Multilevel governance of climate change vulnerability management in coastal social-ecological systems: Evidence from Bangladesh

Authors: Asif Ishtiaque*, School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning, Arizona State University
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Vulnerability, Adaptation, Coast, Multilevel, Governance, Bangladesh
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Maurepas, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The multidimensional nature of climate change requires responses at multiple geographical and jurisdictional scales, and policy and resource sectors. In the climate vulnerable countries, government and non-government organizations are major actors for vulnerability management through adaptation actions. While planning and implementing adaptation actions, these organizations operate at different levels of governance and in different operational sectors. However, little research has been conducted on the multilevel governance mechanisms of these organizations- how they frame vulnerability, how are their capabilities in climate change vulnerability management. Focusing on coastal Bangladesh as the study area, this research attempts to fill this lacuna with two objectives. First, it analyzes how the leading organizations, operating at multiple levels and sectors, understand vulnerability for coastal SESs, and why their framings align or misalign over space. Second, it examines the organizational capabilities in vulnerability management based on reflexivity, responsiveness, and revitalization. This research takes spatial multi-criteria decision analysis and content analysis approach to undertake the analysis. The results reveal that their vulnerability framings are mostly aligned because of climate change mainstreaming, sub-national level interactions, and disaster awareness. Little misalignment happens because of their differences in operational objectives and sectoral policies. The analyses further indicate that the government organizations are slow in emergency management mostly due to bureaucratic complexities. Most of the non-government organizations concentrate on short-term disaster risk reduction instead of long-term strategies. The capabilities of these organizations are put to test by the dynamic nature of the coast, resource constraints, and integrated planning approach.

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