Environmental activists and economists at a seminar yesterday urged the government to prepare its strategies for combating climate change impacts based on region and geographic condition.
In Bangladesh, geographic pattern is not the same everywhere, while the type and intensity of natural disaster and other climate change impacts also differ region-wise, they said.
Therefore, the government strategy on climate change should vary for regions and all regional strategies should be unified under one national strategy, which is absent now, they added.
Coastal Association for Social Transformation (COAST) Trust and Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL) jointly organised the seminar to review the proposed draft of “National Strategy on Management of Disaster and Climate Induced Internal Displacement (NSMDCIID)”.
The event was held at CIRDAP auditorium in the capital.
Providing his observations on the draft strategy, Salehin Sarfaraz, a coordinator and advocacy officer of COAST Trust, said the proposed national strategy lacks participation of relevant people -- like climate victims, activists and civil society representatives.
“That’s why, it might become a standalone policy document -- as in many other cases when the policy is developed by consultants only,” he said in a keynote presentation.
To make the strategy people-friendly, he suggested the authorities concerned to share the draft with the communities who are vulnerable to climate change and remain in a risk of being displaced.
He also suggested to prepare separate action plans for six climate hotspots in the country and combine those with the national strategy.
Noted economist Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said the government should identify priority areas for combating climate change and focus on those areas while finalising the strategy.
“If the government can prepare a proper strategy, I think it will help them during international negotiation on climate induced displacement issues,” said Kholiquzzaman, chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF).
Speaking as chief guest, Enamur Rahman, state minister for disaster management and relief, said they will consider the recommendations while finalising the strategy. He also assured of implementing it as soon as possible, without waiting for foreign fund.
Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary Shahidul Haque, Disaster Management Ministry Additional Secretary Md Mohsin, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies Executive Director Atiq Rahman and COAST Trust Executive Director Rezaul Karim Chowdhury also spoke at the programme.