The closing ceremony for Gobeshona 6 was held at the end of the conference’s 4th day.
Gobeshona 6, the four day research conference organised by the International Centre of Climate Change and Development was concluded at its host the Independent University, Bangladesh’s auditorium in Bashundhara.
The closing remarks were given by ICCCAD’s Director, Dr Saleemul Huq. Dr Huq summarised the activities that took place in the past few days throughout the conference.
In total, there were 6 sessions, with over 1000 participants, and many more who engaged with the conference virtually through social media.Dr Saleemul Huq, Director, ICCCAD
Dr. Huq further outlined several plans for the future, broken down in national and international plans.
Nationally, Gobeshona will work on five initiatives: (1) Climate change and the circular economy, particularly on managing waste and efficiency in the garment industry; (2) Expanding Gobeshona to sub regional groups in Sylhet and Khulna; (3) Forecast-based actions to improve our ability to provide information to communities before disaster events; (4) Nature-based solutions that emphasize development pathways that are based in ecosystems and are not destructive; and (5) Developing a national mechanism for Loss and Damage that can inform the UN negotiations in Glasgow this year.
Internationally, he outlined three plans: (1) In conjunction with LUCCC, learning through the Locally Led Adaptation Track, launched by Ban Ki Moon at the conference’s inaugural session; (2) With the help of iied, supporting the LDC group in the UNFCCC negotiations; and (3) Working with Harvard to engage on the issue of solar radiation management. Dr. Huq ended by inviting all participants to attend the next Gobeshona conference from 21-24 January 2021.
The Special Guests of the ceremony were Dr. Andrew Norton, Director, IIED; Ms. Sheela Patel, Chair, SDI; Phento Tshering, Bhutan, Representative of LDC Chair.
Dr. Norton stated that “2020 needs to be a breakthrough year” for climate change and articulated several priorities in relation to climate change in 2020. Ms. Patel said that dealing with climate must be a long-term process that centers social justice in a decarbonized world. Mr. Tshering emphasized that he was impressed by the amount of research being done in Bangladesh by local researchers and that they aspire to emulate that work in the rest of the LDC constituency. In particular, research projects must be translated into action for climate change, but for that support is needed from wealthier countries.
The Chief Guest of the Ceremony was Mr. Saber Hossain Choudhury, MP & Chairman Standing, Committee of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of Bangladesh. Mr. Choudhury began his remarks noting that he is impressed each year at how this conference enlarges its footprint: in the number of participants, in the depth that is covered, and in the scope – from national to international to global. He spoke of the importance of proper research in Bangladesh to aid in policy making, especially since Bangladesh is a climate vulnerable country.
Prof. David Keith, Professor Harvard University delivered a keynote speech on the idea of solar geoengineering, which attempts to add particles to the atmosphere to reflect some sunlight. He spoke of the risks associated wiht such technology, however, he believes that we must still explore the topic despite its controversies. Dr. Keith noted that in 20 years, solar geoengineering might be seen as a separate piece of climate action.
Then, Mr. A Matin Chowdhury, Chairman, Board of Trustees, IUB delivered a vote of thanks on behalf of the host institution. Mr. Chowdhury thanked everyone for coming to the conference, noting the diversity across disciplines. He thanked ICCCAD for helping put IUB on the map, and for hosting a conference like Gobeshona which will help further IUB’s goal of building strong leaders for the country.
Lastly, the conference was conluded by the Coordinator of Gobeshona, Mr Adnan Ibne Abdul Qader, who thanked all the attendees for their presence.