At this week’s six day “International Symposium on Climate Change and Food Security in South Asia” hosted by Universtiy of Dhaka and South Ohio University, Visiting President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson told the audience on Saturday that Bangladesh “has truly become a frontline state in the fight against climate change,” as it suffers and shares its impacts with millions.
Bangladesh has become the frontlines.
President Grimsson described the fact that Bangladesh is stuck between two massive climate impacts, ranging from a consensus that disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers between 2040 and 2070 would be possible. This would transform the yearlong seasonal rivers into seasonal trickles, or more importantly, as with the river’s course transformation (by hundreds of kilometers). The high-speed melting of the mountain ice spelt dangers for the southern Asian countries like Bangladesh that are dependent on the glaciers for sources of water.
More than the drought and glacier disppearance, the major impact of climate change discussed is often climate refugees, though very little of this research is brought to a level of inter-disciplinary success. However, as Mr. Grimsson suggested him a few day ago. Simultaneously, Mr. Grimsson emphasized that the urgency of climate change as a global issue, which will require “a new type of effective cooperation, particularly encompassing politicians, scientists, businessmen and civil associations to deal with climate change and global warming.” He also emphasized on a new scientific policy and technology to combat against climate change and global warming, and in the past Mr. Grimsson has mentioned a future partnership with India and IYCN to transfer Icelandic geothermal technology to Southeast Asia, if and where possible.
Bangladesh is the frontlines of climate impacts, but of climate solutions as well, where the microfinance model has been perfected and where solar lanterns are being distributed to independent women opening small offices to rent their lanterns when recharged. Mr. Grimsson was right – the front lines of this war are already here and while Bangladesh may be at the forefront, the impacts and the solutions will spread… the race to 350 is also a race against time…