'Bangladesh needs to be the most prepared country to face such effects, otherwise by 2030, Bangladesh cannot overcome the challenges'
Listing Bangladesh as the most vulnerable country to tolerate the adverse effects of climate change, the speakers called for preparing the country to exercise disaster risk management at every level.
The three-day international conference on Disaster Risk Management (ICDRM) 2019 was inaugurated at the capital’s Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel on Saturday.
Approximately 128 research papers of different fields will be presented at the conference in different sessions which will focus on social and policy aspects, and the application of engineering and technology for the implementation of disaster risk management.
Director of the Center for Climate Change and Environmental Research, Professor Dr Ainun Nishat, emphasized the problems of disaster risk management and future preparedness to manage the adverse effects of climate change.
“Problems of disaster risk management are linked to natural disasters and climate change that makes natural disasters unpredictable. Bangladesh needs to be the most prepared country to face such effects, otherwise by 2030, Bangladesh cannot overcome the challenges. We have started preparing for the future,” said Dr Ainun Nishat, keynote speaker at the conference.
Pointing out problems such as unpredictable rainfalls, floods, cyclones, sea level rise, increasing salinity, river erosion, lightning, and food security, he said: “Our main problem is resources. The country lacks the capacity to collect funds for both mitigation and adaptation.”
“Rivers around Dhaka will be affected by high salinity within 50-60 years. However, in many places of Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, and Gopalganj, salinity levels are so high that there is no safe drinking water available,” he added.
He also emphasized improving weather forecasts for farmers.
Agreeing with the keynote speaker, Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh, Hiroyasu Izumi, said that Bangladesh should be the most prepared country for disaster resilience.
Explaining the experience of Japan’s measures for disaster risk reduction and essentiality of preparedness, Hiroyasu Izumi said: “I hope these experiences, knowledge, and technologies of Japan, as well as of other countries, will be well-discussed and shared among researchers and engineers from different countries so that we can work together to build more disaster resilient societies.”
Director General of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense, Brigadier Gen (Retd) Ali Ahmed Khan, and Chief Representative of the Bangladesh Office of Japan International Cooperation Agency, Hitoshi Hirata, were present at the inaugural ceremony among more than a hundred participants.
The three-day conference is jointly organized by BUET-Japan Institute of Disaster Prevention and Urban Safety (BUET-JIDPUS), Department of Agriculture, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM), BUET, and Urban Resilience Project: Rajuk Part, and the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defense.
The conference will conduct sessions on Hazard, Vulnerability, and Risk Assessment (HVRA), adaptation, prevention and mitigation, mainstream disaster management warning, preparedness and awareness, emergency management, recovery and rehabilitation, and climate change.