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Title: Sustainable development in flood basins: Understanding the impacts of propoor development strategies on the environment Themes Water Methods Spatial Analysis, Regression Analysis, Policy Instruments
Riverbank erosion is a major environmental and social problem in Bangladesh, where 30-40% of the population lives close to river banks. The Bangladesh poverty reduction strategy seeks to empower communities living on river banks by investing in various flood mitigation related activities, including infrastructure development. However, these efforts are likely to have an indirect but substantially negative effect on the livelihood of many poor fishing households since they are likely to disturb and destroy fish habitat and the fishery cycle. Thus, this proposal seeks to examine the net impact of flood mitigation activities on the poor. We will do so by first identifying the various pathways by which erosion control can hamper fish stock and the fishery economy. We will then assess strategies that poor use when confronted with development that helps them with flood control while simultaneously degrading the environment on which their livelihood depends. We will also value the actual changes in welfare by using non-market valuation techniques. Finally, by using quantitative impact evaluation techniques and surveying control and treatment communities, we will assess the net welfare impact of erosion control activities. By using different income and expenditure measures of welfare, we will provide robust analyses of the impact of flood mitigation strategies on the poor, when there are negative environmental effects associated with these strategies.