The coming months and years will be crucial in ensuring a safe pathway below 1.5°C increase in global mean temperature, a target stated in the Paris Agreement. If we are to minimise the risks of triggering irreversible chain reactions beyond human control, we need to act now. It is therefore vital that the climate crisis doesn’t get forgotten in the shadow of the coronavirus but is regarded as the utmost priority. Fridays For Future will keep protesting as long as exploitation of nature is allowed to continue. The form of protest will be adjusted according to local Covid-19 conditions and in places where physical action will be taking place, participants will be asked to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. In cases where physical protest is inappropriate, we will instead turn to digital action.

Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist who has gained international recognition for promoting the view that humanity is facing an existential crisis arising from climate change and her organization `Fridays for Future’ asked to observe the school children and youths to observe “Global Climate Action Day” on 25 September 2020 to act on the climate crisis.

As part of the call and connecting the youth volunteers to the global activism, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods – CSRL and Jalbayu Parishad (Climate Council) convened a online discussion with youth volunteers, working at Koyra, Shyamnagar and Gaibanhda today. Shoeb Chowdhury from CSRL moderated the discussion.

Prodip K. Roy from CSRL briefed about the climate activism at the national and global level. He said, “Climate volunteers of Jalbayu Parishad has been working on two adaptation issue e.g. embankment management involving local government and local adaptation plan since last 4 years. They have faced several cyclones (Cyclone Bulbul, Fani and Amphan) and floods (Flood 2019 and 2020) during the period. The frequency and intensity of these disaster are increasing day by day. So, we need to raise our voice at national and global level to ask the action of the national and global leaders to mitigate the climate crisis which Jalbayu Parishad and Climate Volunteers are facing at local level. When we will talk about climate change, there have two types of action to mitigate the crisis. First, Mitigation and Second, Adaptation. The rich countries (Annex 1) are emitting more green house gases (GHGs) while other countries like Bangladesh are emitting a very less amount of GHGs. Oxfam report said, “The richest 1% cause double the CO2 emissions of the poorest half of the worlds population”. Although we emitting very less, but we have given a commitment to reduce 5 percent (Nationally determined contributions -NDCs). Now the time to get more commitment from the riches. We need to increase the commitment from rich counties who are fully responsible for global warming. Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the United Nations Assembly has raised five points action for the global leaders to mitigate climate crisis where she indicated it also. In her five points action included the fund for adaptation and climate induced migration. So, climate volunteers should know these negotiation agenda while raising voice at the national and global level.”

Didarul Islam Nishad, Anowar Hossain, Maruf Hossain and Sohag Babu – Climate Volunteers from Jalbayu Parishad, Gaibandha; Sephali Parveen, Annayna, Amio Mondal, Sumaiya Parveen, Mamum Billal and Shahin Billah – Climate Volunteers from Jalbayu Parishad, Shyamnagar and Meshbah Uddin, Rasel Rana and Moniruzzaman – Climate Volunteers from Jalbayu Parishad, Koyra shared their local and national experiences to act on climate change.

GSM Alamgir, Member Secretary, Jalbayu Parishad, Gaibandha concluded the discussion and in his concluding remarks, he said, “Victims must speak. Everybody knows about the vulnerability, but when the victims speak, it will create momentum. Government has approved 401 crore taka for embankment and now we need to monitor the implement the project. If we speak, then it will bring change”.

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