Power and differential climate change vulnerability among extremely poor people in Northwest Bangladesh: lessons for mainstreaming

Abstract

This article draws on research findings from fieldwork undertaken in Gaibandha District of Northwest Bangladesh from 2009 to 2010 to analyse the influence of power-related factors on climate change vulnerability and adaptation in two rural communities. The principal aim of the research was to explore the factors that shape differentiated vulnerability and adaptive capacity within the two communities, with a focus on extremely poor community members. Findings indicate that climate-related vulnerability is differentiated at the sub-community level, both among different socio-economic, livelihood and social groups, as well as within them. Some of the central factors highlighted by respondents as underpinning differentiation had clear power and inequality dimensions. These include political ties and corruption; community and family networks; and the capability to enforce one's own rights, for example to land, in lieu of access to impartial law enforcement and justice institutions. The article concludes with implications of these findings for supporting adaptive capacity and mainstreaming climate change into planning processes at different levels. In particular, interventions focused on assets may be less important than those directed at power relations, networks and the security dimensions of extreme poverty.

Citation

Coirolo, C.; Rahman, A. Power and differential climate change vulnerability among extremely poor people in Northwest Bangladesh: lessons for mainstreaming. Climate and Development (2014) 6 (4) 336-344. [Special Issue: Community-based adaptation: Mainstreaming into national and local planning; DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2014.934774]

Power and differential climate change vulnerability among extremely poor people in Northwest Bangladesh: lessons for mainstreaming

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