Overcoming challenges for implementing nature-based solutions in deltaic environments : insights from the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta in Bangladesh

Gain, Animesh K. and Rahman, Mohammed Mofizur and Sadik, Md Shibly and Adnan, Mohammed Sarfaraz Gani and Ahmad, Sate and Ahsan, Shaiikh Muhammad Mehedi and Ashik-Ur-Rahman, Md and Balke, Thorsten and Datta, Dilip K and Dewan, Camelia and Huq, Nazmul and Khan, M Shah Alam and Large, Andy and Mallick, Bishawjit and Mohibbullah, M and Mondal, M Shahjahan and Narayan, Siddharth and Rabbani, Golam and Rahman, Rezaur and Renaud, Fabrice G and Rogers, Kimberly G and van Loon-Steensma, Jantsje M (2022) Overcoming challenges for implementing nature-based solutions in deltaic environments : insights from the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta in Bangladesh. Environmental Research Letters, 17 (6). 064052. ISSN 1748-9326 (https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac740a)

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The Ganges-Brahmaputra (GB) delta is one of the most disaster-prone areas in the world due to a combination of high population density and exposure to tropical cyclones, floods, salinity intrusion and other hazards. Due to the complexity of natural deltaic processes and human influence on these processes, structural solutions like embankments are inadequate on their own for effective hazard mitigation. This article examines nature-based solutions (NbSs) as a complementary or alternative approach to managing hazards in the GB delta. We investigate the potential of NbS as a complementary and sustainable method for mitigating the impacts of coastal disaster risks, mainly cyclones and flooding. Using the emerging framework of NbS principles, we evaluate three existing approaches: tidal river management, mangrove afforestation, and oyster reef cultivation, all of which are actively being used to help reduce the impacts of coastal hazards. We also identify major challenges (socioeconomic, biophysical, governance and policy) that need to be overcome to allow broader application of the existing approaches by incorporating the NbS principles. In addition to addressing GB delta-specific challenges, our findings provide more widely applicable insights into the challenges of implementing NbS in deltaic environments globally.


Gain, Animesh K., Rahman, Mohammed Mofizur, Sadik, Md Shibly, Adnan, Mohammed Sarfaraz Gani ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7276-1891, Ahmad, Sate, Ahsan, Shaiikh Muhammad Mehedi, Ashik-Ur-Rahman, Md, Balke, Thorsten, Datta, Dilip K, Dewan, Camelia, Huq, Nazmul, Khan, M Shah Alam, Large, Andy, Mallick, Bishawjit, Mohibbullah, M, Mondal, M Shahjahan, Narayan, Siddharth, Rabbani, Golam, Rahman, Rezaur, Renaud, Fabrice G, Rogers, Kimberly G and van Loon-Steensma, Jantsje M;