Climate change and related disasters cause anxiety-related reactions as well as serious mental health disorders. At the same time, people who are being forced to be displaced due to climate change are feeling various kinds of stress. Keeping this in mind, a number of studies are being conducted in Bangladesh that link climate events or disasters with mental trauma. However, there is limited information about what steps can be taken to ensure mental wellbeing after disasters faced by the people. Thus, this session is designed to create a common platform for finding possible solutions to the stress related to climate change and disasters.
The purpose of this session is to identify the mental stress caused by climate change through a frank dialogue with key national and international stakeholders and to know what can be done in the future to address this issue.
Guest Speakers and Moderators
Dr. Samiya Selim, Advisor of Climate Change and Disaster Management Unit, SAJIDA Foundation. She is an Associate Professor and the Director of Center for Sustainable Development (CSD). She has studied and worked in the UK the past 12 years in the field of environment conservation, climate change, and sustainable development. Her specialization is in the areas of ecosystem-based management, sustainable livelihoods, socio-ecological systems, climate change adaptation and resilience, ecosystem services, and science-policy interphase.
Ms. Iffat Mahmud, a public policy practitioner focusing on human development, is a senior operations officer at the World Bank’s Health, Nutrition, and Population Global Practice. She has more than 15 years of experience in South Asia and Eastern Africa—particularly in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Uganda—leading project management and policy dialogue with governments and partners. Her expertise is in advising public sector institutions on policies, strategies, and interventions; managing projects; and developing analytics. Her work spans a wide range of themes, including maternal and child health, nutrition, communicable diseases, health service delivery, institutional reforms, systems development, and emergency response. Her work includes cross-cutting areas such as climate change, water and sanitation, and social protection. She holds a bachelor of science degree in economics and a master of science degree in management from the London School of Economics and Political Science
Mr. Wameq A. Raza is a health and nutrition specialist with the World Bank’s Health, Nutrition, and Population Global Practice in Bangladesh. Before this role, he served as a poverty economist. He is an applied microeconomist with national and international experience in analytical work, program design, and implementation across eight countries in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. His thematic experiences include health and nutrition, social protection, and ultra-poverty interventions. He has published peer-reviewed articles in leading journals in the economics and health fields. Wameq holds a master’s degree in development economics from the University of Sussex and a doctorate in health economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Ms. Patricia Nayna Schwerdtle is a global public health academic specializing in climate change and health. Trish also has qualifications in health professions education and health promotion. Based at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health, her Ph.D. focuses on the nexus between climate change, migration, and health in Bangladesh and Burkina Faso. Trish advises Governments, multilateral agencies, and NGOs on climate change and health, climate-resilient health systems, and education for sustainable healthcare. With a clinical background, Trish also has experience in humanitarian governance and has been affiliated with MSF since 2007.
Ms. Mahmuda Akter has around five years of working experience in the research sectors of Bangladesh. Currently, she is Senior Research Officer, Climate Change and Disaster Unit, SAJIDA Foundation. Her work includes Climate Change Adaptation, Migration, Capacity-building, Disaster Management, and Urban Development. She has attended and facilitated both National and International level events including COP25, COP26, CBA14, CBA15, Transformation Conference 2021, GCC1.
Her MSc in Disaster Management was from the prestigious Dhaka University, and BSc in Environmental Management was from Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB).
Mr. Mohammad Budrudzaman is an aspiring researcher looking to contribute to the development sector with groundbreaking research. Currently working as a Research Assistant at the Center for Sustainable Development at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. His research interest includes social-ecological vulnerabilities in agriculture and small-scale fisheries; climate change and mental health; coastal development; sustainable governance and conflicts mitigation; use of Arts in conflict resolutions; ecosystem services; gender studies.
Ms. Farah Kabir started her career in the field of development and research; at present she is the Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh. She has research experience and a number of publications, especially on women in politics, to her credit.
Ms. Farah started her career with the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) in 1990 as a research assistant and worked as the Editor for Asia Pacific Women in Politics (APWIP) Newsletter and managed the APWIP Secretariat for two years under Centre for Analysis and Choice (CAC), a private think tank of senior professionals that work to strengthen parliamentary democracy and to improve the status of women in Bangladesh. She worked with the British Council for close to ten years both in Bangladesh as Assistant Director and in the United Kingdom (UK) as a member of the Governance Team in the post of Consultant Participative Democracy.
Ms. Kate Barnighausen is a Health Researcher, at the Institute of Public Health. Her area of expertise is Health Research. She started her career with the Research team of University College London in 2010 as a researcher. She worked at the University of Liberal Arts, University of Glasgow, Mpilonhle. Her MSc in Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV was from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, and her BSc in Geography and Politics was from the University of Gloucestershire.
Dr. Saleemul Huq is an expert in the field of climate change, environment and development. He has worked extensively in the inter-linkages between climate change mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development, from the perspective of developing countries, particularly the least developed countries (LDCs). He was a lead author of the chapter on Adaptation and Sustainable Development in the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and was one of the coordinating lead authors of ‘Inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation’ in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007). His teaching experiences include the Imperial College, the University of Dhaka and United Nations University. He was the founder and currently, the Chairman of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), a leading research and policy institute in Bangladesh.
|8:00-8:05 pm BDT||Welcome remarks by Dr. Samiya Selim|
|8:06-8:10 pm BDT||Ice-breaking session with participants|
|8:11-8:18pm BDT||Presentation 1 by Iffat Mahmud and Wameq A. Raza|
|8:19-8:26pm BDT||Presentation 2 by Patricia Nayna Schwerdtle|
|8:27-8:34pm BDT||Presentation 3 by Mahmuda Akter|
|8:35-8:42pm BDT||Presentation 4 by Mohammad Budrudzaman|
|8:43-8:50pm BDT||Reflections from discussant 1 Farah Kabir|
|8:51-8:57pm BDT||Reflections from discussant 2 Kate Barnighausen (8:51-8:57pm BDT)|
|8:58-9:17 pm BDT||Q & A Session with participants|
|9:18-9:23 pm BDT||Interactive session with participants|
|9:24-9:30pm BDT||Closing remarks by Dr. Saleemul Huq|