WEBINAR REPORT

Human Rights Revealed by Climate Change
: How to save South Asia dying of climate disaster?

 

Date and Time: Saturday, July 23rd, 2022, 05:00-07:00 (GMT)

Location: Online (Zoom)

Topics: GHow to save South Asia dying of climate disaster?

Host: HWPL Western Busan & Gyeongnam Branch

Speakers:

Barrister. Tapas Kanti Baul, Prosecutor, International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh

Mr. Mujtoba Ahmed Murshed, Advisory Editor, The Daily Vorer Akash, Bangladesh

Dr. Mirza Juned Beg, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Integral University, India

Ms. Ruhi Rusaba Jahwa Jahan, Student, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka (Member of Right to Peace), Bangladesh

 

 

Through this webinar, participants will learn about the situation of the flooding in Bangladesh’s that occurred in June and recognize the importance of protecting human rights threatened by climate change. This webinar seeks to inspire and inform the need for cooperation between all countries in the environmental crisis of climate change and promote the need for solidarity in civil society.

“Only we can do is we should take actions as much as we can to protect the human rights from the climate change.”

– Barrister. Tapas Kanti Baul, Prosecutor, International Crimes Tribunal

“In the end, as global citizens, we must be aware of these environmental and human rights issues, and we must change our attitudes by raising our voices through webinars, conferences, or demonstrations. Only in this way can we save the global village.”

– Mr. Mujtoba Ahmed Murshed, Advisory Editor, The Daily Vorer Akash

“Are rights on which depends on the realization of all other human rights. The link between informing and human rights emphasizes that are safe and healthy environment. These are free condition for living a life of dignity.”

– Dr. Mirza Juned Beg, Assistant Professor of Faculty of Law, Integral University

“We need to make the agenda of climate change a priority and come together to ensure a future for the generations to come. We need to make the agenda of climate change a priority and come together to ensure a future for the generations to come.”

– Ms. Ruhi Rusaba Jahwa Jahan, Student of Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka (Member of Right to Peace)

 

< Introduction Webinar >

On 23 July 2022, a Human Rights Webinar was held in Bangladesh, the Maldives, and India under the theme “Human Rights Revealed by Climate Change: How to Save South Asia Dying of Climate Disaster?” with about 50 participants including Human Rights activists, Law professors, Lawyers, and Students. Barrister. Tapas Kanti Baul, Prosecutor of International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh, delivered the encouragement.
The Webinar discussed the critical situation of the flooding in Bangladesh and the actions taken by various actors that are associated with addressing abnormal climate issues. This refers to flooding and sea level rise. The objective of this Webinar is to clearly understand the realities of climate change in Bangladesh and the Maldives and its impact on people’s rights to life. This is to urge the necessity of voluntary participation and active engagement by civil society regarding these issues that threaten the rights to life.
Starting with a video of Bangladesh’s flood damage situation based on the data provided by the locals, a full-fledged webinar begun. Afterwards, three speakers presented about Climate Change and Human Rights from their views and our current roles. Then, Q&A session was held and had time to listen to impressions (thoughts, opinions) through the webinar.

 

< Background Information >

More than 7 million people in Bangladesh are in desperate need of shelter and emergency relief after the worst flooding began to hit South Asia this June. The floods completely submerged around 94% of the town of “Sunamganj” and 84% of the “Sylhet” district in northeastern Bangladesh, adjacent to the “Meghalaya” state of India. The areas most affected by the floods mentioned above are areas in poverty. Many vulnerable social groups live in areas with many waterways for agriculture and fishing, so they feel the effects of climate change with their own lives.

With more than 80% of its 1,190 coral islands standing less than 1 meter above sea level, the Maldives has the lowest terrain of any country in the world. At the current rate of global warming, almost 80% of the Maldives could become uninhabitable by 2050, according to multiple reports from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

In this way, abnormal climate patterns threaten the rights to life of both the Bangladesh and Maldives citizens, who are vulnerable to climate change. In the case of Bangladesh, if abnormal climate patterns persist or worsen, people who are already in vulnerable situations are at higher risk of being impacted negatively and suffering from extreme conditions. Through this, climate change can become a trigger for deepening existing inequality. Furthermore, climate refugees, a phenomenon caused by climate change due to matters such as food and water shortages, etc., may also be a cause of conflicts and disputes among regions, ethnicities, and nations.

