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Bangladesh has experienced intense flooding covering at least a quarter of the country as it goes through monsoon season. NASA has released a map showing the extent of this year’s flooding from June to the end of July along the Jamuna River, where high danger levels have been reached or surpassed. Reported at the end of July, more than 4.7 million people have been affected and more than half of Bangladesh’s districts are flooded.(more…)
By Peter Schwartzstein, Research Fellow
In the Bangladeshi Sundarbans, pirate gangs are king. They commandeer small ships, and smuggle contraband to and from nearby India. They kidnap local fishermen for ransom – though they give foreigners and scientists a wide berth for fear of attracting too much attention. And they sometimes poach rare Bengal Tigers. Here, in the world’s largest contiguous mangrove forest, they move through the dense jungle thicket like it’s their own personal fiefdom.
Many of these bandit crews are fugitive criminals, seeking sanctuary – and big loot – beyond the state’s reach. No matter how hard security forces try, they’ve struggled to police this sprawling labyrinth of isolated waterways. But as with seemingly everything else in Bangladesh, there’s a climate change angle, too. With worsening conditions in many coastal communities, in large part because of stronger and more frequent climate-induced disasters, farmers and fishermen are upping sticks and trying their luck elsewhere. As tales of the pirates’ riches waft through the villages, a particularly desperate – and unprincipled – subset among them appear to have succumbed to the promise of easy pickings on the high seas. (more…)
By David Antos, Guest Author, The Center for Climate and Security
South Asia faces a wide array of social, political, and economic issues that already threaten security in the region. The region has a history of border disputes, sectarian violence, and government corruption. In addition, population increases continue to stress the growing problems associated with urbanization, such as poor sanitation, the spread of disease, resource allocation, and meeting energy demands. The region is also particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In this context, climate change could exacerbate existing insecurities in South Asia, and potentially heighten the likelihood of instability. To read more, click here for the full briefer, “India, Climate Change and Security in South Asia.”
In an important new report, “Climate Change and Security in South Asia: Cooperating for Peace,” Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMACCC) authors Lt. General Tariq Waseem Ghazi (Ret.) of Pakistan, Maj. General A.N.M. Muniruzzaman (Ret.) of Bangladesh, and Air Marshall A.K. Singh (Ret.) of India recommend that the region’s leaders strengthen cooperation to reduce the potential for widespread human suffering, and further instability, in the wake of a changing climate. (more…)