Restoring Ecoengineering Infrastructure to Promote AdMit and DRR in Bangladesh by MahbuburRahmanImrulKayesSaidurRaj
Ecoengineering approach is significant to promote AdMit, reducing DR and providing food security for coastal climate-vulnerable people
Ecoengineering which is also termed as a nature-based solution is an empirical approach in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation. Coastal ecosystem-based ecoengineering measures are more proactive in reducing the risk of coastal hazards and thus assist communities in adapting to or mitigating climate change. It has also an attraction on increasing resilient food security for coastal climate-vulnerable people through providing food diversity. In the coastal zone of Bangladesh, ecoengineering, as well as natural ecosystems such as coastal dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons, can serve as natural buffers against cyclones, storm surges, sea waves, tidal surges, tidal floods and protect the shoreline from coastal erosion and sea-level rise. Apart from these ecosystems-based services, sand dunes and other coastal ecosystem features may perform climate change adaptation and mitigation services through carbon storage and sequestration, groundwater storage, and land protection. Moreover, these features support high biodiversity, which forms the basis for secure livelihoods of coastal communities which face diminished drop production due to the increased salinity of agricultural lands and saltwater infiltration. Due to lack of consciousness, overexploitation and lack of integrated coastal management approaches, most of these important ecosystem features are going to be lost or diminished.
The project aims to restore and conserve the ecoengineering infrastructures (sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons) along the coastal belt of Bangladesh with community-based conservation and restoration approaches. The project will adopt a participatory conservation and management approach to restore and conserve the infrastructures with some engineering improvement if needed.
Is this proposal for a practice or a project?
What actions do you propose?
The project would be implemented under the following approach:
- Help raise awareness about how eco-friendly infrastructure of coastal belt help to fight climate change.
- Increase knowledge of the local community and other stakeholders on the role of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons in interactions with the climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as knowledge of the effects of these interactions on these ecosystems.
- Help to reduce human threats on sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons by making greater management framework and ecoengineering.
The following actions would be undertaken according to the above-mentioned approach:
1. Selection of suitable sites of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons for restoration and assessment of climate change adaptation and mitigation potentials baseline and selection of project participants.
Remote sensing and GIS technology would be utilized to select a potential site for rehabilitation and restoration of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons. Landsat TM image would be used to select the sites. A baseline map would be produced through RS and the produced map would be validated through ground-truthing in each site. Ten suitable sites would be selected under this activity. The site would be selected homogeneously from the eastern coast to the western coast to compare the effectiveness in AdMit and DRR through conservation. Saint Martin Island, Teknaf Cox's Bazar Peninsula, Sonadia Island, Parki Beach, Vatiyari, Feni Estuary, Kuakata and Sundarbans area are the potential site for the project.
The Drivers-Pressures-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework would be used as an interdisciplinary tool for analyzing and assuming the cause-effect relationship between the interacting component of social, economic, and environmental systems in adaptation and mitigation indicators.
Project participants would be selected through a baseline survey. The project participants would be divided into two groups: direct participants (who will take part in conservation activities and will be beneficial from the intervention) and indirect participants who will work for ensuring the project sustainability in the long run. The direct participants will be farmers, fisherfolk who are dependent on coastal landforms and resources for their livelihoods; the indirect beneficiaries will be government, local government and non-government organizations who are involved with natural resource management, coastal development. 300 direct participants (30 for each site would be selected during the baseline survey).
2. Planting vegetation and monitoring of the performance of restored sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons.
A co-management and conservation committee would be formed for each site containing members of 30 who would be responsible for planting, fencing, monitoring and management of the sites. Web-based vegetation monitoring system- VegScape would be developed to monitor the performance of the planted vegetation with the changing climatic and salinity conditions. Web service vegetation condition monitoring system-VegScape is the system which automatically obtains and processes near real-time 250m MODIS daily surface reflectance data for better spatial and temporal resolutions, and generates geospatially various vegetation condition indices for timely vegetation growth condition, The VegSpace will not only offer the online interactive map operation, data dissemination and vegetation statistics, charting and graphing and comparison analysis but also will provide web services such as demand vegetation condition maps and statistics for uses in other applications from certain location. This system will deliver dynamic experiences and geospatial condition information for decision support with its comprehensive capabilities through standard geospatial web services in a publicly accessible online environment.
3. Providing capacity building training.
For each site, at least 10 (total 100) persons from all sites would be trained for restoration, conservation, rehabilitation, ecoengineering and sustainable utilization of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons and its resources related to resources, ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, food production, ecotourism, etc.
4. Ecoengineering of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons.
Ecoengineering will reshape the landscape of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons; and also will perform the task of re-vegetation and fencing. Due to overexploitation and lack of awareness, the landscape of most of the sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons is changed. During the formative research, we will investigate the actual and sustainable landscape of these features and if the necessary landscape of these features would be restored in the selected sites in terms of altitude, shape, size etc.