Eventually, climate change in Bangladesh and the Maldives will not be just a problem for vulnerable social groups, but for everyone, and we must take responsibility together. The conference that the HWPL is organizing will be an occasion to promote the importance of having a sense of solidarity so that people may live with human dignity and to rouse the sense of urgency in South Asian (Bangladesh, Maldives, India) civil societies.

 

< Points of discussion >

Barrister. Tapas Kanti Baul, Prosecutor, International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh

I appreciate the international NGO HWPL for organizing this webinar on the human rights related to climate change.
Bangladesh is not only the victim of the climate change but also U.S.A, U.K, all the countries around Europe and southern Africa are suffering from the climate change which is the national level of the scorching heat. We do not have the direct answer to solve the problem but we should play our own role on it.
Bangladesh has faced the problems from the climate change for a long time which are caused by anthropogenic contamination and a natural geographic condition; Delta. Especially this year, the flood swept away a large number of people’s livelihood in the low-lying areas in Sylhet division.
Many social communities are helping the flood victims, but I suggest that providing them with sustainable material made goods is better than just supporting the compensation funds. Only we can do is we should take actions as much as we can to protect the human rights from the climate change.

 

Mr. Mujtoba Ahmed Murshed, Advisory Editor, The Daily Vorer Akash, Bangladesh

I give many thanks to HWPL team who hosted the issue of the human rights from the climate change which is one of the calamities in Southern Asia.
All of you know that Bangladesh experience the heavy and severe flood last month(May). I will touch up the problems on the cause of the flood, its relevance to climate change, how was devastating, how intellectuals and the government are responsible for this, and what administration should be handled by the major countries of the global world.
17 areas damaged by the flood belong to where the low level administrative support is provided, which sustained great damage to houses and roads. 1.3 million out of 4.3 million victims were children. Many numbers of the social communities did some voluntary work in Sylhet division.
In the end, as global citizens, we must be aware of these environmental and human rights issues, and we must change our attitudes by raising our voices through webinars, conferences, or demonstrations. Only in this way can we save the global village.

 

Dr. Mirza Juned Beg, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Integral University, India

Human rights are understood to mean the inalienable rights that human beings possess by virtue of being human and aim to secure for individuals the conditions necessary to lead a minimally good life. The concept of human rights is as all as the talk enough nature rights.
What’s a environmental? That is a no accurate definition of determine environmental rights. Environmental rights are itself the duties of human beings towards in entire environment. As the letter has no voice. And environmental rights are understood as the rights of human beings to any born man that is healthy and safe.
There some international legal norms which govern and protection of environmental rights as the human rights. Environment is most important for the existence of human being. Without environment, we cannot exist in on this mother earth.
The negative impact of climate change has been experienced by human all of the world. The concept of right to healthy environment is being increasingly recognize as fundamental human rights. Are rights on which depends on the realization of all other human rights. The link between informing and human rights emphasizes that are safe and healthy environment. These are free condition for living a life of dignity.

 

Ms. Ruhi Rusaba Jahwa Jahan, Student, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka (Member of Right to Peace), Bangladesh

