Date Published: 19 March 2010

Researchers to study poverty and climate change in Bangladesh

Researchers at The University of Manchester’s School of Environment and Development have been awarded £500,000 to study poverty and climate change in Bangladesh.

The Brooks World Poverty Institute team of Dr Manoj Roy and Professor David Hulme together with Prof. Simon Guy of the Manchester Architecture Research Centre, will examine how the urban poor in Bangladesh are responding to the increasingly dire effects of global warming.

The project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and The Department for International Development over three years, and will bring together a team of leading Bangladeshi and UK researchers and policy activists.

Professor Simon Guy said:

The project responds directly to three of the grand challenges facing society globally: poverty, rapid urbanisation and climate change.

It also demonstrates the capacity of the University, and specifically the School of Environment and Development, to connect disciplines such as development, architecture and planning to work collaboratively with researchers in Bangladesh to undertake high-quality research which produces practical outcomes with real impact.

Dr Roy said:

We know the effects of climate change and variability to deepen over coming decades.
But it’s the urban poor who are especially vulnerable: dwellings are being damaged or destroyed, casual labour laid off, fuel prices rise, water supplies become contaminated and children get sick.
A downward spiral is likely, yet most governments in developing countries see climate change purely as a rural problem with impacts on agriculture and food security.

He added:

The urban population of Bangladesh exceeds 40 million and is growing at 3.4% per annum.
With 20 million people potentially displaced by rising sea levels in coming years, the urbanisation rate seems likely to increase even more.
Urban poverty is already high - estimates vary from 47% to 70% - and in the bustees - or slums - living conditions are deteriorating.
But, like most other governments, the Government of Bangladesh maintains a rural focus: none of the "priority actions" in its Climate Change Strategies and Action Plan 2008 targets the problems faced by the urban poor.”

This programme will work with the BRAC Development Institute at BRAC University along with other leading research agencies in Bangladesh.

 

Source: Manchester University, UK .

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