5. Introducing climate-resilient agricultural and horticulture technology and species in the selected sites.
To serve the alternative income sources and sources of livelihoods as well as resilient food security for the sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons communities and co-management groups, site-specific climate and salinity resilient agricultural and horticulture technology would be introduced in and around these sites.
To introduce climate-resilient species (plants and crops) and sustain the intervention, during the project period, the team will form a Project Steering Committee containing members form different stakeholders including Department of Forest, Department of Environment, Department of Climate Change, Department of Agriculture Extension, Bangladesh Disaster Management Bureau, Local Government Institutions, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, project beneficiaries and team members of the project. Beyond the project, the steering committee will look after the project activities. The project will deploy Co-management Approach which will ensure the sustainability of the project. During the project period, the farmers and Co-management Committee who will involve in the project management and undertaking conservation activities will get incentives as labour cost to undertake the project activities. They will also get lump sum cost to work as social fencing in the conservation activities. Beyond the project, government agencies who would be involved in Steering Committee will provide incentives to the farmers to undertake such activities in the other areas and this would be sensitized during the project period through policy cafe, policy advocacy and management framework development.
Attention would be paid to introduce such type of species of plants and crops which are eco-specific and location friendly and also arrest land erosion as well as land degradation.
6. Community education on the importance of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons in climate change adaptation and mitigation.
In each site in each month, a community education session would be organized to educate community people on the importance of conservation and restoration of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons to adapt and mitigate climate change, the impact of climate change. Education materials on the impact of climate change, the importance of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons in adaptation and mitigation of climate change, conservation and restoration process would be developed and distributed among community people.
7. Science-policy cafe with local and national policymakers on the importance of conservation and restoration of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons in climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Based on baseline indicators, at the end of the project, end line evaluation would be conducted through the Drivers-Pressures-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) framework. Therefore, it would be evolved as an interdisciplinary tool for analysis and assumption of a cause-effect relationship between the interacting component of social, economic, and environmental systems to measure outcome in adaptation and mitigation indicators of conserved and restored features in each site. Based on this finding, the science-policy cafe would be organized with local and national policymakers, practitioners, conservation activists to enact policy and action plans in conservation and restoration of ecosystem features.
Who will take these actions?
The proposal author (Muhammad Abdur Rahaman) will play the role of Team Leader in the project. He will be responsible for project activities, research design, capacity building of the project team, field data collection and analysis, training module development, education materials development, coordination with different stakeholders.
The other team member will responsible for organizing field days, co-facilitating field activities in field level.
10x30=300 community people will be responsible for undertaking restoration and conservation activities in the field sites. This project will gather 300 conservation leaders from across the coastal belt of Bangladesh for structured peer-to-peer knowledge sharing on how to implement restoration and integrated landscape management at the landscape/community level. Researchers, practitioners, government agencies, policymakers, NGO professionals, CBOs, media, conservation activists will join in the project activities.
Department of Forest, Department of Environment, Department of Climate Change, Department of Agriculture and Horticulture will involve in the project and they will give technical and input support if necessary. Local Government Institute will give space for capacity building initiative in the project. Local policymakers along with Coastal Zone management professionals will work for the project to enact policy and action plans for future conservation and regeneration.
Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (Tourism promotion authority) will work within this project to promote ecosystem-based tourism as alternative income-generating activities for the project beneficiaries. IUCN Bangladesh will provide support for the conservation of flora and fauna in the ecosystem features.
Where will these actions be taken?
The action would be undertaken along the coastal belt of Bangladesh by which more than 10 million people who are living adjacent to coastal shoreline would be benefited.
In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
No country selected
What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?
Compared with hard-engineered alternatives, such measures can be relatively inexpensive, can help to support or enhance livelihoods by sustaining ecological production, and have the added benefit of absorbing and storing greenhouse gases, highlighting the link between CCA measures and climate change mitigation. Reducing the wavelength of storm surges, it will reduce the destruction from various hydrological disasters along the coastal belt of Bangladesh. Bank erosion will be reduced through reducing wavelength and direct hit to settlement. Introduction of dhoincha (a local tree variety) will reduce salinity along the coastal belt of Bangladesh. Sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons would be conserved and regenerated with covering vegetation and it is assumed that 10 number of sites of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons will cover at least 10 ha of land. On the other hand, 300 conservation leaders will take initiative to conserve and manage surroundings by planting trees, horticulture and other vegetation. In this point of view, it may be assumed that the project will help in the sequestration of at least 932300 lbs of carbon each year. This is according to calculations by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA (https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gases-equivalencies-calculator-calculations-and-references).
Sand dunes, salt marshes, beach vegetation, seagrass beds are effective buffers against many coastal natural hazards. They will also reduce the magnitude of storm surges and related inundation by absorbing storm energy, reducing flow depths and velocities, and holding sediments in place within root systems. These features are efficient adaptation measures as well as protection against storm surges and waves. Conserved sand dunes, salt marshes, beach vegetation, seagrass beds may also reduce salinity by introducing salt reducing plants like dhoincha.
What are other key benefits?
- Economic benefits – Cultivation of commercially viable and resilient food crops coupled with increased food production. These lead to marketing and trading opportunities for increased income and food security.
