COP28 Session Photo (1)

Climate Change Programme

Dec 3, 2023

Dubai, December 03, 2023: The fourth day of the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) focused on the critical theme of "Health, Relief, Recovery, and Peace." SAJIDA Foundation played an active role throughout the day, sharing case studies and insights from their work with climate-vulnerable communities in Bangladesh.

Strategies in Climate Financing: Empowering Sustainable Development in Africa:

Zahida Fizza Kabir, CEO of SAJIDA Foundation, was a key speaker at the COP28 panel, "Strategies in Climate Financing: Empowering Sustainable Development in Africa" held in Dubai.

Joining Ms. Kabir on the panel were Ndileka Mandela, granddaughter of former South African President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nelson Mandela; Hon. Rohey John Manjang, Minister of Environment, Climate Change, and Natural Resources of the Republic of the Gambia; and Ahmed Abdelaal, CEO of Mashreq Bank Group.

The panel highlighted climate finance's crucial role in Africa's sustainable development, focusing on innovative mechanisms like green bonds and market leveraging, and emphasising the financial sector's key role in building climate resilience.

Drawing upon SAJIDA Foundation's UTTARAN programme as an exemplar, Ms. Kabir emphasised the criticality of comprehensive community mobilisation in building climate resilience. She further highlighted the importance of microbusiness development, integrating women's empowerment into climate action, and employing innovative financing models to aid marginalised communities facing climate change impacts. Ms. Kabir also shed light on SAJIDA's approach of integrating primary healthcare and healthcare financing into climate resilience programmes.

"Our initiatives are geared towards recognising and bridging gaps to generate meaningful impact," Ms. Kabir emphasised. "In Bangladesh, international funding is a key component of a robust public-private partnership and establishing a collaborative framework is essential to navigate challenges collectively. Despite being among the world's most climate-vulnerable nations, Bangladesh is making significant progress towards middle-income status. However, the primary challenge lies in securing sufficient funds while minimising aid dependency on our vulnerable population. It is imperative for us to unite and leverage the combined power of both public and private sectors to overcome these challenges," she said.

Collapsing Time and Space: Technology and Climate Smart Disaster Response & Just Transition: Perspectives from the Global South:

Dr Samiya A. Selim, Advisor to SAJIDA Foundation's Climate Change Programme, actively participated in two insightful sessions at the event. The first session, titled "Collapsing Time and Space: Technology and Climate Smart Disaster Response," explored innovative technological solutions for efficient and rapid climate-resilient disaster response.

In the second session, "Just Transition: Perspectives from the Global South," Dr Selim engaged in discussions about a fair and inclusive transition to a sustainable future within the context of climate change. The session discussed social justice, economic inclusivity, and community empowerment, with a focus on perspectives emerging from the Global South.

Health Climate Resilience: An Integrated Approach for Balancing Sustainable Healthcare and Economic Harmony:

Tajwar Hoque, Director-Development Programmes of SAJIDA Foundation, participated in the session titled "Health Climate Resilience: An Integrated Approach for Balancing Sustainable Healthcare and Economic Harmony" and emphasised the crucial role of integrated health climate resilience strategies.

This session reflected that by integrating climate change considerations into healthcare planning, infrastructure development, and community engagement, communities can build resilient and sustainable healthcare systems, protect vulnerable populations, and create new economic opportunities aligned with environmental protection.

Climate Resilience in Action:

On December 02, Sarah Iqbal, Senior Investment Manager-Impact Partners at SAJIDA Foundation, was among the speakers at the session "Climate Resilience in Action." Other speakers at the event included Rowan Douglas CBE, CEO of Climate Risk and Resilience at Howden Group Holdings Limited, and Luca Torre, Founder and Co-CEO of GAWA Capital.

At COP28, the SAJIDA team will share case studies and learnings from their interventions in the form of multi-tiered community-based mental health services and technology-driven physical health services.

SAJIDA's Climate Change Programme (CCP) is also implementing climate-resilient livelihood opportunities, green skills development, and developing nature-based solutions for integrated farming. Additionally, they are creating opportunities for cohabiting people and biodiversity in riverine and coastal areas of Bangladesh.

COP28 Session Photo (2)
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