Coastal Ecosystem Based Adaptation: Bangladesh Experience

  • Paramesh Nandy
  • Ronju Ahammad
  • Mesbahul Alam
  • Aminul Islam
Part of the Disaster Risk Reduction book series (DRR)


Bangladesh is confronting multitude threats of climate change related extreme events. The decadal observation provides strong evidences of climate changes in terms of excessive or minimum rainfall events, changing frequency and intensity of floods, cyclone and tidal surge, and sea level rise have been gradually increasing fast and slow impacts. The cyclonic wind and tidal surges along coasts; or floods and river erosion in floodplain areas already incurred severe degradation and loss of the associated ecosystem services. Coastal ecosystems are dynamic and possessing different resources including accreted lands, mangroves, estuaries, rivers and seas which are contributing to a range of productive and protective functions in Bangladesh. By contrast, extreme events and climate changes are increasing impacts persistently on coastal resources at different degree and scale through disaster that causes severe damages of protective mangroves; salinity intrusion and tidal inundation height degrades regenerative functions and land use productivity. Mostly coastal resources are highly sensitive to climate changes that results significant loss of traditional land uses for agriculture or fishing, and eventually weaken the capacity of the protective ecosystem and community for adaptation. Protection of coastal livelihoods through physical embankment or mangrove afforestation for land stabilization was already recognized to be effective measure in Bangladesh without understanding sustainability and dynamic capacity of these interventions for adaptation of local communities. Adaptation in coastal areas is increasingly becoming complicated and difficult to isolate any of the social and ecological activities which required integrated resource management and land use planning for long-­term adaptation. There are needed understanding protective and productive uses of coastal lands for integrating ecosystem into adaptation and sustaining community benefits. The paper presents potential roles of coastal land uses for ecosystem based adaptation in Bangladesh. The paper addresses some emerging adaptation and resilience perspective in coastal ecosystems followed by sharing experience of an innovative land use pattern, and discussed the diversified benefits of conservation, livelihood sustainability, community integration and institutions for ecosystem based adaptation. The potential role of ecosystem based adaptation is integrated and protective resource management approach through transformative land use system, building community ownership and resiliency of coastal forests. Decentralized roles of community and local institutions in participatory decision-making of land uses and climatic risk management offers flexibility and renewal opportunities and enhance sustainability of protective coastal ecosystems. Community based resource governance not only ensures ecosystem based adaptation locally, but also contributes to managing dynamic social–ecological system in coastal areas as well as global mitigation.


Climate change adaptation Coastal ecosystems Land use Resilience Transformation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paramesh Nandy
    • 1
  • Ronju Ahammad
    • 2
  • Mesbahul Alam
    • 3
  • Aminul Islam
    • 4
  1. 1.CBACC-Coastal Afforestation Project of UNDP-BangladeshDhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change Through Coastal Afforestation Project, UNDPDhakaBangladesh
  3. 3.Ministry of Disaster Management and ReliefGovernment of BangladeshDhakaBangladesh
  4. 4.United Nations Development ProgrammeDhakaBangladesh

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