Through alignment with a substantive forestry project that is financed by the Government of Bangladesh, this LDCF-funded project will increase the resilience and adaptive value of ongoing government investments in vulnerable areas and communities. Besides the immediate vulnerability reduction benefits this LDCF project will generate, it will leverage additional public, bilateral and multilateral investments for community-based adaptation in the context of business-as-usual forestry activities
In line with LDCF eligibility criteria and guidelines, the project will use LDCF resources to finance the additional costs of achieving resilience against climate change risks of a government-funded baseline programme, which is not yet taking climate change resilience aspects into account. The proposed project is exclusively country-driven, well coordinated with a number of other LDCF- and non-LDCF-funded projects, and will integrate climate change risk considerations into areas that are priority interventions eligible under LDCF guidelines (especially coastal development and forest management). In alignment with LDCF guidelines, the project will
- Expand the resilience of natural and social systems against climate change hazards, focusing on the community level;
- Enable the development of response strategies to reduce the adverse effects of sea level rise;
- Improve local and national awareness and understanding of the benefits of preparedness for climate change risks.
Although the project is undertaking community training activities in nursery management, it does not consider additional livelihood support and -diversification activities that could complement and sustain afforestation activities over the longer term. The persistent lack of alternative livelihood options and the pressures of poverty leave local communities with limited incentives to nurture and protect new greenbelt plantations: The ensuing effects of human and livestock encroachment result in a situation in which many afforested patches need to be repeatedly re-planted before they reach maturity to serve as protective shields.
The baseline project is therefore at risk of perpetuating this problem and doing 'more of the same': Its objective is to create and conserve coastal forests with community participation, but the lack of livelihood resilience and the pressures of poverty (which are in turn exacerbated by climate-related shocks such as seasonal flooding and tropical cyclones) create a situation in which the incentives for encroachment on new plantations keep outweighing the incentives to nurture them.
This can only be reversed if the planting of trees is coupled with targeted activities to strengthen and diversify livelihoods. If greenbelts are not perceived as an essential protective asset of rural livelihood systems, they will be used as a free economic resource that will continue to get replenished by the government. As the underlying baseline project does not make a systematic connection between forestry measures and complementary investments to sustain these new plantations through long-term community engagement, the proposed LDCF funding is clearly an additional measure to ensure that greenbelt forestry in Bangladesh can evolve from the business as usual scenario to a long-term model which generates adaptation benefits for future generations.
An additional factor that makes the aforementioned baseline project vulnerable to the effects of climate change is the continued use of monoculture practices: The BFD propagates the use of a single mangrove species (locally known as 'Keora"), which is suitable to trap sediment on newly accreted lands but keeps encountering a new set of climate change-related challenges: The temperature of coastal waters is rising (following global trends), and there is greater variability in inundation levels, inundation times, as well as salinity of soil and water. As a result, Keora plantations suffer from a higher rate of diseases and fail to regenerate naturally. Field assessments have found that at the maturity stage of 'business as usual' mangrove plantations (after 15 years), only 800 to 900 trees per hectare survive out of 4444 seedlings that had originally been planted. This represents a loss of up to 80% of planted trees and generates big gaps in greenbelt structures on moderately accreted lands, which need to be continuously re-planted.
There is an urgent necessity to fill these gaps with a more innovative mix of mangrove species that have vigorous regenerating abilities and increase the genetic diversity of these greenbelts. The proposed LDCF project will introduce a diversified set of 8-10 selected mangrove species in 4 coastal districts, in which this problem is most apparent. In doing so, LDCF resources will address an evident climate change-related problem in a baseline afforestation project: Without LDCF investments, the baseline project will not be able to sustain critical plant density per hectare, and buffer the effects of higher water temperatures, higher/longer tidal inundations, and shifting salinity levels.
At present, it is fair to say that without additional improvements in the functional design and community ownership of the above baseline project, the planting of trees in coastal belts does not qualify as a long-term adaptation and/or resilience measure. There are evident and substantive problems in establishing and sustaining new greenbelt structures as protective buffer zones from climate-induced stresses, which need to be addressed by additional activities, such as: a) Changing the mix of mangrove and non-mangrove species to increase the natural adaptive capacity of coastal forests; b) Providing economic incentives for communities to nurture, protect and conserve newly planted greenbelt structures; and c) Developing long-term benefit sharing agreements between communities and the national government for the selective logging of economic tree varieties.
Source: Bangladesh Project Identification Form (November 23, 2011)
There are no related resources for this project.
Financing Amount5,650,000 (as of February 25, 2010)
Cofinancing Total41,619,000 (as of February 25, 2010)
Rural communities facing coastal erosion and salt water intrusion into vital agricultural lands.