Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina Selected for UN Champions of Earth Award

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been selected for the UN Champions of the Earth Award in the Policy Leadership category for her far-reaching initiatives in Bangladesh to make climate change matters of national priority.

The award ceremony is scheduled on September 27, 2015 in New York.

UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which confers the awards noted that Bangladesh has a population of 159 million people, making it one of the most thickly populated countries of the world.

The country is also heavily subjected to climate change leading to floods, droughts and cyclones that cause an enormous impact on the people.

But in the recent years, under the leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina, many investments and policy initiatives have made it possible for the country to face its challenge of climate change at the core of its development.

She has also been recognised for achieving social and economic development by making these investments.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner stated that Hasina’s initiatives were preparing the current and future generation of Bangladeshis to face the climate change risks and also reverse the impacts of environmental degradation.

The award cites that Bangladesh was the first developing country to coordinate Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan of 2009 and also the first one to set up its own Climate Change Trust Fund under Hasina’s leadership.

At present, Bangladesh government also gives 6-7% of its annual budget on climate change adaption.

Moreover, the country’s constitution was also amended in 2011 to protect the environment and natural resources for its residents.

This award is the highest environmental accolade given to the people or organisations for their outstanding work by United Nations.