Can Resettlement & Rehabilitation be a Feasible Climate Change Adaptation Strategy in Indian Bengal Delta?

Clare Lizamit Samling
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The current and future impacts of climate change, predict large scale displacement and also migration of people, within or outside national boundaries. Some countries are now adopting the strategy of ‘Planned Relocation’ or ‘Preventive Resettlement’ either as a measure of ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’ or as a form of ‘Planned Adaptation’, aiming at minimizing impacts. However, an analysis of studies on resettlement and rehabilitation due to varied causes especially developmental projects, do not reveal a commendable picture of India’s approach towards such displaced population. Further, the national and state government policies and laws relevant to resettlement and rehabilitation are subjected to criticisms and at the same time fail to adequately safeguard the issues of the people displaced due to natural disasters. The National and State Climate Change Action Plans also do not address human displacement as an impact of climate change. In such a scenario, analyzing the case study of resettlement of people from the submerged island of Suparibhanga and the villages of Ghoramara to the neighbouring island of Sagar in the Indian Bengal Delta, this paper attempts to look at the feasibility of ‘Planned Relocation’ as to whether it could be a viable part of Climate Change Adaptation.