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Livelihood vulnerability of char land communities to climate change and natural hazards in Bangladesh: an application of livelihood vulnerability index

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. In general, Char land (Riverine Island) communities are frequently affected by floods, riverbank erosion, and other climatic hazards, including drought, cyclones, tornadoes, salinity intrusion, water logging, cold waves, etc., which cause many to lose their sources of livelihoods and properties and make them more vulnerable. Using survey data of 262 rural households, this study investigates the extent of livelihood vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards in the Char land communities by applying the climate change vulnerability index (CVI) (i.e., UN-IPCC vulnerability framework) and the livelihood vulnerability index (LVI) to develop context-specific interventions for building climate and livelihood resilience. The two approaches to vulnerability assessment were modified to incorporate local contexts and indigenous knowledge into 41 sub-components. The result shows that LVI and CVI values are different between Char land communities. The LVI index shows that households in Char Jotindro-Narayan (0.148) are more vulnerable than those in Char Kulaghat (0.139). The CVI values for Char Jotindro-Narayan (0.633) are slightly lower than for Char Kulaghat (0.639). The major vulnerability factors were access to food and water, social networks, natural disasters, and climatic variability. The study also indicates that flood, riverbank erosion, unemployment, and access to communication, market, and basic service opportunities are the major biophysical and socioeconomic factors determining livelihood vulnerability. Context-specific sustainable policies and development initiatives are required to improve the adaptive capacity of Char land communities across Bangladesh, thereby building their climate and livelihood resilience.

Mamun, Abdullah Al; Islam, Abu Reza Md. Towfiqul; Alam, G. M. Monirul; Sarker, Md. Nazirul Islam; Erdiaw- Kwasie, Michael Odei; Bhandari, Humnath; Mallick, Javed

Language: English
Published By: Springer Link
Published date: September 2022

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