Loss and damage: a range of approaches to address loss and damage from climate change impacts in Bangladesh

Climate change

This report explores the potential approaches for addressing climate change induced loss and damage in Bangladesh.


At this time, there is no universally agreed definition for the term “loss and damage”. To date, loss and damage has been discussed and debated within the global climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). While the negotiations themselves have focused on the need for enhancing understanding of how to assess and address loss and damage, there has been a concurrent international discussion, which has focused on allocating responsibility and providing compensation. However, while loss and damage is being discussed at the global level, it is being incurred at the local level. For those experiencing it, the concept of loss and damage has no meaning, but its impacts do. Thus, it is important to understand how loss and damage is being experienced within states and communities and more importantly, how it can be addressed and ultimately reduced.

Undertaking this research was challenging given that research on loss and damage was largely unchartered territory, when we began writing this paper. We grappled with understanding loss and damage ourselves and ‐ in particular ‐ with determining where adaptation ends and approaches to address residual loss and damage begin. We know there are boundaries and limits to adaptation but it has been challenging to determine where those boundaries lie. Our thanks go to Dr. S. M. Munjurul Hannan Khan, Professor Fuad Hasan Mallick, Professor M. Hashemi, Mr. M. Shamsuddoha and Dr. M. Asaduzzaman for their valuable input. We would also like to acknowledge the working group team members and the valued suggestions from participants in the expert workshops. Our sincere thanks are also due to Dr. Koko Warner from the United Nations University (Bonn), Sven Harmeling and Sönke Kreft from Germanwatch for their tremendous support as external reviewers and conceptual leaders. Last but not least, we would like to thank Dr. Saleemul Huq, for without his valuable input this report would not have been possible.

Authored by: Ainun Nishat, Nandan Mukherjee, Erin Roberts and Anna Hasemann

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