Asia is the most vulnerable to climate change. Climate change and climatic variability have impacted all sectors; human health, food production, infrastructure, water and ecosystems. Bangladesh with a population of nearly 150 million is one of the densely populated countries of the world (BBS, 2011). The geographic location at the convergence of the three great rivers – the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna – and near the Eastern Himalayas makes Bangladesh vulnerable to natural hazards like floods, cyclones and occasional earthquakes (7th five year plan, 2015). The country is considered to be one of the most vulnerable to climate change because its disadvantageous geographic location; flat and low lying topography; funnel shaped coastline challenged by its high population density; high level of poverty; and reliance of various livelihoods on climate sensitive sectors, including agriculture, fisheries and water resources. Indeed, climate change poses a significant threat to the country. On average, approximately, 25% of the total area is flooded every year (BCCSAP, 2009). Due to the rise in the average sea level, an additional 14% of the country may be extremely vulnerable to floods by 2030(7th five year plan, 2015). According to the IPCC 4th assessment report, Global mean surface temperature is projected to rise by 1.1 C-6.4 C by the end of the 21st century. As a result, the impact of climate change will not only hamper the people’s life of Bangladesh, it will also disrupt to achieve the key results of Sustainable Development Goals for Bangladesh.
Barisal Division is located at coastal belt. Several studies indicate that the coastal zone vulnerability would be acute due to the combined effects of climate change, sea level rise, subsidence and changes of upstream discharge, cyclone and coastal embankments (BCAS, RA and Approtech, 1994; WB, 2000). Four key types of primary physical effects i.e. saline water intrusion; drainage congestion; extreme events; and changes in coastal morphology have been identified as key vulnerabilities in the coastal area of Bangladesh (WB, 2000). Considering this situation of Barisal Division, adolescent and young people are mobilized to prevent and respond against these vulnerabilities and raised their voices and formed a network named Youth Net for Climate Justice.
Impact of climate change on Children:Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of climate change due to their underdeveloped physiology and immune system, as well as their sensitivity to high-impact negative events during the early stages of their development. Mortality rate is also higher for children during disaster. Thus, children are deprived of fulfilment of their rights in the area of survival, development, and participation. The impact of climate change on children is summarized as follows:
• Cyclones, floods, rising sea levels, tidal surges, and river erosion are damaging and destroying infrastructure critical to children’s well-being, including schools, health facilities, latrines, houses, and roads.
• Floods, increasing salinity, and droughts are destroying crops and trees, disrupting water systems, and contaminate water resources, reducing children’s access to safe water and nutritious food.
• Seasonal shifts, salinity, increasing temperatures, and more erratic rainfall patterns are eroding livelihoods, increasing poverty and leaving families struggling to meet their most basis needs.
• Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns are exacerbating the spread of vector-borne diseases such as dengue, which disproportionately affects children.
• Land loss from flooding and river erosion, dwindling water supplies, and failing climate-sensitive livelihoods are increasing migration, disrupting families and increasing vulnerability of displaced children.
• Increase internally displaced people in the embankments and in newly appeared island with very minimum or no services/facilities for children and women.
The Government of Bangladesh have also recognized the children’s vulnerability due to the impact of climate change in the strategy and action plan 2009 and planned to mainstream in all activities under the action plan.
The Conference will highlight the role of young people in championing for climate change adaptation and mitigation through their evidence based advocacy, strengthening their role in democratic dialogue and climate action in locally, nationally and globally.
Expected outcome of the Conference:
• Contribute to establish enabling environment for children and adolescents by engaging Policy makers, Government counterparts, NGOs, Youth and Adolescents.
• Develop Adolescent and youth ambassador to raise voice against the harmful effect of climate change on children’s life
• Identify areas of advocacy for reducing the impact of climate change at national and global level and take necessary actions.
Organizers & Partners:
Dates & Venues:The Conference will be held on 11-12 February 2017 in Barisal.
Beside inaugural and closing session, different technical and capacity building sessions will be held in following venues:
1. Ashwani Kumar Hall auditorium, Barisal
2. Barisal University
3. BDS conference Hall
4. AVAS Conference Hall
In addition there are site events: Photo gallery, bi-cycle rally, cultural events will cover large scale of audiences.
Target group:Directly, about more than 1000 Students & Youths, Academia’s, Policy Makers, Local & National media personalities from 6 costal districts will directly participate in different events of twoday.Besides, a large number of youth and mass people (more than 10,000) also be aware on climate change issues through this conference.
Campaign plan for this conference: Organizers have had 5 consultation meeting with Govt departments, Youth Groups, NGOs, cultural groups, experts. A website will be launched very shortly, interactive social medias are also working effectively to generate and disseminate up dated and ideas. A strong Volunteer team (20 Members) are working for campaign about the event; and they will have on-spot meeting and will hang posters, banners in Universities and educational institution. We have a plan to decorate most strategic points and institution for greater publicity.Several press briefing will take place before, during and after the conference to disseminate Barisal Youth Declaration on Climate Change at different forums and levels. CharuKala, Barisal will design all the materials and decoration.