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Global leadership, S Asian partners urged to act for quick return of Rohingyas

Rohingyas affecting ecosystem in Cox’s Bazar, says FM

 Rohingya Crisis

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“It’s the responsibility of the global leadership, especially our South Asian partners, to do more to ensure their quick return to Myanmar,” he said.

The Foreign Minister was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the 15th Meeting of the Governing Council of the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) at a city hotel.

Bangladesh has given shelter to forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar in its 6,800 acres of forest land in Cox’s Bazar.

“It’s in an extremely vulnerable location, their presence is affecting our ecosystem,” Dr Momen said.

He said it is an issue solely between Myanmar and its own people and “they themselves have to resolve it”.

He said the voluntary return of Rohingyas to their homes in Rakhine State in safety, security and dignity is the only solution to the crisis.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin, Indian Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Keshav Javadekar, Minister of State for Environment, Republic of Maldives Ahmed Mujthaba, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Habibun Nahar, Director General, SACEP (South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme) Abas Basir, among others, were also present.

Dr Momen said protected and restored ecosystems and the biodiversity can help mitigate climate change and provide increased resilience in the face of mounting human pressures and natural disasters.

He said healthy ecosystems produce multiple benefits for communities that rely on them.

The SDGs focus on preserving and sustainably using the earth’s terrestrial species and ecosystems.

He said achieving SDGs will critically depend on the availability of resources and rock solid political commitment.

“To achieve sustainable development goals by 2030, we need to strengthen our commitment to work collectively in partnership in mobilising resources, both finance and technology, and utilising available knowledge and information for mutual betterment,” he said.

Dr Momen said he personally sees a vast area of possible cooperation under the aegis of SACEP.

“Our active collaboration and cooperation will be very crucial for successful implementation of the SDGs as well as the Paris Climate Agreement,” he said.