Environment and Climate Change
Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate risks, both from existing variability and future climate change. From annual flooding of all types to a lack of water resources during the dry season, from frequent coastal cyclones and storm surges to changing groundwater aquifer conditions, the importance of adapting to these risks to maintain economic growth and reduce poverty is clear. It is clear that climate change is a key sustainable development issue for Bangladesh. The year 2007 was indicative of the challenges that Bangladesh faces to achieving food security. Severe flooding from July to September 2007 affected over 13 million people in 46 districts and caused extensive damage to agricultural production and physical assets (e.g. housing, embankments). With hardly any time to recover, on 15 November 2007 Cyclone Sidr made landfall across the southern coast of the country, causing over 3000 deaths. The total economic damages of these two events amounted to over US$1 billion US. Moreover almost 2 million tonnes of rice were lost, putting government cereal stocks in a precarious situation. Finally, that same year the unabated increase in the international prices of oil and food, of which Bangladesh is a net importer, put further strains on both government budgets and household livelihoods.