Climate change threatens the wider sustainable development agenda to end poverty, child mortality, ensure universal primary education for all children and enhance gender equality. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically aims at Climate Change- Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts- and sets targets including minimizing the disruptions caused by climate change to effectively achieve all the global goals.
A large part of the population in Bangladesh live in ecologically fragile parts of the country around the coastal belt and is thus at heightened risk for the impact of climate change. Sea levels are also predicted to rise by as much as 3.5 metres by 2100, leading to a huge loss of productive land in a country where nearly a quarter of the territory is less than 2 metres above sea level.
The 2011 census counts that adolescents constitute more than one-fifth of the population of Bangladesh—with 13.7 million girls and 14 million boys. There is currently no strong global institutional framework to address children’s unique vulnerabilities to climate change. Although National plans and policies exist, they fail to address the specific needs, knowledge and skills that education among children can offer to mitigate and adapt to climate change and other disasters
The aim of this project – “Children on the Frontline: Advocacy and Adaptation of the impact of Climate Change” – is to empower adolescents in Monpura, Bhola so that they can play a significant role in motivating communities towards demanding their rights and attainment of climate change adaptation and mitigation schemes being implemented across Bangladesh. Upon completion of their training on climate change knowledge and tools for advocacy and communications, the young people will be documenting the impacts of climate change in their environment and communities. Through the project, these young people will be promoting their stories on the project website and through various forms of social media. They will also be presenting their stories at a Youth Conference that will be organized in Barishal February 2017. This is one of the first of this type of project involving youth in climate change action in Bangladesh. The lessons learned from this project gained understanding of climate change and adaption will be applied to future projects in the area.