Vulnerabilities and displacements: adaptation and mitigation to climate change as a new development mantra

Type

Journal Article

Author(s)

Bose, P.S.

Title

Vulnerabilities and displacements: adaptation and mitigation to climate change as a new development mantra

Year

2015

Journal

Area

Vol(no), pp

48(2), 168-175

Abstract

The past decade has witnessed significant growth across the globe of domestic and international initiatives designed to ameliorate both existing and potential impacts of climate change. The threat of altered environments and possibility of mass migrations of people have spurred intensive planning as well as the commitment of considerable resources to addressing such threats. Indeed, the primacy of climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts and planning has become so pronounced that one might argue that this is a new and pre-eminent form of development in the international arena. As with previous developmental preoccupations such as progress, modernity, gender, microcredit, participation and good governance, climate change adaptation and mitigation is today a central part of the development mantra. In this paper I examine the ‘climate change turn’ in development work by focusing on the case of Bangladesh, a country often discussed in both scholarly literature and popular discourse as one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the possible effects of climate change. Images of rising waters, flooded fields and displaced farmers in the region have become an iconic symbol deployed during debates on climate change both locally and globally. As a result Bangladesh has emerged as a laboratory of sorts in which a series of national-level strategic plans, projects, programmes, trust funds and financing schemes are being designed and tested in partnership with international donors and development agencies, all built around the idea of climate change and resilience. Looking specifically at some of the most marginalised communities in Bangladesh – such as char dwellers and slum populations – I question in this paper what impact these efforts to combat climate change may have, in particular the possibility of being displaced not by climate change but rather by development processes meant to ameliorate its effects.

Citation

Bose, P. S. (2015). Vulnerabilities and displacements: adaptation and mitigation to climate change as a new development mantra. Area, 48(2), 168-175. doi:10.1111/area.12178.

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