75% of Bangladesh is below sea level and a population of over 165 million live in an area slightly larger than England. As a result Bangladesh is severely vulnerable to environmental disasters and the impacts of climate change. The loss of biodiversity including the reduction in vital plant species, deforestation and the depletion of wildlife habitat, threatens the millions of people who are trying to maintain an income and provide for their families.
People have limited opportunity to take part in decision-making processes. A lack of transparency in government makes holding leaders to account difficult. Human rights activists and journalists face physical attacks, harassment, arrest and enforced disappearances when criticising authorities. Peaceful protests have been brutally quashed with no accountability for police violence. Therefore, those standing up to represent communities are forced to self-censor in order to protect themselves and their families.
While poverty rates have been steadily falling over the last few decades, the situation for minority ethnic and religious groups is much more challenging. Poverty rates are significantly higher among Indigenous populations who also face land grabbing, encroachment and lengthy legal disputes which hinder their ability to maintain a livelihood.
How we’re responding
Cord is working through local partners to educate ethnic minority groups on their rights to land. We are also enabling communities to adapt to the effects of climate change by supporting various agricultural practices.
Hope on the horizon
Thousands of families around the world face the threat of losing their land, and with it, their homes and means to survive. But hope is uniting these poor communities; they are rising up against injustice. And you can stand shoulder to shoulder with them.