Country Background Information – Bangladesh


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  • farming and irrigation

    Agriculture is the main industry employing 87% of its rural population. 39% of Bangladesh’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture which is in itself very vulnerable to floods and drought. Rice is the main crop grown.

    Source: Flickr /IRRI

  • transportation

    Rickshaws, both pedal and motorised, are one of the most common public transportation system in Bangladesh. Transport is Bangladesh’s fastest growing sector and is where Bangladesh’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are focussed.

    Source: Flickr /IRRI

  • village

    Poverty remains prominent in Bangladesh, where around 43% of the population live below the international poverty line. Many of its rural areas are in riverside and coastal communities that are continuously affected by coastal flooding, river erosion and salt water intrusion. These affect their land and livelihoods making the poor especially vulnerable to climate change.

  • stilt houses

    25% of Bangladesh is less than 1m above sea level. Stilt houses are structural solutions for floodprone areas.With around 700 rivers and an extensive river network, up to 70% of the country becomes flooded every year. Tropical cyclones can also cause coastal flooding. Both these risks could increase as the climate changes. If global temperatures continue to increase to 2C, scientists predict that almost 20% of Bangladesh would eventually be below sea level.

    Source: Flickr / UCL Development Planning Unit

  • bengal tiger

    The Bengal Tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh and is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN. According to a report by the WWF, continuous sea level rise in the coastal area of Sundarban could significantly reduce their habitats and further endanger tiger populations.

  • school kids

    All children between the ages of 6 and 10 must attend school. Access to education remains a challenge for vulnerable groups, particularly working children, disabled children, indigenous children and those in remote areas or living in extreme poverty. Boys are more likely to miss school than girls, when required to help support their families.

    Source: Flickr / IRRI

  • boat

    Bangladesh lies on a delta of rivers emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Is it low lying and therefore prone to flooding and the effects of tropical cyclones and sea level rise. The government of Bangladesh spends 6-7% of its annual budget on adapting to climate change already.

    Source: Flickr / IRRI

  • city

    There was rapid urbanisation between 2000 – 2010. 62% of the urban population live in slums.

    Source: Flickr / Francisco Anzola

  • people

    Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries with a population of over 160 million.

    Source: Flickr /IRRI

  • Dhaka uni

    Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh, with a population of 14 million people. The textile industry, making clothes for international markets, is centered on urban areas and is the country’s biggest industry.

    Source: Flickr /IRRI

  • drought

    Bangladesh sits on the Tropic of Cancer. Monsoon rains last from June to October. North-western Brazil can experience drought conditions when there is little rain before or after the monsoon. Climate change is expected to change the rainfall pattern in a way which will lead to more frequent droughts.

    Source: Flickr /IRRI

Further Materials (higher level learners) – Bangladesh

  • Bangladesh warns of rising climate change costs as donations plummet and Bangladesh struggles to turn the tide on climate change as sea levels rise from the Guardian.
  • Bangladesh’s position on climate change before the 2015 Paris COP.
  • Bangladesh’s self-assessment of its vulnerability to climate change, submitted to the UNFCC in 2012
  • World Bank report into the impacts of rising sea level and increased tropical storms on Bangladesh.
  • World Bank assessment on the impacts of climate change
  • YouTube clip from the Bangladesh delegation at COP21
  • Bangladesh government climate change site Bangladesh
  • RGS resources on climate change in Bangladesh Bangladesh
  • Climate change projections for Bangladesh
  • Bangladesh emissions fact sheet
  • General Information

  • Background Information from the UN
  • A good overview from the World Bank.
  • World Bank Africa Climate Business Plan
  • World Bank Climate Change Action Plan 2016-2020
  • CCAFS big facts
  • 2050 calculator tool for the UK
  • A history of climate change negotiations and another one.
  • A guide to COP21 in Paris from the Guardian.