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Bangladesh climate hearing: the people speak out for justice

Photo: Ami Vitale, courtesy:

Across Bangladesh millions of people are reliant on stable weather patterns for their food, livelihoods and safety. Approximately 63% of Bangladesh’s labour force works in the agriculture and fishing sector. This means that even small changes in the climate can destroy the very lands and crops which provide both food and work for almost two thirds the population.

Although these realities seem daunting, people in Bangladesh are not only working extremely hard to adapt and increase their resilience, but also to address the reasons why they are experiencing this change – that is, to seek accountability and fair contribution from those who have contributed most to climate change.

On November 8, 2010 Oxfam supported local partners to bring together communities from all over Bangladesh, along with climate and legal experts, to look at the impacts of climate change, with a focus on the coastal fishers’ community in the Bay of Bengal. The conclusion of Climate Hearing was unequivocal, “governments of the responsible industrialized (high emitting) countries need to understand the sufferings of millions of climate victims and to take required responsive measures immediately.”

The people of Bangladesh have only contributed a tiny amount to climate change, just 0.1% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, yet they are amongst the hardest hit.

Read the conclusions from the Bangladesh Climate Hearing
Read the stories of fisher folk from the Bay of Bengal

Photo: Ami Vitale, courtesy: