The university organised the programme on its campus in Dhaka’s Bashundhara on Sunday after his recent recognition as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, by the British government.
Huq, who teaches environmental science and management and is founder-director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development at IUB, was named in the British government’s New Year’s Honours List earlier this year.
Shamsul Alam, state minister for planning, who attended the programme as chief guest, said, “Bangladesh is the only country in this century to have prepared a 100-year Delta Plan to face the climate adversaries that will be upon us very soon. I worked together with Prof Huq while making that plan and had a very important role to play in formulating that plan.”
British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Dickson was a special guest at the event.
Dickson said the order and the honours system was a way for the wider UK community to provide recognition for extraordinary work and that was what the UK had done by awarding the OBE honour to Prof Huq.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury, who chairs the parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said: “The way Prof Huq perseveres is something that I have always found quite remarkable, especially when it comes to the matter of loss and damage for the developing countries.”
Abul Kalam Azad, former principal secretary to the prime minister and currently a special envoy of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, or CVF, said Prof Huq had always supported the CVF and all its presidencies for more than 10 years. “For that, CVF will be eternally grateful to him.”
A Matin Chowdhury, former chair of the IUB Board of Trustees, IUB vice-chancellor Tanweer Hasan and others spoke in the programme.
“I truly believe that Bangladesh has the ability to be a global leader on the impacts of climate change. We’re not just victims anymore. We are not just facing the problem, but now we are in the mindset of solving the problem as well,” Prof Huq said.
Bangladesh has already established a “well-recognised and well-deserved reputation” globally as a leader on adaptation to climate change, especially what we call locally-led adaptation, he said.