Sheikh Hasina launches Global Center on Adaptation regional office in Dhaka

8 September 2020 (Dhaka, Bangladesh) – Today, Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, launched the Global Center on Adaptation’s new regional office in Dhaka, GCA Bangladesh, with Ban Ki-moon, Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation and 8th Secretary General of the United Nations and Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte. The regional office will work with and support South Asian governments, city mayors, business leaders, investors, communities and civil society in accelerating and scaling effective adaptation solutions to tackle the climate emergency. According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2019 countries in South Asia are among the most vulnerable globally to the impacts of climate change. Bangladesh was the first country in the world to create a National Adaptation Program of Action and is the current Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and Vulnerable Group of Twenty (V20) Ministers of Finance.

S peaking at the virtual launch event, dedicated to the centenary of the birth of the founding father of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh noted that her country is living on the frontlines of climate change. She also added that “we also must not forget the vulnerability of the children, women and elderly people and people with special needs against disasters.

She invited the global community to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions by 31st December 2020 in tackling our climate emergency and execute the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Bangladesh is a striking example of how vulnerable communities can be the most innovative in adapting to climate change. Through GCA Bangladesh the valuable lessons it has learnt will help the rest of the world adapt to our new climate reality

Ban Ki-moon, Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation and 8th Secretary General of the United Nations

I want to congratulate Bangladesh on the opening of the regional GCA office in Dhaka, the first in South Asia. Our countries are only too aware of the importance of climate adaptation. As well as reducing our carbon footprint, it’s the perfect avenue for investment and innovation. If we invest in adaptation now, we’ll be better prepared for climate change down the line. It will cost money but the long-term benefit will far outweigh the short-term cost.

Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands

There are many innovative solutions to improve climate resilience in South Asian countries. However, there is an urgent need for them to be both scaled-up and accelerated to meet the challenges facing the region. Through our role as a solutions broker GCA Bangladesh will ensure the most effective adaptation measures are known and implemented in other countries across the region who most need this knowledge.

Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation

Other Ministers from across South Asia also participated in the launch event. H.E Nasir Ahmad Durrani, Minister of Agriculture, Afghanistan; H.E Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India; H.E Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, Minister for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests of Bhutan; H.E Hussain Rasheed Hassan, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Maldives; H.E Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Minister, Ministry of Forests and Environment, Nepal; H.E Zartaj Gul, Minister of State for Climate Change, Pakistan; H.E S.M.Chandrasena, Minister of Environment and Wildlife Resources, Sri Lanka delivered speeches in the event. The Finance Minister of Bangladesh H.E Mr. Mustafa Kamal, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bangladesh H.E AK Abdul Momen and Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change H.E Mr. Shahab Uddin have also spoken on this occasion.

The launch event was followed by the first annual GCA South Asia Partnership Forum. This provided an opportunity for dialogue with key stakeholders and leading experts across South Asia on regional adaptation priorities including gathering crucial perspectives from relevant regional leaders and other stakeholders to inform how GCA Bangladesh can best support them. GCA Bangladesh will focus its efforts on priority areas for climate adaptation identified by GCA and its partners in South Asia: supporting locally-led adaptation action, water for urban growth and resilience, using nature for more resilient infrastructure, climate finance, youth leadership and knowledge acceleration and capacity building.

Saima Wazed Hossian, Ambassador for the Climate Vulnerable Forum was also present at the virtual launch event to discuss the GCA’s Youth Adaptation Network which will will act as global umbrella platform to engage, empower and amplify the role of young people around the world, including in Bangladesh and across South Asia, into the adaptation agenda and provide them with learning opportunities.

About the Global Center on Adaptation

The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) is an international organization which works as a solutions broker to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions, from the international to the local, in partnership with the public and private sector, to ensure we learn from each other and work together for a climate resilient future. Founded in 2018, the GCA is hosted by the Netherlands. Through an evolving network of offices and global and regional GCA teams including a global innovation hub for climate adaptation launched by Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing, the organization engages in high-level policy activities, new research contributions, communications, and technical assistance to governments and the private sector.

The GCA is the lead partner institution for the Climate Adaptation Summit in the Netherlands on 25th January 2021 hosted by Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands – the first major gathering of international leaders dedicated entirely to adaptation. The GCA is also the Managing Partner to the Climate Vulnerable Forum and Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance, a group of 48 developing countries highly vulnerable to climate change.

Related blog posts: