Adapting Food Cultivation to Climate Change in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River Delta

HKUST IEMS Thought Leadership Brief No. 71


Jeffrey Chow

The Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River Delta is a vital region for agriculture and aquaculture production, but is also highly vulnerable to climate change impacts including altered temperature and precipitation regimes, increased riverine flooding, intensified tropical storms, and rising coastal soil salinity.

Prevailing adaptation strategies have limitations and drawbacks, thus the development of new climate-change-resilient crop varieties and methods is urgent and must be coupled with rapid and widespread education and dissemination campaigns to enhance adoption.

Poorer or landless cultivators with fewer options need programs that support alternative non-cultivation adaptation strategies such as consumption smoothing, income diversification, and migration.

The information in this brief is based on:

Chow J, et al.  2022.  Climate and cultivation in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna River Delta.  In:  Handbook of Behavioural Economics and Climate Change.  Seo N (ed.).  Edward Elgar.  73-97.

About the Author 

Jeffrey Chow is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Institute for Emerging Market Studies and at the HKUST Institute for Public Policy. Prior to joining HKUST, Dr. Chow served as a Fulbright- Clinton Public Policy Fellow and Special Assistant to the Chief Conservator of Forests for the Bangladesh Forest Department; Research Scientist and Technical Program Manager at Conservation International Hong Kong, and Consultant at Civic Exchange Hong Kong and Environmental Resources Management, Ltd. 

Dr. Chow holds a PhD from Yale University and Master of Environmental Management and Master of Forestry degrees from Duke University. His peer-reviewed publications have appeared in Science, PLOS One, Land Economics, the Journal of Sustainable Forestry, Forest Policy and Economics, the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, and elsewhere. His research focuses on land economics and policy, as well as on the role of natural capital in climate change adaptation.

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