Dhaka, 10 August 2009 (IUCN) – School children from the coastal district of Noakhali delivered messages of climate change adaptation, through a theatrical performance to an audience in Dhaka.
Applause and laughter filled the auditorium of the Bangladesh Shishu Academy (Bangladesh Children's Academy) as the stage came alive with the story of 'Ebar Rana Bhai Bolchen' (Let's hear Rana Bhai). The performance emphasized the importance of being prepared for severe weather events and presented practical ways in which communities can learn to live and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate.
The content of the play was developed with assistance of the Noakhali students, who provided suggestions for the script and music. The central character Rana Bhai, a native bull frog or shona bang, was created from the children’s imagination, with guidance of the IUCN Bangladesh (IUCNB) staff.
Rana Bhai is an ambassador for climate change and is part of a comprehensive program titled ‘Awareness and Education on the Impacts of Climate Change and Variability for the Central Coastal Char Communities in Bangladesh’.
The students of Obaidullah Memorial High School of Noakhali district have performed 'Ebar Rana Bhai Bolchen' several times at other schools throughout their district, however this was the first performance in Dhaka.
Welcoming the guests, Dr. Ainun Nishat, Country Representative for IUCNB briefly described the project activities. Mr Pieter Terpstra from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands expressed his recognition of the importance of promoting awareness of climate change adaptation and congratulated the students, drama staff and the IUCNB on the success of the project based in Noahkali.
The audience included representatives from the CDSP III, national NGOs, researchers, academics, media members and small children.
Following the performance Dr. Nishat presented the students with awards for their participation in the drama.
IUCNB is partnering with the Char Development and Settlement Project (CDSP) III with the aim of enhancing the capacity of coastal communities, by education and raising awareness of climate change, with a focus on adaptation. The project is funded by the Netherlands Government.
The IUCNB welcomes new partnerships and initiatives to use Rana Bhai to continue to raise awareness and expand modes of delivery of his message.