Bangladesh wants the global community to ensure climate justice for all people across the world as the number of climate refugees is increasing by the day.
“We have very practical experience of such a scenario having 1.1 million Rohingyas in Bangladesh creating environmental and social havoc,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Monday.
“The number of climate refugees is increasing and climate justice must be ensured for all the people and for all countries.”
He was speaking at the 7th annual Global Gobeshona Conference of the International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD).
Former secretary general of the UN Ban-ki-Moon, CEO of Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) Prof. Patrick V. Verkooijen and Prof. Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director of the ICCCAD were also present.
The foreign minister said although Bangladesh has “no or negligible” contribution in global warming, it is one of the most vulnerable countries due to its limited coping capacities and specific geographical features.
“Considering global high risks, the leadership of our national parliament adopted with consensus a resolution and called it a “Planetary Emergency” and urged the leadership of the world to work “on a war footing’’ to manage the negative impact of climate change.
“However, I want to make it clear that there is a limit to adaptation and unless the responsible states adopt and implement required mitigation measures, we cannot eternally continue our adaptation measures,” he said.
“Bangladesh has been highly applauded by the global community for her home-based excellent adaptation activities to enhance climate resilience. Bangladesh and the leadership of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had been honoured to be chosen to lead the Climate Vulnerable Forum for the second term.
“We have also established the regional office of Global Centre on Adaptation for South Asia in Dhaka,” he said.
“This year we are planting 11.5 million trees across the nation marking the ‘Mujib Borsho’, the birth centenary of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“We have also launched ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’ to mobilize resources for a secured future and our Prime Minister has announced a ‘Midnight Initiative’ to call upon the leading countries responsible for climate change to strictly adopt and implement enhanced NDCs.
“As the host of the GCA South Asia office, we firmly believe that empowering local actors and community is the best way to bring most effective solutions for the vulnerable people,” Dr Momen said.
“Local actors have that knowledge and experience which are critical to take forward the adaptation activities. In order to make the adaptation actions more effective, effortless and sustainable, we need to engage local people, in particular the local youths.
“Bangladesh has significant experience on locally led adaptation initiatives which we would like to share with the rest of the world. Our people who are on the frontline of climate change are very innovative in developing adaptation solutions. However, lack of resources and effective financial mechanism often prevent local actors to design essential local adaptation measures and deliver the plan.
“The covid-19 pandemic has once again proved this,” he said.
“As the host GCA South Asia office, we are planning to establish a Center of Excellence on Locally led Adaptation to promote South-South and North-South knowledge sharing and capacity building in Bangladesh.
“At last year's Gobeshona Conference, Ban ki Moon, the former Secretary General of the United Nations and also the Chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation launched the Locally Led Adaptation Action Track from the GCA and we are glad to have him with us again this year to launch the new ten year journey to promote locally led adaptation from Bangladesh,” he said.
Participants will discuss the issue in the 90 different sessions over the next 7 days.