DHAKA: Visiting foreign ministers of Germany and France Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Laurent Fabius respectively visited Bangshi River at Savar on Monday to experience the effects of climate change on Bangladesh.
The trip provided them a firsthand impression of the impact of global warming and the possible adaptation strategies in the areas of disaster risk reduction and long-term agricultural adaptation.
The boat trip was organized by the French-Bangladeshi NGO “Friendship”, working for 14 years to help address the needs of marginalized communities, highly suffering from climate changes’ impact.
According to a joint press statement, in the run-up to the crucial climate conference COP21 in Paris, the two Foreign Ministers wanted to set a strong symbol by jointly visiting Bangladesh, a country that is heavily threatened by the adverse effects of climate change.
Ministers Fabius and Steinmeier were scheduled to inaugurate one of the anti-cyclone shelters, which were built with support from German development cooperation, KfW, in Patuakhali district.
They also wanted to meet local people and farmers, who received training through BARI and the German implementation agency GIZ, in adapting with the consequences of climate change to get firsthand information.
However, the programmes had to be cancelled due to bad weather conditions. Instead, they took a boat trip on the Bangshi River.
Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali, founder and executive director of ‘Frienship’ Runa Khan, Bangladesh Ambassador to France Shahidul Islam and Bangladesh’s Resident Ambassador to Germany Muhammad Ali Sorcar accompanied them during the boat trip.
Their joint trip underlines the commitment of the two European nations to broker a pragmatic, yet comprehensive, legally-binding agreement in Paris.
Tackling climate change is a challenging task for the whole international community. And the burden to avoid further environmental hazards caused by climate change has to be shared.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Laurent Fabius reached Dhaka Monday morning on a short visit.
However, eight higher-ranking officials also accompanied the France FM while 32 high-ups with the Germany FM. A total of 14 media persons were included in the tour.
BDST: 1902 HRS, SEP 21, 2015