Climate Change and Livelihood Vulnerabilities: The Forest Resource-Dependent Communities of the Sundarbans of Bangladesh

Author:- Mahfuza Zaman Ela, Taposhi Rabya, Lubaba Khan, Md. Habibur Rahman, Taufiq-E-Ahmed Shovo, Nusrat Jahan, Md. Tanvir Hossain, Md. Nazrul Islam
Category:- Journal; Year:- 2021
Discipline:- Sociology Discipline
School:- Social Science School


The Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest of the world, delivers countless ecosystem services for the local livelihoods and the national economy, and contribute positively to the global environment. The forest resource-dependent communities (FRDCs) of the Sundarbans, including fishermen, crabbers, honey hunters, nipa leaf collectors and many others, are depending directly on the ecosystem and resources of the Sundarbans. The livelihood of FRDCs of the Sundarbans, however, is threatened incessantly by various climatic and non-climatic environmental changes. This study aims to identify the indicators of climate change-induced livelihood vulnerabilities of FRDCs of the Sundarbans. Climate change poses a major threat to the livelihoods of FRDCs by damaging forest health, which in turn reduces the productivity of forest resources. Thus, the FRDCs experience a dramatic change in income and employment opportunities. The FRDCs are compelled to change occupations to adjust to emerging situations. For example, nipa leaf collectors or honey hunters may involve in fishing, which would lead to overexploitation of fishing resources, and inadvertently affecting the ecosystem and the livelihood of the FRDCs. Incapable of dealing with precarious conditions, some may leave their primary occupation and migrate to nearby urban centers, thus intensifying the urban problems. Therefore, essential management plans and policies should be taken by the concerned authority involving both development partners and grass-root stakeholders. The directives should attempt to minimize the effect of climate change on the livelihoods of the FRDCs and to improve the benefits of the ecosystem services for the sustainable environmental and socioeconomic development.

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