Bangladesh Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Md. Shahab Uddin has said that the country is facing a serious challenge of land-degradation, desertification and drought. Delivering his speech at the Round Table 2 conference of COP-15 at United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the minister said Bangladesh has revised its National Environmental Policy giving special attention to combat land degradation and desertification. He said Bangladesh has set voluntary targets to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) by 2030 as per SDG Target 15.3 and the decision of COP13.
Shahab Uddin said Bangladesh is losing around 69,000 hectares of land every year posing a serious threat to ensure food security for an increasing population. He pointed out that one third of Bangladesh faces tidal floodings which leads to increased salinity. The minister said that the north-western part of the country is under the threat of desertification.
Outlining the steps taken by the government to mitigate these threats, the minister said that roadside plantation, coastal afforestation and social forestry are some of the successful land-based adaptation programmes in Bangladesh. He said Bangladesh has formulated Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) and Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 (BDP 2100) to combat these threats. Shahab Uddin said Bangladesh has introduced Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices for fast growing crops,vegetables and fruits.
Bangladesh is among the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change. Bangladesh ranked 7th in the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 of Germanwatch. Its data shows that Bangladesh suffered economic losses worth USD 3.72 billion between 2000-2019 while facing 185 extreme weather events due to climate change.