Yiaser Arafat Rubel and Bayes Ahmed, Bangladesh

STUDENT BIO

Hello, my name is YIASER ARAFAT. I was born in Cox’s Bazar which is supposed to be the tourist capital of Bangladesh as it contains the world’s longest unbroken sandy sea beach with green hill aside. [I cordially invite all of you to visit this mind blowing sea beach]. I grew up there up to my Secondary Education then I was shifted to the port city, Chittagong, for Higher Secondary Education. After that I came to the capital city, Dhaka, for Higher Education. I believe my honesty, willingness to take challenges, self-motivation and hardworking mentality have taken me to this position and I'm trying to keep this up. I am optimistic and try learning from the past misdoings. I love to collaborate with people without considering any differences.

Education: After securing highest possible result in both secondary and higher secondary examinations, now I am pursuing my Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).

Work: Alongside my study I have been working with many national and international organizations like UNEP-TUNZA, SAYEN and Transparency International-Bangladesh. As humanity is my priority, therefore, I have founded an organization named WE CAN (Ways to Enhance Students Capacities, Awareness and Nuance) to serve the deprived rural students of Bangladesh.

Future Plan: Bangladesh is facing many problems such as floods, drought, river bank erosion, landslide, degradation of fertile land, variable precipitation, diseases, food security, imbalanced ecology and biodiversity arising due to climate change. That’s why I have determined to appoint myself in the field of Environmental Engineering so that Bangladeshi people will have a chance to live in a safer country. I will devote myself in serving the nation protecting the environment as well as to ensure a livable world to live in.

Hobby: I am fond of reading books, listening songs, freelance photography, traveling and observing the nature. In leisure time, I go back to my beloved village where I grew up to serve the rural students by organizing many exciting events such as science fair, motivational and career developing workshop, seminar on environmental awareness and debate competition.




MENTOR BIO

Hello, my name is BAYES AHMED. I was born in Dhaka which is the capital of Bangladesh. Therefore, Dhaka is my hometown. I am a very straightforward, open minded and fun loving person. I like to express my feelings openly and like others to do that too. I always think about the present and the future, and try not to grudge about what went wrong in the past.

Education: I have completed M.Sc in Geospatial Technologies in 2011. I received 'Erasmus Mundus Scholarship' awarded by the European Commission for continuing the Master’s program. Before that I was awarded with Bachelor of 'Urban and Regional Planning' degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) in 2008.

Work: Currently I am working as a 'Planner' in the Fael Khair Project for the construction of School- cum- Cyclone Shelters in IMC Worldwide Ltd, Dhaka Office, Bangladesh.

Future Goals: The threats of haphazard urbanization, climate change and man-made disasters awfully concern my mind to have a conscious look at the Urban-Environment. I have keen interest in disaster management and the adverse impacts of climate change  in community, with a goal of incorporating modern technologies like 'GIS' and 'Remote Sensing' in a meaningful way of contributing to city planning in Bangladesh and help create a better world for us and the generations to come.

Hobby: I like Collecting Stamps & Coins, Digital Photography, Writing Blogs, Reading Books and Watching Movies. I love to travel different places and work for my community in leisure time.



 

ABOUT OUR RESEARCH


assessing land cover changes in HILLY REGIONS and the implications for climate change ADAPTATION:

A CASE STUDY OF CHITTAGONG CITY, BANGLADESH

Background of the Research

Bangladesh is a disaster-prone country. Almost every year, the country experiences disasters of one kind or another- such as tropical cyclones, storm surges, coastal erosion, landslides, floods, and droughts- causing heavy loss of life and property and jeopardizing the development activities. The country is already beset with many problems like high population density (150 million people living in an area of 144,000 km2), shortage of land to accommodate the people, food security, human health, illiteracy, and so forth [1].

The above-mentioned types of disasters make the problems all the more complicated. In the foreseeable future, Bangladesh is likely to be one of the most vulnerable countries of the world in the event of climate change [2]. The global warming due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere and the consequent sea level rise (SLR) are going to add fuel to the fire. Almost every sector of socio-economic life in Bangladesh is likely to be affected by climate change [3].

Climate change presents unique challenges for urban areas and their growing populations. Climate research has illuminated the link between global warming and the alteration of the Earth’s water cycle, which has led to changes in precipitation frequency and intensity, cyclone activity, glacial melt and sea-level rise [4].

These physical changes, and the associated responses of ecosystems and economies, have discernible implications for cities world-wide, although these implications are characterized by wide geographical variation. Projected impacts upon urban areas of changes in extreme weather and climate events are as follows [5]:

  • Warmer temperatures
  • Heavy precipitation events
  • Areas affected by drought increase
  • Intense tropical cyclone activity increases
  • Increased incidence of high sea level

Our main concern for this research is ‘Heavy precipitation events’ in urbanized hilly areas. Heavy precipitation events are defined as the percentage of days with precipitation that exceeds some fixed or regional threshold compared to an average ‘reference period of precipitation’. Frequent heavy precipitation events have far-reaching economic and social implications throughout the urban environment, especially through flooding and landslides [5].

A landslide refers to a mass of material (e.g. rock, earth or debris) that slips down a slope by gravity. The movement is often rapid and assisted by water when the material is saturated. The spatial distribution of landslides suggests a correlation between rapid land-use change and areas affected by landslides and mudflows [5].

