Climate experts and stakeholders in Bangladesh say that the country is yet to play its potential role in global climate summits – called COPs – hosted at the behest of the United Nations.
On Thursday, at a day-long capacity building and strategy workshop, they urged the formation of an influential body for communicating climate change issues to policy stakeholders and make people conversant with global climate politics.
The workshop, Facilitating Media Engagement at COP 27 and Beyond, was held at BRAC Center Inn, Dhaka. The event was jointly organized by ActionAid Bangladesh, Climate Action Network South Asia, Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD) and others.
Md Shamsuddoha, chief executive of CPRD, spoke about the programme's significance in facilitating media engagement with the COP process within Bangladesh and beyond.
He said that journalists can play an important role in disseminating and demonstrating the ground realities of climate change in Bangladesh to the international community.
"I believe this capacity-building event will instill an articulate understanding of ongoing climate change issues and global climate politics among media personnel, who can further share their learning with their peers."
The programme aimed to focus on building strong CSOs and media momentum with their enhanced understanding of the contemporary issues of climate negotiation, especially the upcoming climate conference (COP 27).
Dr Golam Rabbani, chair of Climate Bridge Fund, BRAC, explained the climate science and ongoing climate change scenario to the participants.
He said the last 50 years have seen the highest ever temperature rise in the last 2,000 years. "Our country no longer has six seasons as two of them are no longer visible. In many parts of the country, no work can be done in the field for eight hours a day in March-April because of the heatwave."
In South Asia, around 35.7 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030, he added.
Shamim Haider Patwary, member of parliament of Gaibandha-1 and chief guest on the occasion, expressed his grave concern that Bangladesh is yet to build a strong negotiator group to send to the COP.
He stressed that Bangladesh urgently needs to create a negotiator group of at least a thousand members from different spheres of society who could express the nation's concerns at the COP based on knowledge.
Saying that Bangladesh sets up a nice pavilion in the COP, which ironically remains under-utilised, he demanded that the pavilion be made open for all international CSOs with the purpose of arranging events at the COP.
Dr Fazle Rabbi Sadek Ahmed, deputy managing director of PKSF, sharing his thoughts about the upcoming COP 27, shed light on the expectations and challenges related to COP 27.