4.5.4: Community Adaptation and Global Inaction

Video: Atiq Rahman: poor people cannot wait for global leadership on climate change—they are acting now
Dr. Atiq Rahman, executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies and lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, details the overlapping challenges facing Bangladesh due to climate change, as well as the efforts at mitigation, even among the poorest, in this 2011 interview. There are many ways communities can become more resilient in the face of major shifts in their environment, even while responsibility for the brunt of climate change may lie elsewhere.


Video: Community Based Adaptation CBA
As one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, Bangladesh has been at the vanguard of adaptation. Many in the country have recognized that preparing for natural disasters, building climate migrant resilience in cities, and developing creative responses to flooding, drought, and rising salinity are necessary to human development. This recap of the 2011 Community Based Adaptation Conference details how the event gathered people from around the world to share information on community strategies to respond to climate change.

If you’re interested in learning more, Bangladesh’s International Institute for Environment and Development has many blog articles, such as this one on climate adaptation in slums.

Guiding Questions:

  1. What are the interconnected effects of climate change in Bangladesh?
  2. Dr. Atiq Rahman notes in other interviews that poor people are already paying the costs of climate change, but the wealthy are not so much. What evidence do you see of the poor “paying the cost” in these two videos?
  3. What adaptation strategies are detailed in the videos? Why does the rapid increase in the severity and frequency of extreme climate events make adaptation more difficult?
  4. Why is coordination and knowledge sharing, between traditional knowledge systems and the scientific community, between countries, and from communities up to the international system, important? How do you see this knowledge sharing take place in the conference video?
  5. Has the “movement” to make local communities more resilient to climate change arrived to your local community? How? Have you heard of any new initiatives you wish to see your community include?
  6. Do religious leaders have a role to play? What do you think?

First Video Credit: “Atiq Rahman: poor people cannot wait for global leadership on climate change—they are acting now.” Interview by OneWorldTV, at the Climate Vulnerable Forum, Bangladesh, Nov 13th, 2011.

Second Video Credit: “Community Based Adaptation CBA,” on the 2011 CBA conference in Bangladesh. Video produced by BCAS. http://www.bcas.net/contact.php

Thumbnail: “Stilt houses, coping with climate change” in Bangladesh. Photo Credit: Development Planning Unit at University College London, 2009. CC BY 2.0