US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl Miller has said his country will confront the global warming crisis with Bangladesh through supporting the country’s climate change adaption endeavors.
“The climate crisis is here. This is not a challenge for future generations. Together, we must confront it today,” he said.
The envoy made the comment when visiting the US government climate resilience projects in Cox’s Bazar, BSS reports.
He also traveled to St. Martin’s Island to assess the effects of climate change and learn about local adaptation efforts while COP26 continues in Glasgow, a US embassy press release said on Tuesday.
“COP26 in Glasgow is a pivotal moment at the start of this decisive decade to tackle the climate crisis,” Miller said
During the visit, he learned about severe coastal erosion and sea level rise on the island, the impact on local fisheries, the degradation of coral colonies, and local efforts to restore mangroves and protect shorelines.
The US has partnered with Bangladesh on many climate resilience projects in the Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf area.
The US government, through its Agency for International Development (USAID), has donated more than 140 renovated cyclone shelters to the Cox’s Bazar district administration, including one on St. Martin’s Island, to protect residents from frequent natural disasters.
Since 2001, USAID has constructed over 700 multi-purpose cyclone shelters that serve as both safe havens and as schools in Bangladesh.
Additionally, USAID support has strengthened flood forecasting and early warning systems to provide residents life-saving time to evacuate to shelter.
Ambassador Miller was also joined by Secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit of Bangladesh foreign ministry Rear Admiral (Retd) Md. Khurshed Alam, EU Ambassador Charles Whiteley, Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki and Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer, among others.
USAID supports the Bangladesh Forest Service and local communities to co-manage forests and wetlands, including the Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary, thereby protecting more than 1.8 million acres of critical ecosystems across the country.
The US government also supports restoration projects for degraded landscapes and ecosystems within the Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary.
Prior to his trip to St. Martin’s, Ambassador Miller visited USAID climate resilience projects where U.S. investments have helped farmers adapt new techniques to overcome soil salinity, use organic pest control, and plant new trees while protecting existing natural resources.