The International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) and the Embassy of Sweden, Dhaka jointly organized a roundtable on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 in the build up to the Stockholm+50 Conference to be held in Stockholm, Sweden in the first week of June 2022.
The roundtable, which was held at the Trustee Lounge of IUB, was organized to gather perspectives from actors in Bangladesh on how to tackle climate change, pollution and waste, and loss of nature and biodiversity, and accelerate the delivery of sustainable, equitable and resilient development, including a green post-COVID 19 recovery. The key output of the roundtable was a report with recommendations for Stockholm+50 Conference and follow up actions in Bangladesh.
In his chief guest’s speech, Mr. Tanvir Shakil Joy, MP, Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said: “Due to climate change, massive internal migration is taking place in the country. In the northern district of Sirajganj, people living on the banks of Jamuna are migrating to Kurigram and Panchagarh, which are further north, due to riverbank erosion. Even people who relocated within their own upazilas are often treated as refugees.” The chief guest also noted that Bangladesh’s Mujib Climate Investment Plan integrates a number of strategies which express the country’s environmental and climate sustainability priorities. The Plan needs to be adequately resourced and urgently implemented.
In her welcome remark, H.E. Alexandra Berg von Linde, Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh, said: “Our action and choices will have a decisive impact on the future of humanity. It is still possible to create a better future if we act together. We hope that Stockholm+50 can offer an opportunity to close the implementation gap of commitments that have been made, to put science at the centre of our actions, and to show that we will act in solidarity with those that often have contributed the least to the problems but are hardest hit by the consequences.”
Prof. Niaz Ahmed Khan, PhD, Pro Vice Chancellor of IUB, said: “Bangladesh was among the first countries to declare biodiversity and climate emergencies. The country plays a major role in the global environmental movements. We have also been a consistent voice in the international dialogue especially on the plight and perspectives of climate vulnerable countries.”
Prof. Saleemul Huq, OBE, Director of ICCCAD, said: “The Stockholm conference on environment back in 1972 started the global environmental movement. Sweden is holding the Stockholm+50 conference to commemorate that event and also redirect the global environmental movement. ICCCAD and IUB are pleased to hold the roundtable discussion with Bangladeshi stakeholders to ensure Bangladesh plays a significant part in the conference as well as its follow up.”
IUB Trustee Mr. A Quaiyum Khan; Mr. Prasenjit Chakma, Assistant Resident Representative, Resilience and Inclusive Growth Cluster, UNDP; Mr. Faiyaz Murshid Kazi, DG, Economic Affairs Wing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Raquibul Amin, IUCN Bangladesh Country Representative; and Mr. Tariq A. Karim, former ambassador and Director of IUB’s Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies, also spoke at the program. Prof. Mizan Khan, Deputy Director, ICCCAD, gave a presentation on the Stockholm+50 and the LDC Engagement Strategy at the start of the roundtable.
Stockholm+50, which will be convened by the UN General Assembly and the Governments of Sweden and Kenya, is set against the rising alarms about climate change, pollution and waste, and loss of nature and biodiversity - the triple planetary disaster - and how they are threatening the livelihoods and lives of billions of people. Under the theme “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity,” this high-level meeting will follow months of consultations and discussions with individuals, communities, organizations and governments around the world. Stockholm+50 will commemorate the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and celebrate 50 years of global environmental action. By recognizing the importance of multilateralism in tackling the Earth’s triple planetary crisis, the event aims to act as a springboard to accelerate the implementation of the UN Decade of Action.
Established in 2009, IUB's ICCCAD is a leading research and capacity building organization working on climate change and development in Bangladesh with an aim to promote world class knowledge, local experience, and research. In addition to offering master degree and short courses in Climate Change and Development, ICCCAD also provides capacity building, policy support and knowledge management services in areas such as climate finance, SDGs, migration, and so on.