News | 09 Nov, 2023

In memoriam: Saleemul Huq (1952-2023)

It is with profound sorrow that we have learned of the passing of Professor Saleemul Huq, a great Bangladeshi scholar and a beacon of hope for inclusive climate resilience. He leaves behind a legacy of tireless commitment to environmental sustainability and the pursuit of a better, more equitable world.

Professor Huq was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1952. His journey through life was marked by a strong commitment to tackling one of the most critical challenges of our time: climate change. His relentless efforts, extensive expertise, and unwavering optimism made him a great inspiration to us all. His work transcended borders, as he engaged with governments, international organisations, and grassroots communities to tackle the climate crisis. He had a principled stance for climate justice, highlighting the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable communities and advocating for the rights of those most affected.

Professor Huq, who headed the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, played a key role in influencing the global discourse on climate adaptation. He was instrumental in the development of the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Loss and Damage mechanism within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). His determined endeavours helped ensure that the voices of those on the frontlines of climate change were heard and incorporated into policy discourses.

He was a great friend of IUCN and was always available to provide his expertise in our efforts striving towards a sustainable and just world. Until his last days he contributed immensely to guide the robust application of the IUCN Global Standard for Nature-based Solutions in his capacity as a member of the International Standards Committee.

As we remember and celebrate Professor Saleemul Huq’s life, we need to acknowledge the urgency of his life's work. Climate change remains a profound threat to our planet and its inhabitants. We need to forward his mission for a just transition and inclusive sustainable development.

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