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A Country Made for Disasters: Environmental Vulnerability and Forced Migration in Bangladesh


There is a broad consensus amongst the scientific community that South Asia is amongst the regions most affected by climate change. According to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (2007) the main climate change impacts in the region are as follows: increased frequency of droughts and floods negatively affecting local production; sea level rise exposing coasts to increasing risks, including coastal erosion and growing human-induced pressures on coastal areas; and glacier melt in the Himalayas with more flooding and rock avalanches. Crop yields could decrease up to 30% in Central and South Asia by the mid-twenty-first century. Within South Asia, Bangladesh is the most vulnerable country because of its regional connectivity through geo-physical and hydrological features and its livelihood reliance on trade (ELIAMEP, 2008).


  • Human Trafficking
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Rock Avalanche
  • Tropical Cyclone Activity
  • Shrimp Aquaculture

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  1. 1.

    Bangladesh consists of a number of administrative areas called division (bibhag), each named after its respective capital: Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi and Sylhet. Every division is further split into 64 districts (zila) which are further sub-divided into upazilas. The upazilas are the lowest level of administrative government in Bangladesh.

  2. 2.

    The Professor Dr. K. Maudood Elahi is Pro-vice Chancellor – Head of Environmental Sciences Department of the Stamford University Bangladesh in Dhaka.


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This research was carried out within the framework of the EACH-FOR Project with the financial support of the European Commission’s Sixth Framework Programme (contract number 044468). The project was carried out between January 2007 and March 2009.

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Correspondence to Alice Poncelet .

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Poncelet, A., Gemenne, F., Martiniello, M., Bousetta, H. (2010). A Country Made for Disasters: Environmental Vulnerability and Forced Migration in Bangladesh. In: Afifi, T., Jäger, J. (eds) Environment, Forced Migration and Social Vulnerability. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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