UNDP film gives voice to Thirty Million

A UNDP-funded documentary on the threat sea-level rise poses to 30 million Bangladeshis will premiere in New York City on Monday 13th June.

Bangladesh is predicted to lose 17% of its land by the end of the century if global sea levels rise by one metre. That would displace 30 million Bangladeshis.

The film, Thirty Million, was co-directed by British climate scientist Dr Daniel Price – who last year cycled from New Zealand to Paris as part of the Pole to Paris campaign – and New Zealand TV journalist Adrien Taylor.

Following the screening in New York (details below), the 35 minute film will be available to watch worldwide for free at thirtymillionfilm.org.

“It’s hard for people to grasp the enormity of the issue when we talk about 30 million Bangladeshis at risk of being displaced by climate change and rising seas,” says Dr Price.

“It’s almost ten times the amount of people who have left Syria throughout the crisis there.”

“We’re on the cusp of seeing major human migrations driven by climate change,” adds Mr Taylor.

“The Pentagon has already identified this is a major threat to global security and peace.

“New Zealand had the world’s first case of a person applying for climate refugee status, and this is something we will see again and again as boatloads of displaced people start making their way to safer countries.”

In terms of the number of people affected, Bangladesh is widely considered the most vulnerable country to climate change in the world because of its coastal, low-lying nature and dense population.

India has built the world’s longest border fence between itself and Bangladesh, virtually shutting off Bangladeshis from the rest of the world by land travel. That means millions may take to the seas in search of safer places less affected by climate change.

“The people of Bangladesh are on the front lines of climate change. Humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions are affecting them today. We wanted to give these people a voice, and ultimately, show the rest of the world that our actions in displacing them will also affect us in the West when they come seeking refuge,” says Dr Price.

It takes more than forty Bangladeshis to emit the equivalent in carbon dioxide of one American, according to the World Bank.

“These people have contributed virtually nothing to the problem of climate change, yet are facing the harshest punishment for our actions, or rather: inaction,” says Mr Taylor.

“Although we can pass it off as their problem, the point is it’s morally our problem right now.”




Source: UNDP