Planetary Health Initiatives in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is considered as one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change due to its unique geographical location, population density, low flood plain, and dependency of majority of population on nature for livelihoods. In recent years Bangladesh has made some tremendous progress to fulfill a few indicators of SDGs but there is a chance that impacts of climate change will jeopardize its progress.
Scientific reports are indicating that 15% the floodplains of Bangladesh could go under sea water due to 1m sea level rise and 30 million coastal people could become climate migrants. Due to sea level rise, coastal Bangladesh is experiencing substantial levels of saltwater intrusion. Salinity is normally high along Bangladesh’s long coast, but it is now extending further inland due to climate change-induced sea level rise, obstructions in the water cycle, land use and land cover change, coastal embankment, water logging, storm surge and shrimp cultivation. Salinity causing various health impacts in coastal Bangladesh. In fat, while people of Bangladesh are facing various health impacts related to climate change it will also hamper Bangladesh’s interconnected socio-ecological balance.
Hence Bangladesh requires systems thinking based approach which can help Bangladesh to address interconnected ecological, social, economic, and human health issues in a holistic manner for ensuing inter-and intra-generational equity. In this regard systems thinking based Planetary Health framework can a suitable approach for Bangladesh as it characterizes the linkages between natural systems and health as well as emphasis to attain “highest attainable standard of health, wellbeing, equity and sustainability through judicious attention to the natural and human systems”.
Dr. Byomkesh Talukder is the inaugural Planetary Health Fellow at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research (DIGHR), where he works at the intersection of health, sustainable development, climate change and food and agriculture systems. He is currently project co-lead in four research projects: (i) Complex Adaptive Modelling of Health Impacts of Climate Change in Malawi, and (ii) Modelling of Climate Change, Salinity, Health Impacts in Coastal Bangladesh and (iii) Digital Technologies and Local Food Security: Smallholder Farmers in Odisha, India, In the Context of COVID-19. He is also assisting in (i) Mapping Canada’s Imported Food Supply Chains to Identify Climate Change-Related Health Risks, (ii) Ecological Footprint Health Indicators projects of DIGHR.
His past research applies a complexity science approach to designing sustainability assessment models of food and agricultural systems in Bangladesh. Dr. Talukder also has over 15 years of interdisciplinary field and training experience, including supervising more than 2,000 emerging leaders in sustainable development programs and policy design in Bangladesh. Since 2016, he has been a Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellow at Parmalat Canada and the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University. Dr. Talukdar holds a PhD in Geography and Environmental Studies (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada), a MES in Environmental Studies (Queen’s University, Canada), a MSc in Development Science (Hiroshima University, Japan), and a MSc in Geography and Environment (Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh).
Research and Publications
- Digital technologies and local food security: Smallholder farmers in Odisha, India, in the context of COVID-19 (https://www.yorku.ca/dighr/project/digital-technologies-and-local-food-security-smallholder-farmers-in-odisha-india-in-the-context-of-covid-19/)
- Complex Adaptive Modelling of Health Impacts of Climate Change (https://dighr.yorku.ca/projects/complex-adaptive-modelling-of-health-impacts-of-climate-change/)
- Climate Change, Salinity & Public Health in Bangladesh (https://dighr.yorku.ca/projects/climate-change-salinity-public-health-in-bangladesh/)
- Climate Change and Infectious Diseases Modelling in Bangladesh Using System Dynamics (in conceptual stage)
- Talukder, B., Orbinski, J., Matthew, R., Bunch, J. M., vanLoon, G. W. & Hipel, K. W. (2021). Melting of Himalayan Glaciers and Planetary Health. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability Journal. Elsevier (Accepted).
- Talukder, B., vanLoon, G. W., Hipel, K.W., Orbinski, J. (2021). COVID-19's Implications on Agri-food Systems and Human Health in Bangladesh. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability Journal. Elsevier (Accepted).
- Talukder, B., Saifuzzaman, M., vanLoon, G. W., Hipel, K.W., Orbinski, J. (2021). Planetary Health Consequences of Metacoupled Shrimp Farming. (paper under editing).
