25 May 2021
Hon’ble Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, M.P. has inaugurated the 3-day long IORA Blue Carbon Hub think tank meeting “Nature-based solutions for coastal risk reduction”, organized by the governments of Bangladesh and Australia in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and IORA Blue Carbon Hub today. Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam, Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) chaired the opening session. Around hundred participants joined the opening day of the meeting.
In his opening remarks, Hon’ble Foreign Minister termed the nature-based solutions as a cost-effective approach that utilizes ecosystems and biodiversity services for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and provides a range of co-benefits like sustainable livelihoods and food, water and energy security. He uttered the importance to learn on applying nature-based solutions in enhancing resilience to disasters and climate change. He further stressed on the integration of nature based solutions into coastal zone management strategies and other relevant policies instrumental to reduce risks and improve resilience of the coast.
Dr. Momen urged for crafting specific policy on nature-based solution that encompass most of the available relevant and appropriate concepts including ecological engineering/catchment systems engineering, green/blue infrastructure, ecosystem approach, ecosystem-based adaptation and mitigation, ecosystem service framework, and natural capital.
Minister Momen intimated the participants regarding Bangladesh government’s different initiatives in establishing Climate Change Trust Fund under the able leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina; hosting the South Asian Office of Global Centre on Adaptation; adopting Planetary Emergency Resolution; establishing green belt along the coast; establishing plantations in homesteads and embankments; and initiating Coastal Development Strategy. He also highlighted on Bangladesh’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan that seek to build a medium-to-long-term programme for enhancing resilience to climate shocks and facilitating low-carbon, sustainable growth, including blue growth as linked to coastal ecosystems such as mangrove conservation and coastal resilience.
On the opening day, three sessions on i) Introduction and overview, ii) Finance and insurance, iii) Examples and knowledge needs were conducted. Hon’ble Foreign Minister thanked the organizers and wished the event a success through productive discussion.