Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Thematic Ambassador for Vulnerability Saima Wazed Hossain has called for CVF-COP26 resilience action plan to address climate change and mental health challenges.
"For helping the most vulnerable and the marginalised individuals and communities, including persons with disability, health conditions and diverse cultural and religious belief, cope with the trauma of extreme climate events and natural disasters, we must learn from the best practices of the climate-resilient population," she said.
Saima was addressing a high-level dialogue titled 'CVF-COP 26 Dialogue: Meeting the Survival Deadline towards Maximal Resilience', organised by Bangladesh High Commission in London recently.
Chaired by Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem as part of the newly formed CVF High Commissioners/Ambassadors Forum in London, Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister for Pacific, the Environment and COP26 at the UK FCDO, Md. Shahriar Alam MP, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, Prof. Dr. Saleemul Huq, Chair of CVF Expert Advisory Group and Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development and Prof Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, Chief Executive Officer, Global Center on Adaptation spoke at the high-level segment of the dialogue.
Abul Kalam Azad, Special Envoy to Bangladesh Presidency of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, presented the keynote paper at the dialogue which was participated, among others, by High Commissioners/Ambassadors and diplomats of 40 CVF member countries based in London, said the High Commission on Wednesday.
CVF High Commissioners/Ambassadors representing South Asia, Africa, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Central and South America also made their country statements on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), adaptation and resilient strategies, climate financing, transition to low-carbon economies and loss and damage issues.
Lord Goldsmith reiterated the UK's call to the governments for stepping up finance for nature-based solutions (NBS), which provides around a third of the most cost-effective climate change mitigation.
He emphasised the UK's ambitious climate action plans as President-elect of COP26 as well as its long-term strategies towards a net-zero by 2050.
The UK Minister referred to his recent virtual visit to Bangladesh and praised Bangladesh's nature-based resilient programme.
He also reaffirmed COP26 Presidency's willingness to work closely with Bangladesh Presidency of the CVF and UK's climate financing commitments to support CVF countries' ambitious adaptation and resilience plans.
Speaking as the chief guest, State Minister Md Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh remains one of the worst-affected victims of global emissions, despite having a negligible carbon footprint.
But the country has made remarkable progress in both adaptation and mitigation measures with strong political commitment and prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the resilience and strength of its people.
He said waiting for no-one to come forward and help them to build climate resilience, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ensured that Bangladesh was the first LDC to establish its own US$400 million Climate Change Trust Fund, prepare a Delta Plan 2100 and announce the 'Mujib Planetary Prosperity Decade (2020-30)' and Action Plan', first of its kind, marking Bangladesh's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Birth Centenary in 2020.
Referring to the recently established Bangladesh-UK Climate Partnership Forum, the State Minister said as the CVF Presidency Bangladesh also looks forward to working closely with the UK as the President-elect of the COP26 towards a more resilient and prosperous future for the 1.2 billion climatically most vulnerable people of the CVF member countries.
Bangladesh High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem said Bangladesh has assumed the Presidency of the Climate Vulnerable Forum this year for a second term, both under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina when all the CVF nations are facing the gravest global challenges of times, the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Commenting on the newly-formed High Commissioners/Ambassadors CVF in London, the Bangladesh High Commissioner expressed hope that the Forum will organise few more dialogues with the COP26 Presidency towards common aspirations and ambitions leading up to the COP26, including a joint summit of CVF-COP26 Presidencies.
In his presentation, Abul Kalam Azad highlighted the five key-areas of Bangladesh's CVF Presidency including its first CVF Presidency in 2011-13, Midnight Survival Deadline, CVF-COP26 collaboration, climate prosperity plan and update on CVF activities.
He said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as CVF President is personally attaching the highest importance to ambition to safeguard 1.5C carbon market for the global corporation and adaptation support, balanced funding for adaptation and mitigation and convening a dedicated forum on loss and damages to climate change.
The CVF High Commissioners/Ambassadors who spoke at the dialogue included Marshall Islands' Non-Resident Ambassador to the UK Doreen deBrum, Bhutan's Non-Resident Ambassador to the UK Tenzin R. Wangchuk, Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Teferi Melesse Desta, High Commissioner of Barbados Milton Inniss, Ambassador of Colombia Antonio José Ardila, Ambassador of Costa Rica Rafael Ortiz Fábrega, Ambassador of Honduras Ivan Romero-Martinez, High Commissioner of Fiji Jitoko Cakacakabalavu Tikolevu, Ambassador of Lebanon Rami Mortada, Ambassador of Morocco Abdesselam Aboudrar, High Commissioner of Rwanda Ms. Yamina Claris Karitanyi, Ambassador of Tunisia Nabil Ben Khedher, High Commissioner of the Maldives Dr. Farahanaz Faizal, Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Samantha Pathirana, Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of Madagascar Tojonirina Ramarolahy, Charge d'Affaires a.i. of Ghana Matilda Alomatu Osei-Agyeman, COP26 Regional Ambassador for Asia/Pacific and South Asia at the UK FCDO-Cabinet Office COP26 unit joint team Ken O'Flaherty and Senior Advisor and Program Head of Climate Vulnerable Forum & V20 Support Program Matthew McKinnon.
The CVF in London was created by the Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK on-behalf of CVF Presidency to foster dialogue between CVF Presidency of Bangladesh and COP26 Presidency of UK.