UN rapporteur on climate arrives in Bangladesh on first-ever official visit

Dhaka, Sept. 4 (EFE) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change, Ian Fry, arrived in Bangladesh – a country which has been hit hard by the climate crisis – on Sunday on his first official visit to any country after assuming office in May.

Fry landed in Dhaka at 12:55 am, a UN human rights official, Zahid Hossain, told EFE.

During his visit, set to last until Sep. 15, the rapporteur will focus on loss and damage incurred due to climate change and extreme weather.

“The impacts of climate change continue to take a huge economic and social toll on the people of Bangladesh. Studies indicate that globally, costs related to loss and damage from climate change impacts will rise to between $290 billion and $580 billion a year by 2030,” the press statement quoted the UN expert as saying.

“The people of Bangladesh are suffering from the greenhouse gas pollution caused by the developed world. It is time the international community stepped up and took responsibility for these impacts,” he added.

Fry, who holds both Australian and Tuvaluan nationality, is the first appointee to the newly establish post of UN special rapporteur on climate change.

He will visit key cities like Khulna and Sylhet and meet senior government officials, his spokesperson Ahreum Lee told EFE, without sharing more details.

His office said the official would pay special attention during his trip on how climate change impacts are forcing a thousands of people to be displaced from their lands and what measures are being taken to address these impacts.

According to the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, between 2008 and 2021 an average of 1.1 million Bangladeshis were forced to leave their homes annually due to natural disasters, although the majority were able to return. In 2020, the number touched a staggering 4.4 million, mainly due to a severe cyclone.

Worldwide, as many as 23.7 million people were displaced by natural disasters – especially storms, cyclones and floods – according to the latest report by the IDMC and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The number of people displaced by climate change in Bangladesh could reach 13.3 million by 2050, making it the country’s number-one driver of internal migration, according to a World Bank report released in March 2018. EFE


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