Jean Lambert, London’s Green Party MEP and Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with South Asia, has been in Bangladesh this week to discuss the impacts of climate change and the international action required to respond.
The delegation MEPs welcomed the Bangladesh government’s development of its Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and its commitment to invest US$100 million in new prevention and mitigation projects and noted that the country is already making good progress with very limited means.
Yesterday the MEPs visited a flood defence project near Sirajgonj in the countryside. The earth beneath the houses of the village has been significantly raised, at a cost of just 6,000 Euros. As a result, the inhabitants of the village are now at far less risk of flooding. The parliamentarians were keen to see this initiative extended as far as possible to the 70,000 villages that are subject to flooding and rising water levels caused by climate change. Jean Lambert MEP said:
“Unless steps are taken immediately to address the causes and impacts of climate change, we will see mass migration from the worst affected areas of the world, which could lead to global instability. We must act together to prevent climate change and protect communities”, said Jean Lambert MEP.
“The poorest people will be the first victims of climate change and it is therefore essential promote their fundamental rights to a decent life. I look forward to the development of the new Human Rights Commission as an important first step in Bangladesh.”
The MEPs agreed that the European Union needs to provide strong support to Bangladesh through additional funding within the framework of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. They also urged the EU to work together with Bangladesh and its neighbours to promote regional cooperation across South Asia to tackle challenges like the melting of the Himalayan glaciers and to evaluate the benefits of dredging rivers.
The MEPs also called on the Bangladesh government to push forward its efforts to develop effective management of water resources and, in particular, to enhance the transparency and functioning of the water management board.
Notes to Editors
The visit to Bangladesh included members from the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia and the Committee on Development.