Bangladesh: How the people of Bangladesh live with climate change and what communication can do

Abstract

Climate Asia is the world’s largest study of people’s everyday experience of climate change. The project surveyed 33,500 people across 7 Asian countries, including 3,578 households in Bangladesh. Sixteen focus groups were conducted with men and women from different social backgrounds across 7 locations and 7 assessments with communities vulnerable to changes in climate were carried out. In addition to research with the public, 20 key experts and opinion formers from government, civil society, business and academia were interviewed, a workshop was held with experts and opinion formers from media, business and civil society and an evaluation of current and past communications on these subjects was carried out.

The research was conducted from May to August 2012 across 25 districts in each of Bangladesh’s 7 divisions, from the char islands and the mangroves of the Sundarbans, to the heart of Dhaka and the beaches of Cox’s Bazar. Climate Asia recorded the opinions, insights and needs of this large population, more than 30% of whom live below the poverty line.

This report (in English and Bengali) presents the findings from Bangladesh.

Section 1 details how Bangladeshis live now – it focuses on their values as well as recent positive changes, including increasing development. Increased development has, however, come hand-in-hand with new concerns about the environment, including changes in climate and concerns about access to food, water and energy, which are highlighted in section 2.

In section 3, the report details how people are responding to change, while section 4 includes an analysis of the factors that enable and constrain this response, including the impact people perceive, how informed they feel and the extent to which they are engaged in their community.

Section 5 highlights how different stakeholders can use these insights to craft communication that supports people to respond to changes in climate.

Section 6 introduces segments for understanding people’s needs in Bangladesh. Analysis of Climate Asia data allowed researchers to segment the people surveyed into groups. These segments help us to understand people’s needs, as well as to identify communication opportunities to enable effective action.

Section 7 details the communication channels Bangladeshis use now and how to best reach people through the media.

Finally, Section 8 builds on all of this information to identify three important priority audiences – fishermen and farmers, people living in larger cities and people living in the division of Barisal – and highlights each audience’s specific communication needs.

The report concludes by highlighting how the information, insight and tools generated by the Climate Asia project can be used to communicate with other audiences.

Citation

Al Mamun, M. A.; Naomi Stoll, N.; Whitehead, S. Bangladesh: How the people of Bangladesh live with climate change and what communication can do. BBC Media Action, (2013) 70 pp.

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