IUB and Swedish embassy organise roundtable on Stockholm+50 Conference

The International Centre for Climate Change and Development, or ICCCAD, of Independent University, Bangladesh and the Embassy of Sweden in Dhaka have jointly organised a roundtable on the upcoming Stockholm+50 Conference on climate change.

The roundtable at IUB on Tuesday aimed to gather perspectives from actors in Bangladesh on how to tackle climate change, pollution and waste and loss of nature and biodiversity, and accelerate the delivery of sustainable, equitable and resilient development, including a green post-COVID 19 recovery.

The key output of the roundtable was a report with recommendations for the Stockholm+50 Conference, which is scheduled to be held in the first week of June, and follow up actions in Bangladesh, the organisers of the roundtable said in a statement.

Tanvir Shakil Joy, a member of the parliamentary standing committee on the environment, forest and climate change ministry, said: “Due to climate change, massive internal migration is taking place in the country. In the northern district of Sirajganj, people living on the banks of Jamuna are migrating to Kurigram and Panchagarh, which are further north, due to riverbank erosion. Even people who relocated within their own Upazilas are often treated as refugees.”

He also noted that Bangladesh’s Mujib Climate Investment Plan integrates a number of strategies that express the country’s environmental and climate sustainability priorities. The plan needs to be adequately resourced and urgently implemented.

Alexandra Berg von Linde, the Swedish ambassador to Bangladesh, said: “Our action and choices will have a decisive impact on the future of humanity. It is still possible to create a better future if we act together. We hope that Stockholm+50 can offer an opportunity to close the implementation gap of commitments that have been made, to put science at the centre of our actions, and to show that we will act in solidarity with those that often have contributed the least to the problems but are hardest hit by the consequences.”

Professor Niaz Ahmed Khan, pro-vice chancellor of IUB, said: “Bangladesh was among the first countries to declare biodiversity and climate emergencies. The country plays a major role in the global environmental movements. We have also been a consistent voice in the international dialogue especially on the plight and perspectives of climate vulnerable countries.”

Prof Saleemul Huq, Director of ICCCAD, said: “The Stockholm conference on environment back in 1972 started the global environmental movement. Sweden is holding the Stockholm+50 conference to commemorate that event and also redirect the global environmental movement. ICCCAD and IUB are pleased to hold the roundtable discussion with Bangladeshi stakeholders to ensure Bangladesh plays a significant part in the conference as well as its follow up.”

IUB Trustee A Quaiyum Khan; Prasenjit Chakma, assistant resident representative, Resilience and Inclusive Growth Cluster, UNDP; Faiyaz Murshid Kazi, DG, Economic Affairs Wing, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Raquibul Amin, IUCN Bangladesh country representative; and Tariq A Karim, former ambassador and director of IUB’s Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies, also spoke at the programme. Prof Mizan Khan, deputy director, ICCCAD, spoke about the Stockholm+50 and the LDC Engagement Strategy.

Stockholm+50 Conference will be convened by the UN General Assembly and the governments of Sweden and Kenya. It is set against the rising alarms about climate change, pollution and waste, and loss of nature and biodiversity - the triple planetary disaster - and how they are threatening the livelihoods and lives of billions of people.

Under the theme “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity,” this high-level meeting will follow months of consultations and discussions with individuals, communities, organisations and governments around the world.

Stockholm+50 will commemorate the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and celebrate 50 years of global environmental action.