Dhaka, 16 September 2009 (IUCN) – IUCN Bangladesh Country Office received an official visit from the IUCN Asia Regional Director Ms Aban Kabraji in early September.
Accompanied by Dr. Zakir Hussain, Director (IUCN Constituency Development), Ms Kabraji began her comprehensive itinerary by meeting with the local IUCN Bangladesh staff and formally welcoming Dr. Niaz Ahmed Khan as the new Country Representative to Bangladesh.
Notably, during her visit Ms Kabraji was honoured to be received by Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus. Ms Kabraji expressed her gratitude for his commitment to support IUCN’s missions and values and for his insightful as well as invigorating ideas regarding social business opportunities in the environment and natural resource management sectors. Ms Kabraji had also the opportunity to meet and personally thank donors who provide generous support to key IUCN projects based in regional Bangladesh. Meeting with Dr. Urs Herren, Ambassador to Switzerland, Ms Kabraji acknowledged the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s continued support for the second phase of the Tanguar Haor Project in the north-east of Bangladesh, which has become a flagship initiative of IUCN. The Ambassador to the Netherlands Mr. Alphons Hennekens, also received the IUCN delegation and was offered special thanks for supporting the climate change adaptation and awareness activities in Noakhali over the last three years. A discussion with Dr Mihir Kanti Mazumdar, Secretary, Ministry of Environment andForest was also arranged. Ms Kabraji acknowledged the Government’s support to various IUCN Bangladesh programmes in particular to the Sustainable Management of Tanguar Haor. In addition to further administrative meetings with local IUCN staff, Ms Kabraji met with the IUCN Bangladesh National Committee, members and partners forming a community of environmental experts who contribute to IUCN's knowledge base, provide project support and advice in the selection of IUCN Bangladesh priorities. Taking advantage of the presence of the IUCN Asia Regional Director in Bangladesh, Mr. Baizid Ahmed, Senior Staff Reporter for RTV (a leading national private TV Channel) interviewed Ms Kabraji. The interview focussed on climate change issues and the importance for increasing community awareness and knowledge of adaptation strategies.