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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 – prepared by DS legal consultant Ezekiel Simperingham – is designed to develop awareness and deepen knowledge of this crucial issue as well as to propose concrete, practical recommendations that can be utilised by the Government of Bangladesh, civil society actors, climate affected communities themselves, academics, development practitioners, the regional and international communities and other relevant stakeholders.

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.

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