Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday (Jul 10) branded Bangladesh as the “best teacher” in climate adaptation noting that what the people and government of Bangladesh have achieved in the practice of adaptation is nothing short of miraculous.
“Let’s all be inspired by the examples Bangladesh government and its people have shown in addressing climate change,” he said thanking the Bangladesh leadership for wisely and effectively adapting to this climate change.
The former UN chief made the remarks while addressing the inaugural session of the ‘Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation’ at Hotel Intercontinental.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the event. Marshall Island President Dr Hilda Heine, World Bank CEO and Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) co-chair Dr Kristaline Georgieva, Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen and Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin also spoke, local media reported.
Highly appreciating Bangladesh’s efforts, Ban Ki-moon said they are in Dhaka to learn from Bangladesh’s experiences and vision and send the message out across the world.
“...Bangladesh is thus the best teacher to learn from about adaptation,” said Ban Ki-moon, the current chair of the Commission.
Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries due to climate change.
Citing reports, Ban Ki-moon said some 17 percent of Bangladesh will go under water by 2050 if sea levels rise by just one metre.
“We’ll work together (globally) to accelerate climate change adaptation around the world,” he said appreciating the political will and leadership shown in Bangladesh.
Ban Ki-moon said he had a very good discussion with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before the inaugural session of the meeting. “We would like to establish an adaptation centre in Dhaka.”
He mentioned that he was in China 10 days ago where they established an adaptation centre in Beijing. Another reason to hold this meeting in Dhaka, he said, is to speed up action on adaptation.
“Communities all over the world need help. There’re many countries who are just as vulnerable as Bangladesh, but which have not the ability to build resilience on their own,” Ban Ki-moon said.
He also cited Bangladesh’s long-term plan for the resilience of the delta, Delta Plan 2100, with the help of Netherlands. “We need to share this adaptation practices. We can urgently and cost-effectively find ways to support communities affected by climate change. We can help them survive and thrive. Adaption is a smart investment.”
Ban Ki-moon said the climate change is approaching much faster than one may think of and there is no time to lose.