The Netherlands expressed their eagerness to support Bangladesh in land reclamation and river dredging in Bangladesh for mitigating long-term flood risks. This was conveyed to Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal during his meeting with the Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment Melanie Schultz in The Hague today.
During the meeting, both the Dutch Minister and Bangladesh Ambassador expressed satisfaction at the expanding and fast growing bilateral relations between the two countries following the official visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Netherlands in November 2015 and the twin-ministerial visit to Bangladesh in June 2015 by Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment Melanie Schultz and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen. