INITIATIVES

CLIMATE CHANGE & DISPLACEMENT INITIATIVE
BANGLADESH

CURRENT INITIATIVE

Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate displacement.

Every year, sudden and slow onset natural hazards lead to forced displacement across Bangladesh. Sea level rise, storm surges, tropical cyclones, drought, landslides, riverbank erosion, flooding, salinity and water logging all displace large numbers of people from their homes and lands. Between 2008 and 2014 it is estimated that 4.7 million people were displaced due to disasters in Bangladesh. Within Bangladesh it is the poorest and most marginalised who are the highest risk risk of climate displacement and, once displacement occurs, their vulnerability often increases.

As climate change leads to more frequent and intense natural hazards, it is expected that climate displacement will only increase in Bangladesh. The best estimates suggest that up to 18 million people may be displaced by sea level rise alone. The Government of Bangladesh has acknowledged that by 2050, one in every 7 people in Bangladesh will be displaced by climate change. The vast majority of current and future climate displacement is projected to occur within Bangladesh, and not across international borders.

Climate displacement poses clear and immediate development, humanitarian and human rights challenges to the Government of Bangladesh. The Government and all stakeholders must act to protect populations against displacement, to respond to the humanitarian needs of climate displaced persons and to resolve climate displacement in manner that ensures truly durable solutions.

Since 2011, the Bangladesh HLP Initiative – a joint partnership between Displacement Solutions and YPSA – has sought to ensure that climate displacement is effectively addressed in a rights based framework. This work emphasises that climate displaced persons in Bangladesh are especially vulnerable to violation of their housing, land and property (HLP) rights. Equally, the Initiative emphasises that respect for HLP rights is a vital element in protecting against, responding to and resolving climate displacement.

Examples of the work of the Bangladesh HLP Initiative include:

  • Engaging in comprehensive field-work across Bangladesh, meeting with communities displaced by climate hazards, communities at risk of climate displacement, local and national government representatives and officials, UN staff, civil society, academics and the media;

  • Publishing a series of innovative and influential reports addressing the need to implement rights based solutions to prevent, respond to and resolve climate displacement;

  • Conducting training and capacity building for civil society representatives on the human rights and HLP rights of climate displacement persons in Bangladesh;

  • Supporting the creation of the “Lawyers Initiative for Displacement Solutions”, an association of lawyers and trainee judges committed to protecting the rights of climate displaced persons in Bangladesh; and 

  • Undertaking advocacy with key Government officials, representatives and leaders of political parties, encouraging the adoption of effective legal and policy reform on the rights of climate displaced persons.

 

Further details on the work of the Bangladesh HLP Initiative, including updates and recent developments, publications, deatils of DS missions to Bangladesh and general resources can be accessed below.

For further information about the work of the Bangladesh HLP Initiative, please contact: info@displacementsolutions.org

 

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UPDATES & DEVELOPMENTS

Displacement Solutions and our partners Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) have been working since 2011 to find innovative rights-based solutions to climate displacement in Bangladesh.

Some of the recent highlights of the Bangladesh HLP Initiative include: 

 

SOLVING CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN BANGLADESH – ONE HOUSE, ONE FAMILY AT A TIME 

Displacement Solutions’ One House, One Family at a Time Project in Bangladesh has gotten off to a great start in 2016 with a generous donation by the Dutch NGO Stichting FortUna which has been matched by DS. Together these funds will provide rights-based land and housing solutions for two climate-displaced families (12 persons) in South-Eastern Bangladesh.

The One House at a Time Project is administered by DS and implemented by our partners YPSA. After careful research, and building on YPSA’s decades of experience working with the most vulnerable communities in Bangladesh, the project aims to assist particularly disadvantaged climate displaced families near Chittagong to find new land and housing solutions which will allow them to start life anew.

USD 8,400- is all it takes to provide access to land, a new home with solar energy, and permanent access to clean water.

Partial funds for a third house are already in place, with funds currently reaching USD 1700- thanks to the initiative of Dutch Photographer Nelke van Dijk who is working to fund a third house through the sales of her latest book Water Imagined. Nelke’s extraordinary work can be viewed here. We can guarantee you that you will never be able to look at water in the same way again once you’ve seen Nelke’s amazing photos!

Join us on this exciting new project and work with us to repair climate displacement one house and one family at a time in the country most at threat from climate change, Bangladesh. Every contribution helps!

A short flyer on the project can be accessed here.

If you would like to join our efforts to help solve climate displacement in Bangladesh or would like any additional information about the One Family, One House at a Time project, please contact Scott Leckie, the Director of Displacement Solutions: scott@displacementsolutions.org and he will answer any questions you may have about the project.

