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‘Youth force will bring change in Bangladesh’s climate action’

  • Published at 12:21 am April 11th, 2019
State Minister for Youth Zahid Ahsan Russel
File photo of State Minister for Youth Zahid Ahsan Russel Dhaka Tribune

State Minister for Youth focuses on the leading roles of youth on climate action  

State Minister for Youth Zahid Ahsan Russel has participated in an interactive roundtable on “Youth 2030: Working with and for Young People”, organized by the United Nations in New York.

At the event on Tuesday, the state minister highlighted Bangladesh’s tremendous progress in youth empowerment, particularly in climate action under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership, reports UNB.

He said: “By strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters, we’ve tried to turn the energy, passion and inherent adaptability and mental strength of youth into a vital enabler to utilise them as an opportunity as well as agents of change in our climate action.”

He was positive about Bangladesh reaping its demographic dividend over the next couple of decades as one third of its population is youth. 

According to a press release of Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN, Russel said, “Youth are at the forefront of various efforts for implementation of various SDGs, including SDG goal 13 - Climate Action.” 

The event was hosted by UN Secretary–General’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake.

Russel added, “As a proponent of climate action, Bangladesh has been included in one of the coalitions of UNSG's Climate Action Summit 2019.”

The state minister discussed the country’s efforts to tackle challenges of climate change, noting that the government has long been implementing homegrown adaptation and mitigation strategies, particularly focusing on women and youth.

“The youth, especially the volunteers, have been instrumental in Bangladesh’s efforts on disaster risk reduction in early warning of cyclone and emergency evacuation, effectively reducing deaths and injuries from natural disasters,” he added.

Russel focused on the leading role of youth in taking charge of on-the-ground climate action and their role on social media against climate change. 

He said: “Youth-based clubs, alliances and organisations are also working on climate issues at the ground level. They are organising symposiums, rallies and conferences to raise awareness on issues of reducing GHG emissions, green technologies and encouraging use of renewable energy, like solar power.”

Russel is leading the Bangladesh delegation at 2019 ECOSOC Youth Forum of the UN.