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Bangladesh – Cities must prepare to combat climate change

Dhaka, January 28 (bdnews24.com) — Bangladesh must look at the links between urbanisation and climate change, said finance minister AMA Muhith at a seminar on Wednesday.

“We have not looked at the impact so far of climate change on urban life,” said Muhith at the conference, in which discussants stressed the need for cities to prepare for climate change challenges.

“We have focused on urban poverty and climate change separately, but have yet to study how climate change and urbanisation are related,” said the minister.

“We want to see development of slums as part of urbanisation.”

“Rural development is our first priority, but that does not mean only development of agriculture and creation of employment. It also means the municipal facilities should be available in rural areas.”

IUCN country representative Professor Ainun Nishat said, “The per capita emission rate in Bangladesh is very low, but Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impact.”

“Night temperatures are not as low as expected this winter, so Boro production could be affected. Food security is being threatened,” he said.

Professor David Hulme, from Manchester University’s Brooks World Poverty Institute, said: “Everywhere in Bangladesh, it looks as though you are getting increasingly big numbers of poor urban people concentrated in incredibly small areas.”

“Because they have no security over their land … and the density is just going to get bigger, we have to find a way of increasing the land area that poor people have access to.”

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