Bangladesh is regarded as one of the most climate-vulnerable regions in South Asia due to its unique geographical location and socio-economic conditions. Natural disasters, changing temperatures, precipitation, and sea level rise have affected agricultural production, infrastructure, and livelihoods in the country. To face these challenges, nature-based solutions (NbS) can address climate change adaptation, protection and management of natural ecosystems, and biodiversity conservation. For example, in Bangladesh, coastal mangroves can protect communities from storm surge and sea level rise, forests in hilly regions can prevent landslides, and green spaces in urban areas can reduce heat stress and promote the well-being of inhabitants. However, effective design, implementation, and upscaling of NbS requires support from national policies and plans.
This study reviews relevant Bangladeshi national policies from the past three decades to investigate NbS as a potential framework to address climate change and societal challenges in the country. We systematically analyzed twenty policy documents across three sectors: national development; disaster management and climate change; and environment and forest. Our study found growing emphasis on preservation, protection, and management of natural ecosystems in the national policies. However, our analysis showed that among the twenty policies, nineteen of them have no direct mention of NbS terminology. Instead, the policies include various strategies and terminologies that fall under the NbS umbrella, such as ecosystem-based adaptation, ecosystem services, and green and eco-building. However, these policies are still widely missing specific implementation guidelines, robust financial support, and institutional mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating NbS initiatives in Bangladesh. We recommend several policy actions to facilitate effective and inclusive NbS interventions in Bangladesh: enhance inter-ministry cooperation; develop national funding support; develop a national promotional campaign; pursue evidence-based research and capacity-building activities; and involve youth, marginalized people, and women. These actions can optimize the benefits of NbS to enhance the country’s resilience against climate change and foster sustainable development.
Samina Islam, Farah Anzum, Adiba Bintey Kamal, Mahmuda Akter, Ali Mohammad Rezaie, Mizan R. KhanPublication Link