Bold steps emphasised to adapt to climate changes : Int’l conference on climate begins


Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh must take bold steps to adapt to the climate change at the community level to reduce the risks and vulnerability of the common people, said speakers at an international conference on Wednesday.
   The six-day conference on community based adaptation to climate change aims at educating the Bangladeshi communities with technological know-how to adapt to the looming climate change.
   ‘Climate change is a global environmental issue but has serious implications on our development and poverty alleviation efforts in Bangladesh. We have to take strong and bold steps to advance community adaptation to reduce the risks and vulnerability of the common people,’ said the state minister for environment and forests, Md Mostafizur, Rahman while inaugurating the conference.
   He said the government has already allocated a fund amounting to 45 million US dollars to face the climate change and the modalities of using the fund is now at the final stage.
   The inaugural session was also addressed, among others, by the Danish ambassador in Dhaka, Einar Hebogard Jensen, IPCC lead author and head of the Climate Division of the International Institute for Environment and Development Saleemul Huq, representative of the British high commission in Dhaka Nojibur Rahman and research fellow of BCAS Mozaharul Alam.
   Calling upon the developed countries, Saleemul Huq said, ‘Only three per cent countries are responsible for the climate change for which the rest 97 per cent are suffering.’
   ‘Bangladesh is one of the most sufferer countries because of the climate change and so it will have to play a proactive role in the upcoming crucial conference in Copenhagen in the yearend to mobilise other countries,’ Huq said.
   He also emphasised taking adaptation policy to face the climate change. ‘Besides the developed countries, all will have to extend cooperation to this end,’ he said, adding, ‘The Bangladesh government will have to include the issue of climate change in all its policy.’
   Both the Danish envoy and the representative of British embassy in Dhaka assured Bangladesh of assistance in preparing the adaptation policy.
   While chairing the function, the executive director of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, Atiq Rahman, said, ‘The looming climate change will raise the sea level up to by 85 centimetres by 2050. So, time is running out fast to take action to face the climate change.’
   The conference is jointly organised by the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, the International Institute for Environment and Development and The Ring Alliance of Policy Research Organisations in association of the ministry of environment and forest.
   Over 200 participants from home and abroad will attend the technical sessions after a three-day field visit in various affected zones of Bangladesh.
   The technical session of the conference will focus on science of climate change adaptation, methods and tools for community adaptation, adaptation practices in agriculture, water, health, and disaster risk reduction and adaptation in urban situation.

Source: The Daily New Age, 19 February 2009

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