Development and Environmental Challenges in Bangladesh

by Denis Krnic

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Bangladesh; Development; Environment
Record ID: 1119532
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/19831


This project seeks to investigate strategies towards combating climate change juxtaposed with economic development in the context of Bangladesh. As Bangladesh, a low income country with a current population heading towards 160 million people, is facing increasingly severity of natural disasters and effects of climate change, a surge in governmental plans to alleviate and adapt the population affected by climate change have occurred. It’s these plans that compose the empirical data of the project. Taking point of departure from 1995, the project analyzes the trends established in the plans from up to 2014, specifically concentrating on how Bangladesh has aimed to improve livelihoods for the environmentally vulnerable, and to what extent this has been achieved. The project examines Bangladesh’s aim to become a middleincome country through the utilization of opposing theories of progrowth and degrowth. As the onset of climate change is already in effect and argued to be irreversible, the possible implications put forth by both theories are investigated. Progrowth argues that economic progress at the expense of potential permanent damage of the environment is a suitable solution for Bangladesh, as it would enable Bangladesh to procure and secure resources to build up against current and worsening conditions. Degrowth, on the other hand, argues for efforts to downsize extended devastation to nature by diverting developing countries’ trends of industrialization towards a more sustainable state of economic and environmental management is more favourable in the long run. In the end, this project concludes that both theories need to be considered in order to understand whether the efforts of the Government of Bangladesh to expand its economic development are improving living conditions of the environmentally vulnerable, since both theories present opposing answers to this question. Progrowth claims that the nation’s focus on economic development is benefiting the environmentally vulnerable, whereas degrowth highlights the negative impacts the nation’s efforts at expanding its GDP have on the living standards of the environmentally vulnerable. Finally, we apply the political theories of economic regulation and incrementalism to understand the challenges the government has faced in implementing its plans. We conclude that the government has been relatively successful in achieving these plans.