The opening of the regional adaptation centre in Dhaka has been dedicated to the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged all countries concerned to increase their “determined contributions” to combat the climate change menace and execute the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“As the climate change is a global affair, I would like to call upon the countries to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions by December 31st this year in tackling the menace as well as implement the 2015 Paris Agreement,” she said while inaugurating the South Asian Regional Office of Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) in Bangladesh.
The prime minister along with former UN secretary general and GCA Chair Ban Ki-Moon jointly opened the GCA regional office at Agargaon virtually, reports BSS.
The opening of the regional adaptation centre in Dhaka has been dedicated to the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The premier expressed hope that this office will serve as a “Center of Excellence” and a solution-broker for climate adaptation measures in this region.
“I hope this regional office will share best adaptation practices of Bangladesh as well as other countries and exchange practices within the region. It will serve as a Center of Excellence and a solution-broker for adaptation measures in the region,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina expected that the GCA Dhaka office would also support Bangladesh during its Chairmanship to Climate Vulnerable Forum and Vulnerable-20, two climate-based important international bodies under the UNFCCC process during the next two years.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the GCA chair joined the virtual function, while Chief Executive Officer of GCA in Rotterdam Prof Patrick V Verkooijen delivered the welcome speech.
The premier simultaneously urged the GCA to explore the opportunity of supporting the Delta Coalition on a long-term basis.
Sheikh Hasina also called for greater cooperation and collaboration among the nations to fight the coronavirus impacts.
“The Covid-19 pandemic fallout calls for greater cooperation and collaboration among the nations. We should not leave each other rather forge unity to fight the current crisis or any such one in the future,” UNB quoted her as saying.
She said South Asia is the most vulnerable region to climate-induced natural disasters like cyclone, flood, tidal surge, drought, Glacial Lake Outburst Flood, landslides and avalanches. Even a 1.5˚C rise of temperature will have severe consequences for Bangladesh and the region.
“We also must not forget the vulnerability of the children, women, elderly people and people with special needs against disasters,” she added.
Hasina said Bangladesh remains committed to implementing the Paris Agreement and adopting all the measures to prevent the rise of temperature from the emission of greenhouse gas and other environmental degradations.
She said her government has taken various mitigation and adaptation programmes under Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan formulated in 2009 to offset climate change impacts.
“We established Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund in 2009 and so far allocated 430 million US dollars from our own resources to implement the action plan,” she added.
The government has also been spending about 1 percent of GDP equivalent to US$ 2 billion per year since 2010 for adaptation purposes, she continued.
She said the government has formulated a 100-year plan called ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100’ as a long-term plan to face the challenges of climate change and natural disasters.
In the past decade alone, nearly 700 million people, half of the region’s population, have been affected by climate-related disasters, she said.
“Before people can recover from one disaster caused by natural hazards, another one strikes, reversing any progress made. To end this cycle, South Asia needs to build greater resilience,” she went on.
Hasina said Bangladesh is a unique example of climate vulnerability and resilience. People here have time and again shown their resilience against natural or man-made disasters. Yet, there remain a lot of things to be changed, she said.
“I think, other countries in the region also have similar experiences and some good practices on adaptive measures. I believe, together we can safeguard and build a better future for all of us,” she said.
Bangladesh Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Shahab Uddin as well as ministers concerned of South Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Maldives, Bhutan spoke at the inaugural function.