আপডেট: নভেম্বর ৬, ২০২২
Nextnews Report, Dhaka : Probha Aurora and CONsortium for Climate and Health (CONCH) have jointly organized a special webinar titled “Key Issues in Climate Change, Global Environmental Protection and Health Considerations: A Special Discussion Ahead of COP27” on 2nd November 2022.
The recommendations that emerged from the discussion and deliberations at this webinar covered all three dimensions: health, environment and climate change across mitigation, adaptation, finance, loss and damage. In terms of adaptation: Include health sector adaptation action in national planning; Develop health metrics for monitoring overall progress across sectors towards the Global Goal of Adaptation; From mitigation considerations: Define a deadline for phase-out of fossil fuels and subsidies, soonest for developed nations; Raise emissions reduction ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions, with attention to co-benefit actions for climate and health, Mitigate in the health sector. From the viewpoint of finance: Deliver the overdue 100bn USD finance goal promised by developed countries, and double finance for adaptation, including for the health sector; Redirect subsidies to protect climate and health; Monitor savings from health co-benefit interventions. Considering the loss and damage: Establish a loss and damage finance facility, including addressing health impacts; Provide technical assistance via the Santiago Network for quantifying and addressing health losses and damages.
The other important aspects considered were: Agriculture- Extend the work of the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture; Expand this work to incorporate healthy sustainable diets, reduce food loss and waste, and agroecological approaches. Global Stocktake – Monitor health implications of climate action; Provide a space for follow-up and good practice sharing for WHO COP26 Health Commitments. Probha Aurora and CONsortium for Climate and Health (CONCH) have jointly organized a special webinar titled “Key Issues in Climate Change, Global Environmental Protection and Health Considerations: A Special Discussion Ahead of COP-27”. The webinar, before COP-27, was held on 2 November 2022 from 3 pm to 5 pm (Bangladesh time).
In his speech as the chief guest Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said, Climate change is what we refer to as an existential challenge. It is not a threat that may or may happen or may not happen in the future, but it is a reality that we are confronting today and in terms of the intensity and impacts these are being felt by us all the time. He added, of course, health is an integral part of the climate crisis, and it is absolutely right and critical to establishing that Nexus and that we look at the entire COP process or as much of it as possible. The true balance of human health. Referring to the failures of UNFCCC processes, he said, lack of action on mitigation as the initial area of focus necessitated increased adaptation; and now lack of progress on adaptation is leading to loss and damage. So, urgent action is needed, of course. He also added I think the time has now come for delivery, we have signed enough treaties; we have signed enough documents but the delivery is not there, and as with everything, if there is no delivery, it does not make any sense. So, let us hope that world leaders are going to raise these challenges. And, we will in fact have a COP that delivers not on the basis of what Bangladesh says, we will talk about science-based policies, we talk about science-based actions and we talk about our evidence.
Presenting the main article i.e. the health recommendations, Jessica Beagley, Policy Lead, Global Climate and Health Alliance, London, United Kingdom, Policy expert in health, environment and climate change said that, The reasons we’re so keen to give these recommendations is because that health and climate change and environment are intertwined and we really believe that health can be used as an additional motivating argument for ambitious climate action and decision making at the COP. She added that, in the long term, this will have great protective properties for public health around the world.
In the opening remarks on behalf of CONCH Platform Dr. Poornima Prabhakaran, Deputy Director, Centre for Environmental Health, Public Health Foundation of India said, All of us recognized that the climate crisis is a health crisis and the impacts are the ramifications on the health, not only the health but also on our lives and livelihoods, on our economies and future generation. I hope, we achieve the objectives of this meeting which is really come together and discuss what we can feed our delegations who are going to the COP27. Also, to discuss the policy recommendations that health community representatives from around the world manage to put together as a document and the resource that can be given to our delegations so that when they get to these COP negotiations, they put health at the center of all the program and policies under discussion.
Dr. Atiur Rahman, Bangabandhu Chair Professor, Dhaka University, Former Governor, Bangladesh Bank said as a special guest on the occasion, this year is very difficult for the world. In fact, climate change and existential challenges have been created by the Covid19 devastations throughout the world. This time we are in a very difficult world and many of the gains that we made in terms of our advocacy for a climate-friendly world, probably are in danger because of the war and because of the ongoing global economic crisis that we are already in it. We really don’t know when the war will end and similarly, we don’t know what will happen to the small and marginalized communities. I would say the economic stresses that we see all around the world. Bangladesh probably is an ideal case where people’s actions really have multiplying effects on combating the crisis. People have been showing a lot of resilience and showing a lot of Creative actions even during a crisis like covid. Also, even with today’s economic stresses that we are facing due to the war in Ukraine and rising the value of the dollar, we are victims of a global financial crisis but at the same time, we are also the victims of climate change. So, this is a very difficult moment for us. Giving the example of Bangladesh Bank’s green financing, he said, the need for a sustainable finance strategy, like Bangladesh’s green financing is necessary for South Asian countries. He also mentioned that the banking sector should also be specially invited to the COP.
Dr. Abu Jamil Faisel, Adjunct Faculty, Population Sciences Department, Dhaka University was present as Special Guest. He emphasized among others the importance of inter-ministerial coordination, communication and commitment. He said, worldwide this discussion is going on. Referring to the chief guest, also mentioned that only discussions are happening, actual actions are not on the ground, and the financing part is not rewarding at all. People in Bangladesh are affected by climate change a lot.
Probha Aurora, Founder and Managing Director Bidhan Chandra Pal chaired the Webinar. In his speech, he mentioned, I would say that the philosophy of health has changed now, if the philosophy of health does not include the consideration of the environment and climate change, then that philosophy will not be compatible with the times. Therefore, it will be very important now to develop country-wise, and region-wise long-term plans with health aspects under adaptation and mitigation through a change in philosophy and setting examples for each country through action accordingly. He added that, compared to the previous COPs, coming to the present time, taking into account the recent Covid-19 situation, NCD situation, One Health Concept, etc., we now understand whether to consider each sector separately from the perspective of health or look at health from the perspective of environment and climate change – planning and that How important it is to act accordingly. It will therefore be very important to highlight health-related recommendations in the upcoming COP-27.
The event was moderated by Dr. Aftab Uddin, Policy-Strategy-Research Advisor, Probha Aurora and Chairperson, Public Health Foundation, Bangladesh. He added about 15% global population is living with disabilities and their health aspect needs to be given special attention with regard to climate change and environmental impacts.
Eminent personalities, representatives of relevant ministries, participants from Bangladesh in COP-26 and COP-27, media representatives, dignitaries, and youth representatives as well as representatives from various fields related to health and climate change were also present in this webinar.
The representatives of other important organizations from Bangladesh who participated in this webinar were: FAO, UNFPA, Dhaka University, Norwegian Red Cross, Christian Aid Bangladesh, BRAC, Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC), Robi Axiata Limited, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, Bangladesh Health Watch, Institute for developing science and health initiatives, Rajshahi University, GAIN, ACLAB, Unnayan Shamannay and others.
Representatives from various South Asian countries i.e India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam and others were also present in this important webinar.
Based on the discussions held in the webinar, the recommendations will be revised and shared with the government and private delegations of each country. Besides, it was also decided to hold a discussion on the achievements of COP-27 after the COP. It was informed in the webinar that this global effort which has started will continue in the coming days.
Click this link to listen to the live webinar discussion: