Bangladesh risks more flooding, droughts hurting development: Report

Bangladesh is staring at devastating consequences due to the declining situation of climate change, says the latest report of adverse climate shift research.

Published : 14 July 2017, 02:13 PM
Updated : 14 July 2017, 03:20 PM

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have prepared the report.

It predicts that unabated climate change would bring the inhabitants of countries in Asia and the Pacific to their knees, severely affecting their future growth, reversing present development gains, eventually degrading the quality of life in the regions.

The paper says Bangladesh has been subject to much focus in the academic debate around climate migration, adding that the area around the Bay of Bengal is one of zones in high risks due to climate change.

It harbours acute terrestrial vulnerabilities for its low-lying property, and combined with the growing range of climate drivers and the high population density, the peril hovers over a multitude of development sectors in the small nation.

Firstly, despite the northern part of the country sitting at altitudes up to 105 metres above the sea level, most elevations are less than 10 metres while the vulnerable coastal areas sink at sea level. The coastal zones are populated by about 130 million people exposed to regular riverine flooding.

The report suggests climate change-influenced sea level rise would force displacement of a huge population. An overall rise of four degrees Celsius may see 13 percent loss of coastal lands to the sea, leading to flooding of 20 percent more land than currently.

The reports adds that a 15 cm sea level rise by 2030 would lead to 3 percent of land loss and 6 percent of total flooded area increase while a 27 cm rise would cause 6 percent of land loss and 10 percent of flooded area increase in the 2050s.

Bangladesh is a country with a big portion of its population drawing livelihood and delivering goods through the agriculture sector.

Already witnessing drought-stricken summers, the surge in intensity of the dry spells in regions would cripple the production of crops in ways deadlier than the flooding.

The paper mentions that the nature of internal migration, which is already happening with abandon, is a matter of disagreement among the specialists.

But it is generally accepted that multicausal nature of migration refers to causal links between climate change impacts and migration is limited. But there is no evidence to rule out the possibility of any links, as migration is, after all, a primal method of adapting.

In Bangladesh, migration generally leads people closer to cities, inflicting more centralisation to the capital Dhaka and other hubs – Chittagong for the east and Khulna for the southwest.

It would cause the country’s already struggling efforts to establish framework for sustainable development through local authority.

Cross-border migration to India and to a lesser extent Myanmar, on the other hand, may be a common phenomenon, but it is far less common for this method of population shift to be forced by environmental factors.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher