Bangladesh Delta Coastal Vulnerability Physical & Human-Dimension Processes




Our project (BanD-AID) intends to build the “Belmont Challenge” identified Earth System Analysis & Prediction System (ESAPS) for the Bangladesh Delta, and to address both work packages under the Coastal Vulnerability Theme, towards the adaptation of climate change-induced hazardous events resulting from accelerated sea-level rise. We aim at a joint characterization of the natural processes and the human interactions that govern coastal vulnerability and resilience in Bangladesh. We study sea-level rise in coastal Bangladesh using contemporary space geodetic data, to investigate the various social and economic drivers behind land use change, population increase, to analyze their impacts, and to determine the most important factors which govern the vulnerability of the coastal systems. In particular, we use a cross-disciplinary, and truly social and natural science integrative approach towards adaptation to alleviate the vulnerability and increase local resilience in coastal Bangladesh.
Our consortium intends to establish an advanced observation system based on satellites and in situ geodetic measurements (GPS and tide gauges), and social and natural science fieldwork campaigns to quantify (1) the contributers of sea-level rise, and land motion at decadal or longer timescale and at fine spatial scales, and (2) the human-nature interactions that governs coastal vulnerability and resilience in Bangladesh. Additional innovative aspect of the project include (1) scientific quantification and improved projection of sea-level rise and accounting for land subsidence at century timescales and using a novel fingerprint approach, and (2) the integrated development of a natural and social science framework employing robust predictive modeling towards building an effective decision support service for the adaption of the sea-level rise hazards. Our new strategically located GPS and tide gauges will establsh improved links between land and sea level, allowing one to discern both processes.


Sea-level rise, land subsidence, monsoonal flooding and storm surges have far-reaching socio-economic consequences for coastal Bangladesh. This project, aiming at an improved understanding of underlying natural and social processes, will enable the development of integrative analysis and modeling, and capacity building to strengthen local resilience, and to influence and implement legislative framework and decision-support services for mitigation/adaptation. To achieve the latter, the project working with local agencies, will develop a strong user engagement through (1) social science studies to develop community capacity and (2) linking to local, national and international governance structures. Through the local PIs (Khan, Ahmed), we anticipate to implement knowledge transfer and an enhanced decision-support service.