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Climate change adaptation responses among riparian settlements: A case study from Bangladesh

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Walter Leal Filho
  • G. M. Monirul Alam
  • Gustavo J. Nagy
  • Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman
  • Sajal Roy
  • Franziska Wolf
  • Marina Kovaleva
  • Mustafa Saroar
  • Chunlan Li
  • Sergio Villamayor-Tomas (Editor)
Article numbere0278605
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>7/12/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>PLoS One
Issue number12
Number of pages19
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


As transition areas between aquatic ecosystems and the adjacent terrestrial ones, riparian regions are highly exposed to coastal climate hazards. This article describes how climate change and extreme weather impact vulnerable riparian communities and settlements. The analysis is done by reviewing past research and empirical case studies from riparian rural communities of the impact zone of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, the world’s most extensive mangrove forest. The article discusses the climate-related impacts on households through a Severity Index of Vulnerability and assesses the adaptation responses they may pursue. The principal climate-related vulnerabilities and impacts due to increases in temperature, storm surges, sea flooding, and sea-level rise are seawater intrusion and riverbank erosion. Many households have adopted several autonomous reactive adaptation strategies rather than planned ones, to cope with these impacts. However, government organisations and NGOs provide less than optimal technical and financial support to households for planned and anticipatory adaptive responses. The main barriers to adaptation were the high cost of improved crop varieties, inadequate agricultural extension services, and a lack of knowledge on effective climate adaptation. The restoration of the mangrove ecosystem may increase its resilience and, among other things, make local communities less exposed. The article also presents some adaptation measures proper to reduce the climate-related vulnerability of riparian settlements.