Vulnerability to climatic change in riparian char and river-bank households in Bangladesh: implication for policy, livelihoods and social development

Alam, G.M. Monirul and Alam, Khorshed and Mushtaq, Shahbaz and Clarke, Michele L. (2017) Vulnerability to climatic change in riparian char and river-bank households in Bangladesh: implication for policy, livelihoods and social development. Ecological Indicators, 72. pp. 23-32. ISSN 1470-160X


Bangladesh is vulnerable to climate-driven hazards, including river-bank erosion causing the loss of land and associated natural resources of riparian households, which threatens the livelihood, health and food security of these vulnerable communities. This study, building on an IPCC framework, developed a holistic approach to assess the livelihood vulnerability of 380 resource-poor, rural riparian households from char and river-bank communities in Bangladesh. Two key vulnerability assessment approaches – the Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI) and Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) – were customized to incorporate local and indigenous knowledge into the selection of sub-components and indicators. This approach is predicated on the notion that vulnerability to climate change does not exist in isolation from wider community’s socio-economic and bio-physical attributes. The LVI and CVI values were found to be different between char and river-bank communities, with households inhabiting char lands displaying the most vulnerability to climate change. The main drivers of vulnerability were found to be livelihood strategies and access to food, water and health facilities. Riparian households were also found to be vulnerable due to their relative inaccessibility and low livelihood status which coupled with climate impacts on river morphology drive erosion and loss of land with consequent decrease in economic potential, and thus creates a vicious cycle of poverty. Targeted policies and developmental approaches are needed to enhance the adaptive capacity of char land and river-bank households across Bangladesh.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2016 04:35
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2018 01:00
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bangladesh; vulnerability; river-bank erosion; rural community; development
Fields of Research : 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140202 Economic Development and Growth
14 Economics > 1403 Econometrics > 140301 Cross-Sectional Analysis
05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050101 Ecological Impacts of Climate Change
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9610 Natural Hazards > 961099 Natural Hazards not elsewhere classified
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures
B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9199 Other Economic Framework > 919902 Ecological Economics
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.06.045

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