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Adaptation needs attention

  • Published at 12:04 am October 18th, 2019
Flooding
Can we cope? MEHEDI HASAN

There is no doubt that we must act now to protect our present and our future

There is no denying that we are already in the midst of one of the greatest global crises of our era -- climate change.

Being a low-lying riverine country, Bangladesh has already started to face the brunt of this problem. Sea level rise and riverbank erosion have created thousands of climate refugees in this country who are now migrating to the cities for a safer living space. 

There is no doubt that we must act now to protect our present and our future. But what is the best way of doing so?

Most of the dialogue surrounding the climate change question surrounds the idea of preventing the situation from deteriorating further. Simply put, this is not enough. 

We must also pay attention to investing in means that can help us adapt to the crisis, as the damages are already underway. Experts agree that most of the investments surrounding the issue go towards mitigation, and only a measly sum goes to adaptation. 

The government has a moral obligation to protect the people that are most affected by the crisis -- the vulnerable people in the riverbanks, coasts, and disaster-prone areas. These people must be protected from natural calamities that have grown in number and strength due to the climate crisis, and from environmental changes triggered by climate change.

The global community must come out of its singular focus of mitigation and invest in adaptation. It is high time for governments, international organizations, and private actors to start being realistic about the challenges we face, which are already at our doorstep.