Autonomous adaptation to riverine flooding in Satkhira District, Bangladesh: implications for adaptation planning

Systematic understanding of adaptation measures utilised by households in developing countries is needed to identify the constraints they face, and the external interventions or adaptation planning needed to overcome them. Understanding of autonomous household adaptation patterns remains underdeveloped. In particular, little is known regarding whether households are implementing incremental or transformational adaptation measures as well as the implications of this for adaptation planning. We demonstrate the suitability of the risk hazard approach for understanding autonomous household adaptation patterns and discuss the implications for planned adaptation. To achieve this, we use an in-depth village case study from an area of Bangladesh particularly vulnerable to climate change, using qualitative semi-structured household interviews as primary material. We find that the risk hazard approach is ideal for exploring autonomous adaptations because of its capacity for understanding how households respond to livelihood risk, and what resources are required for it to be most effective. However, the risk hazard approach overlooks equity and fairness considerations need to be integrated due to the insufficient emphasis on these concerns.

Regional Environmental Change, 17, pp.2387-2396, May 2017