- Talukder, B., Orbinski, J., vanLoon, G. W., Hipel, K. W. & Chiotha, S. (2021). Health Impacts of Climate Change on Smallholder Farmers. One Health Journal. Elsevier (Under Review).
- Ahamad, M. G., Tanin, F., Talukder, B., & Ahmed, M. U. (2020). Officially Confirmed COVID-19 and Unreported COVID-19–Like Illness Death Counts: An Assessment of Reporting Discrepancy in Bangladesh. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, tpmd201205.
- Karim, R. M., Islam, T. M. and Talukder, B. (2020). COVID-19's Impacts on Migrant Workers from Bangladesh: In Search of Policy Intervention. World Development Journal, 105123.
- Talukder, B., vanLoon, G. W., & Hipel, K. W. (2018). Energy Efficiency of Agricultural Systems in the Southwest Coastal Zone of Bangladesh. Ecological Indicators, 98, 641-648.
- Talukder, B., Saifuzzaman, M., & vanLoon, G. W. (2016). Sustainability of Changing Agricultural Systems in the Coastal Zone of Bangladesh. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 31(2) 148-165.
Global and National Presence
Dr. Talukder has been working diligently with various Global and National partners to address numerous health related issues correlated with planetary health. As such, the following paper presentations were presented at various programs and conferences amongst both Global and National stakeholders.
- Talukder, B. (2021). Modelling Health Impacts of Climate Change & Salinity in Bangladesh. Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research Workshop on “Humanitarian and global health organizations at the nexus of Planetary Health and climate change-related Extreme Weather Events: The Case of Bangladesh. Jan 20-21, 2021. Organized by DIGHR & MSF, York University Canada.
- Talukder, B., vanLoon, G. W. & Hipel, K. W., Orbinski, J. (2021). Water–Food–Energy Nexus Effects on Farmers Health of the Southwest Coastal Agricultural Systems in Bangladesh. Planetary Health Alliance’s 2021 annual meeting. (Selected for lightning talk).
- Talukder, B. & Hipel, K. W. (2020). Climate Change and Infectious Diseases Modelling in Bangladesh Using System Dynamics. 6th World One Health Congress, 31 October -November 03. The University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
- Talukder, B., Saifuzzaman, M., & Hipel, W. K. (2019). Metacoupled System Analysis of Marine Coastal Ecosystem for Addressing Planetary Health. 8th International Conference on Water Resources and Environment Research (ICWRER). June 14-18, 2019. Hohai University, Nanjing, China.
- Talukder, B. (2021). Planetary Health Perspectives & Implications of COVID-19. 1st International E-Conference on Microbiology: COVID-19 & Current Issues, Department of Microbiology, Primeasia University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- Sabur M.A., & Talukder, B. (2019). Soil Salinity and Resulting Environmental and Public Health Problems. Conference on Environmental Solutions for Sustainable Development: Towards Developed Bangladesh (CESSD 2019), November 27-28. Dhaka University and CIRDAP, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- Talukder, B. (2019). Planetary Health and Bangladesh. Organized by Department of Microbiology, Primeasia University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
- Talukder, B. (2019). Planetary Health and Bangladesh Perspectives. Organized by Department of Geography and Environment, Bangladesh National Geographical Association (BNGA), Dhaka University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Resources and Partners
- Amader Gram NGO, Bangladesh (http://www.cloud-ag.net/cancercare/)
- Institute of Remote Sensing and GIS, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangldesh (https://www.juniv.edu/institute/irs)
- Department of Microbiology, Primeasia University, Dhaka, Bangladesh (http://microbiology.primeasia.edu.bd/academics-courses)
Opportunity - Film Editor, Humanitarian & Global Health Organizations at the Nexus of Planetary Health and Climate Change-Related Extreme Weather Events | 2 June 2021
Publication - Health impacts of climate change on smallholder farmers | 12 May 2021
Dahdaleh Institute Planetary Fellow to present at the 2021 Planetary Health Annual Meeting and Festival | 29 April 2021
Multi-indicator supply chain management framework for food convergent innovation in the dairy business | 28 March 2021
New Publication: Melting of Himalayan Glaciers and Planetary Health | 28 March 2021
New Publication: COVID-19's implications on agri-food systems and human health in Bangladesh | 28 March 2021
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