DHAKA: Scoring only 8 points in ratings, Bangladesh ranks top in Global Climate Risks Index (GCRI) 2009 as the country is one of the most affected by the adverse impacts of climate change such as rising sea level, flooding and heat waves.
Mynmar, Hondurus, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Haiti, India, Dominique Republic, the Philippines and China follow Bangladesh, according to the GCRI index. Bangladesh also ranked top in GCRI in the consecutive years of 2007 and 2008, being a worst affected country.
Global Climate Risks Index analyses how severely countries were affected in 2007 and in the decade by weather-related loss events like hurricanes and floods. Germanwatch has long been conducting such research on 193 countries since the holding of the Cope-1 climate conference.
The Global Climate Risks Index (GCRI) 2009 disclosed that on average 8,241 people are to die annually in Bangladesh because of climate-change effects. Bangladesh incurs an annual financial loss of 2,189 million US dollars, which is putting 1.81 percent negative impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
Referring to oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta, Germanwatch reports that sea levels in the Bay of Bengal rose about 3 millimeters a year until 2000, but have been rising about 5 millimeters annually over the last ten years.
Germanwatch in its report analysis blamed a total of 37 industrialized countries for the ongoing climate-change impact.
According to the analysis, in 2007, Bangladesh, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Nicaragua were most affected by extreme weather conditions. All these countries are relatively regularly affected through storms and flooding, as can be seen in the Global Climate Risk Index 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
In total, 1,066 events were registered in 2007 in these countries, which caused 15,240 causalities and economic loss of 70,160 million US dollars.
According to the report, Bangladesh, one of the Least Developed Countries, had to suffer both from significant number of deaths as well as direct economic losses exceeding 10 billion US dollars (in Purchasing Power Parties) among the countries most affected in 1998-2007 period. While analysing the impacts during the last decade (1998-2007) Honduras, Bangladesh and Nicaragua ranked highest.
On the other hand, UNDP in its research report titled ‘Disaster Risk Reduction’ placed Bangladesh on the top slot as the top-most affected country in Asia. Bangladesh is followed by India, the Philippines, Honduras, Vietnam and China on the list of the countries especially vulnerable to cyclones and tidal surges.
According to the report, at least 33 people are to die annually in the cyclone-related natural disaster in Bangladesh.
Talking to banglanews renowned environmentalist Dr Atique Rahman said, “Bangladesh won’t be able to get rid of the climate-change risk until and unless the countries responsible for the climate change don’t come forward to address the crisis.”
“ Besides, we have to implement the existing climate-change strategies and also to make the countrymen aware about the adverse impacts of climate change such as rising sea level, flooding and heat waves,’’ said Dr Atique Rahman, who is also a member of the intergovernmental panel on climate change.
BDST: 1930 HOURS, NOV 29, 2010