Bangladesh: On the Frontlines of Climate Change

I was in Bangladesh telling the story of how this country is on the frontlines of climate change. I have a feature length documentary coming out soon, but here is a short I did for Oxfam about how one village is being impacted by the changing weather and what they are doing to adapt. The full length film is showing in Portland, Maine at the Portland Film Fest, Saturday, October 4, 2012.

Right now Bangladesh is a catastrophe playing out in slow motion.  It may appear far away, but our planet’s ecosystem is an intricate web. Whether it becomes a model for the future or one of the great human tragedies of our time depends on the choices we make now.   Its destiny will be determined not necessarily by rising sea levels, but by the behavior of its citizens, neighbors and outside powers.   Bangladesh could be disastrous scene or it just might be a model of how humanity copes with extreme environmental changes.

The village of South Tetulbaria in the Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh, relies on fishing but climate change threatens this way of life. In November 2010 Mamtaz Begum, a young widow from Barguna, stood up and demanded justice for vulnerable communities near to the Bay of Bengal at a ‘Climate Tribunal’ in the capital, Dhaka.

The climate tribunals are developing the idea that those responsible for climate change, can and should be held accountable through the law. Specifically they explore the possibilities for using national laws to hold governments and other private actors accountable for the impacts of the changing climate on vulnerable communities.

Learn more about Oxfam’s Climate Change Campaign