Bangladesh is one of the largest deltas in the world which is highly vulnerable to Natural Disasters because of its Geographical location, Flat and low-lying landscape, Population density, Poverty, Illiteracy, Lack of Institutional setup etc. In other words, the Physical, Social as well as Economic conditions of Bangladesh are very typical to any of the most vulnerable countries to Natural Disasters in the world. Moreover, the adverse effects of Climate Change especially High Temperature, Sea-level Rise, Cyclones and Storm Surges, Salinity Intrusion, Heavy Monsoon Downpours etc. have aggravated the overall Economic Development scenario of the country to a great extent.
Impacts of Climate Change on agriculture and food sector:
The economy of Bangladesh is based on Agriculture. Two thirds of the population engaged (directly or indirectly) on Agricultural activities and the overall impact of Climate Change on Agricultural production in Bangladesh would be wide spread and devastating for the country’s economy. Beside this, other impacts of Climate Change such as - Extreme Temperature, Drought, and Salinity Intrusion etc. are also responsible for the declining crop yields in Bangladesh. Temperature and Rainfall changes have already affected crop production in many parts of the country and the area of arable land has decreased to a great extent. The Salinity intrusion in the coastal area is creating a serious implications for the coastal land that were traditionally used for rice production
Impacts of Climate Change on water sector:
In a high density country like Bangladesh, the effects of Climate Change on the Surface and Ground water resources will be very severe and alarming. Changes to water resources and hydrology will have a significant impact on the country’s economy, where people mostly depend on the Surface water for Irrigation, Fishery, Industrial production, Navigation and similar other activities.
Actions/measures taken by the government:
In Agriculture/Food Sector:
Climate change impacts are not unknown to the policy makers. The National Adaptation Program of Actions (NAPA) provides guidance for adaptation measures taken up to combat climate change impacts. The revised version of National Agriculture Policy of 2011, has included climate change as one of its three priority areas. Some issues related to the impact from temperature rise and variation in precipitation on agriculture needs further attention. The Agriculture Extension Policy of 1996 puts emphasis on sustainable agricultural however and explicit consideration extension of climate resilient variety or cropping pattern need incorporation. Bangladesh is the forerunner in formulating and adopting NAPA and BCCSAP, 2009. Food Security, Social Protection and Health is given priority in this action plan. To implement the action plan , Climate Change Trust Fund is established locally with domestic funding. So far from Trust Fund 16 projects are being implemented by Ministry of Agriculture, which address 10% of Food Security, Social Protection and Health. Extension of different climate tolerant varieties, cultivation of floating agriculture and construction of agricultural rabar dam are major activities of them.
In Water Sector:
Bangladesh adopted Bangladesh Climate Change Strategic Action Plan (BCCSAP) in 2009. BCCSAP puts high emphasis on the programs on water sector such as: repair and maintenance of existing flood embankments, repair and maintenance of cyclone shelters, repair and maintenance of existing coastal polders, improvement of urban drainage, adaptation against flood, adaptation against tropical cyclones and storm surge, planning and design of river training works, planning, design and implementation of resuscitation of river and khals through dredging and de-siltation work etc. So far 136 projects were taken under Trust Fund to address climate change impacts in our country. Realizing the importance of water sector the High Level Panel on Water was launched earlier this year at World Economic Forum by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. It is supported by several expert organizations. The aim of this panel is to accelerate the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 6: ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Hon'ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh H.E. Sheikh Hasina is one of the distinguished members of the High Level Panel on Water.