On 19 November in Dhaka, adelphi partnered with the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) to hold a roundtable and discussion on climate change and fragility risks in South Asia.
The consultation dialogue event, which took place at the Ascott Palace Hotel, was convened in the framework of the Climate Diplomacy Initiative (supported by the German Federal Foreign Office). The goal was to deepen the understanding of national and regional concerns and priorities and best practices in the face of climate change-related security impacts, as well as to discuss potential strategies and solutions relevant to the South Asian context.
There were 31 participants from academia/research organisations, international and national NGOs and civil society organisations, donors and international and multilateral organisations. They highlighted two key climate-fragility risks in particular.
First, management of transboundary water resources. The countries of South Asia often rely on the same water supply and there is real potential for disagreement over supply. At the moment, each country tends to put its own political priorities first even though joint river basin management is the best way to meet everyone’s needs.
Second, climate-induced migration, especially from rural to urban areas. Dhaka receives over 1,000 migrants a day, and Bangladesh is also hosting Rohingya populations in the southern part of the country, where anti-migrant sentiment is growing among communities who themselves are negatively affected by climate change impacts.
Regional experts picked out improved education as one of the most important responses. Education is a means to give youth—especially girls—the tools and capacities they need to address these issues in the future. Any policy interventions must also take into account political economy dynamics and power relations: marginalised people living in poverty will struggle to take effective climate action.
adelphi Senior Project Manager Dr. Beatrice Mosello presented the Climate Security Expert Network (CSEN)'s South Asia risk brief, while Senior Project Manager Lukas Rüttinger gave welcome remarks alongside Dr. Saleemul Huq of ICCCAD, also a member of the CSEN.
South Asia’s vulnerability to climate change and associated fragility risks calls for a regional approach to climate services. Different actors need to cooperate to share actionable climate information—the security architecture in the region would benefit.
With cities continuously more threatened by climate change-induced disasters, urban planning’s reflex response is to protect cities against nature. But what if the solution lies in working with nature instead against it? Architect Kongjiang Yu invites readers to imagine what cities could look like if they took into account ancient wisdom on spatial planning.
During the past two weeks, Antigua & Barbuda, Nicaragua and Panama ratified the Escazú Agreement, giving a major boost to the unprecedented and innovative Latin American pact that seeks to reduce social conflicts and protect frontline communities in the world’s deadliest region for environmental defenders.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres outlined priorities for the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 26) during a briefing at UN Headquarters. The briefing was hosted by the UK, which will be assuming the COP 26 presidency in partnership with Italy. COP 26 is scheduled to convene from 9-20 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK.