I am Sanjidul Islam and I am 15 years old.
I live with my parents. I am studying at Charfassion Govt. College. My parents and my teachers always encourege me to fight against climate change.
My home district Bhola, which is an island in the coastal zone of Bangladesh.
According to a UNICEF report on climate change, Bhola is the area at highest risk out of the twenty districts of Bangladesh which are severely threatened by climate change. Within Bhola district the coastal communities of Monpura, Dhalchar and Kukri-Mukri are already being particularly badly affected by storms, floods and other natural disasters every single year.
Bangladesh is a beautiful country known for its wonderfully verdant, peaceful rural scenes. Yet the beauty of Bangladesh is steadily being destroyed.
The country faces many different challenges and at present the Rohingya crisis is its biggest headache.
This too has its environmental implications. A huge number of trees in the Chittagong hills have been cut down in order to provide shelter for the Rohingya refugees, a large tract of countryside has been turned into a vast slum. Even the famous and previously unspoilt beach at Cox’s Bazar has become polluted. At the same time trees in the virgin forests of the Sundarban are being cut down at an unprecedented rate, the sea level is rising and plastic pollution is threatening all our waterways. And an alarming decrease in biodiversity is taking place before our eyes.
I love our beautiful world. I love nature and I love Bangladesh. But the environmental threats facing my country give me great pain. I am horrified by the speed at which climate change is destroying the world around me; I cannot sit still and close my eyes.
I have decided I must do everything I can to work for climate justice. Along with the other members of my organization, Little Citizens for Climate, I am working to raise awareness about climate change, pollution, waste and all the related environmental issues.
I appeal to people everywhere – please try to understand the gravity of what is happening to our planet, and consider what changes you can make to your own lifestyle in order to reduce damage to our forests, our seas and the global atmosphere.
The lives of young people like myself depend on it.