The International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) and the Embassy of Sweden, Dhaka jointly organised a roundtable on Tuesday (17 May) in the build up to the Stockholm+50 Conference to be held in Stockholm, Sweden in the first week of June.
The roundtable, which was held at the Trustee Lounge of IUB, was organised to gather perspectives from actors in Bangladesh on how to tackle climate change, pollution and waste, and loss of nature and biodiversity, and accelerate the delivery of sustainable, equitable and resilient development, including a green post-COVID 19 recovery.
The key output of the roundtable was a report with recommendations for Stockholm+50 Conference and follow up actions in Bangladesh, reads a press release.
In his chief guest's speech, Tanvir Shakil Joy MP, member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said: "Due to climate change, massive internal migration is taking place in the country. In the northern district of Sirajganj, people living on the banks of Jamuna are migrating to Kurigram and Panchagarh, which are further north, due to riverbank erosion. Even people who relocated within their own upazilas are often treated as refugees."
The chief guest also noted that Bangladesh's Mujib Climate Investment Plan integrates a number of strategies that express the country's environmental and climate sustainability priorities. The plan needs to be adequately resourced and urgently implemented.
In her welcome remark, Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexandra Berg von Linde said, "Our action and choices will have a decisive impact on the future of humanity. It is still possible to create a better future if we act together. We hope that Stockholm+50 can offer an opportunity to close the implementation gap of commitments that have been made, to put science at the centre of our actions, and to show that we will act in solidarity with those that often have contributed the least to the problems but are hardest hit by the consequences."
Prof Niaz Ahmed Khan, pro vice chancellor of IUB, said, "Bangladesh was among the first countries to declare biodiversity and climate emergencies. The country plays a major role in the global environmental movements. We have also been a consistent voice in the international dialogue especially on the plight and perspectives of climate vulnerable countries."
Prof Saleemul Huq, director of ICCCAD, said: "The Stockholm conference on environment back in 1972 started the global environmental movement. Sweden is holding the Stockholm+50 conference to commemorate that event and also redirect the global environmental movement. ICCCAD and IUB are pleased to hold the roundtable discussion with Bangladeshi stakeholders to ensure Bangladesh plays a significant part in the conference as well as its follow up."
IUB Trustee A Quaiyum Khan; Prasenjit Chakma, assistant resident representative of Resilience and Inclusive Growth Cluster at UNDP; Faiyaz Murshid Kazi, director general of Economic Affairs Wing at Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Raquibul Amin, IUCN Bangladesh Country Representative; and Tariq A Karim, former ambassador and director of IUB's Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies, also spoke at the programme.
Prof Mizan Khan, deputy director of ICCCAD, gave a presentation on the Stockholm+50 and the LDC Engagement Strategy at the start of the roundtable.