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How Vulnerable are Bangladesh’s Indigenous People to Climate Change?


  • Bernhard G. Gunter

    () (Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC))

  • Atiq Rahman

    (Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS))

  • A. F. M. Ataur Rahman

    (Department of Economics, North South University, Dhaka)


This paper compares the vulnerabilities to climate change and climate variability of the indigenous people with the Bengali population of Bangladesh. It distinguishes between (a) individual vulnerabilities that are related to an individual’s capability to adapt to climate change and; (b) spatial vulnerabilities, that is, vulnerabilities that are related to the location of a person (like the exposure to climate change-induced disasters). While an individual’s capability to adapt to climate change is determined by many factors, some relatively simple approximation is to look at poverty, landlessness, and illiteracy. Spatial vulnerabilities are reviewed by looking at drought hazard maps, flood hazard maps, landslide hazard maps, and cyclone hazard maps. Hence, the paper compares levels of poverty, landlessness, illiteracy, and the more direct though also more subjective exposures to increased droughts, floods, landslides, and cyclones across the two population groups. The paper concludes with some broad suggestions on adaptation strategies of indigenous people as well as suggestions for policy interventions to reduce climate change-induced vulnerabilities for indigenous people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Suggested Citation

  • Bernhard G. Gunter & Atiq Rahman & A. F. M. Ataur Rahman, 2008. "How Vulnerable are Bangladesh’s Indigenous People to Climate Change?," Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series (BDRWPS) BDRWPS No. 1, Bangladesh Development Research Center (BDRC).
  • Handle: RePEc:bnr:wpaper:1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
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    Cited by:

    1. Prashant Bharadwaj & James Fenske, 2011. "Partition, Migration, and Jute Cultivation in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(8), pages 1084-1107, January.

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    Bangladesh; climate change; vulnerability;

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