Palmén Colloquium - Adaptation and migration in times of environmental change: Evidence from Bangladesh

Friday, 20th JAN

Adaptation and migration in times of environmental change: Evidence from Bangladesh

The low-lying coastal areas of Bangladesh suffer from different types of slow-onset environmental change, of which drinking water contamination, biodiversity loss and land degradation due to soil salinization are the most acute. Further, Bangladesh is among the ten most climate-affected countries in the world, and climate change propels other environmental changes through sea-level rise and changing weather patterns, the first effects being already felt in the country. Based on a household survey among 400 households living in two exposed coastal areas of Bangladesh, this presentation explores the surveyed households’ perceptions of environmental changes, in what ways they have adapted to changing conditions, and how they plan to do so in the future. Using multivariate analysis, it will show which household factors impact the adaptation decisions and how recent shocks impact these decisions. Among other things, our data shows that over 2/3 of households have taken measures in the past to mitigate the effects of environmental change and that 80% plan to take future measures. Interestingly, and despite very pessimistic expectations about how environmental change will impact their income and welfare, only very few expect to migrate permanently in the future. 

Helena Tukiainen, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Oulu, helena.tukiainen(AT)oulu.fi

This work is conducted by Helena Tukiainen, Päivi Lujala and Carolyn Cole, and it is part of a project “Effects of environmental change on adaptation and mobility dynamics” at the Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu.

 

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