Wageningen University & Research in Bangladesh: climate change, water and food security

Wageningen University & Research in Bangladesh: climate change, water and food security

Bangladesh is a dynamic delta, in which fighting poverty and economic development go hand in hand with challenges to deal with population pressure and climate variability and change. Developing solutions and new knowledge, for instance to provide insight in complex delta planning and management related topics, Wageningen University & Research works closely together with various partners in Bangladesh in a number of research and capacity development projects. The central theme of the activities is climate change, water and food security.

Our activities in Bangladesh

Delta management

  1. The Joint Cooperation Programme Bangladesh – the Netherlands is an applied research programme to develop new knowledge to assist the implementation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. The program was approved in 2018. In the JCP, Wageningen is leading a subproject ‘How to make it real” addressing the key question in the water and food nexus “Do we have enough water for our food in the future?”. Further WUR contributes actively in subprojects on Polders of the Future, Bangladesh MetaModel, Old Brahmaputra, and Information for Impact (developing an app with information about the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100). WUR is also lead in the work package on communication and outreach.
    JCP: Joint Cooperation Programme Bangladesh – the Netherlands, and www.jcpbd.nl
  2. DeltaCap (www.deltacapproject.net) and other collaboration with the Delta Alliance Bangladesh Wing (www.delta-alliance.org)
  3. KB Deltas under Pressure: As part of the strategic research programme “Food security and the value of water”, this research project creates insight in the transition in agriculture in deltas with integrated multidisciplinary case studies in Vietnam and Bangladesh. The case study in Bangladesh is focusing on the south west region, and implemented in collaboration with Solidaridad and Khulna University (Food security and the value of water motiv ‘deltas under pressure’).
  4. VICI research Prof Ton Hoitink

    Climate resilience

    1. RECSA – Resilience and Climate Smart Agriculture, capacity development cooperation with Patuakhali Science and Technology University coordinated by Water Systems and Global Change Group at WUR (https://csa-bangladesh.org/)
    2. Waterapp – NWO research collaboration, to develop water and climate related information services with and for farmers (http://www.waterapps.net/en-us/home/). Among others, a manual how to work on climate services with and for farmers, was created for the Bangladesh context https://research.reading.ac.uk/picsa/resources/picsa-manual/ A follow up in 5 cities, Dhaka, Khulna, Sirajganj, Patukhali and Rajshahi is forseen.
    3. Gobeshona: On behalf of WUR, Catharien Terwisscha van Scheltinga is member of the Steering Committee of Gobeshona, a platform for research on climate change in Bangladesh. The group organizes monthly meetings, in which research is presented, and an annual conference, which will be online and international in 2021.

      Food security

      1. Support for Modelling, Planning and Improving Dhaka’s Food System (Food Systems Greater Dhaka project) – WUR supports FAO and the city corporations that form the local governments of Dhaka Metropolitan Area, in this project with the ultimate aim to improve the food system and to increase the access of all inhabitants of Dhaka to affordable and qualitatively good food. http://www.fao.org/bangladesh/news/detail-events/en/c/1318458/ and Support for Modelling, Planning and Improving Dhaka’s Food System
      2. Bangladesh part of the Flagship CGIAR – Agriculture for Nutrition and Health - https://a4nh.cgiar.org/ , in which WUR is leading the flagship 1 Food Systems for Nutrition and Health, https://a4nh.cgiar.org/our-research/flagship-1/
      3. Covid-19 Rapid Country Assessment Bangladesh - Rapid Country Assessment: Bangladesh

      Project Office Dhaka

      To support the activities mentioned on the left, a Wageningen University & Research Project Office Dhaka has been established in 2011. It is currently hosted by the Centre for Environmental and Geographical Information Services (CEGIS). Various teams within Wageningen University & Research are involved in activities in Bangladesh, such as Wageningen Environmental Research; the chair group Water Systems and Global Change; Wageningen Economic Research, the Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation and Wageningen Marine Research.

      Every year, around 20 students from Bangladesh come to Wageningen University & Research for MSc and PhD research. Current PhD candidates include:

      In 2018, a UniversityTree was planted during an alumni event, on the occasion of the 100 year anniversary of Wageningen University.

      Earlier projects

      Climate resilience

      1. The HI-AWARE project develops robust evidence on how to enhance the adaptive capacities and climate resilience of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the mountains and floodplains of the glacier and snowpack dependent river basins of South Asia.
      2. IMPACT2C research on climate change and water – case study Bangladesh
      3. Capacity Development on Adaptation and Disaster Management in the water sector related to climate change (NICHE/BGD/85)
      4. Shells to combat erosion – building with nature, Ecobas pilot research project
      5. Member of the Steering Committee of Gobeshona, a platform for research on climate change in Bangladesh
      6. Research Project: Environmentally-related migration in the digital age. Research to provide a fundamental understanding of the ways in which ICT-enabled information exchange shapes practices and flows of environmentally-related migration. See also the information of NWO

      Delta Planning and Management

      1. Delta Plan Preparatory Team, and Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 (Formulation Team). More information on the Bangladesh Delta Plan via www.bangladeshdeltaplan.org.
        Read more (in Dutch) in the article of Jelmer Mommers, Correspondent Klimaat & Energie, 'Hoe Nederland het overstromende Bangladesh opnieuw wil redden van het water' (translated: How the Netherlands will once again save Bangladesh from flooding)
      2. Delta Ateliers, Touch Table application and the Delta Atlas: Geo-spatial participatory planning tools to support the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. More information on the Delta Atlas and Climate Adaptation Services (CAS), a spin-off of Wageningen University & Research, can be found on the CAS website.
      3. Collaboration with the Delta Alliance Bangladesh Wing
      4. Scenario Development on IWRM at BUET, BAU, WARPO and CEGIS (NICHE/BGD/155)
      5. NWO/ Dynamic Deltas research
      6. Workshop 'Delta Planning and Management', held in Myanmar. Next one scheduled in Bangladesh, 19-23 October, 2014
      7. DeltaCap: Contributing to Bangladesh’s capacity to deliver its Delta Plan; the DeltaCap inception workshop in Bangladesh was held on 16 January 2017.

      Food security

      Integrated Knowledge on Water-Food-Water (NICHE/BGD/156), where a new Integrated Centre for Food Security is established at Bangladesh Agricultural University.

      News about Bangladesh

      Projects and PhD research in Bangladesh