Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD) and Department of Oceanography, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) jointly organized a day-long awareness-raising program titled ‘Climate Change Implication on Human Rights’ under the project ‘Research and Advocacy to Enhance Climate Justice for the Least Development Countries: Bangladesh in particular under the Paris Agreement’ on February 14, 2020, in Nijhum Dwip Island, Noakhali. The program started with the participation of fourth-year students from the Oceanography Department with accompanied their respective two-course instructors named Dr. Subrata Sarker, Assistant Professor, and Muhammad Mizanur Rahman, Lecturer, SUST to visit the Nijhum Dwip Island. The students made an interactive session in the place with the local community by visiting the households, fish landing centers, and some local markets. They shared the notion of climate change issues with local inhabitants and explained the climate change nexus and livelihood vulnerabilities. A Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was also conducted with the people from diverse professions like fishermen, farmers, businessmen, local elites at Namar Bazar where a vivid discussion was carried on the impacts of climate change on their lives and livelihoods.
During the session, the fishermen group stated that a remarkable change they have noticed in oceanic temperature, rainfall, water current, and inadequate fish in the fish capturing zone, which ultimately imposes an adverse effect on their professions. They added how climate change impacts violated their human rights by failing to meet their basic rights. Other discussants addressed the consequences of some disaster issues such as cyclone, tidal surges. Nijhum Dwip is an offshore island and it is not well protected, so inadequate cyclone shelters and non-persist of embankment make the lives of the local people more risky and vulnerable. The respondents talked about their loss of properties and wealth due to natural disasters, financial debt and migration to other place aftermaths of disasters. They stressed that they have followed the theological activities like special ‘Dua Mahfil’ (praying seminar) and feed people in the mosque as a means of eliminating the negative effects of aforementioned issues.