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McEvoy D.,RMIT University | Ahmed I.,RMIT University | Trundle A.,RMIT University | Sang L.T.,Southern Institute of Sustainable Development | And 8 more authors.
Climate and Development | Year: 2014

Vietnam and Bangladesh are countries already impacted by weather-related extreme events. Scientific modelling projections indicate that climate change, and changes to climate variability, will increase risks for both countries in the future. Targeting this challenging contemporary agenda, this paper reflects on the lessons learned from a collaborative research project, funded by the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research, which was carried out jointly in the Vietnamese city of Huế and the Bangladeshi city of Satkhira. The focus on secondary cities was intentional as they face unique challenges - a combination of rapid growth and development, adverse climate-related impacts, and in many cases less institutional adaptive capacity than their primary city counterparts. Whilst numerous assessment tool kits already exist, these have typically been developed for rural or natural resource contexts. Therefore, the objective of this action research activity was to develop a flexible suite of participatory assessment tools and methodologies that were refined specifically for the urban context; as well as being easy to use by local practitioners at the city and neighbourhood scales. This paper summarizes the research and stakeholder engagement activity that was carried out before presenting the main findings from each of the case study cities (detailing both climate-related risks and potential adaptation options). This analysis is further extended to include a reflective critique of the assessment process, a comparative analysis of the activity carried out in the two case studies, and the 'South-South' learning process that occurred between project partners. Key findings are then distilled to put forward recommendations in support of climate change assessment activity in secondary cities across the Asia-Pacific region. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Nowreen S.,Institute of Water and Flood Management | Jalal M.R.,Institute of Water and Flood Management | Khan M.S.A.,Institute of Water and Flood Management
Water Policy | Year: 2014

After more than a decade of meeting the designated objective of increasing productivity in agriculture, the South West coastal polders of Bangladesh have ended up as different man-made disasters. The failure of the polders to deliver the intended outcome is basically attributed to the lack of understanding of their hydro-morphological characteristics, inadequacy in their operation and maintenance, and failure to take into account their social relationship and culture roles. Changes in socioeconomic settings have also forced changes in the designated functions of the polders, but now the emerging context of climate change has become a major issue in rationalizing the coastal polders. In this context, this study is an attempt to review the historical and ongoing process of rationalization of the South West coastal polders, revealing that it is essential to take an integrated view of the hydrologic cycle and the interactions of human interventions. Finally, this paper recommends that an extended cost-benefit analysis with a multi-objective focus or a multi-criteria analysis, if monetizing is not possible, should be an option in rationalizing this multi-functional infrastructure. Proper macro-planning would require development of an institution capable of dealing with a task which is multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary in nature. © IWA Publishing 2014.

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