20 Million People in Bangladesh Displaced by Rising Seas - But Less Land Than Previously Thought Lost


photo: Center for Environmental & Geographic Information Services

In case you needed more evidence that low-lying and densely populated nations like Bangladesh are going to bear the brunt of climate change, a new report from that nation's Center for Environmental and Geographic Information Services lays it out. The bad news is that 20 million people are likely to be displaced by rising seas. The (sort of) good news is that less land will be fully lost to the water than you might think. The BBC has the details: The big thing the report says really isn't that vast areas of land with be fully submerged, but rather that rising seas will allow salt water to get into the water table, disrupting rice production, and that monsoons will flood greater areas than they currently do.

The human impact of all this, according to Cegis' Ahmadul Hassan is that for four months of the year many famers will have no work, with their lands underwater, and hence migrate to the cities in search of work. That's where the 20 million people displaced figure comes from.

Nearly half of Bangladesh's rice production is 'monsoon' rice and much of that is grown in areas which will no longer be cultivatable. So, in addition to people migrating to cities, food availability could decline as well.

International Money Sought For Adaptation
To combat this, Bangladesh has asked the international community for over $4 billion in funds -- "a grant, not a loan with interest" the environment minister has said -- for climate change mitigation and adaptation projects: Reinforcing and expanding embankments, tree planting along coasts to help with flooding, more.

More: BBC News
Bangladesh, Climate Change
Bangladesh Tries Working With Nature to Stave Off Sea Level Rise
Bangladesh Wants $4 Billion from Wealthy Countries for Climate Change Adaptation Projects
Mass Migrations from Climate Change Forecast by Report

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