The Daily Star: South Asian nations should converge on stronger climate change negotiations in the global levels to protect hundreds of millions of people being affected in this region, suggested experts. They also recommended that South Asian countries actively collaborate among themselves in sharing knowledge and technologies to increase food productivity, energy efficiency and reduce disaster risks.
The observations came at a dialogue titled “Regional Action on Climate Change: Bridging the Gaps” organised by Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP) with support from Oxfam and European Union at the auditorium of Bangladesh Economic Association in the capital. “We should think of a common platform for addressing climate change,” said Munjurul Hannan Khan, deputy secretary of the environment and forest ministry, in his keynote paper.
Stating that the developed countries are not releasing the funds they committed, he said, “We have to create pressure and design programmes to get the money from them.” Climate change specialist Dr Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed said political leadership of South Asia has to act sincerely so that the region as a platform can go for international negotiations on climate change issues.
Ziaul Haque Mukta of Oxfam said there are a number of agreements at Saarc level on issues related to climate change, but these are not implemented. He said Indian politicians are not interested in addressing issues at regional or multilateral forums, which is unfortunate. Munjurul Hannan Khan said 600 million people in South Asia live at less than $1.25 a day, and climate change can cause havoc on their lives.
While food productions are predicted to decline and population to go up, greater and prompt actions are imperative, he said. Nepal and Bhutan can be sources of hydropower, while Sri Lanka of wind power, which also can act as mitigation measures in the region, he said.
Indian MP Dr Anup Kumar Saha agreed on the need to work together regionally for rational management of water and addressing climate change impacts. Thomas Sangma MP of Meghalaya said climate change can cause large number of cross-border migrations from Bangladesh to India. India, therefore, could have a sort of arrangements like issuing work permits to them, he noted. Hasanul Huq Inu MP, environment ministry secretary Mesbah ul Alam also spoke at the dialogue moderated by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, coordinator of Bangladesh Climate Change Negotiation Team.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>