nations Development Program, and Global Environment Facility. The article explores how the CBACC-CA builds various types of adaptive capacity in Bangladesh and the extent its design and implementation offers lessons for other adaptation programs around the world. The first part of the study begins by describing its research methods consisting of research interviews, site visits, and a literature review. It then summarizes six primary sectors vulnerable to climate change in Bangladesh: water resources and coastal zones, infrastructure and human settlements, agriculture and food security, forestry and biodiversity, fisheries, and human health. The article next describes the genesis and background behind the CBACC-CA, with an emphasis on components that promote capacity development, demonstration projects, risk reduction, and knowledge management. The article concludes that technology by itself is only a partial component of successful adaptation efforts, and that multiple and integrated adaptation measures that cut across sectors and social, institutional, and infrastructural dimensions are needed to truly build resilience and effectiveness.

Volume 16, Number 8 (2011), 845-863, DOI: 10.1007/s11027-011-9298-6