Worldwide sea levels will continue rising beyond 2100, even if greenhouse gas emissions are halted today. The current scientific consensus projects at least a one-meter-rise this century. New evidence on ice-cliff instability in the Antarctic suggests that a three-meter increase is possible.
The country’s low-lying areas are home to thousands of poor households, making them more vulnerable to cyclones, tidal inundation, and salinization.
Salinity in water will increase, and so will the intensity and frequency of storms and tidal surges.
Poverty is already higher in the southern coastal zone, especially in and around the Sunderbans.
The critical zone for outmigration lies in low-lying areas within 4 km of the coast, where inundation and destruction from cyclone strikes are recurrent and progressive salinization of water and soil is most pronounced.
than in less-threatened areas.
The changing climate has forced working-age adults to move out to seek opportunities elsewhere, often leaving behind children and elderly caregivers
Financial interdependency after migration
To understand the financial consequences of outmigration, we surveyed migrants from coastal Bangladesh currently residing in both Bangladesh and nearby parts of India. We probed to find out the extent of financial interdependency of migrants with their native households.
Income and size of households are key factors: interdependency increases significantly with migrants’ incomes and decreases with the size of their own households. To our surprise,
, but only 23.4 percent for migrants who crossed into the Indian Sundarbans. For the largest household size and lowest income group, corresponding probabilities are 93.7 percent and 0.9 percent.
The destination matters
Remittance has remained an integral part of Bangladesh’s development and growth. Most remittances are from the Middle East, followed by Singapore, Malaysia, the USA, and the UK.
Whether a migrant left home 10 years ago or 10 months ago, they are both equally willing to share their incomes with the family they left behind
Skills development for migrants is key to poverty reduction
Public programs also could help with job-placement services, and loans for relocation expenses, and other paperwork. Programs could include textile factory work, commercial driving, auto repair, and computer maintenance, and also include training for women.
Since climate change will likely exacerbate poverty and amplify inequality, learning from this research will help not only key policy-makers in other coastal regions, but also the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in understanding livelihood impacts, climate vulnerability, and adaptations.
To learn more about ecosystem impacts, shifting livelihoods, and adaptation options in a changing climate in Bangladesh, we invite you to read our new World Bank research: Coping with Climate Change in the Sundarbans.
As the money sent by the migrants can lift their families and communities out of poverty, increased public investment is needed to help the working-age people realize their earning potential