This study is one of a series of regional studies which aim to present
evidence of the interactions between environmental, social, political
and economic risks at the local level in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and
Pakistan. Drawing on field research and consultations with
policy-makers, practitioners and academics, this case study seeks to
identify obstacles to and opportunities for interventions to build
resilience to interlinked environmental and security risks among
vulnerable communities in Bangladesh. The case study specifically looks
at local resilience among the coastal communities in Satkhira and their
knock-on effects in terms of migration to urban centres such as Dhaka.
In order to understand local resilience, the case study aims to address
two key questions:
1. What are the root causes of vulnerability (to climate and conflict
2. How can external adaptation interventions (by the state or
international institutions) address these root causes of vulnerability?
Findings from the case study lead to the following conclusions:
• Whilst livelihood diversification into perceived “climate resilient”
areas such as tailoring, poultry farming, duck rearing, mat weaving and
basket making are helping families better cope, they are not seen by
beneficiaries as sufficient to build their resilience in and of
• Livelihood dependency on the Sunderban forests continues despite the
security threats people face in accessing the forests. This dependency
needs to be reduced;
• In the absence of a comprehensive policy framework, seasonal migration
is a significant cost to human development through poor labour
arrangements and working conditions of migrants. Safe migration needs to
be prioritised to maximise its benefits and also be given due
consideration in climate change and development plans;
• Interventions around other sectoral strands such as security and
democratic governance could contribute to building community resilience
if they are both climate and conflict sensitive.
Mitra, S.; Vivekananda, J. Strengthening responses to climate variability in south Asia. Discussion paper: Bangladesh. International Alert, (2013) 40 pp.
Strengthening responses to climate variability in south Asia. Discussion paper: Bangladesh