Raihan Rahman Rafid:
A day-long workshop focused on the prospects of sustainable development and climate change was held at Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), on 31st March, 2018. The event was organized by SDG Lab in collaboration with Department of Law, Faculty of Security and Strategic Studies, BUP.
Held under the title “Embracing SDGs: Climate Action”, the workshop aimed at disseminating knowledge on the sustainable development goals and raising consciousness on the alarming changes of the climate. Esteemed speakers discussed on the transformation of the idea of development throughout the history, and enactment of various laws related to development, climate, and environment. The workshop attempted to picture the current scenario of environmental degradation, and vulnerable condition of Bangladesh.
Lt Col Siraj Uddin Ahmed (Retd), psc, Chairman, Department or Law, FSSS, BUP, graced the event as the special guest. He inaugurated the workshop with his warm salutation, followed by a brief introductory session where Mahmudul Hoque Moni, Senior Assistant Secretary, conducted elementary discussion on the MDGs and the SDGs. Mr. Moni started off with the paradigm shift of the definition of development and finished his speech concentrating solely on the 13th sustainable development goal- climate change.
Then, Dr. Md. Khalid Hossain, Economic Justice Resilience Programme Manager, Oxfam Bangladesh spoke briefly on climate change and Bangladesh. Whole area of our country is being affected by climate change he asserted, sharing international research reports. Although few developed countries are utterly responsible for the emission of greenhouse gas which is essentially the cause for climate change, the impact is equally negative and deteriorating upon allthe countries around the globe. The speaker explained how the boundary less effect of climate change is sometimes defended fallaciously with a legal claim of right to pollution as opposed to the right to environment.
Innovation in climate change, adaptation, and mitigation was elucidated by Tanjir Hossain, Lead- Resilience and Climate Justice, ActionAid Bangladesh. He emphasized on the need to \innovate new ways for adapting with the inevitable change of climate. Interpreting innovation as a sustainable and long-term solution, he exemplified the adaptation made by China through the popularization of renewable energy. Mr. Hossain also addressed the lack of investment in Research and Development (R&D) sector in Bangladesh as a major setback.Md. Abu Bakar Siddique, lecturer in law, BUP, later on illustrated the legal development of Bangladesh in environmental policy making by dissecting the timeline of international conventions and protocols pertaining to climate change. He differentiated global climate change regime with that of Bangladesh. Mr. Siddique pinpointed the existence of 187 legislations in Bangladesh somehow connected to environmental matters, as he further explicated the mechanisms of enforcing legal responsibilities towards environment.Afterwards, an interactive group activity between all the participants brought forward new ideas for sustainable development in our everyday life. The session was monitored by Rezwan Siddiqui, Lecturer, East West University. Prior to the group activity, a question and answer session summarized all the earlier discussions.
The event was chaired by Brig Gen Md. Siddiqul Alam Sikder, BSP, ndc, psc, Dean, FSSS, BUP. The chief guest in the valedictory session deemed the workshop to be a successful one and credited the highly qualified team of SDG Lab. Thereafter, all the participants were presented certificates for their contribution and participation.
It was the third workshop organized by SDG Lab- an initiative by few Chevening scholars. The facilitators (Rezwan Siddiqui, Sekander Zulker Nayeen, Mohammad Golam Sarwar, and Mahmudul Hoque Moni, Shahed Azizi) aspire for an informed and empowered generation of youths to lead SDG initiatives in national and international arena.
Writer is a student of law at University of Dhaka. He can be reached at fb.com/RR.Rafid or firstname.lastname@example.org