This article is about climate change and role of Bangladesh community living abroad. Ok, let’s get started.
On Sunday, September 21, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of New York, and cities worldwide to pressure world leaders to take action on global warming, in what organizers claim will be the biggest climate march in history.
The UN Climate Summit happening right after the march, on September 23. World leaders will join at this summit on climate change, the first time world leaders have come together on the issue since the landmark Copenhagen summit in 2009, which was seen as a failure.
The People’s Climate March on 21 September is intended to send a strong signal to those world leaders and could be the ‘last chance’ for an international deal. If world leaders aren’t forced to step up, ‘then many believe that political progress is impossible.’ The People’s Climate March is a crucial factor in insuring the world gets on the right path.
Climate Change and Bangladesh
By the end of this century, best estimates predict between a 1.8⁰ C and 4⁰ C rise in average global temperature, although it could possibly be as high as 6.4⁰ C. This will affect many parts of the whole world in unprecedented ways.
For Bangladesh, the impact of climate change extremely severe. Already average weather temperatures rising; rainfall being less when it is most needed; more extreme hot and cold spells every year; rivers altering the hydrological cycle; more powerful tornados and cyclones are becoming common; sea level rising displacing communities, freshwater becoming saline; etc. The impact will be intensified by the fact that Bangladesh is both one of the most populated and one of the poorest. A conservative estimate predicts that by 2050, population of Bangladesh will reach 220 million. However, by then nearly 17%-20% of Bangladesh will be claimed by the sea, displacing about 20 million people.
Scientific data, solid predictions, real-life experiences and negative effects of the climate change on Bangladesh are everywhere. The worst senario is not unreal if the people are not united and demand action NOW.
What is happening in New York?
On Sunday, September 21, in New York City, people from all walks of life and organizations of all types will march together to put pressure on world leaders to address the issue of climate change. There is a very wide range and diversity of people, including immigrant rights groups, social justice groups, faith communities, students, professionals, unions, women, youths, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, you name it, are coming to join the event. Whoever you are and wherever you are, climate change threatens us all, so it brings us together.
The march will be happening all major cities around the world but New York City march is the most important and center of attention because world leaders are gathering in the United Nations in New York.
Why is this march important for Bangladesh community abroad?
As the negative impacts of climate change on Bangladesh are very high, it can be safely assumed that the Bangladeshi community living around the world can raise their voices to demand urgent, practical and political measurements to address the issue. Almost every Non-Resident Bangladeshi has some kind of ties to Bangladesh – familial, economic, social, cultural, emotional or ethnic. Therefore, Bangladeshis abroad should be at the forefront of the march.
The march and summit are happening in New York City. Fortunately, New York is one of the largest hub of Bangladeshi community living outside of Bangladesh. Therefore, it should be easy to attend for them.
Plus, the event is on Sunday. Sundays in summer season are generally a picnic day for Bangladeshi community in New York. Let’s do a ‘picnic-walk’ that the future generations will remember. Pack some food, take some water and come with your family, friends, festoons and flyers.
What Bangladesh community abroad can do?
First thing they can do is to show that they care for their country, Bangladesh. Geographically it is a distant land but memory of the land is closer than the heartbeat, specially for first generation immigrants!
Everyone can do something according to their capacity,
- Everyone can come and join the march.
- Bangladeshi community newspapers in New York can write about the event and place conspicuous ads to draw attention of the community.
- Hundreds of Bangladeshi community organizations (district, cultural, student) can notify and arrange their members to come to the march or maybe even march altogether.
- ‘Mainstream’ Bangladeshi community organizers can show their magical tweaks by motivating people to participate.
- Businesses and business organizations can provide space for flyer, fund the event, print posters, banners, etc.
Why Bangladesh community abroad should participate?
- Show you care for your country, you are concerned and you demand action.
- Show your anger, dissatisfaction, awareness about the inaction of political leaders of the world regarding climate change.
- In 1971, expatriate Bangladeshis around the world created awareness about the Bangladesh Liberation War. Now it is your turn – only it is another issue and mother of all issues.
- Your family, friends and ordinary citizens of Bangladesh expect this global civic duty from you. They cannot join the march in New York – you can. You represent them. You do it for them.
- As Bangladesh will be severely affected by climate change, Bangladesh community’s presence should be noticeable, bold and forefront.
- Be part of a global community that care and concern about global issues affecting all of us.
- It is a moral duty.