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Overcoming challenges for implementing nature-based solutions in deltaic environments: insights from the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta in Bangladesh

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andy Large


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The Ganges-Brahmaputra (GB) delta is one of the most disaster-prone areas in the world due to a combination of high population density and exposure to tropical cyclones, floods, salinity intrusion and other hazards. Due to the complexity of natural deltaic processes and human influence on these processes, structural solutions like embankments are inadequate on their own for effective hazard mitigation. This article examines nature-based solutions (NbSs) as a complementary or alternative approach to managing hazards in the GB delta. We investigate the potential of NbS as a complementary and sustainable method for mitigating the impacts of coastal disaster risks, mainly cyclones and flooding. Using the emerging framework of NbS principles, we evaluate three existing approaches: tidal river management, mangrove afforestation, and oyster reef cultivation, all of which are actively being used to help reduce the impacts of coastal hazards. We also identify major challenges (socioeconomic, biophysical, governance and policy) that need to be overcome to allow broader application of the existing approaches by incorporating the NbS principles. In addition to addressing GB delta-specific challenges, our findings provide more widely applicable insights into the challenges of implementing NbS in deltaic environments globally.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gain AK, Rahman MM, Sadik MS, Adnan MSG, Ahmad S, Ahsan SMM, Ashik-Ur-Rahman M, Balke T, Datta DK, Dewan C, Huq N, M Shah Alam Khan M, Large A, Mallick B, Mohibbullah M, Mondal MA, Narayan S, Rabbani G, Rahman R, Renaud FG, Rogers KG, van Loon-Steensma JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environmental Research Letters

Year: 2022

Volume: 17

Issue: 6

Print publication date: 10/06/2022

Online publication date: 10/06/2022

Acceptance date: 27/05/2022

ISSN (electronic): 1748-9326

Publisher: IOP Science


DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ac740a


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