Friday, December 18, 2009

Food security in Bangladesh imperiled

Athar Parvaiz in IPS/TerraViva: Unless the world comes to its aid, Bangladesh says the vulnerability of its agriculture sector to climate change could spell severe consequences for its millions of people, who stand to lose their main source of livelihood.

"As a poverty-stricken and densely populated country, we cannot cope with these challenges unless we have a proper financial and technological support from the developed world," said Sabir Hassan Chowdhary, one of the delegates from Bangladesh to the Copenhagen climate talks, in an interview with IPS.

Describing Bangladesh as the most vulnerable country in the world to the impacts of the global environmental phenomenon, delegates from the country are making fervent appeals for international help to prevent further deterioration of its food and livelihood security in the face of frequent droughts, erratic rainfall patterns, cyclones and floods.

The low-lying riverine South Asian country, one of the poorest in the world, lies between the foothills of the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean. "Over the last few days in Copenhagen itself, a number of research organisations have declared us the most vulnerable country in the world to the impacts of climate change. Therefore we want the world to stand behind us to meet the challenges we are facing," said Bangladesh’s environment and forest minister Hassan Mamud.

…"We desperately need the world community to come forward and help us in adapting to the changing climate. And we would like to maintain that the adaptation funds, committed by the developed world, should be in the form of grants, not loans," he said. Mamud said 70 percent of such funds should be specifically allocated to the Least Developed Countries, including Bangladesh. "The whole population in Bangladesh is vulnerable to climate change impacts."…

Fishing in the Sundarbans, Bangladesh, shot by joiseyshowaa, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License.

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