On December 11, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formally launched the new Global Hub on Locally Led Adaptation (LLA) in Dhaka along with the foreign minister and environment minister, and Ban Ki-Moon, head of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA). The new Global Hub on LLA will be located in the Dhaka office of the GCA, which is located in the Department of Environment (DOE) headquarters in Dhaka’s Agargaon area. The office was set up earlier to provide support on adaptation, knowledge-sharing, and capacity-building for the South Asian countries and has already received some funding from the government of the United Kingdom to start its work in Bangladesh.
The activities in Bangladesh will involve supporting Brac in promoting LLA as well as supporting the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) for a publication on LLA based on the outputs from the Gobeshona Global Conference on Locally Led Adaptation and Resilience held earlier this year. Going forward, the Global Hub in Dhaka will link together all the government ministries with NGOs and other stakeholders in Bangladesh and South Asia to promote bottom-up capacity-building on adaptation in different climate-vulnerable ecosystems of the country as well as the region in a nature-based solutions (NbS) way.
At the same time, the Global Hub will also provide knowledge-sharing with the GCA adaptation acceleration programmes in Africa and Asia, which are already in progress.
The main reason why the GCA chose their regional office in Dhaka as the Global Hub for LLA was the recognition of Bangladesh as a global leader in LLA and to enable the other countries in the Global South to learn from Bangladesh.
Some of the key features that the Global Hub will focus on both in South Asia as well as for South-South knowledge-sharing will involve local communities in both urban and rural settings. They will be given genuine opportunities to become leaders in adaptation instead of just being recipients of top-down funding from the central government or international donors. This means local communities will be involved in design, planning, implementation and even monitoring and evaluation of results of adaptation investments.
Secondly, it will involve peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing within each country and across countries both in South Asia and beyond. A South Asian network on LLA has already been launched on December 11. At the same time, peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing has already started between the urban slum dwellers in Mongla and in Nairobi in Kenya to promote knowledge-sharing with Africa.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the role of the Global Hub will be to leverage large-scale investment in adaptation through LLA from major funders such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB), as well as others.
As Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in her opening remarks, Bangladesh is willing to share its knowledge with vulnerable communities through LLA, while also trying to leverage the hundreds of billions of dollars that have been promised by the developed countries to support adaptation in the developing countries of the Global South.
If a significant portion of that funding can be channelled towards LLA across the Global South, then the Global Hub will be a success.
Originally this article was published on December 20, 2022 at Daily Star. The author Prof. Saleemul Huq is the director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB).