Remarks by Mr. Tareq Md Ariful Islam, DPR of Bangladesh at the Virtual Launch of the UN Group of Friends of Climate Adaptation and Resilience New York on 12 June 2020

Thank you, Ambassador for giving me the floor.

At the outset, I would like to thank Egypt and the United Kingdom for this great initiative of launching a Group of Friends of Climate Adaptation and Resilience.

Our partnership with Egypt and the UK dates back to the Climate Action Summit last year when along with Malawi, the Netherlands and St. Lucia we formed the Coalition on Adaptation and Resilience. The Coalition made great efforts to highlight the importance of adaptation and resilience-building as vital climate actions, and could catalyse many initiatives to fulfil that objective. Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the ambitious Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) initiative created by several countries and organisations in the Summit.

The phenomenon of climate change has been devastating the lives of almost two billion people globally every year with disasters that have increased in frequency and intensity.  Just two weeks back, the coastal areas of Bangladesh and India were ravaged by the super cyclone Amphan. Be it floods in Bangladesh, Cyclone Idai in southern Africa, or the Hurricane Dorian in the Caribbean- disasters have been creating havoc in our lives, jeopardizing our development and forcing more people into poverty.

Bangladesh is one of the most critically affected countries by climate change. Climate change is an existential threat to us, although we hardly had any contribution to climate change. Evidently, climate change is the biggest challenge to our hard-earned development.

We believe that adaptation and resilience building are key to tackle the impacts of climate change in Bangladesh and many other vulnerable developing countries. In Bangladesh, we have adopted transformative adaptation and resilience building measures including an 82 -year Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 based on natural solutions. To fight climate change effectively and efficiently, we have institutionalized early warning system and disaster preparedness practices in disaster management and disaster risk reduction programmes. Our scientists and researchers have invented drought and salinity resistant crops.

Nevertheless, these are not adequate to combat the pervasive impacts of climate change. More finance must be directed to, and availability of technology must be ensured for, global adaptation and resilience building efforts.

I am happy to share with you that last week Bangladesh had taken up the Presidency of the 48-member Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance for the term 2020-2022. As the chair of the CVF and the V20, we will make efforts for achieving fair and ambitious outcomes on all issues particularly on adaptation and resilience building in all global forums including the COP 26.

To conclude, as a member of the Group of Friends of Climate Adaptation and Resilience Building Bangladesh will work to mobilize political will and collective actions to address the existing gaps in the global endeavours for adaptation and resilience building.

Thank you.