Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a tropical monsoon country located in the low-lying Ganges Delta between India to the west, and Myanmar to the east.  It consists some of the most fertile agricultural plains in the world. Most of the country is lower than 12 metres above sea level and it is prone to floods, tropical cyclones and tornadoes.  Being a low-lying country suffering increased rainfall cyclones and rising sea levels, Bangladesh rates number 1 among the top 10 countries in the world most affected by climate change.  

Soil degradation, erosion and deforestation resulting from climate change are huge problems for food and water security, as well as human health and shelter. It is estimated that a 1 metre rise in sea level would result in inundation of 10% of Bangladesh.  Earthquakes also pose an increased threat as flooding of the delta forces the underlying earth’s crust down, aggravating faults, and tectonic movements have even caused rivers to suddenly and dramatically change course.  Over the coming decades it is estimated that 20 million climate refugees will emerge from Bangladesh.

In proactive measures as a means of adaptation, Bangladesh has been experimenting since the 1960’s with a “build with nature” program that implements cross dams, causing accretion of silt that creates new land. With the assistance of Dutch funding, Bangladesh has developed this new land by building roads, embankments, and cyclone shelters, as well as distributing land among settlers to re-settle 21,000 families.   Hence, environmental issues are urgent matters facing Bangladesh.