Adaptation or Maladaptation? : A holistic approach to mangrove forestry to protect against climate change in Char Kukri Mukri, Bangladesh.

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Tema Miljöförändring

Abstract: Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, with coastal areas being especially vulnerable. Along the Bangladeshi coast lies mangrove forests that protect against storm surges, tropical cyclones, SLR, coastal erosion, and salt-water intrusion. On Char Kukri Mukri, a remote island in the Bay of Bengal, Keora-species (Sonneratia apetala) mangroves are planted. The forest is virtually a monoculture in degradation and thus needs restoration through enrichment. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the opportunities and limitations of mangrove enrichment as climate adaptation on Char Kukri Mukri. We conducted semi-structured interviews with local communities and other key stakeholders and analysed soil and water samples along the island's south coast to assess this. Our results indicate that the soil is highly saline, which, combined with projected climate impact, limits the abilities of more sensitive mangroves to survive there. Climate impacts severely affect the lives and livelihoods of the people living on Char Kukri Mukri. Successful adaptation requires further involvement of local communities, site-specific solutions, and a holistic approach to adaptation. However, a hindrance to adaptation measures is the lack of resources to fund large-scale projects, which leads to beneficiaries being required to provide money and land themselves to be considered for projects. This risks systematically excluding the landless poor, and there is therefore a need to reform adaptation financing systems so that measures benefit the most vulnerable.

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