Climate change driven disaster risks in Bangladesh and its journey towards resilience

by Peter Sammonds, Mohammad Shamsudduha and Bayes Ahmed

29 Oct 2021
Journal of the British Academy
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Abstract: Globally, disasters from natural and anthropogenic hazards or humanitarian crises can reverse development gains and weaken resilience. In recent years, some countries have made significant progress towards building resilience to disaster risks, including those driven by the climate crisis. Bangladesh is a leading example as it is well-known as one of the most vulnerable countries for its multifaceted hazard risks projected to intensity under climate change. Today, the scale of loss of human life from both rapid and slow-onset disasters (e.g. cyclone, flood and drought) is significantly lower than in the 1970s. This remarkable achievement was made possible by independence and the government’s proactive investment in development and societal changes through education, technologies and reduction in poverty and inequalities. However, the climate crisis is threatening these development and disaster risk reduction gains. In addition, disaster displacement is a major challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled both strengths and weaknesses in our societies. The article argues that disaster management plans need to adapt to the climate crisis and human displacement and reduce migrants’ vulnerability while responding to infectious disease transmission.

Keywords: natural hazards, climate change, disaster risk reduction, resilience, sustainable development, human displacement, Bangladesh.

Article posted to the Journal of the British Academy, volume 9, supplementary issue 8 (Climate, Disaster and Risk)

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