SUPPORT TO BANGLADESHI LAWYERS TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF CLIMATE DISPLACED PERSONS

On 30 December 2015, The Chittagong Bar Association formally launched the “Lawyers Initiative for Displacement Solutions” (LIDS) with the support of DS and the Bangladesh HLP Initiative. 

 

LIDS is committed to enhancing the knowledge of climate displacement among the legal profession in Bangladesh. LIDS also intends to advocate for more effective laws and policy to protect the rights of climate displaced persons in Bangladesh. LIDS has already began advocating for better access to legal aid for climate displaced persons. Finally, LIDS is investigating the possibility of strategic (public interest) litigation on behalf of climate displaced persons under the Constitution of Bangladesh. 

 

DS strongly believes that the legal profession has a vital and unique role to play in protecting the rights of climate displaced persons in Bangladesh. Since 2011, DS and the Bangladesh HLP Initiative have provided a series of training and capacity building events and workshops for lawyers and trainee judges in Bangladesh. These events were led by national and international legal experts and led directly to the launching of LIDS in 2015.

To get in touch with the Bangladesh HLP Initiative, please email: info@displacementsolutions.org.

 

PRESS ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT AND THE BANGLADESH HLP INITIATIVE

 

The Bangladesh HLP Initiative has been active in supporting and encouraging print and electronic media in Bangladesh to report on the needs of climate displaced persons across the country. 

A selection of articles and reports on climate displacement in Bangladesh and the work of the Bangladesh HLP Initiative follows:

For a selection of Bengali press on climate displacement and the Bangladesh HLP Initiative, please see here.

To get in touch with the Bangladesh HLP Initiative, please email: info@displacementsolutions.org.

 

BENGALI PRESS ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT AND THE BANGLADESH HLP INITIATIVE

 

The Bangladesh HLP Initiative has been active in supporting and encouraging Bengali print and electronic media in Bangladesh to report on the needs of climate displaced persons across the country. 

A selection of articles and reports on climate displacement and the work of the Bangladesh HLP Initiative follows (all in Bengali):

For a selection of English press on climate displacement and the Bangladesh HLP Initiative, please see here.

To get in touch with the Bangladesh HLP Initiative, please email: info@displacementsolutions.org.

GUIDANCE NOTE ON LAND SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN BANGLADESH (BENGALI)

A Bengali version of the Guidance Note on New Land for Climate Displaced Persons in Bangladesh is now available.

This Guidance Note shows that, with improvements in place, the distribution of state-owned (khas) land could provide an important solution to climate displacement in Bangladesh.

This Guidance Note examines the current process of distributing state-owned land in Bangladesh under the Khas system, as well as under the “Char Development and Settlement Project”. It provides a step-by-step overview of how the distribution processes work in practice and identifies a number of shortcomings in each. Concrete recommendations for how these processes could be improved are also provided.

 

Click here to access the updated Guidance Note.

EU WORKSHOP IN DHAKA – “GROWTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES IN BANGLADESH”

 

On 27 October 2015, on behalf of the Bangladesh HLP Initiative, Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) presented at the Delegation of the European UnionBRAC and the Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), BRAC University high-level workshop on “Growth and Climate Change: Opportunities and Challenges in Bangladesh”.

This half day event was an opportunity for strategic policy dialogue and technical contributions in preparation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties (CoP) that will take place in Paris in December. Presentations of global initiatives and reports on climate change by representatives of development partners were complemented by interventions by high Government officials, the private sector, civil society and researchers from C3ER, BRAC University.

YPSA shared their perspectives and experience working to prevent and resolve climate displacement in Bangladesh, as part of the Bangladesh HLP Initiative with Displacement Solutions.

DHAKA TRIBUNE – THE CRITICAL ROLE OF LAND IN SOLVING CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT

On 17 October 2015 the Dhaka Tribune published an article by Displacement Solutions on “The Critical Role of Land in Solving Climate Displacement”.

The Article highlights that Bangladesh needs to plan for the relocation of communities at extreme risk of displacement from climate hazards.

The Article is available online here.

 

DHAKA TRIBUNE – THE URGENT NEED FOR RIGHTS BASED SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN BANGLADESH

On 10 October 2015 the Dhaka Tribune published an article by Displacement Solutions on “The Urgent Need for Rights Based Solutions to Climate Displacement in Bangladesh”.

The Article highlights that solutions to climate displacement are possible within Bangladesh, but they must be founded on the human rights of affected communities.

The Article is available online here.

