Published | 2nd October 2018

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Community-Based Adaptation: An Analysis of Best Practices in the South-Western Region of Bangladesh

Climate change is considered globally as one of the most difficult challenges faced by humankind. Bangladesh is regarded as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, the impact of which will affect the poorest the most, threatening their food and water security. Moreover, it is likely that the current economic growth rate of the country will be slowed down due to adverse consequences of climate change.

The southwestern region (SWR) of the country has been suffering in recent decades due to its complex hydro-geophysical realities, compounded by geopolitical realities and socioeconomic context of the people. It is assumed that the impacts of climate change to the SWR are likely to be very high. The region has already exhibited forced out-migration of victims of extreme hydro-geophysical conditions. As a response to failing livelihoods in the SWR, non-government organizations (NGOs) have been experimenting with small-scale adaptation measures to strengthen adaptive capacities and resilience of the people. Such measures are generally known as Community Based Adaptations (CBA). Incidentally, CARE Bangladesh has been the pioneering organization to promote various approaches to CBAs since 2002. ‘Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change (RVCC)’ was the first ever adaptation project, which was implemented by CARE Bangladesh during 2002-2005. Since the initiation of RVCC, many NGOs havebeen trying to build adaptive capacities by
promoting CBAs in the SWR. Meanwhile, the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) has shown its commitment to address climate change– largely through institutional adaptation as well as low carbon development. The GOB acknowledges the effectiveness of CBAs to build community resilience.

CARE Bangladesh intends to learn from past CBA experiences and to integrate such good CBA practices in future programming. It is therefore necessary to identify, prioritize and evaluate the effective and scalable adaptation practices in the areas of food security and sovereignty, agriculture, water access and sustainable livelihoods in the SWR. CARE Bangladesh has conducted a study to evaluate a few selected best CBA practices which are tested in the SWR and prioritized by both the promoters and end users. This paper is the outcome of the research conducted. We think, the actors promoting CBA practices on the ground would find the analyses and recommendations useful towards designing CBA projects.

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