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Livelihood vulnerability and displacement in coastal Bangladesh: Understanding the Nexus

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Abstract

Although numerous researches came up with various estimates about climate migrants from coastal Bangladesh, yet the connections between vulnerability and forced displacement are poorly understood. This research is aimed first, to assess the linkages between people’s livelihood vulnerability and their intention for outmigration from the coast; second, to identify the vulnerability reduction measures, implementation of which may significantly arrest the likely trend of forced migration. Empirical part of this research was conducted in three coastal villages in Bangladesh. A total of 285 respondents were randomly interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire. Given the scenario of sea level rise (SLR), respondents were first asked—what they or their descendent would probably do if their most parcels of farmland gradually go under half-knee deep (20–25 cm) sea water by the middle of this century. Then they were asked to identify the nature of livelihood vulnerability for which, they or their descendent may permanently leave their current place of residences. Finally, they were advised to identify various vulnerability reduction measures, implementation of which will reduce their vulnerability as well as will arrest the likely trend of forced migration. Findings suggest that one in every three families will be forced to migrate. Therefore, about five million people may turn out as climate migrants. There emerged a clear linkage between mass displacement and sources of livelihood vulnerability. Finally, Binomial logistic regression model has identified six vulnerability reduction measures from a total of 18 which will significantly arrest the likely trend of forced migration by minimizing people’s exposure and sensitivity and enhancing adaptive capacity. The policy implication is to avoid the occurrence of any large scale forced migration from the vulnerable coast of Bangladesh measures must be initiated in line with the findings without further delay.

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Saroar, M. M., Routray, J. K., & Filho, W. L. (2015). Livelihood vulnerability and displacement in coastal Bangladesh: Understanding the Nexus. In Climate Change Management (pp. 9–31). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-14938-7_2

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