 

 

GUIDANCE NOTE ON LAND SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN BANGLADESH (UPDATED VERSION)

An updated version of the Guidance Note on New Land for Climate Displaced Persons in Bangladesh is now available.

This Guidance Note shows that, with improvements in place, the distribution of state-owned (khas) land could provide an important solution to climate displacement in Bangladesh.

This Guidance Note examines the current process of distributing state-owned land in Bangladesh under the Khas system, as well as under the “CharDevelopment and Settlement Project”. It provides a step-by-step overview of how the distribution processes work in practice and identifies a number of shortcomings in each. Concrete recommendations for how these processes could be improved are also provided.

 

Click here to access the updated Guidance Note.

 

BENGALI VERSION OF THE POCKET GUIDE ON THE RIGHTS OF CLIMATE DISPLACED PERSONS

The Bangladesh HLP Initiative has released a Bengali language version of the Pocket Guide on the Rights of Climate Displaced Persons. 

An electronic version of the Bengali version of the Pocket Book can be accessed here.

This Guide is written in non-technical language and is made specifically for climate displaced persons themselves.

As stated in the introduction to the Guide: “The aim of this guide is to provide practical, easy to follow advice on what people displaced from their homes and lands by climate change can do to get help.”

Based on the full body of international human rights law and The Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement Within States, this quick guide provides concrete steps that climate displaced persons can take to get help, and it does so with reference to case studies of actual climate displaced communities.

Please contact Displacement Solutions at info@displacementsolutions.org if you and your community would like assistance in contacting NGOs or other organisations that may be able to provide you with further advice.

Please also contact us if you would like a hard copy of the Guide, which we can send to you free of charge.

 

WORKSHOP FOR BANGLADESHI LAWYERS AND JUDGES ON THE RIGHTS OF CLIMATE DISPLACED PERSONS

On 9 July 2015, The Bangladesh HLP Initiative held an orientation on the rights of climate displaced persons for lawyers and judges from the Chittagong Bar Association.

The workshop launched the new Bengali version of the Pocket Guide on “The Rights of Climate Displaced Persons” and discussed the important role that Judges and Lawyers can play to protect the rights of climate displaced persons in Bangladesh. The workshop also discussed the possibility of legal aid supporting legal actions to protect the rights of climate displaced persons. 

The legal group committed to take further action to raise awareness of the rights of climate displaced persons, to take public interest cases under the Constitution of Bangladesh and to advocate for positive law and policy reform. 

Displacement Solutions would like to thank Young Power in Social Action for organising this important event as well as to the lawyers and judges of the Chittagong Bar Association and Bangladesh Legal Aid Service who participated in this workshop.

 

DS MISSION TO BANGLADESH – APRIL 2015

In April 2015, DS representative Ezekiel Simperingham visited Bangladesh as part on the ongoing Bangladesh HLP Initiative.

 

 

During the mission, DS and local partner Young Power in Social Action (YPSA)participated in the Nansen Initiative South Asia and Indian Ocean Intergovernmental Regional Consultationin Khulna.

DS also travelled to Dacope district to again meet with communities affected by the impacts of climate change in this vulnerable coastal region of Bangladesh.

In Dhaka, DS met with representatives from UNHCR, AFD, the Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, USAID, DFID and the Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh. In these discussions, DS raised awareness of the situation of climate displacement in Bangladesh, the rights of climate displaced persons and the work and plans of Displacement Solutions and the Bangladesh HLP Initiative. 

 

INNOVATIVE NEW WORK ON LAND SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT WITHIN BANGLADESH 

 

The work of the DS-YPSA Bangladesh HLP Initiative centres on our view that rather than focusing on technological or engineering solutions to climate adaptation (which, in many instances, will have only very short-term impacts) or placing faith in the good will of the international community to accept Bangladesh’s “climate refugees”, it makes far more sense and stands a far greater chance of success if this focus is instead placed on the prospects of internal relocation within the borders of Bangladesh as the primary solution to ongoing climate displacement.

If pursued cleverly and supported by sub-district, district, divisional and national governments, concrete, human rights-based and land-based HLP solutions are available in Bangladesh for the vast majority of the current climate displaced population, as well as for most of those to be affected by the anticipated displacement in coming decades.

The Bangladesh HLP Initiative is a complex, multi-year and multi-layered plan designed to empower Bangladesh’s displaced communities to realise their HLP rights through a detailed process involving training and capacity building, monitoring where and how climate displacement occurs in the country on a regular basis, acquiring and allocating land from private individuals and government for the exclusive use of climate displaced families, preparing model relocation housing sites, designing and building prototype climate-resilient housing and various advocacy measures.

