ESPA Deltas’ 5th National Level Stakeholder workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh

ESPA Deltas held their 5th national level stakeholder workshop at the General Economic Division (GED), Government of Bangladesh in Dhaka on 16th September 2015. The main purpose of the workshop was to share with the stakeholders the policy relevant results of the unique ESPA Deltas household survey, and to initiate the rapid scenario assessment exercise. Professor Shamsul Alam (Senior Secretary of GED) opened the workshop, and talked about the challenges Bangladesh is facing. Professor Alam stated that the ESPA Deltas' outputs and models would complement their knowledge and capabilities. He saw ESPA Deltas as assisting GED in their planning processes to avoid unintended consequences that both the people and the environment cannot afford. He stressed that "information exchange is essential between the Delta Plan and the ESPA Deltas project to find solutions that Bangladesh is facing". The meeting, organised by Professor Munsur and Professor Salehin from IWFM BUET, was well attended with 70+ high level stakeholders and academics.

The ESPA Deltas project aims to provide policy makers with knowledge and tools that enable them to evaluate the effects of Ecosystem Services (ES) and policy decisions on people's livelihoods. The project is in the third year, and several research outputs have already been generated including primary data, modelled results, publications, reports and policy briefs. Amongst these activities, an integrated assessment framework is also being developed (Delta Dynamic Integrated Emulator Model, ΔDIEM) that is capable of linking the ecosystem services (ES), social behaviour and governance in a quantitative, harmonised way.

Amongst other findings, the novel household survey data shows that about 66 percent of the coastal population is dependent on ES. Households with access to ES are less likely to be poor, both in monetary and subjective wellbeing realms. The study also shows a significant, strong positive correlation between hypertension and drinking water quality (i.e. salinity) being particularly severe on the most vulnerable older population. The survey also provides the building blocks on which the ΔDIEM builds upon to link the households with ES.

During the workshop, the structure and capabilities of the ΔDIEM were shown to participants and discussed in detail during the plenary session and the breakout groups. During the breakout groups, a set of plausible interventions were discussed with the workshop participants. Some of these interventions will be explored with the ΔDIEM. These stakeholder meetings allows us to tailor the model scenario exercise towards the needs of the stakeholders and thus making sure that both the tool and the results of the project are going to be useful in Bangladesh. The workshop participants were enthusiastic about the possibilities of this quantitative modelling tool and were looking forward to the next stakeholder meeting (December 2015), when the trade-offs of the proposed interventions will be presented.

Posted 22/09/2015 12:18 by Attila Lazar, Andres Payo

« Back

RSS icon RSS news feed