A Global Commission on Adaptation report, published in September, advocates a revolutionary change in understanding climate risk, its social and environmental impact assessment, and mobilization of finance necessary to accelerate adaptation.
The report also emphasized the need for applying revolutionary changes to food production, management of water and natural environment, urban planning, disaster management and climate-resilient financing.
Placing a 2020-2030 adaptation plan, the report estimated that $1.8 trillion investment in adaptation could generate $7.1 trillion in total net benefits. The report has also declared the timeframe from September 2019 to December 2020 as the "year of action".
Brac Climate Change Programme hosted a seminar titled "State of play globally on climate change" at the Brac Centre Inn in Dhaka on Wednesday to discuss the report.
Participants took the report as a supplement to the National Adaptation Plan of Bangladesh.
They said that Bangladesh has made remarkable achievements in disaster management and in forming a climate fund with domestic resources.
However, climate risk screening, implementation of socially and economically resilient adaption plans, and proper channelization of funds still lack the required pace because of data deficiency and coordination, the participants observed.
The report pointed out that global agriculture yield would decrease by up to 30 per cent while the number of water-starved people would rise to five billion, and more than one trillion people would be displaced by 2050 due to climate change.
Professor Ainun Nishat, adviser to the Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research under Brac University, pointed out discrepancies in ongoing adaptation programs in Bangladesh.
"The change in the pattern of the six seasons has affected seasonal crop cultivation. There are climate resilient varieties of crops, but very few farmers can get the seeds," he said.
Bangladesh needs to translate the Global Commission on Adaptation report into specific action.
Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, said collaborative efforts in knowledge sharing and skill development are crucial to scaling up climate change adaptation.
Sultana Afroz, a wing chief of the Economic Relations Division, stressed the need for transparency in climate fund distribution.
Ziaul Haque, the director of the Department of the Environment, and the UNDP's Assistant Resident Representative Md Khurshid Alam also spoke at the seminar, with Brac's Climate Change Programme Director Md Liakath Ali in the chair.
Established initially by the Netherlands on October 2018, the Global Commission on Adaptation is now co-convened by 19 other countries including Bangladesh. The 8th UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon heads the commission.