One of the key areas of intervention concerns the identification of land that could be distributed to climate displaced communities to enable them to re-establish homes on safer land. DS and YPSA have identified 10 land parcels in Chittagong district that we are now seeking to acquire to provide new land resources for the growing climate displaced population in eastern Bangladesh. Our aim is to have the first parcels ready for relocation by 2016, and it is our fervent hope that this method of securing new land resources for at least some of those who are no longer able to live on land they once called home can form a precedent-setting model that will inspire the government of Bangladesh to pursue similar projects at a much larger-scale level throughout the country.

For more information about this innovative work, please contact info@displacementsolutions.org

 

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION IN DHAKA ON THE RIGHTS OF CLIMATE DISPLACED PERSONS

 

On 1 September 2014, the Bangladesh HLP Initiative held a major round table discussion on the rights of climate displaced persons in Bangladesh. 

The round table launched the DS and YPSA Mapping Study on “Climate Displacement in Bangladesh: Stakeholders, Laws and Policies – Mapping the Existing Institutional Framework”.  

Participants and guests included Dr. Hasan Mahmud, MP Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Forest and former Minister for Environment and Forest; Dr. Niaz Ahmed Khan, Chairman, Department of Development Studies, Dhaka University; Md. Rafiqul Alam, Chief Executive of Dwip Unnayan Sangstha; Md. Shamsuddoha, Chief Executive of Centre for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD); Sujit Chowdhury, Senior Advisor of Climate Change at the German Embassy Bangladesh; AKM Sirajul Islam, Paribesh Bachao Andolon; Mihir Kanti Biswas, Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon; Alisan Subrata Baroi, Director of Sushanar Jonno Pracharabhijan; Mizanur Rahman Bijoy, Network on Climate Change of Bangladesh; Aminul Rasul Babul, Executive Director of Unnayan Dhara Trust; Rafiqul Islam Montu, Special Correspondence, BanglaNews24 and Gaohar Nayeem, Convenor, Disaster Forum of Bangladesh.

Thanks to YPSA and to the many guests and participants at this important event. 

 

THE PENINSULA PRINCIPLES ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT WITHIN STATES (BENGALI)

 

To add to the English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic and Romanian versions of the Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement Within States, the Principles are now available in Bengali. DS thanks Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) for this translation.

The Bengali translation of the Principles can be accessed here.

 

DOMESTIC LAND SOLUTIONS FOR CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN BANGLADESH – THE NEW INTERNATIONALIST

 

In this article, Scott Leckie and Ezekiel Simperingham emphasise the need for domestic land solutions to climate displacement in Bangladesh.

This article is available here.

 

 

BANGLADESH’S CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT NIGHTMARE – THE ECOLOGIST

 

This article, published by the Ecologist and written by Scott Leckie, Ezekiel Simperingham and Jordan Bakker after their DS field trip to Bangladesh in January 2011, discusses the crisis that climate change poses for Bangladesh and stresses the need for action to be taken now to protect the human rights of all current displaced persons in Bangladesh, and to prevent mass human rights violations in the future.

This article is available here. 

BANGLADESH HLP INITIATIVE PUBLICATIONS

POCKET GUIDE ON THE RIGHTS OF CLIMATE DISPLACED PERSONS (BENGALI)

The Bangladesh HLP Initiative has released a Bengali language version of the Pocket Guide on the Rights of Climate Displaced Persons. 

An electronic version of the Bengali version of the Pocket Book can be accessed here.

This Guide is written in non-technical language and is made specifically for climate displaced persons themselves.

As stated in the introduction to the Guide: “The aim of this guide is to provide practical, easy to follow advice on what people displaced from their homes and lands by climate change can do to get help.”

Based on the full body of international human rights law and The Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement Within States, this quick guide provides concrete steps that climate displaced persons can take to get help, and it does so with reference to case studies of actual climate displaced communities.

Please contact Displacement Solutions at info@displacementsolutions.org if you and your community would like assistance in contacting NGOs or other organisations that may be able to provide you with further advice.

Please also contact us if you would like a hard copy of the Guide, which we can send to you free of charge.

POCKET GUIDE ON THE RIGHTS OF CLIMATE DISPLACED PERSONS

Hard copies of the Pocket Guide on The Rights of Climate Displaced Persons are now available!

Please contact Displacement Solutions at info@displacementsolutions.org if you would like a hard copy of the Guide, which we can send to you free of charge. 

 

Another happy reader of the Pocket Guide!

 

The Pocket Guide on the Rights of Climate Displaced Persons

This Guide is written in non-technical language and is made specifically for climate displaced persons themselves.

As stated in the introduction to the Guide: “The aim of this guide is to provide practical, easy to follow advice on what people displaced from their homes and lands by climate change can do to get help.”

