DHAKA- The 3rd Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Media Summit on climate change and disaster risk reduction ended here on Thursday calling upon the media outlets and journalists for playing more proactive role to draw the global attention towards the climate risk and the effective initiatives for its mitigation.
"Commit ourselves to taking positive and proactive measures in our own organisations in producing creative, quality radio and television programmes to address the ever-evolving issues, thereby seeking to encourage the mitigation of potentially catastrophic implications for societies and lifestyles," the Dhaka Deceleration, adopted in the summit, said.
The two-day summit, hosted by Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar, drew a total of 271 representatives, including 41 foreign participants from the broadcast media, government disaster management agencies, meteorological services, international organizations, NGOs and community leaders.
Fifteen foreign participant countries were Afghanistan, Australia, Bhutan, China, Fiji, Japan, Malaysia, the Maldives, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States and Vietnam.
In the Dhaka Declaration, the participants agreed to support international moves to further disseminate vital data on climate change and disaster risk reduction to the widest possible radio, television and online audiences throughout the world.
The Declaration called upon the broadcasters to take cognizance of the human costs of inaction, especially as these relate to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), community involvement in disaster management and the need to address poverty alleviation.
It also urged to adopt 'a whole of society approach' to help integrate governments, civil society, research institutions, international agencies and other stakeholders with broadcasting organisations so professional, accurate and cogent messages are made available for public information, education, action and the broader global conversation.
All parties of the media summit called for placing the Dhaka Declaration commitment before the United Nations global platform for Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Cancun, Mexico from May 24 to 26 this year.
While announcing Dhaka Declaration, the ABU has also invited all broadcasters, stakeholders and fellow interested parties to gather in the South Pacific nation of Fiji in 2018 for the 4th ABU Media Summit on climate change and disaster risk reduction.
At the closing session of the media summit, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and it had already started taking different adaptive measures including developing saline and flood tolerant varieties of rice to cope with adverse impact of the climate change.
Terming the issue of climate change a global phenomenon, he urged global and regional leaders for reaching a consensus on reducing carbon emission to avert negative impact of environmental degradation.
"We should also remove gender inequality as children and women are the most vulnerable ones to any natural calamities caused by climate change impact", the information minister said.
Secretary General of ABU Dr Javad Mottaghi, Director General of Bangladesh Television SM Haroon-or-Rashid, communication specialists from home and abroad, among others, were present at the closing session.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)