In view of the Climate Summit 2021, we recall your work
Bangladesh. Padmapukur. 2009. On the 'char' (silt island) of Padmapukur, in the Ganges delta. Hurricane Aila destroyed the dikes, causing daily flooding in communities. Caption and photo by Jonas Bendiksen. All rights reserved to him and National Geographic magazine.

Nthe occurrence of the Meeting of Heads of State of the Climate Summit (the Leaders Summit on Climate, which starts today, 22, and ends on Friday, 23) and Earth Day, we revisit the photographic work The approaching storm, by Jonas Bendiksen, published together with a report by journalist Don Belt in National Geographic magazine, in May 2011. Two years before publication, in 2009, the village of Munshiganj (with 35 inhabitants on the southwest coast of the capital Dhaka) had been hit by Cyclone Aila. Its 70 mph winds sent a storm surge towards the coast and caught the residents of that area completely unaware. Recovery from this disaster is also shown by Bendiksen in some of his records.

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated nations on the planet. “It has more inhabitants than greater Russia geographically,” says Belt. “Then imagine Bangladesh in the year 2050. The population will probably have increased to 220 million and a good part of its current land mass could be permanently underwater”, suggests the journalist. The scenario he refers to is based on two converging projections: population growth which, despite a sharp drop in fertility, will continue to produce millions of babies for decades to come, and a possible rise in sea levels by 2100 as a result. of climate change. “Such a scenario could mean that 10 to 30 million people along the southern coast would be displaced, forcing Bangladesh to swarm further or else flee the country as climate refugees – a group predicted to increase to around 250 million worldwide. the world in the mid-21st century, many from poor, low-lying countries,” he explains.

Since Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh, several adaptations with low-cost technologies have been tried. This movement was supported by the governments of the industrialized countries that participate in this Climate Summit, ten years later, and whose greenhouse gas emissions are largely responsible for the climate change that is causing the seas to rise.

Climate Summit 2021 and Brazilian presence

The Climate Summit acts as a preliminary to COP26; By bringing together representatives from 40 countries in virtual meetings, the Summit's intention is to encourage countries to set more ambitious goals in time for the 26th United Nations Conference on Climate Change, which takes place in November this year in the United Kingdom.

Having moved from the status of reference in climate negotiations to that of pariah, Brazil participates in the event in an uncomfortable situation, aggravated by the management of Ricardo Salles at the Ministry of the Environment. The day before the Summit started, on social media there was a large demonstration calling for Salles to be removed from office using the hashtag #ForaSalles.

how do you remember William Castellar in report for the portal UOL, in 2020, deforestation in the Amazon was three times higher than the target proposed by Brazil for the 2009 Climate Convention. “Under Salles’ command, the Ministry of the Environment lost control power to prevent deforestation, invasions of indigenous areas and illegal mining” , he writes. And he recalls that “a week after the Summit, the Federal Police raised suspicions that Salles may have jeopardized an investigation that ended with the largest seizure of wood in the Amazon, at the end of 2020. A day after sending the crime news to the Federal Supreme Court, on the 14th, the superintendent of the Federal Police in Amazonas, delegate Alexandre Saraiva, was removed from office”.

Read also South African photographer Gideon Mendel produces, around the world, series that denounce climate change and its impacts on human survival, offering a kind of testimony to those portrayed (click here).

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