Based on on the full body of international human rights law and The Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement Within States, this quick guide provides concrete steps that climate displaced persons can take to get help, and it does so with reference to case studies of actual climate displaced communities.

Please contact us if you and your community would like assistance in contacting NGOs or other organisations that may be able to provide you with further advice.

An electronic copy of the Guide can be accessed here.

 

GUIDANCE NOTE ON LAND SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN BANGLADESH (UPDATED)

An updated version of the Guidance Note on New Land for Climate Displaced Persons in Bangladesh is now available.

This Guidance Note shows that, with improvements in place, the distribution of state-owned (khas) land could provide an important solution to climate displacement in Bangladesh.

This Guidance Note examines the current process of distributing state-owned land in Bangladesh under the Khas system, as well as under the “CharDevelopment and Settlement Project”. It provides a step-by-step overview of how the distribution processes work in practice and identifies a number of shortcomings in each. Concrete recommendations for how these processes could be improved are also provided.

 

Click here to access the updated Guidance Note.

GUIDANCE NOTE ON LAND SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN BANGLADESH (BENGALI)

A Bengali version of the Guidance Note on New Land for Climate Displaced Persons in Bangladesh is now available.

This Guidance Note shows that, with improvements in place, the distribution of state-owned (khas) land could provide an important solution to climate displacement in Bangladesh.

This Guidance Note examines the current process of distributing state-owned land in Bangladesh under the Khas system, as well as under the “Char Development and Settlement Project”. It provides a step-by-step overview of how the distribution processes work in practice and identifies a number of shortcomings in each. Concrete recommendations for how these processes could be improved are also provided. 

 

Click here to access the updated Guidance Note.

 

CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN BANGLADESH: STAKEHOLDERS, LAWS AND POLICIES – MAPPING THE EXISTING INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK 

 

For the first time, this groundbreaking 182-page report comprehensively maps and details every law, policy and institution that relates to the challenge of climate displacement in Bangladesh.

The report concludes that although there are a large number of laws, policies, institutions and stakeholders that directly or indirectly relate to climate displacement, at present they do not combine to form a coherent, comprehensive or effective institutional framework for responding to or planning for climate displacement.

The report makes a number of recommendations for how the Government of Bangladesh can immediately act to create new laws and policies to protect the rights of climate displaced persons and to create an effective institutional framework to ensure clarity and accountability in the implementation of those laws and policies.

The report is intended to be used by Government officials, civil society, regional and international stakeholders, researchers, UN officials, diplomats, donor agencies and others who are working towards resolving climate displacement both in Bangladesh and in other countries similarly affected.

The report is available in full here.

 

CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN BANGLADESH: THE NEED FOR URGENT HOUSING, LAND AND PROPERTY RIGHTS SOLUTIONS

 

This 36-page report comprehensively examines the scope and causes of climate displacement across Bangladesh. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, the report highlights that climate displacement is not just a phenomenon to be addressed at some point in the future, it is a crisis that is unfolding across Bangladesh now. Sea-level rise and tropical cyclones in coastal areas, as well as flooding and riverbank erosion in mainland areas, are already resulting in the loss of homes, land and property and leading to mass displacement. Further, all of the natural hazards that are causing displacement are expected to increase in both frequency and intensity as a result of climate change – almost inevitably leading to the displacement of many millions more across Bangladesh.

This report comprehensively examines current and future causes of climate displacement in Bangladesh. The report also examines existing and proposed Government and civil society policies and programmes intended to provide solutions to climate displacement. The report highlights a number of protection gaps in the response of both the Government of Bangladesh and the international community to the plight of climate displaced persons. The report emphasises that rights-based solutions, in particular, housing, land and property rights solutions must be utilised as the basis for solving this crisis.

The report concludes by proposing a number of concrete recommendations that could be utilized to provide solutions to climate displacement.

The report is available here.

A Bengali language version of the Climate Displacement in Bangladesh is available here.

 

THE PENINSULA PRINCIPLES ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT WITHIN STATES – NOW AVAILABLE IN BENGALI

 

To add to the English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic and Romanian versions of the Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement Within States, the Principles are now available in Bengali. DS thanks Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) for this translation.

The Bengali translation of the Principles can be accessed here.

