Member's Pick: Bangladesh Climate Justice Day 2011
Campaign Example
Strategic Approach: Engagement

Change of climate and the tendency of related extreme ‘events’ and ‘tendencies’ is increasing both in intensity and frequency due to climate change. Sea-surface temperatures near the Bangladesh coast have increased by about 0.45 degrees Celsius in last five decades. Only two or three decades back, the number of the local cautionary signal number three, on average, was used four to five times from the first week of June to mid-November. However, in 2008, the number tripled during the corresponding period. In 2010, the signal was used 14 times. In last 20 years, the higher sea level at Bakkhali Point raised by 29 mm. Over the decade South Talpotti island is already disappeared. Other islands are on the same path. Inhabited islands like Kutubdia, Swandip and Hatia are under threat due to coastal erosion. The coastal zone was seriously damaged by 2 devastating cyclones in last 5 years. The country nearly escaped from Bijlee and Nargis-like cyclones. Many international studies exposed the vulnerability of Bangladesh due to climate change. According to the climate risk indexes of Oxford Professor Dr. Caroline Sullivan, UK based Maplecroft and Germanwatch, Bangladesh is the most vulnerable country in present and coming 30 years. Several studies show that the climate induced disasters are hampering the lives and livelihoods of at least 20 million people in Bangladesh. Among them at least 600 thousand people are displaced each year. Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP 2009) estimate that at least 20 million people will have to migrate, by 2050, from the climate hotspots. Bangladesh has already experienced some adverse impacts of climate change. Super cyclone Sidr hit the coastal zone on 15 November 2007 and caused death of more than 3,500 people. More than 10 million people lost their home and 30 thousand became permanent forced migrants. Only after 1 and half year cyclone Aila hit the coastal zone again. Though death toll is comparatively much lower, more than 300 thousand people lost their home due to huge damage of the cyclone. About 15 thousand people had to migrate from their locality due to long term inundation. As a whole, climate change is like a manila-rope for Bangladesh and its poor people. In these circumstances, we are placing 5-point demands before United Nations, Industrialised countries and Bangladesh Government: - Adopting a protocol with legal binding of emission reduction from industrialised countries; - Equitable share and country-led allocation of climate funds under UN supervision; - Exclusion of World Bank's role in Climate Fund management; - Adoption of an international protocol dignifying climate forced migrants as Universal Natural Person with rights of free movement to the developed countries; and - Stop emission trading schemes as they are false solution of climate change Alike other years UNFCCC COP17 is going to organise (29 Nov-10 Dec) this year at Durban, South Africa to take decision on post 2012 climate governance and financing. Just before the Bali Conference (2007) cyclone Sidr warned the global leaders about alarming consequence of climate change. To address the COP and to memorise Sidr, we are going to observe 15 November as Climate Justice Day each year. In this year, UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon is coming to visit Bangladesh from 11-14 November '11. In the same time, Climate Vulnerable Conference is going to organise 13-14 November in Dhaka. So, we observe the Day on 13 November only this year. In the mean time Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), Equity and Justice Working Group-Bangladesh (Equitybd), Humanitywatch, ISDE-Bangladesh, Jago Nari, Participatory Research and Action Network (PRAN), Pirojpur Gono-Unnayan Samiti (PGUS), Prantojon Trust, Progoti and Shahai Foundation agreed to work together on the issue. You all are most welcome to be a co-organiser of the event.

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