Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid, Hon’ble Member of the Parliament of Bangladesh, and Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the Plenary of the Second Committee of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda item 19, Sustainable Development
(14 October 2019, CR-2, UNHQs)
At the outset, I would like to align with the statements delivered by the State of Palestine, as the Chair of the G77, and Malawi, as the Chair of LDCs.
I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his report on this agenda item.
Our pursuit for sustainable development would reach its destination when we will be able to protect our environment from degradation. Climate change is a great common concern of the humankind. Millions of people around the world are already suffering from the impacts of changing climate risks every day and these are occurring earlier and more frequently than predicted.
Bangladesh is an extremely climate vulnerable country. The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC put Bangladesh among the countries that will be severely facing climate change impacts.
However, our vulnerability to climate change has made us more determined to face this challenge. We have been making resolute efforts to ensure sustainable development for our people despite the threats climate change pose to our hard-earned developmental gains.
We belong to the Group of least emitters of the GHGs (Green House Gases). Yet, we will not shy away from implementing our NDCs while adaptation and resilience building will remain our top development priorities.
At the national level, we have mainstreamed climate actions and disaster management in our national planning and sustainable development strategy. Over 1 percent of our GDP is being used to tackle climate change. US$ 450 million has been allocated from our own resources for adaptation and mitigation purposes.
To ensure food security for our people, we have been investing in transforming our agriculture and making it more resilient to the impacts of climate change and disasters. Our scientists have invented several salinity and drought-resistant crop varieties.
Initiatives have been taken to increase tree coverage from 22% to 24% in the next five years. A project worth 50 million dollar is being implemented for the conservation of the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest.
We have invested heavily in the areas of flood management, solar energy production, coastal polders, cyclone and flood shelters, and the raising of roads and highways above flood level to combat the negative impacts of climate change.
We have integrated our development programmes and efforts into a mega project titled Delta Plan 2100, that has an 82 years’ time span, to build capacity for combating climate change.
We have developed state-of-the-art warning systems for floods, cyclones and storm surges, and is expanding community-based disaster preparedness.
We are also going to host an office of the Global Commission on Adaptation. This would also help us share our experience, build partnership, facilitate technology transfer, and advance research and offer creative solutions to a grave global challenge.
We have heard the call of urgency from our leaders to mobilize real actions to halt climate change in the recently held Climate Action Summit. We hope that the initiatives adopted there will be followed up.
The global commitments articulated in the Paris and other agreements must be delivered upon.
Indeed, we need greater political will across the globe to fast-track transformation to green economy, green technology, and a green planet.