Nature-based Solutions Bangladesh

"Communities within Bangladesh have been working with nature for many years to adapt to climatic impacts and there is a rich body of knowledge on how to implement Nature-based Solutions."

News item image Landsat satellite land cover image for the field area. (SES social-ecological system)

Latest publication on ecosystem services and Bangladesh

16th May 2020

Multi-dimensional well-being associated with economic dependence on ecosystem services in deltaic social-ecological systems of Bangladesh

Authors: Helen Adams, W. Neil Adger, Sate Ahmad, Ali Ahmed, Dilruba Begum, Zoe Matthews, Mohammed Mofizur Rahman, Kristine Nilsen, Georgina Grace Gurney and Peter Kim Streatfield . Published on 2020


Summary of the paper

The paper explores how different contributions of ecosystem services to livelihood mix are associated with well-being. The study investigates three emerging dimensions of the ecosystem service-poverty relationship: nature’s contribution to livelihood and income, subjective wellbeing comparison and analysis by socio-ecological system to show how well-being varies. The research took place in the south and south-west coastal zone of Bangladesh considering seven socio-ecological zones.

With increasing economic dependence on ecosystem services, the likelihood of being under the poverty line decreases. The likelihood of reporting low life satisfaction also decreases with increasing economic dependence on ecosystem services. So, the authors have a positive notion on the ecosystem service-based livelihood. Material poverty and reported life satisfaction are significantly related to demographic characteristics and environmental shocks. Access to land turns to keep people above the poverty line but it also says that the people who are better-off potentially have more to lose in extreme events such as floods or droughts. It also says that the people with more asset are also more able to cope. There is no relationship between the incidence of material poverty and the specific social-ecological systems but the condition of the social-ecological system in which a person lives is important for generating life satisfaction. Low levels of life satisfaction could also be associated with a change in the landscape impacting meaningful activities and spaces. For example – one of the seven socio ecological system is saltwater shrimp which is the most degraded system. The study has found the lowest life satisfaction reporting from the people living in this area and highest from the people living in the riverine area, possibly due to its cultural and aesthetic value.

The nature/ecosystem services play an important role for diverse well-being outcomes. Any contribution of ecosystem service-based income to the livelihood mix decreases the likelihood of the incidence of poverty, and of individuals reporting dissatisfaction. There is need for social policy on poverty that accounts for the diversity of outcomes across social-ecological systems. Over exploitation of ecosystem services can have negative impact on subjective wellbeing .

Read the paper here