Resilience to climate change will now become a concrete possibility in the Bangladeshi cities of Singra and Mongla. The two municipalities are part of the second phase of the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) project, that is reaching out to 40 cities in Asia and will use the climate resilience toolkit developed by ICLEI to help them become more resilient. Singra and Mongla, together with Barisal in Bangladesh and Leh, Panaji and Shillong in India, will undertake this resilience process together with ICLEI South Asia in the first phase of this upscaling project.
In August, ICLEI representatives visited Singra and Mongla for a first introductory workshop with city officials and other relevant local stakeholders. The ACCCRN toolkit advocates for stakeholders’ engagement – representatives from local NGOs, universities and research institutes, and from several departments within the municipalities themselves thus sat together and examined the existing and anticipated climatic vulnerabilities of their city, following a shared learning dialogue approach. A first identification of various climatic hazard events was followed by an assessment of the perceived corresponding impacts and an agreement on the positive or negative urban system trends for critical sectors. This analysis led ultimately to the prioritization of the different climate change related risks and impacts.
Whereas Singra – who has faced major droughts in the past – is mostly concerned about water logging and ground water table depletion, Mongla – severely hit by cyclones in the past years – is looking at salinization and siltation as the most critical impacts due to climate change. As next steps in the ACCCRN process, the two cities will now form a Climate Core Team and a Stakeholders’ Group, and proceed with the data collection for each of the priority sectors, focusing on the high and extreme risks; a series of corresponding actions will then be identified and discussed at the next shared learning dialogue .
If your municipality is interested in using the ACCCRN toolkit to assess your climate change vulnerabilities and identify corresponding actions, write to sunandan.tiwari@ iclei.org