Home | Conferences & SeminarsYoung Economists |News & Events | About AEDSB |Contact Us


The AEDSB Washington Seminar Series


Implications of Climate Change on Food Security in Bangladesh

Speaker:Winston Yu, Water Resources Specialist, World Bank

When: friday, December 04, 2009; 12.30 pm. to 2.00 pm

Where: Room MC10 100, The World Bank, 1818 H Street, N.W. Washington D.C. 20433

If you need a pass to attend the seminar, please contact one of the following:
SAhmed20@worldbank.org (202-473-6454), Hzaman@worldbank.org (202-458-4168); Nselim@worldbank.org (202-458-5128); Aahsan@worldbank.org  SHye@worldbank.org (202-473-1638) or BSen@worldbank.org (202-473-9397).


Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate risks. From floods to droughts, to cyclones and storm surges, to changing groundwater aquifer conditions, the importance of adapting to these risks to maintain economic growth and reduce poverty is clear. Households have for a long time needed to adapt to maintain their livelihoods. Moreover, substantial public investments in protective infrastructure and early warning and preparedness systems have played a critical role in minimizing these impacts. In the long list of potential impacts from climate change, the risks to the agriculture sector stand out as one of the most important. Agriculture remains a key economic sector in Bangladesh, in terms of contributions to GDP and employment for the rural poor. Climate is only one input factor, though, into an agriculture sector that is already under pressure. Existing climate variability has pronounced detrimental economy-wide impacts, on the order of US$3 billion per year. Climate change will increase these costs, on the order of US$570 million additional per year. This is driven by an average 11% loss in production over the time frame of analysis (2005-2050). Impacts are most severe for the dry-season boro crop limiting its ability to compensate for lost aus and aman rice production during extreme climate events. 80% of the losses fall directly on household consumption with significant impacts outside of the agriculture sector. The southern part of the country where the multitude of factors (e.g. sea level rise, increased flooding) converge is the most vulnerable. Adaptation options have been successful in the past at reducing the vulnerability of the economy to exogenous shocks; however more investment is still needed as the scale of effort is not commensurate with the probable impacts.

About the Presenters

Winston Yu is a Water Resources Specialist at the World Bank in the South Asia Region. He has extensive experience working on technical and institutional problems in the water sector and has carried out a number of project investments, studies, and research in a variety of countries (e.g. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh). His special interests include river basin management tools, irrigation sector reform, hydrologic models, flood forecasting and management, groundwater hydrogeology, water allocation mechanisms and instruments, international rivers and transboundary issues, water economics and policies, and climate change. Prior to joining the Bank he was a researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute and also served as a Science and Technology Officer at the US Department of State. He is currently also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins where he teaches a course on international water in development.

Winston Yu received his Ph.D. from Harvard University (water resource engineering) and B.S. and B.A.S. from the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School and Engineering and Applied Sciences School).