DECCMA holds its 8th whole consortium meeting in Bangladesh

by Katharine Vincent

What have we learned about migration and adaptation in deltas? Last week nearly 50 members of the DECCMA team from Bangladesh, Ghana, India and the northern team convened in Dhaka for the 8th whole consortium meeting. It was an exciting opportunity to learn about a critical mass of research findings that have been developed over the past 3.5 years, and plan how to ensure they inform theory, policy and practice.

Participants at the DECCMA8th whole consortium meeting, with key Bangladesh government representatives concerned with adaptation and the Delta Plan 2100

When it commenced in 2014, DECCMA set itself seven ambitious objectives, namely:

(1) to understand the governance mechanisms that promote or hinder migration of men and women in deltas;

(2) to identify climate change impact hotspots in deltas where vulnerability will grow and adaptation will be needed;

(3) to understand the conditions that promote migration and its outcomes, as well as gender-specific adaptation options for trapped populations, via surveys;

(4) to understand how climate-change-driven global and national macro-economic processes impact on migration of men and women in deltas;

(5) to produce an integrated systems-based bio-physical and socio-economic model to investigate
potential future gendered migration under climate change;

(6) to conceptualise and evaluate migration within a wide suite of potential adaptation options at both the household and delta level;

(7) to identify feasible and desirable adaptation options and support implementation of stakeholder-led gender-sensitive adaptation policy choices.

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During the consortium meeting each country team consolidated its findings around these objectives to synthesise what we have learned so far within each of the deltas. A wide-ranging and detailed set of analyses was presented, from assessment of the existence and status of implementation of adaptation-related policies in each country, to migration patterns and consequences, and models of fishery and livestock productivity.  The structure of a hybrid model framework has been developed, based on Bayesian network analysis with multiple nodes so that it can project the impacts of climate change on the biophysical and socio-economic environments, as well as adaptation and migration decisions and consequences.

Planning took place to ensure that these findings are published in the peer-reviewed literature, and also in the form of a book. At the same time, DECCMA is committed to ensuring that research findings are effectively communicated to various stakeholders to ensure that they can inform policy and practice, enabling sustainable adaptation to climate change in deltas and proactive management of projected migration patterns. The integrated assessment model will play a key role in this, and over the course of the project relationships have been built with key stakeholders in each country who have an interest in this information for their planning decisions. Alongside targeted and tailored policy briefs, the team will also be available to support governments in developing adaptation finance proposals.

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Prizegiving for the enumerators of Bangladesh’s 1500 household survey

Certificates were awarded to 18 young researchers who acted as enumerators in DECCMA’s survey of migration and adaptation in 1500 households in Dhaka and Chittagong – two of the most influential cities in Bangladesh and the destination of many migrants.

The certificate award ceremony took place at the end of October at the Institute for Water and Flood Management at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. It coincided with a Bangladesh Country Team meeting, that brought together more than 80 researchers from the various partner organisations, including RMMRU, BIDS, TARA, CEGIS and SANEM.

Certificates were awarded at the Bangladesh Country Team meeting

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There were different categories of prize. One was for best supervisor of the DECCMA receiving area survey, two were available for best enumerators (one each for Dhaka and Chittagong) and  two for the best photography. Mr Md. Masum Ebne Haque and Muhammad Sehab Uddin got the prize for their valuable photos. Mr Md. Ataur Rahman and Ms Nahida Akter was selected as the best enumerators and Mr Robi Ray was selected for the best field supervisor. Congratulations to all!

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Capacity Building for Bangladeshi Researchers

Alex, Shourov, Rashed picture

Rashed, Alex and Shourov

Rashedul Islam and Manjurul Hussain Shourov of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) are visiting the University of Southampton to spend time with some of the team members of the ESPA Project ‘An assessment of the ecosystem service and livelihood implications of government development proposals in coastal Bangladesh’, including Prof. Robert Nicholls, Dr Attila Lazar and Dr Alex Chapman. In particular, Rashed and Shourov will be spending time with Attila, who, along with Dr Andres Payo of BGS, coded the ESPA model (ΔDIEM).

The purpose of the visit is to learn about the sensitivity of ΔDIEM, including the processes and coding of the model, how to run results, plot and export maps and how this can be developed in future projects.

