Delta Coalition Dhaka Declaration. We, the Ministers and High Representatives from Argentina, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Japan, Mozambique, Myanmar, Republic of Korea, The Netherlands, The Philippines, and Vietnam from across the continents of the world, having assembled at Dhaka, Bangladesh on 29 July 2017,
Acknowledging that River deltas comprise roughly five percent of global land area and are home to more than 500 million people. Delta regions are major contributors to national economies and the deltaic ecosystem shapes a dynamic ecological and social environments as well as socio-cultural dynamics of the population of delta regions,
Acknowledging in the same vein that financing is indispensible for implementation of sustainable delta solutions and that Responding to the climate challenge requires adaptation and collective actions from all countries, private sectors, bilateral development partners, and international financial institutions and funds,
Recalling the event held in Sendai in March 2015 on ‘Building an International Coalition for Integrated Delta Management and Resilience’, co-hosted by the Netherlands, Colombia and Japan conceiving the idea for an intergovernmental coalition for the delta countries to address the challenges that the deltaic countries face,
Recalling also the first Ministerial Declaration of the Delta Coalition in Rotterdam, The Netherlands on 10 May 2016 outlining the exigency of having the Coalition for addressing climate change adaptation and sustainable delta development and protecting coastal ecosystems and the wellbeing of the people of the deltaic regions,
Recognizing the importance to be fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN New Urban Agenda, while noting the Marrakech Action Proclamation for Climate and Sustainable Development,
Expressing resolve in harnessing the potential of togetherness in the pursuit of improving lives and livelihoods and resilience of the people in the buildup of the coastal areas in various ways,
Acknowledging that climate change and its impact, as well as natural causes and unplanned and unmanaged human development activities, demographic change, upstream activities, critical infrastructure on the water bodies, rapid and unplanned urbanization are seriously affecting deltas, marine and coastal ecosystems, biodiversity and ecosystem services, and disrupting lives and livelihoods of the people in the deltaic regions and coastal zones,
Expressing deep concern at the findings of the 5th Assessment report of the IPCC that owing to climate change, the urban areas will face increased risks inter-alia, for people, health, assets and economies and that rural areas will experience major impact on water availability and supply, food security, infrastructure, agricultural income including the shifts in the production areas of food and non-food crops which will affect the achievements in food and water security, poverty reduction, raising the income level of the people in the deltaic regions and coastal zones. Financing is indispensible for implementation of sustainable delta solutions. Responding to the climate challenge requires collective action from all countries, cities, businesses, and private citizen,
Acknowledging the fact that coastal flooding, sea level rise and low discharge from the upstream river causing salinity intrusion leads to disruption of fresh water aquatic systems, pattern of food crop cultivation and livelihoods, migration of the coastal people, and loss of life and property, which are being exacerbated by extreme climate events like storm, cyclone, flood, drought, heat wave etc.
Underlining the exigency of fostering closer cooperation among the deltaic countries irrespective of socio-politico-economic setting and dynamics at sub-regional, regional and international levels to address the issues of deltas and trans-boundary rivers,
Reaffirming our commitment to the principles of international law, in particular the principle of no harm and to the established criteria applied by international institutions in relation to water related projects that have cross-border impacts,
Acknowledging the specific and common obstacles as well as diverse geopolitical realities and challenges that are inherent to the deltaic countries can be addressed if delta countries work together with strong political resolve and commitment at sub-regional, regional and international levels,
Decide to –
1. Express our resolve to increase and demonstrate the visibility of the Coalition in various multilateral and international conferences and programmes.
2. Commit to raise awareness at national levels in the deltaic countries in tandem with the civil society, academia and experts, funding agencies and private sectors with a view to promoting and deploying pragmatic response to the pressing delta issues and climate change.
3. Drive to include new members and observers, and develop relations with civil society and academia in order to strengthen and enhance the knowledge base of the Coalition.
4. Strengthen mutual cooperation in formulating bankable projects and practicable policies at national level in the member countries and to adopt befitting solutions and financing of those to address the critical challenges of the Deltas and coastal zones.
5. Forge cooperation among the members to deal with the issues relevant to Deltaic water governance at sub-regional, regional, multilateral and international level.
6. Emphasize on generating adaptive livelihoods and water management practices in the coastal regions where various manifestations of the adverse impacts of climate change are obvious.
7. Commit to work together in the backdrop of the impacts of climate change, risks and vulnerability of the deltaic countries to extreme climate events like flood, cyclone and drought and slow onset events like sea level rise and ground water salination, and thereby adopt preventive, adaptive and resilience measures and undertake project based activities, programmes.
8. Agree on developing planned urbanization and sustainably manage the urbanized areas as well as promote inclusive and sustainable rural economies in the deltaic region and coastal zones.
9. Agree to pursue integrated development and sustainable delta management and cross border cooperation for basin wide management of the trans-boundary/international rivers and initiate/continue discussions at regional, sub-regional and international levels despite having divergent pursuits and realities of various countries.
10. Agree to actively address the situation emanating from the permanent loss of cultivable land and human habitats owing to coastal soil erosion, sea level rise and coastal flooding, land subsidence owing to over extraction of underground water.
11. Commit to undertake programmes for the deltaic population to cease the ongoing migration and displacement of coastal people.
12. Strengthen efforts to mobilize funding from private sector, bilateral development partners, and international financing institutions and funds for inclusive and sustainable development and management of the deltas.
13. Resolve to develop strategic partnership with global key financial institutions, potential civil society organizations and foundations in order to mobilize financing for climate change adaptation, disaster risks reduction measures, water infrastructure development and management, knowledge development, training and exchange programme, and capacity building.
14. Extend mutual assistance and cooperation in research and innovation, and technical and technological support with a view to realizing the project based activities on climate change adaptation and critical delta issues as well as other specific and common goals in the water sector of the member countries.
15. Share knowledge and information, best practices and exchange programme at expert and academic levels from both public and private sectors as well as from civil society.
16. Work for the widest dissemination of Delta Coalition Dhaka Declaration among all relevant national, regional and international actors and stakeholders.
17. Adopt the following:
a. Terms of Reference of the Delta Coalition and
b. Action Plan of the Delta Coalition for 2017-2022.
18. We welcome Egypt as new prospected Chair in Office after Bangladesh, followed by Japan.
19. We welcome also Argentina as new core member of the Delta Coalition.
20. Express our deep appreciation to the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for hosting the Second Ministerial Conference and working group meeting, and extending warm hospitality to the delegates and infusing practicable ideas to carry forward the agenda of the Coalition.