Climate change experts head to “adaptation capital of the world”

News, 19 April 2013
Bangladesh may be among the countries most vulnerable to climate change but it is also to one that has done most to adapt to the impacts ahead, according to the organisers of an international conference that takes place there next week.

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will open the conference and Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, will give the keynote speech in the closing session.

The 7th International Conference on Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change takes place in Dhaka on 22-25 April, and will be managed by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS).  

"The story of Bangladesh being vulnerable to climate change is yesterday's story," says Dr Saleemul Huq, senior fellow at IIED. "Today's story is about Bangladesh being one of the most adaptive countries. I would call it the adaptation capital of the world. Other so-called developing countries too have lessons that even the world’s richest countries can learn about how to adapt to climate change."

Conference delegates – and online participants who will follow the conference over the internet – will learn about ways that people around the world are adapting to climate change in both rural and urban settings, and how governments can embed adaptation in all policy arenas.

Bangladesh has emerged as a global leader in adaptation to climate change, in part through strong collaborations between government and civil society. Unlike in other countries, in Bangladesh all relevant stakeholders, from the government to NGOs, are not only well aware of climate change but are actively involved in tackling the problem.

"Adaptation at the community level is particularly significant," says Dr Atiq Rahman, executive director of BCAS. "This is because it puts communities in control. They decide. They act. Around the world, poor communities are getting organised and taking control of their responses to climate change. The story today is of poorer countries and communities that are leaders, not victims. The rich have much to learn from them."

To follow the conference online, check out our live blog or register as a Virtual Internet Participant (VIP) or follow #CBA7 on Twitter

More information about the 7th International Conference on Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change


For interviews contact Saleemul Huq ( or Atiq Rahman (

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Notes to editors

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development (see:

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