JJS is an environmental and social development organization working since 1985 with an area focus to the South-West region of Bangladesh. Though it started working as volunteer organization to a small and limited scale, it is quite a large NGO in the south-west coastal region of Bangladesh. JJS is continuing and expanding in terms of activities, area coverage, projects and number of serving people. It has legal entity from NGO Affairs Bureau and department of social services.
JJS works in several regions of the country with main base in the South-West region (Khulna) and deals with pro-poor issues and poor occupational groups, poor and marginal people, women, children, disaster vulnerable people and differently able people. Since inception JJS is continuously trying to address the contemporary poverty discourse of the country in regional base and trying to implement different strategic options to reduce the poverty. JJS always try to perceive development from a rights view point within the light of ethnic diversity, culture, practice and values of Bangladesh. Major thematic areas of JJS are Governance & Human Rights; Environment & Food Sovereignty; Child Protection and Disable peoples’ Rights and Climate Change & Disaster Management. JJS is currently working 5 distircts: Khulna, Bagerhat, Jessore, Patuakhali and Satkhira of Bangladesh.
The initiative of “Regional Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation” which was taken and started in 2012 as the 1st in southwest region, continued in 2013 and the 2nd conference was held in Khulna on November 30, 2013. Jagrata Juba Shangha (JJS) played the organizing role. German Cooperation (GIZ), People’s Network on DRR& Climate Change Actions (PNDCA), Concern Worldwide and European Commission provided the support and assistance.
It is well known and recognized that Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to climatic hazards and many of the planned initiatives as well as other relevant development efforts taken by different agencies could not be achieved to the expected level . Climate change has very high negative impact on livelihood, agriculture, water, infrastructure, biodiversity and many others. Finding out the proper recommendations / requirements for reducing the risk of coastal people and as a sequel to the 1st Regional Conference, the 2nd Conference was organized. The emphasis area of the 2nd conference was the south-west region of Bangladesh with the themes of (i) Disaster Risk Reduction: Policy, Practice and Adaptation in south-west Bangladesh and (ii) Climate Change: Crisis and Conflicts in southwest coastal Bangladesh.
The 2nd conference focused on involving the community and grass root people, Community Based Organizations (CBO) and other stakeholders. The involvement and participation of the grass root people enriched the conference as some of the facts and needs of the sufferer could be directly known. All together, the participants shared the issues and challenges of climatic crisis, and ways of strengthening the capabilities in reducing the risk of disaster and to make out possible adaptation measures.
The conference played as an effective platform for debate and discussions and identified the future course of actions for sustainable development of the South-west coastal region of Bangladesh in the changing context of future climate change. It also provided a comprehensive overview of climate change impact and effective adaptation strategies and the participants benefited by enhanced understandings of techniques to climate change adaptations and resilience.
The features of the single-day conference had five technical sessions along with brief inaugural and closing sessions. The first technical session was on the impact of climate change in water management of south west coastal part of Bangladesh and discussed on water crisis, related problems and possible solutions. Ways and options for Climate Change adaptation were discussed in second session. the climate change impact is inter-generational, so adaptation is must in the coastal region and it can be autonomous, planned, anticipatory, and reactive. To develop the best adaptation mechanism, it is must to have flexible and robust planning from local to central level. was The third technical session was on ground water salinity distribution in the coastal aquifers and emphasized on sustainable use of limited fresh water.. The 4th session was on climate change adaptation practices and came up that any climate change adaptation mechanism for planing and implementation mustthe local community. The final session was to enhance the knowledge on food securityand revealed overall food insecurity scenario of south west coastal region and the effective way to overcome the problem. The conference ended with declaration of several innovative possible and effective measures in reduceing risk of disaster vulnerability.;.
- Government should undertake long term plan to protect people and livelihood from climate change impacts in southwest coastal Bangladesh.
- Integration of knowledge from local people, researchers and policy makers should be taken into consideration in designing and implementation of any projects in the southwest coastal region of Bangladesh.
- Protection of available fresh water sources and establishment of sufficient surface water reservoirs in South West Coastal region of Bangladesh.
- Establishment of strong embankments and strengthening the exiting embankments to protect life and livelihoods from cyclone and tidal surges in South West Coastal region of Bangladesh.
- Relocation of disaster vulnerable settlements in safer places.
- Formation of proper policy and effective implementation on salinity and water management issues for south west coastal region of Bangladesh.
- Undertake researchers for innovative solutions on water scarcity on the south west coastal region of Bangladesh.
- Promotion of alternative livelihood options for the people living in the south west coastal region of Bangladesh.
- Invest adequate resources for Human resource development for sustainability of growth and development in the south west coastal region of Bangladesh.
- Promotion of composite agricultural farming for food, nutrition and economic security should be initiated.
- Development of people’s network for protection of interest of the people living in the south coastal of Bangladesh against climate change and disaster threat.
- Promotion of innovative technologies for survival in vulnerable environment.
- Bio-diversity and Sundarban conservation as natural protection form disasters.
- Data on rainfall, salinity intrusion, riverbank erosion etc. are necessary for judicial decision making process and there should be initiatives for such data generation and easy access.
- The Land Ethics should be implemented properly so that enforcement can be maintained in land management.
- Actions for the preparation of National Physical Plans and its proper implementation.
- Proper Land Zoning for agriculture and, fisheries in the coastal region of Bangladesh.
- Develop integrated policy with water, agriculture, environmental and other policy.
- Assess the results of polderization in the agriculture field for the production of paddy and other crops.
Creative modes of communication such as interactive popular theatres (IPT) shows and pot songs have arranged for raising awareness and promoting behavior change and action on child rights and protection issues. Youth cultural organization “Tarar Mela” has performed for awareness raising.
Upakul Circle Action Committees have selected some local problems of the community at participatory way under SMILING project funded by European Union. Then the identified problems are listed and two major problems as action points at each Upazilla on priority basis for action point implementation. After that, the other two major problems have taken as action points at second year of the project. Action Committees has taken initiatives for action point implementation through their own contribution and advocacy strategies. As the project is implementing at the coastal belt of the south-west part of Bangladesh, the local problems are almost same. The major problems of the coastal region are PSF and pond re-excavation, ring embankment repairing, road repairing etc. From a huge local problem, the action committee has only selected two major problems at each upazilla which are very much related with DRR and women empowerment. Spouse Forum also helped for action point implementation.
Autistic Children Center
Strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerabilities of disaster vulnerable coastal communities in Bangladesh (SMILING)
Upokul circles formations, participatory risks assessment, vulnerabilities and coping capacity analysis.
Advocacy for action points, awareness sessions on women inclusion and PWDs.
Needs based capacity building demand assessment, diversified training focusing on sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation techniques,
demo plot and trainings on organic farming, saline-tolerant cropping pattern and diversification, kitchen gardening, training on curb fattening etc.
Training, awareness, skill & capacity strengthening for life skills and alternative livelihoods of SDEPH
Upscale diversified, appropriate & climate adaptive IGAs like: production of high quality mats and handicrafts using locally available mele grass, culture of crabs, cactus etc.
Conduct vulnerability analysis, community risk assessments, and an assessment of coping strategies.