The government plans to formulate a long-term vision for 50 to 100 years to address the country’s climate change related issues of water safety, food production, salt intrusion, land shortage and environmental and ecological problems. The vision under ‘The Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100′ with its holistic approach will also aim to address some other important aspects to reach adequate level of safety and food security as well as sustainable economic growth for the whole of Bangladesh.
“In the coming decades, Bangladesh will be confronted with increasing flood risks, challenges regarding water quality, droughts and salinity due to climate change. Proper development and management of water resources is essential for the future development of Bangladesh,” Prof Shamsul Alam, member, General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission, said. Bangladesh through the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has requested the Netherlands to provide advice and recommendations for the formulation of a ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100’. A Delta Plan Preparatory Team with Bangladeshi and Dutch experts has been formed for the purpose.
The GED member said that the team has been analysing the current scenario and providing advice for the feasibility and preparation of a 50-100 year holistic delta plan for Bangladesh. Prof Shamsul Alam said that to reduce the vulnerability to climate change, such long-term planning for 50 to 100 years for sustainable socio-economic development is necessary to fulfill the demands of sectors such as agriculture, fishery, forestry, livestock, industry, water supply, sanitation and environment.
For the coming days, the challenge for Bangladesh is to ensure food security and improve living conditions for over 160 million people, while moving towards the status of a middle-income country by 2021. For example, the 1998 flood inundated over two-thirds of Bangladesh and resulted in losses of 4-8 percent of the GDP (US$ 2 billion) while cyclone Sidr in 2007 resulted in damage and losses of 2.6 percent of the total GDP (US$ 1.7 billion), according to the World Bank.
The Delta Plan will facilitate conservation of natural resources in a comprehensive manner, especially the river floodplains and coastal ecosystems that will eventually ensure sustainable provisions of services to the life and livelihoods of vulnerable people. It will also harmonize regional development plans for agriculture, environmental affairs, urbanization and tourism. Prof Shamsul Alam will leave here for the Netherlands on October 29 on a weeklong visit to see the actual field level working there as well as to get first hand idea about the proposed delta plan. Meanwhile, the General Economics Division in collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy will hold a stakeholders consultation workshop tomorrow (Thursday) at the NEC conference room in city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area as part of the preparation for the `Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100′
Planning Minister AK Khandker will be the chief guest at the workshop with Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen present as special guest and Netherlands Ambassador to Bangladesh Alphons Hennekens as guest of honour. The workshop will bring together important stakeholders from both public and private sector to engage in discussions on the relevance, feasibility and ownership of such an integrated delta plan.
News Source: UNB
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