The impacts of Global Climate Change include sea-level rise affecting coastal areas and island states, greater intensity of cyclones and probably enhanced precipitation in monsoon areas. These have their reinforcing feed-back mechanisms.
A recent study (November 1991) published by Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies that : “The coastal areas of Bangladesh were devastated by a cyclone in 1991. Victims of the 29 April 1991 cyclone and tidal bore were all components of the environment : human beings, animals, trees, soils and water bodies. Floods cyclones, tidal bores and earthquakes are not the only disasters; poverty is also a disaster. The impact of a natural disaster is determined by the extent of devastation caused by the event. When resources are already scarce and the baseline is under pressure, the advent of a disaster stretches the fabric of society to its limits.”
If the same cyclone were to hit the US coast of the Mississippi Delta, the loss of human life probably would be less than one per cent of that of Bangladesh. The infrastructure loss in absolute monetary terms may be larger but as a proportion of national GDP or annual budget would be insignificant in the case of say, the USA, while it is a major and signify cant proportion of Bangladesh’s economy.
Another example is that the Netherlands may be in a position to protect itself against one metre sea-level rise, while the Maldives neither has the means not the real possibility to take effective mitigation measures.
Thus the impact of a natural disaster is as much a function of the causal event as of the economic status of and the capacity to cope by the communities and countries that are affected.
It also appears that poorer communities which are already vulnerable to natural disasters are again going to be the victims of impacts of GCC and consequently exposed to even greater vulnerability.
Thus the main focus of the research will be :