Third UN Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters
“Adaptation to Climate Change, Financing Infrastructure, and Advancing Science and Technology”
20 July 2017
Conference Room 4, UN Headquarters, New York, U.S.A.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
- Water related risks are strongly linked with the sufferings created by too much water, too little water and contaminated water. Adverse climate impacts bring severe human miseries, mostly through water risks, in many parts of the globe. Least Developed Countries and Small Island (or Big Sea) countries are the common victims of water related disasters.
- Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries facing the adverse impacts of climate change. We are already experiencing erratic patterns of rainfall and flood. This year, for example, we had a series of water related disasters with serious impacts on our people and their livelihood. One of the worst flash floods in the history of the country occurred in last April. This affected 0.85 million households and damaged 0.6 million metric ton of rice in 250 thousand hectares of field in the northern part of Bangladesh. In the same month, we recorded the highest rainfall in the last 36 years. This was followed by cyclone “MORA” hitting the coastal area and affecting 60 thousand households. In June, we had a devastating landslide due to heavy rainfall in hilly areas killing 149 persons. Indeed, we are bearing the brunt of the Climate Change induced disasters in the most disproportionate manner. Our contribution to climate change is very insignificant, but our share of burden is very high.
- We understand that combating the perils of climate change is a shared responsibility of the global community. Yet, we have been doing our part for adaptation to and mitigation of its impact. We enacted Disaster Management Act 2012, and Disaster Management Policy 2015. Essentially, these provide us a robust structural framework and policy space to fight against disaster risks.
- One of our success stories in combating disaster is our Community Based Disaster Preparedness (CBDP) Model. We have utilized cellular technology and social media to bring the youth in coastal areas on board.
- We recognize that policy coherence with Sendai Framework would be essential for achieving 2030 Agenda. Keeping this in mind, we have taken a lot of initiatives to mainstream Disaster Risk Management in the 7th Five Year Plan (7FYP). In Parallel, we are also working towards harmonizing national targets on climate change and Disaster Risk Reduction with Paris Agreement.
- In disaster prone areas, we have embedded build back better concept in our infrastructure building projects. Against flood, erosion, landslide disaster risks in our hilly areas and others natural calamities, more investment for resilient infrastructure would be required in future.
- Bangladesh has set a target to attract 70-80% resources from private sector in the 7th Five Year Plan. Accordingly, we are strategizing private sector engagement in Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management.
- Given the magnitude of the climate risks of Bangladesh, particularly in the front of water related disasters, we would also require investments by global community in our adaptation and mitigation efforts through all available windows including ODA, Green Climate Fund, bilateral engagements, funding by MDBs etc.
- Let me take this opportunity to convey to you that our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also a member of the High Level Panel on Water and an ardent advocate for sustainable water management, is committed towards its “Call to Action on Water”.
- We need support from the developed countries particularly in terms of financing, innovative solutions and technology transfer. We also urge upon the science community across the globe to transcend national barriers and create networks of ideas, knowledge and best practices for the benefit of the whole mankind.
I thank you all for your kind attention.