Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD) organized a roundtable discussion titled ‘Human Rights and Climate Justice Nexus: Global and National Policy Narratives’ on February 20, 2020, at PKSF Bhaban, Agargaon, Dhaka-1207. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of PKSF was the Chairperson of the event and moderated the entire session whereas Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmad, Full-Time Member, National Human Rights Commission was the Chief Guest, and Dr. Nurul Quadir, Former Additional Secretary-Climate Change, Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) was the Special Guest. The event started with registration and luncheon by the CPRD team. Md. Shamsuddoha, Chief Executive of CPRD delivered a welcome address and shed light on violation of human rights encompassed by climate change, dreadful impacts of climate change, and climate-induced displacement and migration in the context of global and national policies. S.M Saify Iqbal, Senior Research Assistant of CPRD presented some case studies on human rights violations by catastrophic climatic events. Finally, Mr. Shamsuddoha drew the conclusion of the presentation session by explaining the loopholes of global and national policies to show how human rights predicament with climate change. He urged the need for addressing human rights perspectives to the national and global policy discourses on climate justice.
Finally, the session was wrapped up by remarkable comments and an insightful discussion on two thematic key issues of human rights and climate justice from the Experts Panel. Dr. Md. Abdul Awal Khan, Associate Professor from IUB, Ziaul Haque, Director from DoE, and Dr. Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed, Director- climate change and environment unit from PKSF have presided in the Experts Panel. Dr. Khan stated that no national policy persists in Bangladesh to protect the rights of the climate-induced migrants. He said ‘Life cannot be taken by anyone’, and stressed on long-term solutions like disaster resilient housing or permanent livelihood opportunities for disaster-affected people. He signified people’s reluctance for reliefs’ acceptance rather permanent rehabilitation would be a more effective solution for disaster-affected people. Mr. Haque emphasized national and international outreach of climate justice and human rights implementation where policymakers play vital roles to make it feasible under national obligation. While Dr. Sadeque pointed out the violation of commitment from the developed countries to provide technical and financial supports for tackling climate-induced migration. He proposed to allocate 50% of Green Climate Fund (GCF) for adaptation purposes on climate change impacts ground.
At the end of the presentation, an interactive session was carried out with the participation of a number of discussants who discussed various aspects of climate justice and human rights. The special guest, Dr. Quadir underscored on equity and climate justice where he explained how human rights and security be threatened by climate change impacts. He added that climate change is not just a technical issue but a political issue as well. The chief guest, Dr. Kamal overstretched the human rights violation as both physical and social issues and addressed to ensure climate justice as ‘no injustice’ to anyone. He indicated that the present economic development crisis exacerbated in the country by climate change impacts. He stressed women’s equity and further accentuated to eliminate climate injustice and prevail justice that explains justice and equity. The chairperson, Dr. Ahmad concluded the discussion session by giving his enthralling remarks on mainstreaming climate justice and human rights amalgamation and invited all the participants to work on this matter together and create a new content to make climate justice happen. Ultimately, the seminar ended with commutative photos of T-shirt launching and farewell greetings.