PM for streamlining global-individual country's efforts to face climate change

Published : 04 Apr 2023, 14:04

Jagoroniya Desk

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed the need for streamlining global-individual country's efforts with responsive policy and planning to overcome the climate change impacts to build a better world for all.

"Since, origins of the climate change are global, their solution and management would also have to be global. Only if the global efforts and individual country's efforts are streamlined through responsive policy, planning and governance, the actions are likely to be successful," she said. The premier made the remarks in a pre-recorded video message aired in the inaugural session of the 5th International Conference on Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

She said Bangladesh is ready to join any initiative at the regional and global level dealing with the impacts of climate change. The premier called for coordinated global efforts and shared vision for climate adaptation, mitigation and resilient infrastructures. "We believe, commitment and compliance on financing mechanisms are indispensible for addressing the unforeseen crises," she said.

She went on saying that a greater sense of solidarity among governments, international and regional organizations, private sectors are required to build a sustainable and resilient future for all. "At the same time, we need to bring changes in our way of thinking in this discourse by incorporating science, technology, innovation and resilient transition," she said. The prime minister reiterated Bangladesh's commitment to work with the global community hand in hand to ensure a better world for all.

She congratulated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for hosting this timely event. Bangladesh joined this platform in July, 2021.

Due to the adverse impacts of climate change, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is facing unpredictable climatic events and disasters, which are damaging our establishments and resources in massive scales. Strong and resilient physical infrastructure is needed to withstand and adapt to changing conditions, and from shocks and stresses, she said.

Recently, she continued that the world has witnessed a series of catastrophes like massive earthquakes in Turkey, Syria and Afghanistan, hurricanes in the Caribbean, US and Canada and flood in South Africa.

"Last year, we, in Bangladesh, experienced a series of natural disasters, including flood and cyclones, causing huge economic losses," she said. "It is important that all future infrastructure construction and systems must be resilient to disasters to protect our investments," she opined. As one of the most climate vulnerable countries, the premier said Bangladesh experiences frequent natural calamities like flood, tidal surge, cyclone, storm, drought and thunderbolt. "IPCC report 2022 predicts, Bangladesh is at the risk of 2 to 9 per cent of GDP losses by the mid and end of the century due to climate change," she said.

The prime minister referred to Bangladesh's actions against natural disaster date back in July 1973 when Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formulated Cyclone Preparedness Programme. Bangabandhu built 1000 cyclone shelters in coastal areas under the programme, she said, adding that the people used to call these centres as "Mujib Kella".

Earlier in 1970, a devastating tidal surge claimed about a million lives in southern Bangladesh in absence of resilient infrastructures, she said. "In 2009, our government established the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund with own resources. Nearly 800 projects have so far been implemented at a cost of USD 480 million," she said.

During Bangladesh's recent Presidency of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, Sheikh Hasina said, "We launched Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan to build a climate resilient prosperous country".

"In 2022, our government launched the National Adaptation Plan, with a projected need for USD 230 billion by 2050," she said. Earlier, she said Bangladesh formulated a long-term Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100 with the aim of building a resilient and prosperous delta for future generations. "My government now attaches importance to science-based infrastructure design and implementation. We recognise the need for involving our local communities to make the infrastructures work for them," she said.

She further said that they have implemented a thousand flood control, drainage and irrigation schemes to cover more than 6 million hectares of land. "Our government has conducted dredging and re-excavation of 1,400 kms of rivers. We have built nearly 22,000 km of embankments, alongside 139 coastal polders. These infrastructures are giving protection to more than 20 million flood vulnerable people. We have so far conducted 1,229 km of riverbank protection work," she said.

For disaster response, she said they have built 4,530 cyclone shelters, some of which also serve as schools in regular times. "We are now constructing 550 Mujib Killas on raised grounds for multiple uses, including sheltering people and livestock during natural calamities," she said.

Under our flagship Ashrayan project, the prime minister said her government has so far built over 7 hundred thousand houses and those were handed over to the landless and homeless people free of cost. "These houses are strong enough to endure any natural disaster. We have also built 139 five-storey buildings in Cox's Bazar to rehabilitate climate-displaced people," she said.

She said they are scaling up nature-based solutions like coastal green belts, floating vegetable cultivation and millions of palm tree plantation. "We are using our local-level trained volunteers as well as digital information and service centres to provide early warning. As a result of our actions, the number of deaths due to natural disasters has decreased significantly in recent years," she said.

The global community also recognized the efforts of Bangladesh and as recognition, they have been awarded 'Champion of the Earth' and many more accolades, she said.

Source: BSS

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