Category Archives: marginalized

Bangladesh: Round table discussion on land rights of poor and marginalized

We are sharing this article contributed by the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).

Climate change impacts will disproportionately fall on tropical regions and particularly on the most vulnerable and marginalized population groups. Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of climate change due to its geographic location, and people of the coastal area especially south and south-western parts are in the most vulnerable position. While life and livelihood depends on agriculture, food security is in peril due to the impact of climate change.

Hence, ALRD and partners organized a round table discussion, “Land Rights of Poor and Marginalized: Impact of Climate Change on Food Security” on 16 November.

Round table discussion proper

Round table discussion proper

People of disaster prone costal belt in Bangladesh are basically poor and landless. They live with the harsh reality of river erosion, severe cyclone, flood, water logging, salinity intrusion etc. Socio-economically underprivileged char lands (fringe land) people are mostly landless and living below the poverty line. Though several initiatives have been taken by the government, non-governmental organization and civil society, these were not sufficient in contrast of their sufferings.

Panel discussants argued that despite being a self-sufficient country in food production, equal access to food is an issue. Char people do not have their own land and hence they should get access to Khas land (government land) so that their food security could be ensured. They also raised that social development activities should be taken by both the government and NGOs in a coordinated manner so that the living standard of char people could be improved. To ensure proper utilization of local resources settlement of all absentee land, water bodies, canals and rivers should be given to the landless char people in accordance to the existing laws and policies. At the same time, Land grabbing by powerful vested interest group should be prevented. Thus, local administration should play a vital role.

Finally, they opined that government and the people should take the key responsibilities regarding climate change and food security.