Climate Change: Building a Resilient Bangladesh
The long waited COP26 global climate summit was in focus throughout the November. This UN-backed forum for tackling climate change took place in Glasgow from 31 Oct to 12 Nov 2021. Almost 200 countries participated in this summit. Due to immense public awareness and media coverage, the public expectations were at a new height which was unseen previously. Politicians and the media coined the phrase "humanity's best last chance" to address climate change ahead of this summit. Now the question comes, what do we have achieved so far to save our only planet?
Many opined that COP26 did not manage to deliver on the world's expectations at large, but some progress was made to keep the promise of 1.5°C global warming threshold alive, rather than keeping it below 2°C. However, the final draft of the COP26 agreement 'The Glasgow Climate Pact' has been finalized. It focused on the key areas of emission cuts, reduced dependency on fossil fuels, climate finance and adaptation, loss and damage, carbon markets and the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C target etc. Although substantial progress was made on several fronts, national climate and financing commitments still fell far short of what is needed to come to grips with the climate challenge.
In the context of the present time, the theme of this issue of PAAL is kept "Climate Change: Building a Resilient Bangladesh". As the COP26 just ended with high aspirations of the world leaders to accelerate action for saving our only planet, it is very pertinent to judge our own footing and status. Being one of the most vulnerable countries and a lesser emitter, Bangladesh has taken many actions plans to tackle climate change, including implementing Bangladesh's 'Mujib Prosperity Plan'. This PAAL issue contains several articles and opinions which discuss contemporary subjects such as food security, marine ecosystem, biodiversity, marine agriculture etc in the face of climate change in Bangladesh. This publication is enriched through an interview of a scholar, which gives a unique insight into COP26.
The cover story tells how Bangladesh is moving ahead to achieve climate resilience to sustain her development and ensure the security of the people. One informative article has highlighted oceans significance for addressing climate change and the integration of the ocean with the UNFCCC process. A pair of articles focusing on scuba diving and large pelagic fishes in the Bay of Bengal have been included, making us aware of the vast potential of marine ecotourism and marine fisheries in our country and learning about the prevailing challenges. Maritime issues like shipping and port are also included in this issue. An article related to geostrategic and geopolitics development within the Indo-Pacific has also been included. Other regular features such as Marine News, BIMRAD Feats and Coastal Window have highlighted the most concurrent unique events.
We are confident that this issue of PAAL would fulfil our objectives to impart new knowledge to our readers. The ensuing awareness, science, technological shakeups, policies and strategic issues on climate change will help us avail new opportunities for building a better climate resilient Bangladesh.