The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Economic Relations Division (ERD) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) organised a district level consultation workshop on the formulation of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP).
The consultation workshop was held on Sunday at Lalmonirhat in the conference room of the office of the Deputy Commissioner, said a press release.
Environment Ministry Additional Secretary and NAP Formulation Project National Project Director Md Mizanul Haque Chowdhury was present as the chief guest while Zilla Parishad Chairman Advocate Md Matiar Rahman, Superintendent of Police Abida Sultana and Environment Ministry Additional Secretary Mr Sanjay Kumar Bhowmik were present as special guests.
Lalmonirhat Deputy Commissioner Md Abu Zafor chaired the consultation workshop.
More than 50 representatives from different sector departments, local government representatives, civil society representatives, sectoral experts, journalists and academia attended the event.
Considering different climate vulnerabilities like cold waves, flash floods, drought, heatwaves, monsoon floods, thunderstorms and ever-increasing climate-induced migration, Lalmonirhat district was selected to conduct the consultation.
Designated participants discussed various aspects of climate change risks and vulnerabilities primarily on fisheries, agriculture, urban infrastructures, adaptive livelihoods, youth, women and children.
The consultation underscored that people from the char areas are most vulnerable to climate-induced risks and disasters.
The vast majority of the rural areas of Lalmonirhat district were adversely affected by the heatwave in April this year. It disrupted rice and crop production and affected the lives and livelihoods of the thousands of marginalised farmers who survive on the income from selling their produces.
Arif M Faisal, programme specialist, UNDP gave an overview of the NAP process and resonated its need for Bangladesh.
He said, "NAP will identify capacity and knowledge gaps of all the stakeholders including the climate-vulnerable people and local development practitioners".
"It will also establish an institutional arrangement and strategies for resources allocation for successful implementation of the NAP" he added.
He emphasised allocating resources locally and build the capacity of the local govt to promote locally led adaptation.
Referring to her experience of cutting down trees in her hometown in Gazipur, Police Super Abida Sultana said, "Much of the climate change effect is man-made, we must refrain from self-destructing activities like cutting of trees, instead of doing the opposite – large scale afforestation and reforestation".
"Climate Change is creating ecological imbalance and contributing to the worsening of the poverty situation by affecting their lives and livelihoods – we must do more to protect their adaptive livelihoods," she added.
Echoing the notion of afforestation, advocate Md Matiar Rahman said, "Sadly we do not have enough khash lands for afforestation. So, we need to emphasise on social forestry programme in various institution, riverbank and roadside and simultaneously work on reducing CO2 and greenhouse gas emission."
The NAP formulation will contribute to the resilience building of the vulnerable people in the climate risks prone areas so that the local community can adapt to climate change and eternally graduate from the chronic poverty trap.