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Climate adaptation conference begins in Dhaka

  • Published at 11:21 pm April 25th, 2016
  • Last updated at 11:22 pm April 25th, 2016

With the focus on the value of local knowledge in building urban resilience, the 10th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA10) began in Dhaka on Monday.

More than 300 practitioners, experts, academicians and policy makers on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, both from home and abroad, are participating in the conference.

The four-day conference is taking place at Independent University, Bangladesh in the city, hosted jointly by the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), the IUB and Bangladesh government.

The opening session was addressed by BCAS Executive Director Atiq Rahman, IUB Vice-Chancellor M Omar Rahman, Ruby Haddad from the Homeless People's Federation in the Philippines, IIED Director Andrew Norton, and United Nations Environment Programmes' (Unep) Director (Programme) Barney Dickson, among others, while ICCCAD Director Dr Saleemul Huq chaired the session.

At the opening session, speakers put emphasis on the role of communities in successful adaptation process because communities are where adaptation really takes place.

They also stressed the necessity of climate funds to reach remote areas.

A panel discussion on disaster risk management and climate change adaptation took place on the first day of the conference where speakers talked about the importance of infrastructure development in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

They also said accountability was essential for infrastructure projects and political accountability was required for the funding and action in climate adaptation.

The session was addressed by Terry Cannon from the Institute of Development Studies, Thinh Nguyen Anh from ADRA Vietnam, Lars Bernd from Unicef, Shakil Akther from Buet, and Brooke Ackerly from Vanderbilt University, among others, while Stu Solomon, programme manager at the Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction, facilitated the session.

The speakers addressed how the disaster risk reduction sector still struggles to incorporate climate concerns into practice, and how the communities have developed their own approaches to adapt to climate change, rather than building upon the existing knowledge of disaster risk reduction.

Now communities perceive and address climate change and disasters and poverty issues in a holistic way and do not approach the threats they face through fragmented approach, they said.

Sessions on community participation in urban areas, building adaptive capacity and learning from failure also took place on Monday.