ICLEI South Asia organised two Shared Learning Dialogues (s) in Rajshahi and Narayanganj in Bangladesh, on the 4th and 7th of August 2019, respectively. These SLDs were organised under the Urban LEDS-II project to conduct detailed climate vulnerability assessments, including validation of climate trends and past hazards, identification of climate-impacted urban systems, vulnerable places and actors and their risk assessment, as well as adaptive capacities, besides contributing to finalization of the city’s GHG inventory. The climate core team, stakeholders from different public agencies, NGOs and community leaders attended the workshops.
Detailed vulnerability assessment reports are now being prepared, based on the findings of the SLDs. They will be discussed by the climate core teams, before being presented to the stakeholders of each city for their feedback and recommendations.
Here’s a summary of the findings from each city:
- The participants from Rajshahi identified and prioritised six fragile urban systems that were being impacted due to climate change: water supply; health; biodiversity; economy; solid waste management; and wastewater.
- The impact of climate change on the city and its surroundings has been mostly in the form of droughts. The participants also said that rainfall was decreasing in the pre-monsoon period and increasing in the post-monsoon period. The annual average maximum and minimum temperatures are rising, with heat waves and cold waves being the consequences of this temperature change.
- In terms of the likelihood and consequences of the impact of climate change, the urban systems identified as being at highest risk are water supply, health, biodiversity and economy, while the solid waste management system faces a high risk and the wastewater system is at medium risk. All six fragile systems were found to be most vulnerable in Ward 17 in Rajshahi.
- Five fragile urban systems were identified in Narayanganj: air quality; water quality; sanitation; wastewater; solid waste; and transportation.
- No major climate events were identified for the city, besides waterlogging and thunderstorms. Heat stress and cold waves are common phenomena in the city due to climate change.
- The stakeholders said the most fragile urban systems were water quality and transportation, in terms of facing extreme risks, while air quality, sanitation and wastewater systems were at high risk. Wards 1, 9, 12 and 20, besides 23 and 24 have been found to be the most vulnerable areas in terms of having three fragile urban systems. The least vulnerable wards are 4, 5, 10 and 11, as well as 17 and 18.
The SLDs were successful in engaging the stakeholders from different sectors and in achieving their objectives. The participants were spontaneous and constructive in their interactions in the workshops. They hoped that such a platform for sharing knowledge and holding discussions would play a vital role in combating climate change.