Perceptions to climatic changes and cooperative attitudes toward flood protection in Bangladesh
Moinul Islam Koji Kotani
Bangladesh is vulnerable to climatic changes, and there has been a serious debate about the occurrence and the relationship with the frequency of flooding. For example, in Dhaka, further flood controls are claimed to be necessary due to a change of climatic patterns and more frequent flood events. Despite the importance of this topic, it has received little research attention. Thus, we examine (i) whether a temporal change in climate variables is occurring, (ii) local people's perceptions to climate and (iii) cooperative attitudes toward flood controls. We conducted face-to-face surveys with 1,011 respondents of different social and demographic strata and seven experts in Bangladesh. Using these data, we first derive a temporal trend of climate variables and analyze how closely people's perceptions align with the climate data. Second, we examine the willingness to pay for flood controls as a proxy of cooperative attitudes, and characterize the determinants in relation to perceptions to climate as well as socio-economic characteristics. We obtain the following principal results. First, some climate variables are identified to exhibit clear upward or downward trends, but most people correctly perceive such temporal changes. More specifically, people's perceptions and our statistical analysis are identical in the qualitative changes of climate. Second, people who correctly perceive climatic changes tend to express a higher WTP than those who do not. Overall, these findings suggest that accurate climate perceptions are keys to increasing cooperation into managing climate change and related disasters.