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Bangladesh Becoming Resilient in Climate Change and Environment

Key highlights:

  • Honorable Prime Minister secured the prestigious ‘Champion of the Earth’ award in 2015
  • In 2009, Bangladesh became the inaugural country to launch the ‘Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP)’
  • In 2023, the Forest Department started measuring carbon emissions using the IPCC GHG Inventory software for the first time
  • ‘Ratargul’ swamp forest has been declared a ‘Special Biodiversity Protected Area’
  • UK and Bangladesh have plans beyond COP28

Climate change poses a significant threat to Bangladesh, particularly with one-third of its population facing potential displacement from rising sea levels. The Global Climate Risk Index places the country in the top ten nations most affected by extreme weather events from 1998 to 2017, with associated losses averaging 1.8 percent of GDP annually between 1990 and 2008.

Acknowledging the pressing nature of the matter, Bangladesh has emerged as a proactive nation in addressing climate change. Despite contributing less than 0.47 percent to global greenhouse gas emissions, the country has implemented various initiatives in the recent past to encourage investments in climate change mitigation.

SLFund nameNo. of approved projectAmount of Fund (million $)
1.Green Climate05101.14250156.66
2.Least developed Countries Fund (LDFC)0734.41187.94
3.Adaptation Fund (AF)019.99
4.Global Environment Facility (GEF)0824.66402.62
5.Climate Bridge Fund30.00

A key strategy involves the adoption of a fiscal framework aimed at directing additional resources towards endeavors related to adaptation. Simultaneously, the introduction of new environmental guidelines serves to encourage green financing, promote the principles of green banking, and establish dedicated funds. Bangladesh’s commitment is further evident in its active pursuit of grant financing from the international community, with a notable emphasis on engagement with the Green Climate Fund.

Furthermore, marking a noteworthy accomplishment, the Honorable Prime Minister secured the prestigious ‘Champion of the Earth’ award in 2015, the highest environmental honor bestowed by the United Nations.

Bangladesh has admirably addressed its climate adaptation gap, setting a commendable example for other nations to emulate. By introducing the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) in 2009 and establishing the Climate Change Trust Fund to fund BCCSAP-related projects, they have showcased a proactive stance in the battle against climate change.

A suite of proactive policies and investments has been implemented by the government to fortify resilience against climate-related disasters, harnessing the power of community-led initiatives. As a result, coastal embankment systems have been developed to safeguard more than 6,000 km of vulnerable coastline, along with the establishment of an early warning system for cyclones that engages over 76,000 volunteers.

Through the strategic allocation of investments and the implementation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, the government aspires to facilitate the enduring development of the country’s delta and river systems, fostering the responsible management of water and land resources over the long term.

The largest housing initiative for individuals displaced by climate change in Cox’s Bazar has been realized through the construction of 139 multi-storied buildings, equipped with all essential amenities, providing shelter to 4,409 families affected by climate change impacts.

Ratargul swamp forest, Sylhet.

Another critical concern is the substantial annual economic impact of air pollution in Bangladesh, representing 9 percent of its GDP. Enhancing air quality standards across diverse sectors is crucial for improving public health and fortifying climate resilience. The country’s 2021 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commit to a 21.8 percent reduction in emissions by the year 2030.

The Forest Department has started measuring carbon emissions from forests and other land uses for the first time in 2023 using the IPCC GHG Inventory software. Reducing emissions can be achieved at a relatively affordable expense now, offering additional advantages like lowering overall energy expenses and boosting income.

The Sundarbans, acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage site and celebrated as the largest mangrove forest globally, holds immense ecological importance. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken a leading role in protecting this fragile ecosystem, implementing stringent measures against deforestation, conserving biodiversity, and tackling the negative effects of climate change. Additionally, ‘Ratargul’ swamp forest in Sylhet has been declared a ‘Special Biodiversity Protected Area’ on 31st May, 2015.

Throughout the years, our esteemed Prime Minister has taken the initiative to spotlight the issue of climate change on the global stage, advocating for collective efforts to combat its impact.

Addressing the G20 summit on September 9, 2023, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasized, “Despite our minimal contribution to climate change, Bangladesh has borne the greatest brunt. Urgent action is needed to activate the Loss and Damage Fund, establishing financial mechanisms to tackle climate-induced migration.

Attending the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, 2023, in New York, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina dedicated her speech to addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

“Bangladesh is committed to protecting and preserving the environment and biodiversity and pursuing a climate-resilient sustainable development path. In line with the long-term temperature goal set out in Article 2 of the Paris Agreement, Bangladesh is developing its national low-carbon emission strategy and mitigation actions through green initiatives including renewable energy.”
COP26 saw Bangladesh and the UK uniting their efforts, drawing on the COP presidency and Bangladesh’s leadership in the Climate Vulnerable Forum. The partnership was officially cemented in March of this year, with the UK’s Minister of State for Indo-Pacific, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, and Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Md Shahriar Alam, signing the Bangladesh-UK Climate Accord. This accord symbolizes their mutual commitment to combatting climate change and fostering collaborative solutions. Beyond COP28, they have plans to continue and expand the UK-Bangladesh partnership.

As COP28 approaches, Bangladesh, under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, aims to amplify the call for implementing the fund for loss and damage with a focus on accountability and transparency, once again positioning itself as a leader in the global fight against climate change. COP28 is scheduled to be held on from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai, UAE.

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Bangladesh Becoming Resilient in Climate Change and Environment


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