CARIAA releases a series of “novel insights” into climate change, migration, and gender and social equity

Marking the end of the Collaborative Adaptation Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA), IDRC has released a series of “novel insights”. These briefs capitalise on thematic learnings across the four CARIAA consortia that have been investigating adaptation in different hotspots – DECCMA in deltas, ASSAR and PRISE in semi-arid regions and economies, and HiAWARE in glacier-fed river basins. The novel insights synthesise findings on migration, gender and social equity, effective adaptation, the impact of a 1.5C increase in global temperature on the different hotspots, and research for impact.


Special issue “Delineating climate change impacts on biophysical conditions in deltas” in Science of the Total Environment

A special issue of Science of the Total Environment on “Delineating climate change impacts on biophysical conditions in deltas” has just been published, edited by DECCMA team members Kwasi Appeaning Adddo, Anisul Haque, Chris Hill, Robert Nicholls, Venkat Raju, Paul Whitehead. The special issue contains the following DECCMA papers:

Arto, I., García-Muros, X. Cazcarro, I., González-Eguino, M., Markandya, A. and Hazra, S. 2019. The socioeconomic future of deltas in a changing environment. Science of the Total Environment 648, 1284-1296.

Dunn, F.E., Nicholls, R.J., Darby, S.E., Cohen, S., Zarfl, C. and Fekete, B.M. 2018. Projections of historical and 21st century fluvial sediment delivery to the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna, Mahanadi and Volta delta. Science of the Total Environment 642, 105-116.

Hossain, M.A.R., Ahmed, M., Ojea, E. and Fernandes, J.A. 2018. Impacts and responses to environmental change in coastal livelihoods of south-west Bangladesh. Science of the Total Enivronment 637-638, 954-970.

Hossain, M.A.R., Das, I., Genevier, L., Hazra, S., Rahman, M., Barange, M. and Fernandes, J.A. 2018. Biology and fisheries of Hilsa shad in Bay of Bengal. Science of the Total Environment 651(2), 1720-1734.

Janes, T., MacGrath, F., Macadam, I. and Jones, R. 2019. High-resolution climate projections for South Asia to inform climate impacts and adaptation studies in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Mahanadi deltas. Science of the Total Environment 650(1), 1499-1520.

Kebede, A.S., Nicholls, R.J., Allan, A., Arto, I., Cazcarro, I., Hill, C.T., Hutton, C.W., Kay, S., Lázár, A.N., Macadam, I., Fernandes, J.A., Palmer, M., Suckall, N., Tompkins, E.L., Vincent, K. and Whitehead, P.W., 2018. Applying the global RCP-SSP-SPA scenario framework at sub-national scale: A multi-scale and participatory scenario approach. Science of the Total Environment 635, 659-672.

Lauria, V., Das, I., Hazra, S., Cazcarro, I., Arto, I., Kay, S., Ofori-Danson, P., Ahmed, M., Hossain, A.R., Barange, M. and Fernandes, J.A. 2018. Importance of fisheries for food security across three climate change vulnerable deltas. Science of the Total Environment 640-641, 1566-1577.

Li, J., Whitehead, P.G., Appeaning-Addo, K., Amisigo, B., Macadam, I., Janes, T., Crossman, J., Nicholls, R.J., McCartney, M. and Rodda, H.J.E. 2018. Modeling future flows of the Volta River system: Impacts of climate change and socio-economic changes. Science of the Total Environment 637-638, 1069-1080.

Li, J., Whitehead, P.G., Rodda, H., Macadam, I. and Sarkar, S. 2018. Simulating climate change and socio-economic change impacts on flows and water quality in the Mahanadi river system, India. Science of the Total Environment 637-638, 907-917.

Mukhopadhyay, A., Ghosh, P., Chanda, A., Ghosh, A., Ghosh, S., Das, S. Ghosh, T. and Hazra, S. 2018. Threats to coastal communities of Mahanadi delta due to imminent consequences of erosion-Present and near future. Science of the Total Environment 637-638, 717-729.

Pathak, D., Whitehead, P.G., Futter, M.N. and Sinha, R. 2018. Water quality assessment and catchment-scale nutrient flux modeling in the Ramganga River Basin in north India: An application of INCA model. Science of the Total Environment 637-638, 201-215.

