Mitigating Climate Change in Bangladesh
According to the 2015 Climate Change Vulnerability Index, Bangladesh’s economy suffers the most from climate change compared to any other country in the world. Such impact greatly depresses Bangladesh’s annual GDP, as the nation diverts most of its financial resources toward the management of climate change impacts.

Risky Location

Geographically, Bangladesh is a low-lying country that is predominantly comprised of flatlands. The economy is very dependent on the success of agricultural advances and yields, yet this facet is challenged by climate change. In 2012, the National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO) lists the different natural disasters and impacts from global warming and climate change in Bangladesh, which includes: floods, tropical cyclones, salinity intrusion and fluctuations between extreme temperatures and drought.

All of these have resulted in decreased crop production and arable land for agricultural practice.

The nation’s government is working hard to address climate change in Bangladesh and further efforts of mitigation. Bangladesh has invested more than $10 billion dollars into its mission, and these funds go toward coastal resilience projects, increasing the number of government agencies that respond to emergencies and building coastal shelters.

Rising Sea Levels

Rising sea levels is one of the biggest concerns faced by the community. An article in the Scientific American discusses that the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas due to rising temperature has been a significant contributor to the rising water levels the country faces. For example, Sandwip Island has “lost 90 percent of its original 23-square-miles,” author Robert Glennon reports.

The projects that the government has developed are beneficial as current fixes to the issue of climate change. Any family that is affected by rising water levels or a cyclone are able to take refuge in one of the shelters the government has built.  The coastal embankment projects have worked create more durable islands. They accomplish this by laying sandbags on the coastline as well as building trees to help barricade the islands and absorb some of the water increases.

Long-Term Mitigation Efforts

For more long-term mitigation techniques, the Bangladesh government is addressing the need for more energy-efficient initiatives in rural areas that are most affected. For example, the World Bank supports initiatives such as building 320 solar irrigation pumps for farmers, offering training on electrical-alternative livelihoods for the poorer households in the community and the installation of energy-grids to help power rural businesses.

While the impacts of climate change in Bangladesh are felt the most out of almost any other country in the world, Bangladesh emits one of the lowest percentages of gas into the atmosphere. This means that as a nation, it is contributing very little to the climate change that so affects it as opposed to developed countries that emit levels in the double digits. Luckily, the community in Bangladesh is well-equipped with a resourceful and intelligent government that delivers climate resilience while also accomplishing societal development.

– Caysi Simpson
Photo: Flickr

Hunger has been a problem for Tuvalu in recent year due to the environment and the economy. This article will examine the country of Tuvalu, the problem of hunger, and some possible solutions to this issue.



Tuvalu is a small country in the southwest Pacific Ocean made of up nine islands. By land area, this country is the fourth smallest country in the world and it is inhabited by 11,636 people. Most of the islands are less than fifteen feet above sea level. Subsistence fishing and subsistence farming primarily drive the economy. The climate is typically hot and rainy.



Tuvalu experienced extreme droughts from 2010 to 2011 due in part to La Niña and exacerbated by climate change

During this time, most residents could not get clean water and many were concerned about food security. A lack of rain spelled trouble for farmers and contributed to hunger in Tuvalu.



Climate change has had an immense impact on hunger in Tuvalu. Subsistence fishing is the most common trade on the islands and most people of Tuvalu have a heavy diet of fish, but it has become harder for Tuvaluans to catch and eat fish.

Even the fish that many fishermen catch have been noticeably smaller. Fishermen have to fish farther from shore and for longer periods to catch enough fish to feed their families.

This is because the habitats of the reef fish are being threatened. The warmer sea waters cause the coral reefs to bleach and die. This, in turn, means that reef fish will die because they no longer have a thriving habitat.

Additionally, rising sea levels have made the soil more salty, which has made it harder for farmers to grow food. Consequently, more subsistence farmers are having trouble feeding their families.



In recent years, Tuvalu has experienced high levels of unemployment and few opportunities for employment.

As the climate of the globe has changed, the farmers and fishermen of Tuvalu have faced economic problems because they are used to being self-sufficient. Now Tuvalu must import much of its food, but many families cannot afford to.



The solutions to the problem of hunger have to consider both economic and environmental factors that contribute to this problem.

In 1998, the Government of Tuvalu allocated funds called the Special Development Expenditures to help diversify the economy. This has been successful. More people in Tuvalu are owning private businesses, and more people are becoming commercial fishermen.

