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Rising sea levels would submerge third of Bangladesh

by Staff Writers
Dhaka (AFP) Sept 25, 2007
A one-metre rise in sea levels would submerge a third of Bangladesh and displace millions, the head of the country's military-backed government has warned.

Fakhruddin Ahmed, speaking on Monday at a climate change summit at the United Nations in New York, called on richer nations to help poorer countries tackle global warming.

"Today we are confronted with the difficult reality that the phenomenon of climate change is not a myth and that its impacts are no more a conjecture," the state-run BSS news agency quoted Fakhruddin saying.

"I speak for Bangladesh and many others who are on the threshold of a climate Armageddon, foretold by increasingly violent and unpredictable weather patterns".

"A one-metre sea level rise will submerge about one-third of the total area of Bangladesh thereby uprooting 25 to 30 million of our people," Fakhruddin said.

Low-lying Bangladesh has a population of 144 million, 40 percent of whom live on less than a dollar a day.

"Developing countries cannot afford to bear the full cost of technological upgradation of their economies. The post-Kyoto regime must generate new funds. It must also ensure transfer of these technologies to countries like Bangladesh," Fakhruddin said.

Bangladesh has been under emergency rule since January, when the military- backed government took power a day after elections were cancelled because of vote-rigging allegations.

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Africa flooding spreads, 22 countries hit: UN
Geneva (AFP) Sept 24, 2007
Flooding across a swathe of Africa now affects 22 countries, including Ethiopia, Niger and Sudan where the situation has worsened in recent days, the United Nations said Monday.

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