DHAKA, Jan 18, 2021 (BSS) – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today said climate justice must be ensured for all countries as number of climate refugees is increasing in socially climate change vulnerable countries like Bangladesh.
“We have very practical experience of such a scenario having 1.1 million Rohingyas in Bangladesh creating environmental and social havoc,” he said.
The foreign minister was addressing virtually the Inaugural Session of Global Gobeshona Conference organized by International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), association with Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA).
Former United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban-ki-Moon, lawmakers Md. Shahab Uddin and Saber Hossain Chowdhury and CEO of Global Centre on Adaptation Prof. Patrick V. Verkooijenon also spoke at the session.
Dr Momen said Bangladesh has been highly applauded by the global community for her home-based excellent adaptation activities to enhance climate resilience.
He, however, said “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”.
The foreign minister said Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries due to its limited coping capacities and specific geographical features, although Bangladesh has no or negligible contribution in global warming.
Considering global high risks, he said Bangladesh 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 the climate change.
He said Bangladesh has significant experience on locally led adaptation initiatives and it would like to share these with the rest of the world.
Noting that Bangladesh people who are on the frontline of climate change are very innovative in developing adaptation solutions, Momen, however, said, lack of resources and effective financial mechanism often prevent local actors to design essential local adaptation measures and deliver the plan.
The foreign minister said Bangladesh and the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had been honoured to be chosen to lead the Climate Vulnerable Forum for the second term while Dhaka has established the regional office of Global Centre on Adaptation for South Asia in Dhaka.
“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,” he said adding “In order to make the adaptation actions more effective, effortless and sustainable, we need to engage local people, in particular the local youths”.
He said as the hosts GCA South Asia office, Dhaka is 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.
Momen said the government planned to plant 11.5 million trees across the nation marking the ‘Mujib Borsho’, the birth centenary of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The foreign minister said the government has also launched ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’ to mobilize resources for a secured future while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced a ‘Midnight Initiative’ to call upon the leading countries responsible for climate change to strictly adopt and implement enhanced NDCs.