Bangladesh takes centre stage
During April, Bangladesh will be taking centre stage on a number of aspects in tackling global climate change: the first of such events took place as Bangladesh hosted the Cartagena Dialogue held in Dhaka on April 8 and 9, and the second will be the 7th International Conference on Community Based Adaptation (CBA7), which will take place from April 22 to 25.
Cartagena dialogue for progressive action
This is a group of both developing and developed countries, now numbering over 40 nations, which was set up a few years ago in Cartagena, who have pledged to take progressive action on tackling climate change since the consensus based United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with nearly 200 countries, was moving too slowly.
Bangladesh has become the latest country to host the Cartagena Dialogue, and the meeting reaffirmed the commitment of all its member countries to become more pro-active in tackling climate change both at home as well as at the global level.
It is expected that this will inject some sense of urgency in the UNFCCC talks at the next conference on parties (COP19) to be held in Warsaw, Poland in December.
This meeting was organised jointly by the ministry of foreign affairs as well as the ministry of environment and forests, thus ensuring good cooperation between two key ministries which are both important in climate change diplomacy.
The second event of significance is the 7th International Conference on Community Based Adaptation (CBA7) which is expected to attract well over 200 international delegates from around the world and will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, as the keynote speaker on the closing session.
This is an annual conference organised jointly by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) based in the United Kingdom and the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS). The 6th conference (CBA6) was held in Hanoi, Vietnam in April 2012 and attracted around 250 international delegates from around the world.
Community Based Adaptation (CBA) is a growing area of interest globally as it focuses on the poorest and most vulnerable communities around the world and how to empower them to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. The theme for this year's conference is: "Mainstreaming CBA into national and local development planning" and it is likely to bring a much larger number of delegates from national and local governments than in the past.
The significant aspect of this meeting is that although it is organised by civil society organisations, it has a strong support from the Bangladesh government, therefore demonstrating the close working relationship between government and civil society in addressing climate change.
These events reflect the growing role that Bangladesh is taking as a leader in tackling such a prime issue, both at the governmental as well as at the civil society level. It also demonstrates to other countries the close working relationship in Bangladesh between all relevant ministries within the government.
The writer is Senior Fellow at the London based International Institute for Environment and Development and Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Independent University, Bangladesh.
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