Bangladesh can experience a decline of 1.3 percent in GDP if Delta Plan 2100 is not implemented properly.
The observation came through the unveiling of a book titled "Integrated Assessment for the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100: Analysis of Selected Intervention" at the National Economic Council conference room in the capital on Thursday.
The government has no alternative but to implement the Delta Plan to save Bangladesh from the adverse impact of climate change, said Buet Professor Md Munsur Rahman, while presenting a keynote paper at the event.
He emphasised the need to introduce special integrated models for coastal regions.
Regular maintenance of coastal polders can counteract tidal flooding through accommodating the effect of climate change in terms of future sea level rise. Additional raising of polder height is not required.
A polder is a piece of low-lying land reclaimed from the sea or a river and protected by dykes or embankments.
The existing polders and embankments in 139 areas of costal belts have been almost destroyed because of a lack of maintenance.
The height of each coastal embankment has reduced to two metres from four. Each of the coastal embankments' height should be raised up to 6 metres to protect these areas from tidal flooding and salinity.
Professor Munsur recommended creating seawalls through afforestation to protect coastal areas.
Mentioning the necessity of sluice gates for the embankments in Khulna and in Satkhira districts, he said there should be a combination between science and policies.
Planning Minister MA Mannan, in his speech, said the government is introducing and implementing several policies simultaneously to maintain development of the country and its people.
The Delta Plan is a sum of some umbrella projects to be implemented in 100 years under the Annual Development Programme.
The proper implementation of the ADP will expedite the implementation of the Delta Plan.
At the programme, National Professor Dr Jamilur Reza Choudhury said, "Coastal polders need urgent repair, although it will be costly."
Emphasising taking proper measures to protect the Sundarbans, he said, "It will protect us from cyclones and other natural disasters." He also suggested renovating cyclone centres.
Dr Shamsul Alam, member of the General Economic Division of the planning commission, said as many as 80 projects under the Delta Plan will be implemented by 2030. Of them, three projects have already got approval while another 21 are awaiting approval.
Replying to a query, he said, "The government has given utmost priority to implementing the Ganges Barrage project by 2030 under the plan."
The project will be implemented after a discussion with the neighbouring country.
Shahin Ahmed Chowdhury, member of the planning commission (senior Secretary), hopes that losses caused by climate change will be reduced with the implementation of the Delta Plan.
The National Economic Council approved the "Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100" in 2018, to be implemented in the next 100 years.
The plan aims to raise growth of GDP to 9 percent by 2030.
A total of Tk21,919 crore has been allocated in the current fiscal year for 248 projects under the plan.
The amount is 10.81 percent of the Annual Development Programme and 0.86 percent of the GDP.
The Delta Plan divides the country into six hotspots on the basis of 33 types of risks due to climate change and unplanned urbanisation.
Under the plan, an area of about 135,086 square kilometres, which is more than 91.5 percent of the country's land area, encompasses the risk zones.