Rahman, M., Dustegir, M., Karim, R., Haque, A., Nicholls, R.J., Darby, S.E., Nakagawa, H., Hossain, M., Dunn, F.E. and Akter, M. 2018. Recent sediment flux to the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta system. Science of the Total Environment 643, 1054-1064.

Suckall, N., Tompkins, E.L., Nicholls, R.J., Kebede, A.S., Lázár, A.N., Vincent, K., Allan, A., Chapman, A., Rahman, R., Ghosh, T., Hutton, C. and Mensah, A. 2018. A framework for identifying and selecting long term adaptation policy directions for deltas. Science of the Total Environment 633, 946-957.

Whitehead, P.G., Jin, L., Macadam, I., Janes, T., Sarkar, S., Rodda, H.J.E., Sinha, R. and Nicholls, R.J. 2018. Modelling impacts of climate change and socio-economic change on the Ganga, Brahmaputra, Meghna, Hooghly and Mahanadi river systems in India and Bangladesh. Science of the Total Environment 636, 1362-1372.

Whitehead, P., Bussi, G., Hossain, M.A., Dolk, M., Das, P., Comber, S., Peters, R., Charles, K.J., Hope, R., and Hossain, R. 2018. Restoring water quality in the polluted Turag-Tongi-Balu river system, Dhaka: Modelling nutrient and total coliform intervention strategies, Science of the Total Environment 633, 946-957.

The State of Food and Agriculture 2018

The State of Food and Agriculture 2018 Migration, agriculture and rural development


Migration is an expanding global reality which allows millions of people to seek new opportunities, but it also involves challenges for migrants and societies. Are there specific policy directions that governments should keep in mind to maximize the opportunities migration brings while minimizing its challenges? Can investments help make migration a voluntary choice and not a desperate need or a last resort? By looking at how internal and international migratory flows link to economic development, demographic change, and natural-resource pressure, The State of Food and Agriculture 2018, explores answers to these questions. The report also provides a thorough analysis of the factors which contribute to migration decisions and recommends tailored policy and investment responses to make migration work for all. We invite you to download the report, which is available in all UN languages.

Book Presented to Dr Nazmul Haq

William Powrie (Dean of Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, University of Southampton) presents a copy of the new book “Ecosystem Services for Well-Being in Deltas: Integrated Analysis for Policy Analysis” to Dr. Nazmul Haq (University of Southampton) to whom the book is dedicated. Nazmul greatly facilitated this research in its early days and helped to build a strong consortium that continues to contribute to fundamental research on the future of the delta that also informs policy in terms of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 and related strategic planning and development of the country.

New book published “Ecosystem services for well-being in deltas. Integrated assessment for policy analysis”

A new book “Ecosystem services for well-being in deltas. Integrated assessment for policy analysis” has just been published open access by Springer. The book is an output of a predecessor project to DECCMA, ESPA Deltas. Chapters include analysis of ecosystem trends and projected futures under climate change, governance analysis, poverty and social-ecological systems analysis, and the linkages between poverty and ecosystem services in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta in Bangladesh.

Contributors include DECCMA PI Robert Nicholls, Co-PIs Craig Hutton, Stephen Darby, Andrew Allan, Neil Adger, Susan Kay, Sugata Hazra, Tuhin Ghosh, Munsur Rahman and Masfiqus Salehin, as well as DECCMA researchers Helen Adams, Anisul Haque, Paul Whitehead, Sally Brown, Shahjahan Mondal, Fiifi Amoako Johnson and Attila N. Lázár.

Call for proposals: 6th International Climate Change and Population Conference on Africa in Accra, Ghana

DECCMA Ghana lead institution, the Regional Institute for Population Studies at the University of Ghana, will host the 6th International Climate Change and Population Conference on Africa. The conference will take place in Accra from 23-25th July 2018 with the theme “The future we do not want”. Abstracts will be accepted in three areas namely: (i) Policy and Practice, (ii) Development & Intervention Projects, and (iii) Basic and Applied Sciences, across relevant disciplines in the Humanities, Population Sciences, Health Sciences, Basic & Applied Sciences, and the Engineering & GeoSpatial Sciences, and should be submitted by 18th May.

