Climate adaptation, the Bangladesh way

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Climate adaptation, the Bangladesh way

Bangladesh is at the frontline of the global fight against climate change. Over the years, the country has shown tremendous resilience in disaster management, climate change mitigation, adaptation and nature-based solutions. Many policy-strategies have been implemented to adapt and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Policies such as Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP), Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan and Delta Plan 2100 articulate the country’s intention to contribute to adaptation and mitigation measures in alignment with global commitments.

Leading climate change adaptation

Historically, Bangladesh has considered climate risks while preparing its development policies, and kept its commitment to accelerate climate actions. Earlier than most other developing countries, Bangladesh initiated the process of formulating its National Adaptation Plan (NAP) in an integrated approach, aligned with other climate policies of the country.  The NPA for 2023-2050 came into being in November 2022. The NAP envisions a climate resilient nation through effective adaptation with a focus on preserving ecosystems and stimulating sustainable economic growth.  It will be the core strategic document for Bangladesh to adapt to climate change over the next 28 years.

NAP has six specific goals

Building on the experience and learnings of the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA 2005 & 2009) and the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP 2009), the NAP aims to achieve the goals of i) ensuring protection against climate change and disasters; ii) developing climate-resilient agriculture; iii) building climate-smart cities; iv) protecting nature for adaptation; v) integrating adaptation into planning; and vi) ensuring capacity-building and innovation in adaptation.

Strategies and interventions 

The NAP has identified 23 adaptation strategies and 113 interventions (including 90 high-priority and 23 moderate-priority) that encompass 8 sectors and consider 11 climatic stress areas across the country. The eight distinct sectors are: water resources; disaster, social safety, and security; agriculture; fisheries, aquaculture, and livestock; urban areas; ecosystem, wetlands, and biodiversity; policy and institutions; capacity development, research, and innovation.

Nature-based solutions at the core 

The NAP promotes nature-based solutions for the conservation of forestry, biodiversity and the well-being of communities. This goal is inspired by our indigenous development ethos that conservation and sustainable management of natural resources should be integral to tackling future social, economic and environmental challenges. So, interventions under this goal will ensure not only human well-being, but also ecosystem services, resilience, and biodiversity benefits. Bangladesh has already set examples of such climate actions and recently the government has been exploring various ways to engage the vulnerable communities in the planning process. Protecting the Sundarbans (the largest mangrove forest in the world), restoring the degraded hills of Chittagong Hill Tracts, sustainably managing Hakaluki Haor are all good examples.

Adaptation finance

The government has already submitted the NAP to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat. The NAP will be a key strategic document in implementing adaptive activities in the country as well as other LDCs, under the UNFCCC process. The estimated cost for the implementation of the plan is around $230 billion for 2023-2050. The government has invested around $490 million from its own resources to implement strategic actions on adaptation, mitigation, and climate change research. In the past, it has accessed resources from Green Climate Fund, Least Developed Countries Fund, Adaptation Fund, and other bilateral and multilateral funds. So far, international resources are insignificant compared to requirements. From Bangladesh’s point of view, robust advocacy for a permanent arrangement of international funding for the NAP implementation will be crucial.