- We are both coastal countries and surrounded by water, stated the Minister of Environment and Forests in Bangladesh Hasan Mahmud in the beginning of the meeting between the Norwegian Ambassador and himself earlier this week. Even though Norway and Bangladesh share a long coastal line in common, the consequences of a rising sea level are far more devastating for a country like Bangladesh.
Funding and capacity building
Today, Norway is supporting Bangladesh’s efforts to tackle climate change in several ways. As recently as in July, Norway signed a cost-sharing contract with UNDP-Bangladesh to benefit the Bangladesh Government’s Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme. Under the agreement, Bangladesh will receive approximately 100 million NOK (USD 16.8 million) from Norway over a five-year period (2010-2014).
Norway is also focusing on capacity building through institutional collaborations. In 2009, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies started their collaboration. Their focus areas are on capacity building for studying, mitigation, and adaptation to climate change and linkage to natural disaster risk reduction.
Similarly, the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute is cooperating with the Geological Survey of Bangladesh in the field of geo-hazards such as tsunami, earthquakes, rainfall induced landslides, coastal erosion and subsidence.
- The meeting proved an excellent opportunity to follow up on some of the issues that our Minister of Environment and International Development [Erik Solheim] addressed during his visit in November. This also includes environmentally safe and sound ship breaking, said Ambassador Lund following the meeting.