Sheikh Hasina has made four proposals to address Climate Change
By Amila Khan
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has submitted a four-point proposal to protect the world from climate change’s adverse effects. She called for ensuring a “sustainable future” while investing.
The Prime Minister made the remarks in a statement at the Virtual Biodiversity Conference on the sidelines of the 75th session of the General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday (October 1) morning.
In her inaugural address at the event, titled “Urgent Steps to Protect Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,” the Prime Minister said, “We need to focus on a sustainable future when investing to protect the world and ourselves.”
In the second proposal, she said, “The main step should be to create greater public awareness among the people through the education system and research, and to strengthen laws and regulations at the national level, and to monitor the process to protect biodiversity.”
‘Access to global benefit sharing must be ensured for genuine owners of genetic resources and traditional knowledge.’ She mentioned this in the third proposal.
In the fourth proposal, the Prime Minister said, ‘Achieving the Paris (Charter) goal can make the difference between our extinction and survival. We must implement them. “
“We live in an interdependent world where every species on the planet plays a special role in our ecosystem,” Sheikh Hasina said, mentioning that Bangladesh is “fully committed to taking urgent steps to protect biodiversity for sustainable development.”
According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the London Geological Society, the world’s wildlife population has declined by an average of 68 percent between 1970 and 2016, she said.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is much more dependent on freshwater, the Prime Minister said,
“Freshwater biodiversity is declining at the fastest rate in the world, and 85 percent of global wetlands have already been lost after the Industrial Revolution. The number of freshwater mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish has been declining at an average rate of 4 percent per year since 1980.
“We are alarmingly increasing the risk of climate change and biodiversity,” she said. As a result, the risk of ‘zoonotic’ (animal-to-human) disease, such as Covid-19, has increased.
If we continue our current activities, we will not only be the cause of the extinction of other species; basically, we are also moving towards the ultimate extinction of humankind.”
Sheikh Hasina said, “Conservation of biodiversity in Bangladesh has been recognized in the constitution as a fundamental principle of the state.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of our nation, executed the Wildlife Conservation Act in early 1974.”
The Prime Minister mentioned that Bangladesh is one of the few countries that have enacted laws to implement the Convention on Biodiversity. “Our parliament has passed the Bangladesh Biological Diversity Act 2018 with the aim of conserving biodiversity,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government had declared more than five percent of the country’s total land area and about five percent of the seawater area as ‘protected and environmentally important areas.’