7.2 million and more. That is the number of lives affected by the recent flood in Bangladesh. 68 lives were lost, over 30 lakh were left without a home to return to with more than 40,000 houses were destroyed. Bangladesh is seeing the worst flood in a hundred and twenty-two years with many other calamities speculated to appear from now on, this is my country, a country doomed by the effects of climate change.
As students, and as a youth in this country Climate change should’ve been the least of our concerns. Yet here we are, millions of children and young people, worrying about how they will find shelter, food, and daily necessities. and it always seems like, Before we even have a chance to recover, another disaster is at our doors much like what we have seen, in this situation, when the country is barely recovering from the covid 19 pandemic.
I have always seen the urge of young people to do something about nature, the climate change issue. It is our duty, be it as a youth, decision-makers, leaders, partners, or policymakers to realize the necessity of climate action. Natural calamities are just one of the faces of the plethora of complications resulting from climate change. We need to make the agenda of climate change a priority and come together to ensure a future for the generations to come. Let me just emphasize, that we need everyone involved to plan, strategize, and implement effective actions from the grassroots to the global arena. And that is how we overcome this challenge.

 

< Audiences impression & Comment >

Mr. Mohamed Zahir, Managing partner of Wisham, Zahir & Co LLP, Maldives

Some of the islands were run over by the tidal waves, homes destroyed, people’s belongings destroyed, societal buildings destroyed as well. As per the latest statistics, we’ve got 312 metric tons of waste discarded every year. This disposed waste goes and lies around in uninhabited islands and sometimes inhabited islands as well. And along with this the tidal waves it causes soil erosion also so one of the drastic or major incidents that happened to us was in 2004 that was Tsunami that affected us all.
Some of the islands, they had moved to 5 meters to one side got eroded but one side reclaimed the land but at the end of the day when the land was redrawn, some of the house, some of the lands were missing. But they still do not want to leave their livelihoods, their lives, their memories, their loved ones who have been buried in that very specific island, their home island.
It’s a delicate balance that we need to strive. At the end of the day, we also need more people to think in terms of protecting the environment and protecting the culture, protecting the historical monuments that we have.
I would say a lot of work that we can do. We are a low GDP country we have massive debt but there are a lot of things that we can do. we are looking forward to host you guys in Maldives in October.

Md Zarif Rahman, President of Right to Peace, Bangladesh

Climate change is a matter that cannot be ignored anymore. It affects almost every aspect of our lives. People, however, do not take the issue seriously enough due to a lack of awareness. People need to understand that the very effect of climate change is not a science fiction anymore; it impacts on an individual level.
In this context, HWPL’s decision to hold the webinar could serve as a wake-up call for people and countries. Participants from Bangladesh could relate to the consequences and understand the necessity to be more aware of climate change. They could realize that it is a fact of their human rights.
Lastly, I want to stress that people have to realize that climate change is happening and now it affects human rights, especially those of people from less developed and geographically vulnerable countries. I really hope HWPL will continue this initiative through conducting further research, field campaigns, and awareness-raising programs.

Kamini Vishwakarma, Assistant Professor of Dep.t of law, M.J.P Rohilkhand University, India

The webinar was well organized. Mr. James Kim nicely conducted the session with the co-operation of the other team members. Though there were some technical glitches from the speaker, it was systematically handled by the team.
I was very appreciative of HWPL team’s efforts. The topic, Human rights revealed by Climate Change, was so relevant for today’s time as whole world is suffering from the ill effects of climate change and it is not the problem of one nation but a global challenge.
Mujtoba Ahmed Murshed sir was so effective in his deliberation. Participants were so curious to ask the question which proved the great success of the webinar itself.
Attending the webinar was a great experience for me. Insightful webinar.

Dr. Ashok Kumar, Assistant Professor of Dep.t of law, M.J.P Rohilkhand University, India

It was informative webinar. The concern of global warming and climate disaster acknowledged. The support providing from HWPL is appreciated.

 

< Henceforward plan >

The results of the webinar will be promoted to the Ministry of Home affairs, and Justice and Environment-related Departments. (Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Environment) (For communication between senior organizations and civil society) Our organization aims to network with civil groups and youth residing in Bangladesh, Maldives to deal with climate change. Educational programs and campaigns on climate change and protection of human rights will also be conducted. With the participation of experts related to climate change and human rights, periodic webinars will be further conducted. This webinar seeks to raise awareness of the climate situations threatening human rights in South Asia, including Bangladesh, so that they can be shared around the world.

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