Problem Identification

Like many other cities in the world Chittagong, the second largest city of Bangladesh, is also the outcome of spontaneous rapid growth without any prior or systematic planning. Due to rapid urbanization the city has undergone radical changes not only in its vast territorial expansion, but also through internal physical transformations over the last decades. These have created entirely new kinds of urban fabric. In these areas there have been drastic changes to the original natural environment, with much vegetated areas being replaced with built surfaces [6].

Urban expansion and the clearing of vegetation for building and road construction can lead to soil erosion and weathering, and thereafter to loss of soil stability and the increased likelihood of landslides. Clearing vegetation interferes with the capacity for absorption of rainfall, which results in runoff and gully erosion. Also, as settlements develop, vegetation is replaced with paved or hard pack areas and rainwater is channeled through preferential flow channels instead of natural pathways, which increases the water’s erosive power.

The risk from landslides is also likely to increase as urban development continues on marginal and dangerous lands. With rapid urbanization, populations, especially the urban poor, increasingly settle in areas that are prone to hazardous landslides and are unsuited for residential development [5]. All these are causing landslides and applicable for Chittagong city as well. An increasing frequency of landslides will have a variety of direct and indirect impacts in urban areas.

Chittagong has been hit repeatedly by monsoon rain and landslides in recent years. At least 90 people have been killed in a recent landslide on 27 June, 2012 due to heavy rains and multiple landslides over three consecutive days. The officials reported that at least 150,000 people have also been stranded by the sudden flash-floods [7].

Based on the above mentioned discussions, it is therefore essential that the trends of land cover changes in urbanized hilly areas are assessed so that appropriate mitigation strategies can be developed in order to help combat the impacts of climate change.

Broad Research Objectives

  • To identify the relationships among urban land cover change and landslides due to climate change in hilly regions.
  • To introduce appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies to help combat the impact of climate change to promote local urban sustainability.

Study Area Profile

For this research purpose Chittagong, the main seaport and second largest city of Bangladesh, has been considered as the study area (Figure 1). It is situated within 22°-14´ and 22°-24´-30´´ N Latitude and between 91°-46´ and 91°-53´ E Longitude and on the right bank of the river Karnafuli [8].

Figure 1: Map of Chittagong City

                                                                   Source: Banglapedia, the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh, 2012

This is one of the most densely populated cities of Bangladesh as well. Chittagong is vulnerable to heavy precipitation events, landslides, tropical cyclones and sea level rise.

Chittagong is very different in terms of topography from the rest of Bangladesh, being a part of the hilly regions that branch off from the Himalayas. This eastern offshoot of the Himalayas, turning south and southeast, passes through Assam and Tripura State and enters Chittagong across the river Feni. The range loses height as it approaches Chittagong town and breaks up into small hillocks scattered all over the town. This range appears again on the southern bank of the Karnafuli River and extends from one end of the district to the other [8].

Tentative Methodology

This research therefore will try to use modern technological approach (e.g. Remote Sensing and GIS) to assess the changes through the analysis of remote sensed images and aerial photography from the geographic data and tools offered by SERVIR.

New Knowledge

This kind of research will add new knowledge in the field of landslide of Bangladesh. Simulating the future land cover pattern and relating it with the predictive effects of climate change in hilly regions will be a new kind of research work.

This will help the decision makers, in choosing the right kind of adaptation measures, to combat the negative effects of climate change for Chittagong in the coming future which has not been explored yet. Moreover, this research aims to examine planning and social capacity to evaluate community resilience to landslide incorporate activities that respond to local sustainable development in a hilly region like Chittagong.

Conclusions

Fulfilling the research needs noted above requires appropriate research aimed at developing an optimum strategy for reducing the vulnerability of Bangladesh to climatic extremes. Findings of this research will open a new horizon that can help to find the strengths and weaknesses of the climatic change induced impacts and its adaptability in community level for highly urbanized hilly regions. This research would help to ascertain the priorities that could be given to various kinds of activities.

References

    [1]   Ali, A. 1999. Climate change impacts and adaptation assessment in Bangladesh, Climate Research, Vol. 12:             109–11.
    [2]   MoEF, 2008. Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2008. Ministry of Environment and                     Forests, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh. xvi, 68 pp.
    [3]   "United Nations Rapid Initial Assessment Report (Final Report)", ReliefWeb, United Nations, November             22, 2007.
    [4]   Sioufi, M.E. 2010. Climate Change and Sustainable Cities: Major Challenges Facing Cities and Urban                     Settlements in the Coming Decades, International Federation of Surveyors, UN-HABITAT, Nairobi, KENYA.
    [5]   Cities and climate change: global report on human settlements, 2011, United Nations Human Settlements                     Programme.
    [6]   Ahmed B., Ahmed R. 2012. Modeling Urban Land Cover Growth Dynamics Using MultiTemporal Satellite             Images: A Case Study of Dhaka, Bangladesh. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 1(1): 3-31.
    [7]   Heavy rains and landslides in Bangladesh kill 90”, 27 June 2012, BBC News.
    [8]   Chittagong City, Banglapedia - the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh, 2006.


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Bayes Ahmed,
Jan 1, 2014, 1:55 PM
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