The minister discussed ways in which nature-based solutions–working with, rather than against, nature–can help overcome these challenges
During a "virtual visit" to Bangladesh on Tuesday, the UK's International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith discussed the need for the UK to help the country build adaptation and resilience to climate change.
He also saw the impact of climate change on agriculture, health and livelihoods in Bangladesh; as increased flooding in both rural and urban areas is displacing people from their homes.
The minister discussed ways in which nature-based solutions–working with, rather than against, nature– can help overcome these challenges, read a press release from the British High Commission in Dhaka on Saturday.
UK Minister of State Lord Zac Goldsmith said, "Developing countries like Bangladesh are the hardest hit by climate change. The work taking place here to help adapt to its impacts and build resilience is an example for the world to follow. The UK is proud to support it."
"As COP26 presidents, we are encouraging countries to come forward with ambitious visions to put nature-based solutions at the heart of plans to tackle climate change," he added.
The British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson said, "The climate emergency is a vital issue for the world. As COP26 and Climate Vulnerable Forum chairs, the UK and Bangladesh have key roles to play together in leading global efforts to tackle it."
"I am very pleased that Lord Goldsmith has met key Bangladeshi partners in government, the research community and civil society. They had useful discussions to learn about how we can work together both locally and internationally as a joint force for good in tackling climate change, and helping the world build back greener from the COVID pandemic," he continued.
Bangladesh, located on the delta of three major rivers and with a dense population, is one of the world's most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change.
More than 70 percent of the population is exposed to cyclones, and the resulting economic impact is significant.
The UK has supported Bangladesh in its efforts to adapt to and build resilience against climate shocks; including by giving 27 million people in the country access to early warning systems for floods and cyclones and protecting 40,000 hectares of cultivable land against monsoon flooding.
During his virtual visit, Lord Goldsmith met with Nasrul Hamid, state minister for the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources. They discussed Bangladesh's increasing demand for reliable energy and the potential to replace coal with renewable energy generation.
He also met Saima Wajed Hussain, one of the newly-appointed thematic ambassadors of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) with a focus on "vulnerability," and Md Abul Kalam Azad, special envoy to the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Presidency.
During the meeting, they explored the opportunity for the forum to play a role in raising global ambition on adaptation and resilience at COP26.
He also met with Professor Saleemul Huq, director of International Centre for Climate Change and Development, which is working with Oxford University to encourage the integration of nature-based solutions in Bangladesh.