Natural resource management is a key to effective national adaptation plan

The ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Economic Relations Division (ERD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with the support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) organised a virtual district level consultation on the formulation of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) on 9 January 2022.

The Consultation focused on eliciting views and recommendations from the experts and practitioners on the adaptation plan for the Chattogram district. The district has been selected considering the frequency and intensity of climate-induced disasters such as cyclones, landslides, monsoonal climate, tidal flood, coastal erosion.

Additional secretary of the MoEFCC and National Project director of the NAP formulation project Md Mizanul Haque Chowdhury was present as the chief guest while Badiul Alam, deputy director of the Local Government, presided over on behalf of the deputy commissioner of Chattogram.

More than 60 representatives from different sector ministries and departments, local government representatives, civil society representatives, sectoral experts, professionals and academia attended the event and provided their valuable comments and feedback to enrich the plan with locally specific climate adversities and adaptation needs.

While delivering the keynote presentation, professor Ainun Nishat, team leader of the NAP Formulation Consortium discussed the changing patterns of the climate and associated risks on food security, salinity intrusion, livelihood, increasing temperature.

He said, “Adaptation is a global challenge but it has to be country-driven to address our problems. Therefore, we have to take it to the sub-national and local level to address local issues”. “For successful implementation, we have to build our capacity and mobilise domestic, multilateral and bilateral resources” he added.

Syed Md Rafiqul Amin, deputy director, department of Agricultural extension recommended, “We need to mainstream natural resource management and climate-resilient agricultural practices into the NAP formulation process. He further stated that such initiatives would require a proper demonstration to the farmers.

Mohammad Nurullah Noori, director, DoE, Chattogram Metro said “Our adaptation effort must integrate a plan to protect the ocean ecosystem particularly from oil spillage and carbon dioxide emission.” He further stated that undertaking such initiative would eventually help sustaining the livelihood of many people particularly the fishermen.

Bipul Krishna Das, conservator of forests, Chittagong circle of Bangladesh Forest Department said, “Conservation of the forest is vital to address climate change – we should undertake large-scale afforestation to protect the coastal belt.” He further stated that a successful afforestation initiative would require building a sense of ownership among the community people.

Md Mostafa Monwar, associate professor, Marine Sciences, University of Chattogram said, “We will not be able to make an effective climate change adaptation strategy unless we have the data of our natural forest. The forest is one of the major carbon sinks and also acts as a shield to natural disasters”. He also emphasised generating baseline data on invertebrates and planktons that are most vulnerable to climate change.

Sumon Roy, executive engineer, DHPE, informed “Salinity intrusion and depletion of groundwater are two major challenges in the coastal areas. Over the past few years, groundwater level has been depleted from 10 to 20 feet.”