Country needs more researches on L&D to integrate this to the IPCC’s Assessment Reports

Center for Participatory Research and Development-CPRD along with its allied organizations namely Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB), Network on Climate Change Bangladesh (NCCB) Trust and Coastal Development Partnership (CDP) organized a study sharing seminar titled “Climate-Induced Non-economic Loss and Damages (NELDs): Evidences from the Ground” which was held at The Daily Star Center on the 15th of September, 2018.

Dr. M Asaduzzaman, country’s renowned economist and climate expert, chaired and facilitated the seminar while Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD); and Dr. Mohammad Abdul Wazed, Former Director General (DG) of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) joined the seminar as special guests.

In the introductory statement, Md. Shamsuddoha, Chief Executive, CPRD said that though loss and damage, including the non-economic ones, are being widely discussed in the non-Party side events at the COPs, however, the topic still requires more evidence-based knowledge and understanding to embark to the global processes, for instance to the UNFCCC and IPCC. Therefore, studies conducted on the NELDs would a) inform the ground realities of NELDs to the global policy processes (e.g. WIM of the UNFCCC) and b) sensitize national policy stakeholders to undertake appropriate measures in national level while also consistently pursuing the issue to the global negotiation process.

In sharing study findings, S. M. Saify Iqbal, Research Assistant, CPRD stated that amongst different types of NELDs, loss of life and temporary evacuation are widely reported while long-term displacement, cultural loss, mental trauma, loss of indigenous knowledge, loss of identity, biodiversity, and common property resources are not properly reported in the post-disaster situational analysis report or by any print or electronic media. He presented several cases of NELDs and put forward recommendations for addressing the extent of NELDs that the most vulnerable communities and facing. Mousumi Halder, Research Assistant, CCDB presented her study regarding NELDs of coastal women specially focusing the non-economic effects of early marriage; and Mizanur Rahman Bijoy, Coordinator, NCC,B Trust presented NELDs caused by low exposed sudden-onset disasters in the southeastern part of Bangladesh.

Discussing on the study findings, Mr. Mirza Shawkat Ali, Director, Department of Environment, emphasized for the assessment of NELDs on the ground to develop a clear and common understanding as this is still a debated issue in the global negotiation. He also suggested focussing on the measures of reducing risks of NELDs by strengthening early warning message, risk insurance, and disaster preparedness.

Dr. Mohammad Abdul Wazed, Former Director General, Department of Disaster Management of Bangladesh expressed that people’s livelihood and psychological health is affected by non-economic loss and damages which enhance mental stress.

Director of ICCCAD Dr. Saleemul Huq said the scientific evidences on L&D are not that much, hence we failed to convince IPCC to consider a separate chapter on L&D in its forthcoming Sixth Assessment Report due in 2021. He emphasized for more research and academic publications on L&D, especially from the climate vulnerable countries, to ensure its integration to the IPCC’s upcoming assessment reports.  He also argued for establishing a global fund for L&D and mainstreaming climate change in all sectorial plans and strategies.  “If the government of developed countries doesn’t want to compensate for loss and damage then they should impose tax on profit-making fossil fuel companies and international air passengers for financing the global fund as they are contributing to global warming” he recommended.

Dr M Asaduzzaman, Distinguished Fellow, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) and moderator of the seminar stated that governments of many LDCs lack proper understanding on the multifaceted aspects and vulnerabilities of climate change, climate-induced NELDs is such as aspect. He emphasized undertaking more researches on the NELDs with proper attribution and methodology.

Among others, Mr. Gobinda Saha, CSS Consultant, Bread for the World, Germany; Syed Jahangir Hasan Masum, Executive Director, Coastal Development Partnership (CDP); Dr Khalid Hossain, Programme Manager, OXFAM; Sarder Shafiqul Alam, Senior Research Co-ordinator, ICCCAD; Md. Moniruzzaman, Programme Officer, NETZ Bangladesh; Mr Nasir Uddin, Manager ActionAid Bangladesh, Tusar Shikder, Communication Officer, ADAB; Ms Afsari Begum, Programme Manager, Practical Action; Mr Mustafa Bakuluzzaman, Head of Business Development and Public Relation, Shusilan; Md. Kamruzzaman, Project Manager, Plan International BD; Mr. Md. Mahmuduzzaman, Deputy Manager, PKSF; Krishna Rani Barai, Coordinator, Swallows; Mr Muzibor Rahman, Executive Director, SDS; Rezwanul Karim, Programme Coordinator, Manusher Jonno Foundation and representatives from NGOs and academic institutions spoke in the seminar.