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November 2006

Announcement of a publication

Developing Institutions and Options for Livelihood Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change in Drought-prone Areas of Bangladesh

by R. Selvaraju
A.R. Subbiah
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
Stephan Baas
Ingmar Juergens
Rural Development Divion
Research, Extension and Training Division
FAO Sustainable Development Department

This publication was implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center under DP9/1-BGD/01/004/01/99 entitled “Improved Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change for Sustainable Livelihoods in the Agriculture Sector”


The impacts of climate variability and change are global concerns, but in Bangladesh, where large parts of the population are chronically exposed and vulnerable to a range of natural hazards, they are particularly critical. In fact, between 1991 and 2000 93 major disasters were recorded, resulting in nearly 200 000 deaths and causing US$5.9 billion in damage with high losses in agriculture. Agriculture is the largest sector of the Bangladesh economy, accounting for some 35 percent of the GDP and 63 percent of the labour force. Agricultural production is already under pressure from increasing demands for food and the parallel problem of depletion land and water resources caused by overuse and contamination. Impacts of climate variability and change cause an additional risk for agriculture.

Within this context, FAO and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre are guiding a project to assess livelihood adaptation to climate variability and change in the drought- prone areas of Northwest Bangladesh. The project, implemented under the Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Programme and in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture Department of Agricultural Extension, specifically looks at: characterization of livelihood systems; profiling of vulnerable groups; assessment of past and current climate impacts; and understanding of local perceptions of climate impacts, local coping capacities and existing adaptation strategies. It also is developing a good practice adaptation option menu, evaluating and field testing locally selected options, and introducing long-lead climate forecasting, capacity building and training of Department of Agricultural Extension staff and community representatives.

This report summarizes the project methodology developed and successfully tested during 2005/06; it discusses interim findings and recommendations coming out of the ongoing pilot learning process.

Click here to view the document.

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