Statement of UN Envoy and Mis-, Dis-, Mal- Information

In a statement on 15 September 2022, at the end of a 10-day visit to Bangladesh, Mr. Ian Fry, UN Special Repporteur on the protection and promotion of human rights in the context of human rights said, “I visited some of the most adversely affected regions of Bangladesh and it is clear to me that the burden of climate change should not be carried by Bangladesh alone. For too long, major emitting countries have denied their responsibility for the suffering they are causing. This must end. The major greenhouse emitting countries have a clear obligation under the international law to provide funding to help highly vulnerable countries like Bangladesh to recover from the impact of climate change.” 

In the same statement he said, “I received a statement of claims from the environment and climate change human rights defenders that they have been subject to harassment and imprisonment due to speaking out against climate change issues. It was claimed that there was `shrinking local space’ for public comment. A number of incidents were reported to me where environmental and climate change human rights defenders have been arrested or harassed by authorities for protesting against the development of new coal-fired power stations and other climate-change unfriendly developments. I have also heard of incidents of death threats made against environmental human rights defenders by ‘unknown’ people. This intimidation by persons possibly linked to the Government does not auger well for a nation striving to position itself positively in the international arena on climate change.”

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The disappointing news of G20 climate talks

G20 climate talks in Bali, Indonesia have been unable to agree a joint communique, amid objections over language used on climate targets and the war in Ukraine, the media report said. Although Indonesia’s Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar had started the meeting by urging countries to cut emissions and prevent the planet from being pushed to a point “where no future will be sustainable”, but some countries, including China, had objected to previously agreed language in the Glasgow climate pact and past G20 agreements on efforts to limit global average temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius, said an official with knowledge of the meeting, declining to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media, reports Reuters.

FEBRUARY 19, 1988 | DHAKA ——– ——– MARCH 20, 2022 | DHAKA
The growth of the city is evident in the Landsat images above. The Thematic Mapper on Landsat 5 captured the first image on February 19, 1988; the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured the second on March 20, 2022. Source: earthobservatory.nasa.gov

The report of NASA on Bangladesh, which is one of the most vulnerable country to climate change, came into view while reading the disappointing news of G20 talks. It seems, we are running towards a mirage. The world is demanding solution, but the leaders are busy in debate and commitment, then everything goes in about empty. Although the G20 emits 75 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, they are not participating in the reduction process properly. Financing discussions are not getting much importance, and finance is not being given as per their commitment. The whole discussion is turning into a stalemate.

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Webinar: Global Climate Action Day

#FIGHTCLIMATEINJUSTICE
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.
- FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE

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.

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Youth Action in Climate Adaptation

Most of the disastrous impacts of climate change are expected to be felt within the near future. Young people are particularly vulnerable to the impacts, as they are often on the margins of decision-making and will face the climate change impacts for many more years to come. So it would be unethical to take steps (or not) to mitigate climate change or adapt to the problems without their contributions.

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Developing Team for New Normal World

Like others, we have been also running ‘Office from Home‘ since March 25 of this year to adapt with the situation arises due to coronavirus and search a way to continue the programme of climate finance which we have been implementing since 2017. Despite the difficulties of conducting activities with the community from home, it is ongoing but slowly. To adapt with the situation, weekly meetings with team members have been organized by the Secretariat at Facebook Messenger to maintain contact with local office colleagues, develop work plans and monitor progress in order to implement the programme of climate finance. But the extra noise created in Facebook Messenger, we made a decision to buy the zoom software. Today, the weekly meeting was held in Zoom which we purchased recently. Although we have participated at the meeting held in Zoom organized by others, but we never create a zoom meeting. That is why; there were some technical problems in today’s meeting. Now we have to solve those technical problems.

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OKS Team meets Pierre Gorge and Jasan Nardi

After successfully concluding SASF Extended Activity, Online Knowledge Society volunteers meet Pierre Gorge and Jasan Nardi on 24-25 November 2011 at Senate Building, Dhaka University. Online Knowledge Society expresses special gratitude to Pierre George and Jasan Nardi for inspiring the volunteers of SASF Extended Team and develop a future plan for extended activity of World Social Forum. Pierre Gorge expresses his satisfaction to the volunteers of OKS who are making successful of SASF Activity at South Asia Social Forum.

Online Activism: Possibilities and Prospects

I could connect everywhere of the globe in a second, but not my village. Everyday I could use skypee and messenger to see my friends lived outside of Bangladesh, but not able to see my family members, school friends and neighbours living in my village. I could visit Asia, Europe, America, Africa, Arctic, the moon and my villages also within few minutes using google earth, but my friends never get these opportunities. I could enjoy my time, but could not share these with my childhood friends. Everyday, I talk about agriculture, rural economy, indigenous knowledge etc  in different meetings and seminars and discuss about development. But I could not discuss these issues with my family and friends who are lived at rural areas engaged in agriculture!

Realising this context, anybody find only difficulties rather opportunities on online activism. But I feel hopeful while I see, a lot of people, in Bangladesh also expresses their own opinion in different social network sites like Somewhereinblog, prothom alo blog, mukto-mona, wordpress, blogger etc! Facebook, a great tools of social network is popular in Bangladesh. I also get return back of some friends due to facebook. With all the limitations, I find, people particularly the youth are becoming more optimistic about welfare of common people who have not access in online world.

Only two years ago, I created this blog and just updated it with only news which fulfilled my needs to prepare my write-up on different issues. Later I found some opportunities to use this blog as social mobilisation tools and I started to post some articles in some selected areas related to my work. But I couldn’t able to reach the people, but I found from my dashboard (control panel) that more and more people visiting my blog everyday.

As a social worker, I have always try to connect people as much as possible. But the blog gave me the opportunities to connect the global people, but I found a great limitation to connect my own people through this blog. I found a great possibility of online activism through participating at different forum through online; but not able to use these possibilities for my own people who are living in the remote villages. So, I searched way to create an opportunity for my own people whose for I work. Discussing with friends, I planned to develop a telecentre at remote areas; mobile technologies enhanced the possibilities to create an opportunity.

But problem is there also; I found again that people, particularly youths are more interested to chat with others as per their own interest rather uses the internet technology for serving the interest of lives and livelihood; so I tried to organise the youths in colleges and universities and started to conduct study circles through creating a bangla blog. A few youths showing interest to join in discussion and together we planned to use these social networking sites as alternative media. For these reason, now we are organising the youths at rural areas through founding clubs, associations and asked them to join with us through using internet from cyber cafe and mobile phone. Journey is started and I dream, my friends and families from my villages connects me at early of the morning, at noon, at afternoon, evening and also after mid-night through a telecentre where rural youths will be become as a social entrepreneur  to provide the services to my villagers.

I also dream, my villagers are taking part in discussion on agriculture, rural employment, rural economy at the blog  and together we are acting as pressure group to formulate public policy to protect live and livelihood of rural people. Together we will build another world! A Knowledge Based Society through online activism. Do you mean! Just join with us!

Ashoka: Innovators for the Public are hosting Tech 4 Society, a conference exploring technology, invention and social change, in Hyderabad, India, in February 2009. Find out more about the conference here. This blog post is an entry in their competition to find the official blogger to travel to and cover the event.