Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bangladesh offers lessons on climate change and disaster risk

UN News Centre: Climate change is the single most important challenge the world faces, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed today in Bangladesh, a country that is all too familiar with the impact of extreme weather events and which the United Nations chief hailed as a global leader in disaster risk reduction.

In 1991, a cyclone killed more than 140,000 people in the South Asian nation. Then in 2007, when another major cyclone struck, many volunteers helped move thousands of people out of the disaster area, ultimately saving countless lives. The death toll from that tragedy was 4,000.

“Because of its adaption and preparedness measures, the people of Bangladesh are much safer today,” Mr. Ban said in remarks to the second Climate Vulnerable Forum, which he opened in Dhaka with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“The lesson is clear: natural hazards need not cause human catastrophe. There are many cost-effective remedies that communities and countries can take to reduce the impact of extreme weather events,” he stated...

NASA image of the April 1991 cyclone that devastated Bangladesh

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