Sub-themes that will be addressed during the conference include:

  1. Population – climate nexus
  2. Population health and climate change
  3. Climate change and energy
  4. Coastal zones and green growth
  5. Cities and climate change
  6. Climate finance and investment
  7. Climate change negotiations and diplomacy
  8. Adaptation and mitigation
  9. Food security and agrarian / rural communities
  10. Climate change and poverty
  11. Sustainable development goals
  12. Water resources management

“An environment for wellbeing: Pathways out of poverty”-learning from the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation programme

Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) is a global interdisciplinary research programme that began in 2009 with the aim of giving decision-makers and natural resource users the evidence they need to address the challenges of sustainable ecosystem management and poverty reduction. The programme was developed by the UK government in response to the findings of the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment that substantial gains in human well-being in recent decades have been achieved at the expense of high and often irreversible levels of ecosystem degradation.

This short film highlights some of ESPA’s findings on the role of ecosystem services in diversifying livelihood options for vulnerable people, the contribution of sustainably managed ecosystem services to national wealth (and related poverty reduction), and insights into how to better manage ecosystems to deliver sustainable, green and inclusive growth. It features insights from ESPA Deltas and ECOLIMITS, looking at the ecological limits of poverty alleviation focusing on smallholder coffee farmers in Ethiopia, and cocoa farmers in Ghana.

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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DECCMA Special Session on Science-Policy Dialogue at the 4th Gobeshona Conference

by Mashrekur Rahman

The venue for this year’s Gobeshona Annual Conference for Research on Climate Change in Bangladesh was the Independent University of Bangladesh (IUB). The fourth day of the conference was centered on science-policy dialogues. A special session on the fourth day at the conference was hosted by DECCMA (DEltas, vulnerability & Climate Change: Migration & Adaptation) Project, IWFM (Institute of Water and Flood Management), BUET (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology).

Professor Dr. Munsur Rahman presented his keynote presentation titled “Integrated Assessment in Deltas”, focusing on the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) Deltas and DECCMA projects – two major international collaborative research projects which have attempted to link science and policy by providing policy makers with the scientific data, tools and expertise. Dr. Munsur briefly laid out the various aims, components and outputs of the two projects and discussed how the projects have been instrumental in the formulation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 (BDP 2100).

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Thereafter, a panel discussion was held; the panelists were Mr. Saiful Alam – ex- Technical Director of WARPO, Malik Fida A Khan – Deputy Executive Director, Operation of CEGIS (Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services), Dr.

Md. Taibur Rahman – Project Manager, UNDP, Dr. Sultan Ahmed – Additional Secretary, Department of Environment (DoE). The panel session was chaired by Professor Dr. Shamsul Alam–Member (Senior Secretary), General Economics Division (GED), Bangladesh Planning Commission, Government of Bangladesh.

Mr. Saiful Alam discussed Water Resources Planning Organization (WARPO)’s past involvement and contributions in the two before mentioned projects and the technical know-how provided for BDP 2100. He also briefly discussed the modelling aspects of WARPO and the two projects.  Mr. Malik Fida A Khan appreciated the value of the projects in integrating science and policy in Bangladesh and then emphasized on the importance of mainstreaming of tools such as the Delta Dynamic Integrated Emulator Model to ensure maximum science-policy linkage. Professor Shamsul Alam particularly pointed out glaring data gaps on climate change issues in Bangladesh and mentioned that the ESPA Deltas and the DECCMA projects have contributed a lot in somewhat abridging those gaps. Dr. Taibur discussed about the nexus between the scientific community and policy makers. He accentuated the importance of not adopting a consultant based approach for long term delta planning and encouraged the policy makers, politicians and leaders to be more accepting of a science-backed approach in planning, ensuring sustainable development. Dr. Sultan highlighted on how coastal vulnerabilities of Bangladesh have been exacerbated by degrading ecosystem services. He then discussed several approaches to bridging gaps between the scientific community and policy makers.

After speeches from the panelists, the floor was opened to the audience for a lively discussion session. At the end of discussions, Professor Dr. Munsur thanked everyone and subsequently Professor Shamsul Alam drew an official end to the session.

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