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Bangladesh feeling harsh effects of climate change

According to the Financial Express, the Bangladeshi government is planning a major international conference in Europe next month to draw attention to the effects of climate change in the country.

The conference is being held in response to two devastating natural disasters – Cyclone Sidr last November and last summer’s floods which together have killed over 5000 people and affected some 20 million people across the country.

Always vulnerable

Praful Patel, the World Bank's vice-president for South Asia, described Bangladesh as "the most deserving country to get international support for coping with climate change". With 17 million people in Bangladesh living less then one metre above sea level, the country has always been vulnerable to natural disasters such as flooding and cyclones. It now seems increasingly likely that changes in climate will cause natural disasters to occur with even greater frequency.

Scale of the damage

Atiq Rahmen, a member of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change and one of Bangladesh's leading climate change experts, has been quoted in The Guardian as saying it is becoming "indisputable" are claiming that the scale of the damage caused by these disasters is linked to climatic instability brought on by rising global temperatures.

A changing landscape

It is the country’s poorest who stand to lose the most from this threat. Concern, through its partners Shushilan, has been assisting many of these people to cope with their changing landscape. Concern is also a member of the Stop Climate Chaos umbrella group. This group, a coalition of Ireland’s main development and civil society organisations, calls on government and political parties to ensure that they do their fair share to prevent climate change. You can also support the Stop Climate Chaos petition for an Irish Climate Change law by clicking here.