Climate Refugees: The Position of Bangladesh

Do you feel a change in the crop cycle? Do you feel a change in biodiversity? Are Shefali’s flowers blooming on time? Is the winter bird coming on time? Lost by autumn, winter season?

Even though not being an expert, I can feel the rising heat. Rising cold wave, warmth. The sea-sea is heating up, the saltwater is entering the coast. Cyclones, floods, droughts often kill. To deal with these, the fee is going to be 2-3 percent of the national income per annum. There is still a procession of climate survivors.

Climate Refugees

Scientists have warned that unless carbon emissions are reduced, the weather will increase. They say that the root cause of climate change is the need to change the capitalist consumer system. But that warning is being ignored. Carbon emissions are rising without decreasing.

According to the Paris climate agreement, global warming should be kept within one and a half degrees. Who’s listening? Many of the richest industrialized countries do not follow the United Nations Climate Charter of 1992. Trump did not obey, lured others not to obey.

Hopefully, new U.S. President Joe Biden has returned to the Paris climate accord by changing Trump’s climate reluctance policy on the first working day. He has a belief in climate science. So hopefully, there are major changes in world climate politics. We also have to be prepared.

Achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030 is only 9 years ahead. The climate is the 13th goal of the SDGs’ 16 goals. The adoption and mitigation of climate change under the Paris Agreement have been on track for nine years.

The question is, how will it adapt to climate change? How is it different from normal development? It is still difficult to accurately measure adaptation in the context of climate change. However, science has so far identified three stages of adaptation. The first step is to assess and verify the possible adverse effects of climate change.

If I do, it has to be stopped. For example, the Sundarbans should be preserved at all costs. Because Sundarbans not only protect Bangladesh from cyclones but also absorbs carbon. So the Sunderbans simultaneously eliminate and reduces the climate. Environmental destructive measures have to be curbed. Water, air, and soil pollution should be prevented.

We are now in the second phase of adaptation. We also need to consider climate change while investing in long-term infrastructure like bridges, roads, airports, ports, etc., so that they are more tolerant of climate change in the future. The issue is now being considered for investment in all major infrastructure projects around the world. We have to consider it in Bangladesh also. It is better to reduce such climate risk if we build temporary buildings on the floodplain.

The third stage of adaptation is called transformative adaptation, which is still somewhat theoretical. There is no such good example so far. It is necessary not only to address the dangers of the effects of climate change, but also to reap the benefits of adaptation.

However, an example can be given how transformative customization can be. Taking into account the inevitable displacement of millions of people in coastal districts, we need to invest in a dozen cities off the coast to make them climate-friendly and immigrant-friendly.

Children from coastal areas need to be educated in such a way that they are skilled in urban activities rather than being farmers or fishermen like their parents. This strategy will reduce the pressure on the capital Dhaka. This metropolis will not be able to accommodate one-crore climate migrants in the next decade.

Bangladesh formulated the National Adaptation Action Plan (NAPA) with funding from the Climate Charter in 2005. Subsequently, all the least developed countries prepared and implemented the Nopa. In 2010, the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) was adopted in Cancun based on NAPAR.

Many countries, including Nepal, have already planned and implemented them. In 2015, Bangladesh also prepared a roadmap for the National Adaptation Plan. Preparation of a National Adaptation Plan on the basis of public participation needs to be completed quickly. Then we will be able to present the document at the World Climate Conference to be held in the United Kingdom in November.

We have already gained some education and experience to make customization more effective. The first lesson is that it will take a decade or more to achieve a truly transformative adaptation. Investment in short and medium term projects will not be suitable in this case.

This is a problem with the use of global funds such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which only finances projects. If they want to support transformational adaptation programs, they need to fund long-term program-based national programs.

The second lesson is that all stakeholders need to be involved inside and outside the government, especially in the private sector. The most important third lesson is that transformational changes cannot be confined to small areas or regions, it will have dimensions throughout the country.

Bangladesh was the first country in 2008 to adopt the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP). Ten years later, it now needs to be updated on the basis of public participation by domestic experts. Then in 2021, Bangladesh will make a very significant revision to the climate change strategy and action plan. Its tenure needs to be extended to 2030. Emphasis should be given to include the issue of climate change in the mainstream of all national plans. This goal needs to be achieved by optimizing climate change with the SDGs, delta plans and the country’s 7th and 9th Five Year Plans.

Eleven years ago, Bangladesh set up a Climate Trust Fund in its budget. With this fund, three thousand crore rupees have already been allocated for various climate programs. In addition, it has created a climate-resilient fund with the help of development partners.

There is now a need to increase the allocation in the national budget to deal with climate change. The program and allocation need to be made on a priority basis in high-risk areas. It is important to build skills and capacity to create and manage adaptation and mitigation programs to receive funds from green climate funds, adaptation funds, LDCs funds, and other global funds.

There is an urgent need to undertake classical research and knowledge-based activities. There is an urgent need to start M.Phil and Ph.D. programs in public universities.

In this way, Bangladesh can turn itself into one of the most vulnerable countries and make the effects of climate change the most tolerant by achieving transformative adaptation. If Bangladesh achieves the Millennium Development Goals, Qatar will become the leading country in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It will be able to lead the world in setting examples to combat climate change.

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