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A New Climate for Peace: Bangladesh

Narayanganj, Bangladesh

Case Study

Coastal degradation and migration

While migration in Bangladesh is not new, more people are migrating from coastal areas to urban centres as their coastal farms and fishing areas become less secure due to coastal change, natural hazard-induced disasters, and increasing competition from a still-booming rural population. The Global Climate Risk Index cited Bangladesh as the sixth-most affected country by weather-related events such as storms, floods, and heat waves from 1994 to 2013. Sixty percent of the country is less than 5 metres above sea level, where it is extremely vulnerable to storm surges, erosion, salinization of soils and aquifers, and even complete inundation. The problem of soil salinity has been exacerbated by years of shrimp farming that have rendered land unfit for cultivation. Between 64,000 and 100,000 Bangladeshis are rendered homeless every year due to riverbank erosion.

Up to 2,000 people enter Dhaka each day, especially during the monsoon period, which exacerbates the ecological pressures in this high-density city, which has about 28,000 people per square kilometre. The migrants are often employed in marginal jobs and face appalling working and living conditions. As the numbers of migrants steadily increase, the weak urban infrastructure will face severe strains, including increasing numbers of squatter settlements and slums along with increasing pressure on services such as the provision of water, electricity, sanitation, and policing.




  • Kreft, S.; D. Eckstein; L. Junghans; C. Kerestan and U. Hagen 2014: Global climate risk index 2015. Bonn: Germanwatch.
  • Mitra, Shreya and Janani Vivekananda 2013: Strengthening responses to climate variability in South Asia. London: International Alert.
  • Saha, Sujan 2011: Security implications of climate refugees in urban slums: a case study from Dhaka, Bangladesh. In: Scheffran, Jürgen; Brzoska, Michael; Brauch, Hans Günter; Peter Michael Link; Janpeter Schilling (eds.): Climate change, human security and violent conflict: challenges for societal stability. Berlin: Springer.
  • Sharma, Vigya and Graeme Hugo 2009: Exploring the population-environment nexus: understanding climate change, environmental degradation and migration in Bangladesh. Presented at 26th International Population Conference. Retrieved 27 Mar 2015, from

Case Studies

These 9 case studies illustrating climate and fragility risks and their complex interactions were selected based on geography, the availability of analysis and data, and the interests of the G7 partners.