Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged the developed nations to fulfill their commitments in ensuring climate justice and meeting the historical responsibility to protect the world.
‘I would like to urge the developed countries to fulfill their commitments in bringing climate justice and meeting historical responsibility. We can secure the world only through shared responsibility,’ she said.
The prime minister was delivering her speech at the One Planet Summit at the La Seine Musicale in Seguin Island of France.
French President Emmanuel Macron, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres called the summit of the international leaders and committed citizens from around the world to address the ecological emergencies for planet after two years of Paris Agreement.
The main focus of this summit is to determine how those working in public and private finance can innovate to support and accelerate common efforts to fight climate change.
Sheikh Hasina also said she strongly believed that collective commitments and actions for ‘resilience and adaptation’ would contribute to peace, stability and prosperity, and addressing inequalities across societies.
In this connection, she announced that Bangladesh government would initiate necessary programmes for increasing two per cent tree coverage in Bangladesh from the existing 22 per cent to 24 per cent within the next five years.
‘We’ll intensify our efforts to meet the target from our own resources as well as support from partners,’ she added.
Talking about the influx of Myanmar Rohingya nationals in Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has been facing huge challenge due to the influx of over one million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar.
She mentioned that on humanitarian ground, cBangladesh has given them shelter on 1,783 hectares of its forest land in Cox’s Bazar.
‘This crisis has severely affected our forest and environment in that area. In this situation, climate adaptation has become a major challenge,’ she said.
The prime minister mentioned that Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change although it is not responsible for this threat.
‘Yet, with our limited resources, we’re addressing the consequences of climate change by mitigation and adaptation. This has been mainstreamed in our sustainable development strategy aimed at becoming a middle-income country by 2021,’ she said.
Despite being a developing country, Hasina said, Bangladesh spends over one per cent of its GDP on combating climate change.
‘We’re making our agriculture climate resilient. We’re also working on reducing dependence on groundwater for urban water supply,’ she informed the world leaders.
As a member of the UN-WB High Level Panel on Water, the Prime Minister said, Bangladesh is committed to prioritising the water sustainability issues in all of its economic, social and environmental actions.
She said one of the means to address the climate change challenges and environmental degradation is afforestation, and the government has already undertaken massive projects for plantation.
Hasina said a flagship project costing USD50.76 million is underway for the conservation of the Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and a Unesco world heritage site in Bangladesh.
‘In the coastal region, we’ve been creating a green belt for protecting people from cyclones and tidal surges, coastal erosion and saline water intrusion. Around 67,000 hectares of land have been identified for afforestation in this region,’ she said.
The prime minister reaffirmed her commitment for implementation of the Paris Agreement.
French president Emmanuel Macron chaired the programme where UN secretary general Antonio Guterres and World Bank president Jim Yong Kim also spoke.
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