The Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), an initiative by frontline states likely to suffer loss of land due to rising sea level as an effect of climate change, was launched at the Hague last year to elevate the political visibility of climate change adaptation and focus on solutions. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is one of the Conveners of the GCA.
Adaptation is a smart investment for Bangladesh as sea level rise of just one metre will inundate 17 per cent of Bangladesh. The world must unite to help tackle the effects of climate change. In a global village what happens in one corner of the world will have implications on rest of the world.Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, chairman of the GCA, proposed setting up a global centre for adaptation in Bangladesh for the South and South-East Asia at the inauguration ceremony of the Dhaka meeting of the ‘Global Commission on Adaptation’. He praised Bangladesh as “a role model in showing the world that even a developing country can set trend-setting initiatives to meet climate change with courage and farsightedness”.
With pride and gratitude we acknowledge his words of praise for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s global leadership role in pursuing the issue of adaptation in an emphatic and innovative way. Both Ban Ki-moon and Dr Hilda C Heine, President of the Marshall Islands, highly praised the disaster management of Bangladesh and leadership role of the host Prime Minister in facing the adverse impacts of climate change.
Bangladesh was the first country in the world to create a national adaptation programme in 2009 to prepare for rising sea level as an effect of global warming though, as our PM states, it makes little contribution to the carbon emission which is mainly responsible for climate change.
Ban Ki-moon appreciated that while the rest of the world debate about climate change, Bangladesh is adapting to a warmer, more violent and less predictable climate. Bangladesh’s long-term resilience plan ‘Delta Plan 2100’ was praised as adaptation practices worthy of emulation for urgent and cost-effective ways to support communities affected by climate change.
As monsoon rains flood many parts of Bangladesh with indications of a major one after that of 1998, we must be prepared for this curse due to global warming. In 1998, our PM set an example of preparedness with minimal loss of lives and properties.