Collective Action to reduce Climate Disaster Risks and Enhancing Resilience of the Vulnerable Coastal Communities around the Sundarbans in Bangladesh and India (in short CCDRER project)


Sunderbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world with associated flora and fauna diversity, is presently under threat by many adverse changes including climate change factors. The entire mangrove forest ecosystems are already characterised by a low level of development, lack of infrastructure, prevalence of extreme poverty, high unmet energy demand and high incidence of vector and water borne diseases. The assessments of natural and anthropogenic changes in this sensitive ecosystem of Sunderbans clearly bring out certain trends, which are expected to continue in future and make the system more vulnerable. Therefore, it needs to be addressed with due importance and on emergency basis.

Considering the above scenario the CCDRER project envisages to work on the following major areas of concerns within the Sunderbans of Bangladesh and West Bengal, India.

 Risk and vulnerability including DRR in the coastal mangrove ecosystems and the communities around the Sunderbans of both Bangladesh and   India.
 Food, fodder, livelihood insecurity causing seasonal and permanent migration
 Severe water scarcity for drinking, irrigation and fisheries due to salinisation because of sea level rise, tidal surges.
 Energy and fuel insecurity including forest mining.
 Increased risk of high tidal inundation, salinity, cyclonic storm / tidal surges for the livelihoods of the local people, land infrastructure etc. leading   to direct loss of agricultural land, pond and other community assets and human settlement.

This 48 months project was scheduled to start from March 2011 but due to some unavoidable reasons it has started from October 2011. BCAS is the lead implementer in the project in Bangladesh and India. DRCSC is the implementing partner of BCAS in West Bengal, India. The project is funded by EU (DCI-ENV/2010/221-426).

Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies (BCAS) is a leading research and policy institute in the non-government sector in Bangladesh and South Asia. BCAS is working as an independent, non-profit, non-government institute and specializes in policy, research and implementation of development projects and programs at local, national, regional and global levels since 1986.

Development Research Communication and Services Centre [DRCSC] is non-profit, non-governmental organization working since 1982. DRCSC is working to attain food and livelihood security of the rural poor through sustainable management of natural resources based on principles and actions that are environment friendly, economically appropriate, socially just and developed by mutual cooperation.

The Objective of the Project

The overall goal of the project is to reduce climatic disaster risks and enhance resilience of the coastal communities around the Sundarbans by building capacity of the vulnerable communities, local actors and stakeholders through sustainable natural resource management and disaster risk reduction for promotion of livelihoods as well as by advancing community adaptation to climate change.

The specific objectives are

 To assess present and future climate change impacts in the local contexts from increased salinity, tidal inundation, flood, erosion, water logging, sea level rise and cyclone

 To reduce their risks and promotion of livelihoods and food security of poor and marginalized people;

 To identify community needs and priority to address the climate change impacts as well as to reduce the associated risks and vulnerability;

 To raise understanding and awareness of the coastal communities, local actors and stakeholders about the present and future climate change impacts, risks and vulnerability    of the coastal Sundarbans ecosystems;

 To build the capacity of the local partners, actors and stakeholders to integrate climate change issues and adaptation into local and regional development process, livelihood    protection and disaster risk reduction;

 To strengthen current coping mechanisms of disaster risk reduction (DRR), enhancement of adaptive capacity of the vulnerable communities, particularly, of the poor farmer,    fishers, marginal groups and women to address through natural resources management and improvement of the coastal biodiversity and ecosystem linking climatic and    related risks on their lives and livelihoods;

 To implement local adaptation action plans by involving communities and relevant actors to reduce risks and vulnerability;

 To build partnership and network among the relevant actors and stakeholders for effective exchange and capacity strengthening to address climate change and raise voice    against climate injustice in national, regional and international levels; and

 To share learning, good practices, experiences and advocacy to influence policy and decision making processes at regional, national and international levels.