Like the Netherlands, Bangladesh needs to keep its heads above water in a dynamic delta. Due to the effects of climate change, these challenges will be even greater in the future. The Netherlands prepares for climate change with the Delta Programme. Last year, Bangladesh teamed up with the Netherlands to prepare a Delta Plan for Bangladesh. It is a Delta Plan that responds to the problems of today, but also anticipates what's coming. Practical, visionary and future-proof. CAS is involved in the preparation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 (BDP2100). The aim of the BDP2100 is to develop a long-term and jointly-agreed plan for the Bangladesh Delta to tackle water-related problems in the country. An implementation of the plan is also planned.
First, we have created an interactive Delta Atlas that increases awareness and can deal with complexity in a practical and accessible way. The Atlas is the first step in a solution-oriented approach towards a safer Bangladesh. To ensure that the Delta Atlas reaches all parts of the society in Bangladesh, three components are paid special attention to:
Firstly, the Atlas has to be accessible to everyone. Both policy-makers and local farmers must be able to understand and use the Atlas.
Secondly, the Atlas needs to be interactive and flexible. This is particularly important for Bangladesh with its many interconnections. For example, farmers do not only cultivate their land, but also earn a living from fishing. Through atlas interactivity, a farmer can manually select all aspects that concern him and put them as layers on top of each other in the atlas. This way a full picture of the situation can be obtained.
Thirdly, you can see the future effects of climate change. In the atlas you can navigate through different time steps until 2085, which is particularly important as the BDP2100 aims at finding long-term solutions for Bangladesh’s delta problems.
In order to make good decisions for the future, it is important to show what the situation A, B, C or D could be in 10 or 25 years. This also creates awareness of the need to work on solutions. The atlas is the basis for the Delta Ateliers, which is the next step in the process of the BDP2100.
The ateliers are creative and interactive sessions that enable a dialogues about current problems and possibilities for solutions. These ateliers are also used in order to validate the situations that have been mapped and to see whether the information that are shown in the atlas actually match what people experience in that area.
The Delta Ateliers are important for finding useful strategies for the future Delta Plan. By the use of the atlas and through dialogues, people can reach possible solutions during the ateliers. The ateliers were held both on the national level and in five different regions in Bangladesh. This can also illustrate possible generic strategies and specific measures.
Rapid assessment tool
Developing adaptation strategies to climate change requires making choices and trade-offs among various interests. This process involves a lot of complexity that is related to uncertainties about future climate change impacts, many stakeholder that are involved, conflicting interests and the complexity of the Bangladesh Delta.
The “Rapid Assessment Tool” supports the development of robust and coherent adaptation strategies. The tool is based on a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis and allows assessing adaptation strategies taking into account their effectiveness, their sustainability and aspects regarding the ease of implementation. The tool was developed in Excel, which makes it easily accessible for users and allows showing the results of the overall performance directly. The tool is applicable in a one-day workshop.