EU envoys visit climate change affected areas in Bangladesh
26 November 2015, Nirapad News: Representatives of the European Union member states based in Dhaka and of the EU delegation, including 5 heads of missions, on 17 and 18 November visited areas in Satkhira District, southwest of Bangladesh, that are particularly affected by climate change.
This joint visit had a particular significance on the eve of the COP21 international climate conference that will open on 30 November in Paris.
It brought a first-hand testimony on the hardship endured by the communities living in the affected areas as well as on the damage suffered by the environment, said a press release issued on November 26.
Head of the EU Delegation ambassador Pierre Mayaudon said, “We saw by ourselves people who struggle and start adapting to better address the challenges of tomorrow”.
The consequences of climate disruption are indeed quite visible on the ground in forms of economic deprivation, reduced access to safe food and water, multiplication of health hazards.
The more the populations are vulnerable and the environment degraded, greater is the impact, the release added.
Over the last two decades, even major infrastructures have paid a huge toll due to multiple causes that are now aggravated by climate change.
Various stakeholders have conducted numerous projects to counter these disastrous consequences and they continue to do so.
According to the release, the team visited several humanitarian and climate adaptation projects funded by the EU and the Member States, focusing on agriculture, water, disaster preparedness, health and nutrition.
They are implemented by PKSF, Solidarités International, the German Red Cross and Friendship.
These projects offer alternative activities where the soil salinity doesn’t allow traditional cultivation any more: shrimp and crab fattening, agriculture based on use of saline–resistant seeds were among the most promising initiatives supported by the donors.
This visit however gave a sense that much more should be done to address the effects of climate disruption.
Waterlogging regularly hits the same communities and gradually expands to others. Short of systematic coordination, a number of challenges are only partially addressed. Disconnect between emergency response to seasonal flooding and long-term area development is also visible.
Dialogue with all concerned entities convinced EU Envoys of the need for consolidating a comprehensive vision that will support harmonized policies and projects.
The government has a leading role to play on that regard. The ultimate goal will remain promoting resilient growth. Empowering households and communities and strengthening accountable-institutions should be the key drivers.
These communities respond to the adverse consequences of climate change with courage and optimism.
“Our partnership can help them sustaining their livelihood and offer to their children a better future.”
EU envoys are confident that having this human reality in mind, the world leaders will reach an ambitious and legally binding agreement at COP21 in Paris, the release said.