Experts on Sunday recommended increasing the sustainable adaptation capacity in agriculture throughout South Asia, as the countries in this region are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Academics and researchers expressed their view in two different sessions on "Environment and Climate Change" at the 5th Sanem Annual Economists' Conference 2020. The South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (Sanem) organised the two-day conference at Brac Centre in Dhaka.
Adaptation capacity is the ability of a system to adjust to climate change to moderate potential damage, to take advantage of opportunities and to cope with the consequences.
Dr Niranjan Devkota, coordinator of the Quest Research Management Cell at Quest International College in Nepal, said, "Rice is the main food both in Bangladesh and in Nepal. Both of us are facing the challenges of climate change in agriculture.
"Seventy one percent of farmers in rural areas of Nepal have no alternative to rice farming. The adaptation options currently available there are very costly. The climate change adaptation capacity of poor rural rice farmers is low."
Fariha Nur Shoumee, a research fellow of the economics department at Rajshahi University, said, "Increase in temperature, rise in sea level, reduction in annual precipitation, depletion of groundwater level and increase in the frequency of extreme weather events are marked as the indication of this hazardous change in the climate, which has a devastating impact on agriculture, particularly in the case of developing countries."
Meanwhile, Farjana Eyasmin, a teacher of the economics department at Pabna University of Science and Technology, said, "We should focus on the sustainability of climate change adaptation strategies. Research has to be increased in this discipline."
She also recommended a connection between the education system and sustainable agriculture.
Dr Somnath Hazra, a senior fellow of the school of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University, said, "In some portions of India, households are dependent on on-farm livelihood strategies. However, there is a lack of opportunity for getting different livelihood options aside from agriculture.
"Government support on non-farm livelihood activities is required."
The first session was chaired by Dr MA Razzaque, research director of the Policy Research Institute, and the second by Dr Bazlul Haque Khondker, chairman of Sanem. Several other academics and researchers also presented their work at the sessions.