Edited by Sushil Vachani and Jawed Usmani
Chapter 6: Adaptation to climate change in Bangladesh: migration, the missing link
Traditional climate change literature in Bangladesh has generally treated migration with fear (Walsham 2010). Through initiation of national and sectoral policies and community-level adaptation programmes, successive governments of Bangladesh, civil society bodies and development partners have focused on creating local-level opportunities of adaptation and reducing the scope of migration of affected people. They have mostly treated migration as a consequence of failure to adapt. This chapter highlights that a section of people of the areas concerned have used migration as one of the strategies either to diversify their income sources or reduce risks to their life triggered by different sources including climate stresses. By drawing on evidence from current experiences of people and communities at risk this chapter argues that different types of migration help build resilience for both those who move and those who choose not to. Moreover, this chapter suggests increasing the scope for members of affected families to exploit the existing opportunities of internal migration as well as short-term international migration as one of many adaptation strategies. The chapter is divided into seven sections. Section 6.1 deals with theoretical issues. Section 6.2 sets the country context. Section 6.3 reviews existing literature on the impact of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of affected people and their experience of migration. Section 6.4 looks at laws and policies that have been initiated to systematically respond to reduce the harmful effects of climate change.
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