September 2007  -  Announcement of a publication

Climate variability and change: Adaptation to drought in Bangladesh

A resource book and training guide

Prepared by
Selvaraju Ramamasy
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC)

and Stephan Baas
FAO Natural Resources Management and Environment Department

under Project DP9/1-BGD/01/004/01/99
Improved Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change for
Sustainable Livelihoods in the Agriculture Sector

In Bangladesh, where agriculture is the largest sector of the economy, agricultural production is under pressure from increasing demands for food. A large percentage of the population is already vulnerable to a range of natural hazards with increasing climate variability and climate change expected to aggravate the situation further by causing more frequent and intense droughts and increasing temperatures. General Circulation Model data project an average temperature increase in Bangladesh of 1.0ºC by 2030 and 1.4ºC by 2050.

Within this context, FAO and the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) are guiding an assessment of livelihood adaptation to climate variability and change in the drought-prone areas of Northwest Bangladesh. The project, implemented under the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme and in close collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), is specifically designed to characterize livelihood systems, profile vulnerable groups, assess past and current climate impacts, and increase understanding of local perceptions of climate impacts, coping capacities and existing adaptation strategies.

The initiative has guided development of a good practice menu of adaptation options that is being evaluated and field tested in partnership with local communities. As part of this initiative, a series of capacity-building and training activities on “climate change impacts and adaptation to drought” has been undertaken for national and local-level technical working group members, disaster managers and community representatives. The working group members are drawn from key research and extension organizations in Bangladesh including the DAE, Directorate of Relief and Rehabilitation, Department of Livestock, Department of Fisheries, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute.

This resource book has been prepared as a reference and training guide for building the capacity of agricultural extension workers and development professionals to deal with climate change impacts and adaptation, specifically targeting drought-prone areas of Bangladesh. It also presents suggestions for a three-day training course that would be readily adaptable for any areas of Bangladesh affected by climate-related risks. The information presented on climate change adaptation would enable participants to prepare, demonstrate and implement location-specific adaptation practices and, thus, to improve the adaptive capacity of rural livelihoods to climate change in agriculture and allied sectors.

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© FAO, 2007