- Environmental benefits – Protected landscape leads to increased biodiversity, water availability, healthy soils and improvement of micro-climate.
- Tourism benefits – Ecosystem-based tourism would be promoted in the restored scenario.
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
The total cost for the project is 63590 USD. The project will need costs according to the following heads:
1. Selection of suitable sites of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons for restoration and assessment of climate change adaptation and mitigation potentials baseline (Baseline survey, image purchase and honorarium for GIS and data analysis expert) =11900 USD
2. Planting vegetation and monitoring of the performance of restored sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons (10 sites, 10000 plants and other seed)=4500 USD
3. Pertaining capacity building training (10 batches of 300 leaders)=3575 USD
4. Ecoengineering of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons (labour cost for regenerating landscape)= 20000 USD
5. Community education on the importance of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons in climate change adaptation and mitigation (Community education session 10x10=100 sessions, education materials)=3615 USD
6. Science-policy cafe with local policymakers on the importance of conservation and restoration of sand dunes, salt marshes, seagrass beds, lagoons in climate change adaptation and mitigation (10 science policy cafe)=20000 USD
The total project cost will 63590 USD for the two years demonstration and other essential interventions. The team will secure additional required fund form another donor within the project period and will mobilize local resources like government institutions (Department of Environment, Department of Forest, Department of Climate Change, Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund, Pally Karma-Sahayak Foundation) and other private sectors to secure additional fund to develop integrated conservation model beneficial for climate change adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction along the coastal belt. The team will make an effort to mobilize local government institutions to allocate a small amount of fund in their annual budget to undertake such interventions.
The project implementation challenge will come to form different sectors. Coastal disaster is a topmost challenge in implementing this project. If a strong storm surge or tsunami hits along the coastal belt the project would be hampered. On the other hand, social acceptance is another challenge for this project. Nearby communities are habituated with degrading sand dune and other features for overreaching and it will be tough to motivate them to conserve or restore these features.
The project would be implemented by two years. In this period, 300 conservation leaders would be motivated and capacity will be built to educate the community people on the importance of coastal features in adapting and mitigating climate change and reducing coastal disaster risk. In this period, policy informing activities would be conducted and an action plan would be performed in favour of the coastal landscape.
In short-term (1-15 years) impact, medium-term (15-50 years), and long-term (50-100 years)
In a short time, coastal sand dunes, sand bars, slat fan, salt marsh management capacity and awareness would be developed among the dependent communities.
In the midterm, coastal disaster management and climate change adaptation and mitigation framework would be developed.
In the long run, coastal sand dunes, sand bars, slat fan, salt marsh management policy and action plans would be developed.
Within the 2 years of project period, though this time is not enough for long term sustainability of the conservation paradigm, but the team seeks to develop an integrated pilot model in terms of climate change adaptation, mitigation and coastal disaster risk reduction through conservation and management of natural eco-engineering infrastructures which can be scaled up in long term sustainability. Within this time frame, a national and local steering committee and co-management committee would be formed who will undertake such kind of activities local level to national level. These committees would be formed for policy practice to implementation. The team will develop a memorandum of understanding with government and local government organizations who are active in project areas to adopt the conservation model with the technical support of the team.
To scale up and explore the intervention in-country and outside of the country like India, Vietnam, Thailand in where such type of ecosystem exists, the team will organize learning and sharing visits to share practical know-how. Involvement of local, national and international media would be ensured to explore the learning among wider communities.
The project team will participate in the national and international level conferences to present the learning and experiences of the project. In Bangladesh, there are some science policy conferences, including Gobeshona, International Conference on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction etc. are the potential conference for outreach and scale-up project learning.
The project team will publish a lesson learning booklet and policy brief to reach the science-policy communities in the local, national and international level. A social media platform would be developed as a mini-blog (Coastal landform: Climate Change AdMit-DRR Nexus) to disseminate the project learning to the wider communities globally. On the other hand, popular newspaper features would be published in local and national dailies to reach the country stakeholders with effective learning of the project.
About the author(s)
Muhammad Abdur Rahaman is the team leader of this project. He will involve with this project in the whole process during implementation. He is a climate change and disaster risk reduction expert from Bangladesh. In his professional history, he has served national and international development organizations with research and development activities including Planning Commission, World Watch Institution, International Institute for Vegetable and Ornamental Crops, World Academy of Science, Engineering & Technology Population, Health & Environment Network. He has conducted several pieces of research on health, climate change, disaster risk reduction, water, and agriculture and gender perspective.
Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman would serve as the policy and advocacy coordinator within this project. He has extensive experience in policy-oriented research, plus over four years of experience in planning, reporting and engaging into policy advocacy related activities on climate change, agriculture, environmental, social and development interventions. He has presented his research works at national and international conferences and have published several articles in peer-reviewed international journals.
ASM Imrul Kayes who is also from Bangladesh will be involved in the project at the field level implementation. Saidur Raj also from Bangladesh who will work at the field level implementation, capacity building and social sensitization of the community people.
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