 

FIVE KEY ACTIONS FOR ENSURING THE RIGHTS OF CLIMATE DISPLACED PERSONS IN BANGLADESH

 

Drawing on extensive field research and analysis of the situation of climate displacement in Bangladesh, Displacement Solutions and YPSA designed and published the “5 Point Advocacy Action Plan on Climate Displacement in Bangladesh”. This document identifies 5 key actions that could be undertaken by the Government of Bangladesh to provide rights-based durable solutions to climate displacement, including:

  1. An effective climate displacement monitoring mechanism should be implemented across Bangladesh

  2. The rights of climate displaced persons should be incorporated into existing climate change law and policy

  3. The distribution of Government Khas land should be effective, transparent and just and take into account the needs of climate displaced persons

  4. Non-agricultural Khas land should be allocated for climate displaced persons

  5. Effective return, relocation and rehabilitation programmes should be implemented for all climate displaced persons.

All of these actions can, and should, be supported by the regional and international communities, as well as local and international civil society and NGOs working in Bangladesh.

The Five Key Actions for Ensuring the Rights of Climate Displaced Persons is available here.

A Bengali language version of the  Five Key Actions document is available here.

 

CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT IN BANGLADESH: PHOTOS BY KADIR VAN LOHUIZEN

 

Climate Displacement in Bangladesh: Photographs by Kadir Van Lohuizen catalogues images captured by world renowned photo journalist Kadir Van Lohuizen during the 2011 DS mission to the southwestern delta region of Bangladesh.

INTERVIEWS & MEDIA REPORTS

Representatives from Displacement Solutions have visited Bangladesh in January, October and November 2011, April 2012, January and August 2013, May 2014 and April 2015.

On these visits, Displacement Solutions have visited many climate affected regions, including: Dhaka, Khulna, Jessore, Rajbari, Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachari, Jamalpur, Kurigram, Shadkhira, Rangpur, Chandpur, Comilla and Sirajganj.

Working closely with Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), DS has visited climate displacement and relocation sites throughout Bangladesh, conducted trainings on the human rights of climate displaced communities, met with local and national government officials and representatives and has held numerous meetings with climate affected individuals and communities.

 

 

In January 2011, DS sent a five-person team to visit climate-affected areas in Bangladesh – read about it here and see the mission report.

In October and November 2011, DS visited Bangladesh focusing on the scope and causes of river erosion across the country.In April 2012, DS visited Bangladesh, focusing on the causes and scope of climate displacement across Chittagong Division.

In January 2013, DS visited Bangladesh to meet with Government officials to urge the Government to be more pro-active in its efforts to protect the HLP rights of climate affected communities throughout the country. To read more about this mission, see here.

 

 

In August 2013, DS visited Bangladesh to meet with Government and Opposition political leaders, to discuss rights-based solutions to climate displacement, as well as to provide international law training to civil society organisations working on climate displacement.

In May 2014, DS met with a number of UN Agencies and Civil Society Organisations, as well as Embassy representatives and Development agencies in Dhaka. 

In April 2015, DS participated in the Nansen Initiative South Asia and Indian Ocean Intergovernmental Regional Consultation in Khulna. DS also travelled to Dacope district to meet with communities affected by the impacts of climate change in this vulnerable coastal region of Bangladesh. In Dhaka, DS also met with representatives from UNHCR, AFD, the Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh, USAID, DFID and the Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh. 

DS MISSIONS TO BANGLADESH

IRIN GLOBAL ARTICLE ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT AND THE WORK OF DS ON THIS ISSUE, JANUARY 2014

As an increasing number of people around the globe experience the reality of climate change and displacement, the need for rights-based solutions to this crisis is becoming ever more pertinent. This article provides an overview of the issues around climate change and displacement, covering the human effects of climate displacement in Palau and the work of the Nansen Initiative, and also features an interview with Scott Leckie about the work of DS on this topic. The significance of the Peninsula Principles are discussed, as is the in-country work of DS in relocating climate displaced persons in Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea. To read the article, click here.

 

FORCED MIGRATION REVIEW ARTICLE ON THE MANAGEMENT OF CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT BY SCOTT LECKIE, DECEMBER 2012

Advocates who work for those at risk of displacement have come to the realisation that they are now also campaigners for resettlement and relocation. With this new role comes many difficult cultural, geographical and social issues and questions for those who are forced from their ‘place’ in the world, the host country and the rest of the world that sits back at watches as the secure fate of a people is bypassed in favour of the almighty tourism buck.

Displacement Solutions Director, Scott Leckie, explores the issues that international campaigners face if the solution to climate displacement is relocation to new lands. To access the article, click here.

DEUTSCHE WELLE ARTICLE ABOUT DS’ WORK ON CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT, AUGUST 2011

Deutsche Welle recently published an article about Displacement Solutions and its work in finding solutions for displaced persons throughout the world. Included in this article is information about the work of DS in Bangladesh and other climate-affected countries. To access the article, click here.

