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Adaptation and sustainability issues of global warming consequences in coastal Bangladesh

Salequzzaman, Md., Stocker, L., Marinova, D. and Newman, P. (2003) Adaptation and sustainability issues of global warming consequences in coastal Bangladesh. In: International Sustainability Conference, 17 - 19 September, Fremantle, Western Australia

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Global warming consequences and impacts of sea level rise characterise the recent evolution of the coastal environment. All of these resulted from ‘greenhouse gases’ caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels. It is important therefore to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and increase the use of renewable energy. Bangladesh is not a significant ‘greenhouse gas’ contributor, but is the victim of potential threats of sea level rise from global warming because of its natural physical setting in a coastal environment. It is projected that by 2050 the mean sea level may rise as much as 1.8 metres. This may result in the loss of up to 16% of the land that supports 13% of the country’s GDP. This impact will change the present coastal water current and movement, precipitation and run-off, and also the tidal range of coastal Bangladesh. Some recent studies suggest that the tidal range in some parts of coastal Bangladesh has a good potential for producing tidal energy (an important source of renewable energy) by utilising the existent costly infrastructure of coastal embankment and sluice gates. Once this tidal energy is adapted in coastal Bangladesh, the future global warming will increase its further potentiality. Coastal Bangladesh is extremely resourceful and very important for the economic, environmental and cultural activities of the local as well as national and international community. Until now, most of the potential resources of this area have not been used properly, mainly due to lack of electricity and integrated coastal management practices. Thus the discusses the global warming threats to coastal Bangladesh and how utilising the potentiality of tidal energy could mitigate these threats. The paper also presents a framework how tidal energy could be integrated with various potential coastal resources for the sustainable development of coastal Bangladesh.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
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