Combination of community-based vulnerability and adaptation to storm surges in coastal regions of Bangladesh
Publisher© 2014 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte Ltd
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CitationYounus, M. A. F., & Sharna, S. S. (2014). Combination of community-based vulnerability and adaptation to storm surges in coastal regions of bangladesh. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 16(4) doi:10.1142/S1464333214500367
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 decision-making 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. These key aspects demonstrate and emphasise that adaptation policy needs to be implemented immediately in Bangladesh in order to reduce and manage future vulnerability in the coastal region under the potential climate change regimes.