DS DIRECTOR ADDRESSES CLIMATE DISPLACEMENT EVENT IN BERLIN, JUNE 2010

DS Director Scott Leckie was invited by German Green Party MP Ute Koczy and the Heinrich Boell Stiftung to present a talk on climate displacement and land solutions for those displaced. The talk formed part of a panel discussion held on 29 June 2010 in Berlin, and focused on DS efforts in Bangladesh, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Tuvalu to find viable and rights-based solutions to climate displacement for all affected persons and communities.

CLIMATE-RELATED DISASTERS AND DISPLACEMENT: HOMES FOR HOMES, LANDS FOR LANDS, JUNE 2009

This paper was presented by DS Director Scott Leckie to the Expert-Group meeting on Population Dynamics and Climate Change, London, June 2009.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN RIGHTS ARTICLE, SEPTEMBER 2008

An article on the human rights implications of climate change by DS Director Scott Leckie, featured in the September 2008 edition of Forced Migration Review.


 Download Forced Migration Review (4Mb)  Download Scott’s Article (460KB)

FURTHER RESOURCES

In this part of the website you will find links to further information related to climate displacement in Bangladesh:

NATIONAL STRATEGY ON THE MANAGEMENT OF DISASTER AND CLIMATE INDUCED INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT (2015)

In September 2015, the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP II) of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief published the National Strategy on the Management of Disaster and Climate Induced Internal Displacement (the Strategy).

The Bangladesh HLP Initiative is pleased to note that the Strategy widely cites and utilises the research and recommendations of the Bangladesh HLP Initiative. The Strategy also cites and incorporates the Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement within States into the National Strategy.

The full Strategy can be accessed here.  

 

NEW YORK TIMES: BORROWED TIME ON DISAPPEARING LAND (2014)

On 28 March 2014, the New York times ran a front page story on climate displacement in Bangladesh. The Article includes a series of photos by DS friend and frequent associate, photo-journalist Kadir van Lohuizen. DS and YPSA helped to facilitate access to climate displaced communities for the research of the Article and DS is directly quoted in the interactive part of the article.

The Article is available here.

TREND AND IMPACT ANALYSIS OF INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT DUE TO THE IMPACTS OF DISASTER AND CLIMATE CHANGE (2014)

 In June 2014, the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP II) of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief published the Trend and Impact Analysis of Internal Displacement Due to the Impacts of Disaster and Climate Change.

DS is pleased to note that the Trend and Impact Analysis cites and utilises the research and recommendations of the Bangladesh HLP Initiative.

The Analysis notes that “Through rights-based and innovative policy and strategy development, targeted workshops, network building, awareness raising, publications, original research and other activities, the [DS Climate Change and Displacement] Initiative seeks both to inform the world of the massive scale of displacement which will affect forced climate migrants in the years and decades to come, and to advocate for rights-based solutions to this form of displacement, both within the nations affected and through regional and international resettlement initiatives”.

The full text of the Analysis can be accessed here.

 

DISASTER MANAGEMENT ACT (2012)

The Disaster Management Act was approved in September 2012.

The objectives of the Act are substantial reduction of the overall risks of disasters to an acceptable level with appropriate risk reduction interventions; effective implementation of post disaster emergency response; rehabilitation and recovery measures; provision of emergency humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable community people; strengthening of institutional capacity for effective co-ordination of disaster management involving government and non-government organisations, and establishing a disaster management system capable of dealing with all hazards for the country.

The Act is intended to help in promoting a comprehensive disaster management programme upholding the all-hazard, all-risk and all-sector approach where risk reduction as a core element of disaster management has equal emphasis with emergency response management with greater focus on equitable and sustainable development.

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) under the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief was set up in November 2012 following the enactment of the Disaster Management Act.

The Department has the mandate to implement the objectives of Disaster Management Act by reducing the overall vulnerability from different impacts of disaster by undertaking risk reduction activities; conducting humanitarian assistance programs efficiently to enhance the capacity of poor and disadvantaged as well as strengthening and coordinating programmes undertaken by various government and non-government organizations related to disaster risk reduction and emergency response.

The Department of Disaster Management is conducting research on climate change effects and coping mechanisms for climate hazards.

The Government has acknowledged that the Disaster Management has not “created any institutional arrangements/national taskforce/national committees to deal with the issue [of climate displacement]” (Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, 2015)

The Disaster Management Act can be accessed in full here.

 

 

THE DHAKA MINISTERIAL DECLARATION OF THE CLIMATE VULNERABLE FORUM (2011)

The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) is an international partnership of countries highly vulnerable to climate change. The Forum serves as a South-South cooperation platform for participating governments to act together to deal with global climate change.

