Human-induced global warming has been altering the climatic systems of the Earth in unprecedented ways. The fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report projected that both surface temperatures and sea levels would almost certainly continue to rise, and the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events are likely to increase throughout the upcoming decades. At the same time, the population of the world is increasing. Projections show that the population will be around 9.8 billion by 2050. Meeting the food demand of this growing population while adapting to the effects of climate change is one of the major challenges of agriculture.

Bangladesh is at the forefront of this challenge because of its heavy economic dependence on agriculture, its rapidly growing population and its exposure to multiple natural hazards.

Adjunct Associate Professor Moazzem Hossain from the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation, along with colleagues, Shilpi Kundu, Mohammad Ehsanul Kabir, Edward Morgan and Peter Davey, recently published results of a systematic literature review of climate change adaptation and resilience in coastal agriculture in Bangladesh. The paper explores the existing adaptation measures against climatic stresses. It investigates the extent of resilience-building by the use of these adaptation measures and identifies major challenges that hinder the adaptation process within the country.

Adaptation measures identified in the review were grouped into different themes: Agricultural adaptation, alternative livelihoods, infrastructure development, technological advancement, ecosystem management and policy development. The review revealed that within the adaptation and resilience literature for coastal Bangladesh, maladaptation, gender imbalance and the notable absence of studies of island communities were gaps that require future research.

Developing and implementing suitable adaptive strategies in agricultural practices to respond to climate change is essential worldwide. At the same time, in places like Bangladesh, understanding how adaptation links to development is also a key challenge—making scientific research that helps the nation build capacity to generate appropriate conceptualisation of information on climatic risks and adaptation opportunities at different scales is very important.

Please click here to read the full “Building coastal agricultural resilience in Bangladesh: A systematic review of progress, gaps and implications” paper published in Climate, written by Shilpi Kundu, Mohammad Ehsanul Kabir, Edward Morgan, Peter Davey and Moazzem Hossain.