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How Vulnerable are Bangladesh's Indigenous People to Climate Change?

Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC)

26 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2008 Last revised: 15 Jul 2008

Bernhard G. Gunter

Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC); American University

Atiq Rahman

Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies

A. F. M. Ataur Rahman

North South University

Date Written: April 2008

Abstract

This paper compares the vulnerabilities to climate change and climate variability of the indigenous people with the Bengali population of Bangladesh. It distinguishes between (a) individual vulnerabilities that are related to an individual's capability to adapt to climate change and; (b) spatial vulnerabilities, that is, vulnerabilities that are related to the location of a person (like the exposure to climate change-induced disasters). While an individual's capability to adapt to climate change is determined by many factors, some relatively simple approximation is to look at poverty, landlessness, and illiteracy. Spatial vulnerabilities are reviewed by looking at drought hazard maps, flood hazard maps, landslide hazard maps, and cyclone hazard maps. Hence, the paper compares levels of poverty, landlessness, illiteracy, and the more direct though also more subjective exposures to increased droughts, floods, landslides, and cyclones across the two population groups. The paper concludes with some broad suggestions on adaptation strategies of indigenous people as well as suggestions for policy interventions to reduce climate change-induced vulnerabilities for indigenous people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Keywords: Bangladesh, climate change, vulnerability

JEL Classification: O1, O13, I32

Suggested Citation

Gunter, Bernhard G. and Rahman, Atiq and Rahman, A. F. M. Ataur, How Vulnerable are Bangladesh's Indigenous People to Climate Change? (April 2008). Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1126441 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1126441

Bernhard G. Gunter (Contact Author)

Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC) ( email )

2508 Fowler Street
Falls Church, VA 22046-2012
United States

American University ( email )

4400 Mass. Ave. NW
Economics Dept.
Washington, DC 20016
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.american.edu/cas/faculty/gunter.cfm

Atiq Rahman

Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies ( email )

House # 10 Road # 16A
Gulshan-1
Dhaka
Bangladesh

HOME PAGE: http://www.bcas.net/

A. F. M. Ataur Rahman

North South University ( email )

12 Banani Commercial Area
Kemal Ataturk Avenue
Dhaka, Dhaka 1213 1213
Bangladesh
01188029885611 (Phone)
01188028823030 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.northsouth.edu/

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