The Government of Bangladesh hosted a ministerial meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum on November 13 and 14, 2011 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

The outcome of the meeting was the Dhaka Ministerial Declaration of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. 

The Dhaka Declaration emphasised, inter alia, that: “climate change induced displacement of people is a major concern and their relocation puts enormous pressure on infrastructures and service facilities; and furthermore, large-scale displacement has the potential to transform into security concerns”.

The full text of the Dhaka Declaration is available here.

The most recent declaration of the Climate Vulnerable Forum is the Manila-Paris Declaration of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. The Manila-Paris Declaration is available here.

STANDING ORDERS ON DISASTERS (2010)

The Standing Orders on Disasters were first issued in 1997, but not approved until 2010.

The SOD provides a detailed institutional framework for disaster risk reduction and emergency management. It outlines detailed roles and the responsibilities of ministries, divisions, departments, various committees at different levels, and other organisations involved in disaster risk reduction and emergency management.

As per its mandate outlined in the Standing Orders on Disasters, the Ministry of Disaster Management & Relief is responsible for assessing risks and vulnerabilities in order to prepare Risk Reduction Action Plans (RRAP) and their implementation strategies.

The Government of Bangladesh has acknowledged that the SOD has not “created any institutional arrangements/national taskforce/national committees to deal with the issue [of climate displacement]” (Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, 2015).

The Standing Orders on Disasters is available here.

FILMS FROM THE GUARDIAN (2009)

Here are links to three extraordinary films from the Guardian on climate displacement in Bangladesh; displacement that is happening not 30 years in the future, but today. All of these are highly recommended viewing to better understand the scale and tragedy of climate displacement, as well as in developing solutions to this immense challenge.

For the film about Bangladesh climate migration, click here.

For the film about Bangladesh climate migrants in Dhaka, click here.

For the film about Bangladesh climate aid, click here.

BANGLADESH NATIONAL ADAPTATION PROGRAMME OF ACTION (NAPA) (2005 AND 2009)

The key government agency responsible for climate change in Bangladesh is the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

The highest level plans to address the domestic impacts of climate change are The National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) and The Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP), both published by the MoEF.

The Bangladesh National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) was launched in 2005 to respond to immediate adaptation needs. It identified 15 priority adaptation programmes and activities. The Bangladesh 2005 NAPA is available here.

The NAPA was revised in 2009. The revised NAPA contains 45 important adaptation measures under six themes: (1) food security and pro-poor social safety-nets; (2) comprehensive disaster management; (3) climate resilient infrastructure; (4) mainstreaming climate change; (5) capacity and knowledge enhancement; and (6) strategic natural resources management. The NAPA then highlights nine short-term priorities mainly addressing the first four of these thematic areas, along with nine medium-term priorities with a focus on the last two thematic areas. 

The Government of Bangladesh has acknowledged that the NAPA has “not prescribed any adaptation programmes or projects specifically related to the issue of climate displacement”. (Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, 2015)

The 2009 NAPA is available here

CLIMATE CHANGE TRUST FUND ACT (2009)

Following the release of the BCCSAP, the government established the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) to implement the 44 projects of the BCCSAP.

This Climate Change Trust Fund is intended as the government’s quick-start domestic response to climate change adaptation activities, which are planned through the BCCSAP.

 

BANGLADESH CLIMATE CHANGE STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN (2009-2018)

The key government agency responsible for climate change in Bangladesh is the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

The highest level plans to address the domestic impacts of climate change are The National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) and The Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP), both published by the MoEF.

The Government of Bangladesh’s main climate change strategic framework is the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP).

The BCCSAP is a ten-year programme (2009-2018) designed to build capacity and resilience to meet climate change-derived

challenges. It sets out 44 programmes to be taken by Bangladesh over the short, medium and long term within six strategic areas:

– Food security, social protection and health
– Comprehensive disaster management
– Infrastructure
– Research and knowledge management
– Mitigation and low carbon development
– Capacity building and institutional strengthening

A common theme throughout of all of these strategic areas is the focus on the poor and vulnerable and in particular women and children. All programmes are expected to provide synergies with the Government’s Vision 2021.

The Government of Bangladesh has acknowledged that the BCCSAP “only stresses on the monitoring of such flows without spelling out a detailed plan of action for it” (Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, 2015).

The BCCSAP can be accessed in full here.

 

THE CONSTITUTION OF BANGLADESH (1972)

The Constitution of Bangladesh guarantees a number of fundamental human rights relevant to climate displaced persons.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and was adopted on 4 November 1972. 

The full text of the Bangladeshi Constitution is available here.