Experts at a regional conference here today said reliable and accessible climate data is critical for resilient development.
They stressed making climate data accessible and creating a path for transformative and integrated collaboration in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region.
Deputy Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Habibun Nahar addressed the inaugural session of the conference as the chief guest.
Sanjay Kumar Bhowmik, Additional Secretary, chaired the inaugural session, while Nusrat Noman, Joint Secretary, Programming Division, Bangladesh Planning Commission, spoke as special guest.
Bangladesh, one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts, has formulated policies and plans to combat these impacts as reflected in the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA), the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan. However, it is crucial to have access to climate data and climate risk information to implement these plans.
The two-day conference gives various stakeholders a chance to deliberate on barriers and opportunities in accessing climate risk information.
On the first day, speakers explained the status, and analysed the various challenges of climate data availability and accessibility in the region. Day two of the conference is slated for sharing the existing good practices and lay foundations for partnerships.
Malik Fida A Khan, Executive Director, Centre for Environment and Geographical Information Services (CEGIS), presented the keynote paper at the opening session, offering the status of climate data and accessibility in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region.
Panelists included Sudip Pradhan, Programme Coordinator, International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD); Anuj Sharma, Co-Founder, Earth Analytics; Hasna Jamiuddin Moudud, Councilor, South and East Asia, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); and Shamim Ahmed Mridha, Founder, Eco-Network Bangladesh.
Over the course of the conference, participants also got the chance to browse through existing good practices in terms of research, good practices, communications, government initiatives, youth movements, and the German technical cooperation's support in climate change adaptation effort.
The first day ended with the screening of the award-winning documentary "Once You Know". The document was released in February 2022, immediately leaving a mark on viewers because of its deeply emotional display of the impacts of climate change. Directed by Emmanuel Cappelin, the documentary was shared with GIZ Bangladesh to be screened for participants at the conference
Participants at the conference were also able to attend an art exhibition held over the course of the conference.
The exhibition showcased art works by children from the Sirajganj municipality area. These children have witnessed the impacts of climate change firsthand, with many of them forced to take shelter in Sirajganj town. These children and their families are being supported by the Adaptation to Climate Change in Urban Areas Programme in GIZ Bangladesh.