Policy support for climate induced displaced persons26 March 2015
Mustafa Kamal Akond :
At a seminar on March 21 speakers held the view that issues related to climate induced displaced people deserve special policy options and support to ensure their relocation and rehabilitation. The event titled 'Rights of Climate Migrants: Pollicy Options at National and International Level' held at the National Press Club, Dhaka held threadbare discussions in search of a long solution to the emerging problem.
Chairman of the Palli Karma Shahyak Foundation (PKSF) Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad was in the chair. At least a dozen of civil society organizations including Bangladesh Poribesh Angolan (BAPA), Bangladesh Indigenous People Network for Climate Change and Bio Diversity (BIPNetCCBD), Bangladesh Climate Change Journalist Forum (BCJF), Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL), Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD) jointly held the seminar.
Sayed Aminul Haque and Din M Shibley made the keynote presentation. Convener of EquityBD, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Ziaul Haque Mukta, Regional Policy Coordinator, Oxfam, Qumrul Islam Chowdhury of FEJB, Tanvir Ahmed of Oxfam, Anowar Islam Babu of Jatiyo Krishak Jote, Dr. Ahsan Uddin of Centre for Global Changes among others spoke on the occasion.
Sayed Aminul Haque said Bangladesh has been experiencing climate induced mass displacements for quite sometime. It is predicted that, due to sea level rise 17.5 percent of total landmass will be inundated and about of 31.5 million people will be forced to be displaced.
Forecast also said due to riverbank erosion, people displacement rate may increase to 12.37 percent from 9.35 percent at the moment. The seasonal or temporarily migrated population will increase by from 10 percent to 20 percent. Bangladesh has hardly enough ability to manage these climate induced displaced population, because of the high density of population that already exit.
It is currently at 964 per sq km; which is feared to be 1300 per sq km within 2050. Speakers recommended developing an internal displacement policy to help Bangladesh pursuing relocations and rehabilitations policy support at international and UN level. Qumrul Islam Chowdhury said that the Bangladesh climate negotiation team has to be prepared from now as to how they will be influencing the Warsaw International Frame Work on Loss and Damage which will be finalized in UNFCCC Conference of Parties to be held in Paris at the end of 2015.
Ziaul Haque Mukta said, Bangladesh government has passed the Disaster Management Act which includes the issue of rehabilitation on disaster related displacement, but there is hardly any details in its rules. Bangladesh Prime Minister is demanding separate international protocol on climate induced displaced persons but the foreign ministry is yet to present any official submission on this regard to UN body.
Dr. Ahsan Uddin Ahmed held the view that climate induced displacement has been recognized and proposals were made in the Cancun adaptation framework, but Bangladesh has so far failed to take any advantage. We have the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategic Action Plan, but there are gaps on what specific adaptation plan related to climate induced displacement in national level to be worked out.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad held the view that Bangladesh had been able to play vital roles in the climate change negotiations during the previous five years. But from the last year we are lagging behind. He suggested that concerned ministries and all other stakeholders should take initiative to revamp it.
He said Bangladesh has succeeded to include climate change as a goal and one indicator is related to climate induced displacement issues in Post-2015 discourse in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). He said Nansen Initiative has given us an opportunity to pursue other states on this agenda to place it UNFCCC Paris negotiations.