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Bangladeshi government adopts RMMRU's National Strategy on Internal Displacement

The government of Bangladesh has now confirmed that it will formally adopt the National Strategy on the Management of Disaster and Climate Induced Internal Displacement that was drafted by a team of researchers led by our MISTY partner, Tasneem Siddiqui, and her colleagues at the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) in Dhaka.

Bangladesh’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief first commissioned RMMRU to prepare a National Strategy in 2015. In consultation with other national and international climate change research centres, civil society organisations, and relevant government ministries, the RMMRU team continued to update the report over the next five years, publishing a revised draft in January 2020.

As the Strategy draft makes very clear, low-lying Bangladesh is exceptionally vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise. The combination of frequent extreme weather events and often precarious social conditions is already destroying communities and driving large numbers of people from their homes. But, again as this draft clearly lays out, as a result of climate change, it is expected that all these natural hazards will increase in frequency and intensity in the coming years, leading to millions more people being displaced. Recent estimates suggest that by 2050 one in every 45 people in the world and one in every 7 people in Bangladesh will be displaced by climate change (IDMC data).

In a move that marks a governmental shift from its traditional relief-oriented approach to the displacement issue to a more proactive and comprehensive displacement management, the long term vision of the Strategy is "to make vulnerable communities in Bangladesh resilient to climate change and disasters through sustainable management of disaster and climate induced internal displacement." The key features of the strategy are derived from rights perspective setting out "a comprehensive and realistic rights-based framework that respects, protects and ensures the rights of disaster and climate induced internally displaced persons in different stages of displacement and during the search for durable solutions."

Over the next year, the RMMRU team will develop an action plan to implement the National Strategy. As part of this process, an international advisory board will be formed to help structure the plan. Exeter MISTY partner, Neil Adger and Ricardo Safra de Campos have been invited to sit on the board and are honoured to be part of such an important step forward in managing disaster and climate induced internal displacement in Bangladesh.

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