Dhaka, Bangladesh – Today, co-chairs of the Global Commission on Adaptation, 8th UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva hosted the first meeting of the the Global Commission on Adaptation in the Global South, following an invitation from Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina to host the meeting. During their visit Ban Ki-moon, Kristalina Georgieva, and Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and Commissioner, President Heine of the Marshall Islands, will see first-hand how Bangladesh is adapting to the impacts of climate change.
As one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world, Bangladesh has been at the forefront of efforts to adapt. It has been investing in adaptation for over a decade from its own budget and has learned a great deal about local level adaptation and how to integrate climate change planning into national, sectoral and local level plans.
Commenting on the visit, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations and Chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation Ban Ki-moon said:
“While Bangladesh has much to teach other countries about adaptation solutions and techniques, it also recognises it cannot tackle our climate breakdown alone. We hope, through the Global Commission on Adaptation, Bangladesh can not only share its knowledge but also learn from the experiences of other countries facing similar challenges.”
Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank and Co-Chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation said:
“Bangladesh is at the forefront of global efforts to adapt to our changing climate. As the world becomes increasingly vulnerable to climate shocks, investing in adaptation is now urgent and Bangladesh has shown this is a smart policy choice. Resilient buildings, services and infrastructure are good for communities, business and the whole economy.”
Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh said:
"Climate change poses the greatest threat to our present and future generations. If temperature continues to rise at the current rate, our 19 coastal districts will be submerged permanently by the rising sea level.
Changes in temperature, increased frequency and severity of floods, droughts, heat-waves, cyclones and storm surges, sea level rise, salinity intrusion are affecting wide ares of Bangladesh. These changes are seriously affecting agriculture, crops, livestock and fisheries, and threatening the food security of Bangladesh.
We are working relentlessly to overcome our vulnerabilities and create adaptation measures for the people. Over the last decade we have spent on an average around US$ 1 billion annually for adapting to climate change impacts. Bangladesh being one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change is also at the forefront of learning how to tackle the adverse impacts of climate change. Considering the adverse impact of climate change, the government is currently constructing 378 more cyclone shelters. Apart from this 3,868 multi-purpose cyclone shelters have been built across the coastal districts and 1,650 more shelters would be constructed gradually. Due to the present government’s various timely and effective measures, the impact of natural calamities have come down significantly.
We are expecting to take advantage of the best of adaptation practices, most cost effective solutions and risk reduction with the help of the Global Commission on Adaptation. The adverse effects of climate change will affect everyone sooner than the world had estimated. So investment in adaptation must be priortised urgently around the globe."
The meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation in Dhaka will discuss how international action can accelerate adaptation as Commissioners look ahead to the release of their flagship report on 10th September 2019 ahead of the UN Climate Summit on 23rd September 2019. The meeting will be attended by Commissioners, representatives from convening countries and civil society.