CSRL in association with Equity BD has organized a seminar titled “Climate Induced Migrants: Responsibilities in National and International Level” at National Press Club Dhaka, on 20 October 2013. The main call from the seminar was that Bangladesh should initiate necessary research and assessment to strengthen the issue of climate migrants in the upcoming international climate negotiations and beyond. It was also demanded, which is echoed by the honorable Chief Guest Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud as well that the traditional definition of ‘UN Refugee’ should be redefined in the context of climate change so that it addresses the issue of climate forced migration. Other CSO networks active on climate change have, i.e. BAPA, BIPNetCCBD, CCDF and CLEAN have also expressed solidarity with the demand.
The seminar was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD while the Honorable Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud MP, Ministry of Environment and Forests was present as the chief guest. The other speakers of the seminar were Dr Ahasan Uddin Ahmed of CGC, Golam Rabbani of BCAS, Qumrul Islam Chowdhury of FEJB, Zakia Hoque of Oxfam, Motahar Hossain of BCCJF, Mizanur Rahman NCCB, Progoti Chakma of BIPNetCCBD and Badrul Alam of Krishok Federation. Hasan Mehedi of Humanity Watch presented the key note presentation in the seminar.
Dr. Hasan Mahumd, the Minister for Environment and Forests, who has been also leading Bangladesh delegation in international climate negotiations for last five-years, concedes that there was a setback on climate migrants issue after 2010, the year when it was first officially accepted in the Cancun climate agreement. He said, it has lost the momentum while countries reframe the timeline in the Durban agreement, which says new agreement should reach by 2015 and implementation after 2020. The Minister said that the developed countries have to take responsibilities of the climate-induced migrants and the definition of the UN refugee has to be revisited to accommodate them.
Qumrul Isalm Chowdhury of FEJB said that Bangladesh delegation must demand a solid work program on climate-migrants issue in next Poland conference so that there is an agreement in Paris during 2015.
Dr Ahsan Uddin Ahmed cited a case from New Zealand regarding how a climate migrant family from the Pacific Islands demanded for immigrations rights in developed countries. Golam Rabbani of BCAS gave importance on carrying out a national appraisal and situation analysis on climate induced migration. The seminar was supported by the EU and Oxfam co financing project on strengthening the role of Non State Actors on climate negotiations.
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Civil Society of Bangladesh on 23 October 2013 Wednesday asked the government to raise the voice at the upcoming world climate summit so that the survival of people and sustainable development of the nation can proceed unhindered. They made the call at a press conference on ‘Civil Society Call on Climate Change’ prior to the COP-19 at Dhaka Reporters Unity, organised by Oxfam and its alliance CSRL, in association with other civil society led organisations — EquityBD, CCDF, NCC,B, BIPNet, CCBD and CLEAN. Executive Director of Centre for Global Change Dr Ahsan Uddin Ahmed read out the position paper of civil society while research fellow of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Dr Mohammed Asaduzzaman and civil society members Mizanur Rahman Bijoy and Tanjir Hossain spoke at the press conference. Sixty five journalists participated the press conference, and 6 English Daily and 13 Bangla and On-line dailies covered the news. Social media also shared the news widely. Targeting the nineteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP-19), which will be held from November 11 to 22 in Warsaw, Poland, the press conference declared the position paper of civil society, titled ‘Survival is non-negotiable, Equity, Justice and Fairness for all’.
With the objective to familiarize Oxfam staff and partners in Bangladesh with different tools and techniques used for advocacy and enhancing the practical and technical skills of participants who are involved in designing, conducting advocacy and public facing campaign works in the country, PolAD organized Advocacy skill development training from 22-23 October 2013 at YWCA, Mohammadpur, Dhaka. CSRL members, other campaign partner representatives and Oxfam staff took part in the training. The two day training was facilitated by Natalia Alonso, Head of EU Advocacy Office, Oxfam Brussels, Monisha Biswas, Manager, Policy and Advocacy, Zakia Haque, Campaign Coordinator, Policy and Advocacy of Oxfam and Saikat Biswas, Project Coordinator, D&IPLP of Oxfam. Apart from the sessions on advocacy tools and techniques, element of advocacy, theory of change, risk and M&E, stakeholder analysis, how success happens, WIN, digital advocacy, the purpose of advocacy strategy, power analysis, typology of advocacy risk and conflicts etc were discussed in the training. The training was attended by 22 participants.