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A people‐centred perspective on climate change, environmental stress, and livelihood resilience in Bangladesh

Ayeb-Karlsson, S; van der Geest, K; Ahmed, I; Huq, S; Warner, K; (2016) A people‐centred perspective on climate change, environmental stress, and livelihood resilience in Bangladesh. Sustainability Science volume , 11 pp. 679-694. 10.1007/s11625-016-0379-z. Green open access

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Abstract

The Ganges–Brahmaputra delta enables Bangladesh to sustain a dense population, but it also exposes people to natural hazards. This article presents findings from the Gibika project, which researches livelihood resilience in seven study sites across Bangladesh. This study aims to understand how people in the study sites build resilience against environmental stresses, such as cyclones, floods, riverbank erosion, and drought, and in what ways their strategies sometimes fail. The article applies a new methodology for studying people’s decision making in risk-prone environments: the personal Livelihood History interviews (N = 28). The findings show how environmental stress, shocks, and disturbances affect people’s livelihood resilience and why adaptation measures can be unsuccessful. Floods, riverbank erosion, and droughts cause damage to agricultural lands, crops, houses, and properties. People manage to adapt by modifying their agricultural practices, switching to alternative livelihoods, or using migration as an adaptive strategy. In the coastal study sites, cyclones are a severe hazard. The study reveals that when a cyclone approaches, people sometimes choose not to evacuate: they put their lives at risk to protect their livelihoods and properties. Future policy and adaptation planning must use lessons learned from people currently facing environmental stress and shocks.

Type: Article
Title: A people‐centred perspective on climate change, environmental stress, and livelihood resilience in Bangladesh
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s11625-016-0379-z
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-016-0379-z
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Livelihood resilience, Climate change, Adaptation, Natural disasters, People-centred research
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10141521
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