Less resilience approach makes all climate initiatives a hollow tale

26 January 2021

BANGLADESH is still the seventh most climate change vulnerable country, according to the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2021 published on Monday by Germanwatch - a Berlin based non-profit environmental think tank. The country was ranked in the same position in CRI 2020 as well. The study looked at four indicators - number of total deaths, number of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, sum of losses in US dollars in purchasing power parity (PPP), and losses per unit of gross domestic products.
The CRI 2021 - based on an analysis of data of 20 years from 2000 to 2019 - says Bangladesh lost 11,450 people, suffered economic losses worth $3.72 billion and witnessed 185 extreme weather events during 2000-2019 due to climate change.
Both public and private investments made thus far are too low to reduce climate change related risks. We need investment worth $2.5 billion in adaptation but the investment is less than $0.5 billion. Besides, government investment in climate related projects cannot bring expected results due to corruption.
The intensity of extreme weather events has increased. To come out of the list of 10 most vulnerable countries, we have to increase community led resilience. Every household has to be protected from short and long-term effects. To make sure community led resilience and resilience at the household level, youth engagement has no alternative. Unfortunately, we are far behind from these kinds of resilience approaches.
When will the bureaucrats associated with corruption realise that it's too late to do anything — we wonder? Will it be due to the death of a family member due to heat stroke, or due to their own ancestral landholdings which are submerged by water? By not spending money on this vital aspect of controlling nature we are playing with fire — but our bureaucrats are almost indifferent to anything but their pockets.
We hope that they emerge from this miasma of greed to which they have long been attuned to and wake up to the fact that without proper climate controls almost half of Bangladesh could be submerged by 2100. By then it will be too late to spend any money to do anything. A stitch in time saves nine, it is said --- and the stitches must be applied now.

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