ΔDIEM is a Dynamic Integrated Emulator Model developed during the ESPA Deltas project ( It is used for the coastal region of Bangladesh and applies to nine districts.  It shows the relationship between biophysical and socio-economic factors, such as salinity, agricultural productivity, and poverty.  The basis of this integrated model is being used in the DECCMA project to assess migration and adaptation over a larger coastal study area in Bangladesh.  The capacity building gained from this secondment will be beneficial to both projects.

Rashed and Shourov’s visit to Southampton will enable them to explore the use of the model further, and particularly how it can be linked to the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 (BDP2100). BUET, the Bangladesh Government (GED) and the University of Southampton are working together to explore the potential of ΔDIEM as a tool for reducing poverty under climate change.

The aim is for Shourov and Rashed to return to Bangladesh, with the knowledge received from Dr Attila Lazar and the rest of the team and provide a knowledge transfer to the BUET team and the Bangladesh Government (GED). This can then be used to continue the development and use of the model within country.  ΔDIEM currently focuses on one of the hotspot areas in Bangladesh but the hope of Shourov, Rashed and the rest of the BUET team is to use the model for a further five vulnerability hotspots in Bangladesh.

Shourov’s aim whilst in Southampton is to learn as much about coding as possible as he is very motivated to push the boundaries of modelling in Bangladesh. Rashed confirmed that this model, with an area this large, is virtually unique and he hopes that it can be transferred to other areas of Bangladesh.

While in Southampton the visitors have enjoyed making use of the local Bengali restaurants and getting to know the families that run them!

A new tool to measure disaster cost

A new tool developed by National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, to measure Disaster Cost

In order to gather a more accurate and scientifically developed assessment of relief and reconstruction packages for disaster-hit regions, the government of India has come up with a new scientific tool based on a UN model which will use satellite imagery and on-ground assessments to measure direct and indirect damages, besides opportunity cost lost due to disasters. The average annual economic losses due to disasters in India are estimated to be $10 billion. This cost is almost equal the sum that the country spends on education and double the amount it spends on healthcare, annually. This tool, known as the Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA), developed by the National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, is ready for trial and a pilot test will be conducted in a calamity-hit region. It is likely that the government would engage the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation as part of the National Sample Survey and project predictable economic losses in disaster prone areas. Future allocation of funds made by the Centre to the states, for relief and reconstruction, will be based on PDNA assessment. Source: 19th September, 2016, Times of India, Kolkata

Call for abstracts & papers – International scientific workshop on climate adaptation governance

The emerging complexity of climate adaptation governance in a globalising world
23–24 May 2017, Stockholm, Sweden

Join the Stockholm Environment Institute and partners at an international scientific workshop that will examine the emerging complexity of climate adaptation governance with all its commensurate new forms and consequences.

The aim of the scientific workshop is to explore governance of climate adaptation beyond the national level, i.e., international and transnational. Workshop participants will analyse, among other things, new forms of adaptation governance, its consequences for adaptation action on the ground, and the adequacy of existing institutions.

The workshop will be an intimate two-day event held in Stockholm on 23-24 May 2017, with themed sessions discussing research papers and policy-maker perspectives.
Abstracts must be submitted by 28 October 2016
For more details, download the call for abstracts and papers

New book | The economics of climate-resilient development

Professor Sam Fankhauser (PRISE Co-Principal Investigator) and Dr Declan Conway, from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment launched their new edited volume ‘The Economics of Climate-Resilient Development’.

Some climate change is now inevitable and strategies to adapt to these changes are quickly developing. The question is particularly paramount for low-income countries, which are likely to be most affected. This timely and unique book takes an integrated look at the twin challenges of climate change and development.

The book treats adaptation to climate change as an issue of climate-resilient development, rather than as a bespoke set of activities (flood defences, drought plans, and so on), combining climate and development challenges into a single strategy. It asks how the standard approaches to development need to change, and what socio-economic trends and urbanisation mean for the vulnerability of developing countries to climate risks. Combining conceptual thinking with practical policy prescriptions and experience the contributors argue that, to address these questions, climate risk has to be embedded fully into wider development strategies.

The book is available to purchase through the publisher here and a discount is available here.