Climate change, environmental stress and loss of livelihoods can push people towards illegal activities: a case study from coastal Bangladesh

Ahmed, Istiakh, Ayeb-Karlsson, Sonja, van der Geest, Kees, Huq, Saleem and Jordan, Joanne Catherine (2019) Climate change, environmental stress and loss of livelihoods can push people towards illegal activities: a case study from coastal Bangladesh. Climate and Development. ISSN 1756-5529

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to SRO admin only until 5 March 2020.

Download (478kB)
[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (1MB)

Abstract

This paper aims to understand how environmental stressors influence people’s livelihood options in the coastal belt of Bangladesh. We argue that environmental stressors such as cyclones, riverbank erosion, salinity intrusion, and floods have negative impacts on people’s lives by reducing their livelihood options. Twelve in-depth interviews (Livelihood Histories) and twelve Focus Group Discussions (FGD) based on two Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools (Village Timeline and Contextual Change) were carried out in three different sites in coastal Bangladesh were conducted under the study. Our study finds that when there are insufficient adaptation strategies to environmental stressors, many people turn to livelihoods banned by the government. These ‘illegal livelihoods’ include using fine mesh nets to collect shrimp fry in the rivers as well as logging in the Sundarbans. These people are often the poorestand vulnerable, and law enforcement only exacerbate their vulnerability. We end by concluding those that have turned to ‘illegal livelihoods’ as a result of detrimental environmental stressors should be viewed as a special category of vulnerable people by policymakers, and steps need to be taken to ensure resilience to different environmental stressors.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Illegal livelihoods; environmental stress; resilience; climate change; Bangladesh
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Global Health and Infection
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences > GE170 Environmental policy
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences > GE300 Environmental management
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN357 Culture and cultural processes Including social change, structuralism, diffusion, etc.
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs (General)
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD1401 Agricultural economics
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HS Societies
J Political Science
Depositing User: Sonja Rosina Ayeb-Karlsson
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2019 10:48
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 13:31
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82361

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update