As Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world and has been investing in solutions over the past decade, it has learned a lot and can teach other affected nations, said chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) Ban Ki-Moon.
During the first meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation in the Global South, the former UN secretary general addressed this. Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina hosted the meeting on Wednesday at Dhaka where Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank and Co-Chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation, and President Hilda Heine of the Marshall Islands were also present and were eager to learn the process taken by Bangladesh.
Chair of the GCA, Ban Ki-Moon, said: “While Bangladesh has much to teach other countries about adaptation solutions and techniques, it also recognises it cannot tackle our climate breakdown alone. We hope, through the Global Commission on Adaptation, Bangladesh can not only share its knowledge but also learn from the experiences of other countries facing similar challenges.”
Changes in temperature over the world, enhanced frequency and intensity of floods, droughts, heat waves, cyclones, storm surges, sea-level rise and salinity affecting a vast tract of land in Bangladesh as well as many other nations, were all discussed. These changes are seriously affecting agriculture, crops, livestock and fisheries, and threatening food security.
Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank and Co-Chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation, said: “Bangladesh is at the forefront of global efforts to adapt to our changing climate. As the world becomes increasingly vulnerable to climate shocks, investing in adaptation is now urgent and Bangladesh has shown this is a smart policy choice. Resilient buildings, services and infrastructure are good for communities, business and the whole economy.”
Evidence suggests that Bangladesh already has 6 million climate migrants, and the number is increasing day by day.
“Climate change poses the greatest threat to our present and future generations. If temperature continues to rise at the current rate, our 19 coastal districts will be submerged permanently by the rising sea level,” said Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina.
“We are working relentlessly to overcome our vulnerabilities and create adaptation measures for the people. Over the last decade we have spent on an average around US$ 1 billion annually for adapting to climate change impacts. Bangladesh being one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change is also at the forefront of learning how to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change.
“Considering the adverse impact of climate change, the government is currently constructing 378 more cyclone shelters. Apart from these 3,868 multi-purpose cyclone shelters have been built across the coastal districts and 1,650 more shelters would be constructed gradually. Due to the present government’s various timely and effective measures, the impact of natural calamities has come down significantly.
“We are expecting to take advantage of the best of adaptation practices, most cost-effective solutions and risk reduction with the help of the Global Commission on Adaptation. The adverse effects of climate change will affect everyone sooner than the world had estimated. So, investment in adaptation must be prioritised urgently around the globe,” she added.
A flagship report will be released on 10 September 2019 ahead of the UN Climate Summit on 23 September 2019.
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