Climate Change: ‘One-third of country’s population to be forced to migrate’

Speakers at a training course yesterday stressed the need for understanding the impact of climate change to face its challenges through environment-friendly measures.

They said it is very important to identify the areas where proper research should be conducted in this regard.

The three-day training course on ‘Facing the challenges of climate change: Issues, impacts and adaptation strategies for Bangladesh with focus on water and waste management’ began at the ITN seminar room in the city.

The course has been organised by International Training Network (ITN) and civil engineering department of Buet in cooperation with the British Council, Dhaka.

Around 50 participants from different organisations working on environment, UNDP and government engineering bodies are taking part in the course.

It is aimed to enhance knowledge about climate change issues and develop a functional network of professionals, academics and decision makers to face the challenges.

While inaugurating the course Vice Chancellor of Buet Prof Dr A M M Safiullah said climate change would affect Bangladesh in many ways.

“It would harm our agriculture, infrastructure and waste management and force one-third of total population to migrate to safer places,” he added.

“As the ground water is depleting two to three metres a year, it would affect our sanitation and water demand. Sea level rise and intrusion of sea water into coastal belt would increase salinity of land hampering our agriculture and food security,” he said, adding, “If we understand the challenges and natures of the problem we would be able to find out solution.”

Rashed Khan Menon, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on the education ministry, said though Bangladesh is least responsible for climate change it has become the worst victim.

Speaking as chief guest he said at the recent G8 conference the developed countries agreed to allocate more money to mitigate the effects of climate change and to aide the victim countries.

“But the donor countries must give us the scope to utilise the money according to our needs,” he added.

Menon said, “We should also scrutinise the impact of Tipaimukh dam and raise the issue at a greater platform.”

Prof Dr Mohammad Zoynul Abedin, head of the Department of Civil Engineering, Prof Dr M Habibur Rahman, director of ITN, and Prof Dr Jobair Bin Alam also spoke on the occasion.

Source: The Daily Star, 20 July 2009


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