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Durham University

Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Louise Bracken

Huq, M.J. & Bracken, L.J. From Risk to Opportunity: Climate Change and Flood Policy in Bangladesh. In: Leal Filho, W. Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation. Springer; 2015:1023-1047.

Author(s) from Durham


This study identifies current gaps and opportunities of existing flood regulatory frameworks and national climate change strategies of Bangladesh . In so doing, the research develops a framework to reconcile the interest of land, water, and people in order to reduce the vulnerability of extreme flooding and develop strategies for future flood management. The study reveals that the existing flood regulatory framework is only effective for relief and response during times of flooding but has significant gaps and inadequate provisions to increase communities’ adaptive capacity and resilience to deal with future flooding vulnerability under climate change. The flood management system also suffers from a lack of coordination, complex institutional frameworks, and budgetary constraints. The findings of the study also reveal that people’s/communities’ participation is at a very early state in flood-related project formulation and implementation, and they are totally absent at the level of flood management committees. In addition, the study strongly urges introduction of evidence-based flood policy formulation to reconcile the interest of land, water, and people. Working in this way will give people and communities a voice in the decision-making process, ensure the participation of vulnerable people in decision-making around flooding, and take immediate initiatives to fill the existing gaps and weaknesses of flood management system in Bangladesh.