Often referred to as climate change ground zero, the southern coast of Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to sea level rise, tidal surges and floods. These periodic shocks can undermine the ability of local communities to use ecosystem services and affect their livelihoods. Many people quickly return to their homes after these events but recovery can depend on many factors such as levels of social capital or the ability to cope with change. Even within one location, households which previously had similar levels of poverty can have very different poverty outcomes after a weather-related event.
This project examined three different areas. Firstly, the recovery of well-being five years post disaster and the factors that have influenced this. Next, why affected households decide to stay in that location and whether ecosystem services contributed to that sense of place. Finally, which ecosystem services are of most value to the local population, in terms of increasing their well-being post disaster, and if policies have created trade-offs between ecological restoration and economic recovery.
The project found that disaster management needs to be mainstreamed and integrated in to regular development activities, and that migration can be a positive livelihood strategy to cope with disaster-stressed situations.
Mohammad is a Project Manager for the research project GIBIKA, focussing on livelihood resilience, at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Bangladesh. He has a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Durham. His project, hosted by the University of Exeter, contributed to the ESPA Deltas project by examining the relationship between ecosystem services and well-being in response to extreme weather-related events.