However, the problem of climate change puts more responsibility from other countries around the globe because other countries contribute to climate change that greatly affects Tuvalu, especially because of its low-lying islands. Other countries must take responsibility to combat climate change to alleviate the problem of hunger in Tuvalu.

– Ella Cady

Sources: Tuvalu Millenium Development Goals, The Guardian The Hunger Site Tuvalu Islands
Photo: Flickr

Climate Change is often discussed in relation to protecting the planet and the species, not necessarily that it is a growing non-traditional security threat. The discussions are moving in this direction though. Unfortunately, those who are most affected by the changes in the climate are the poor.

Many of the areas that see the most drastic responses to climate change are the developing nations, where the largest percentage of the world’s poor live. Increase in the violence of storms, flooding and droughts all destroy the lives of those working to survive.

Flooding of coastal areas due to climate change often causes some of the worst damage. In Ghana, sea levels are expected to flood 2/3 of the coastal lands. That leaves 25 percent of the population having to migrate in land or to other countries. Africa is not alone in this issue. Islands in the South Pacific and the coasts in Southeast Asia are being wiped out. Kiribati, a chain of 30-something islands, is at risk of being completely inundated by the Pacific by the end of the century.

These people who migrate become refugees of climate change. They go through the same issues as refugees of war. They live in squalor conditions, they have limited access to health care, they cannot find work, and they do not have adequate food and clean water.

Crop destruction occurs when the lands flood. In Asia, flooding damages 20 million hectares of rice every year. In an area that already has high malnutrition rates, this destruction contributes heavily to food insecurity. In Kiribati the flooding causes another issue: salinization of the fresh water sources. The island nation already has limited fresh water supplies. This problem alone could drive the inhabitants to migrate elsewhere.

Wealthy people in these threatened areas can move away from the afflicted areas, or afford to buy food and clean water, but those who are not, are stuck dealing with the side effects of climate change. When the wealthy people leave, there is less local money to use to fix solutions, and the remaining people must rely on governmental or international aid. This creates a large divide between the rich and poor within countries, as well as a divide between rich and poor countries, as the wealthy have access to water, food, and resources and the poor do not.

The United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environmental Facility have teamed together to begin to address the issue of climate change and health problems. They have invested 1.9 million dollars into Ghana alone to help reduce poverty caused by climate affects. In addition, they are working with 18 developing island nations. The projects they support are to help build climate sustainable infrastructure, to create green methods of production and agriculture, to introduce crops tolerant to floods and droughts, and to teach about water conservation among other steps. The UNDP has helped over 2 million people adapt to climate change, with the hopes that these people can continue to move forward out of poverty despite the climate change threat.

– Katherine Hewitt

Sources: UNDP 1, BBC 1, Bloomberg, BBC 2, UNDP 2
Photo: Scientific American

BiodiversityGlobal warming, pollution and the extinction of thousands of animals have severely imperiled biodiversity. The harm this causes affects the environment as well as people living in rural areas. In poorer countries, livestock and crops not only feed people, but they also provide income for the farmers that distribute these goods. When farmers face the impacts of climate change, they experience the loss of biodiversity and higher levels of food and water insecurity. As the world’s poorest countries struggle with these challenges, the World Bank and the United Nations are working to improve conditions.

The World Bank has invested millions to end deforestation as this has a strong influence on the emission of greenhouse gases. The World Bank’s Amazon Region Protected Areas program, or ARPA, keeps forests in Brazil safe from being destroyed. “The program has helped protect around 70 million hectares of rainforest…with a 37% decrease in deforestation between 2004 and 2009,” according to the World Bank.

The World Bank also works closely to protect wildlife and oceans. The loss of biodiversity has influenced the organization’s investment of millions into many countries. In Honduras, the World Bank has protected a species of hummingbirds by stopping the construction of certain roadways. In Namibia, the organization has invested $4.9 million “to help establish a strong platform for governance of the coastal land and seascape and for development of a National Policy on Coastal Management.”

The U.N.’s sustainable development goals find that biodiversity is crucial. “Protecting ecosystems and ensuring access to ecosystem services by poor and vulnerable groups are essential to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. The U.N. brings awareness to these issues by celebrating the International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22.

Another way the U.N. is taking action is by tackling proper energy use. Utilizing wind energy and solar power eliminates greenhouse gases and pollution. “Powering the Future We Want offers a grant in the amount of one million U.S. dollars to fund future capacity development activities in energy for sustainable development,” according to the U.N. Together, these programs will bring the world closer to creating a sustainable world.

– Kimberly Quitzon

Sources: The World Bank, Shanghai Daily UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Photo: Marty’s Market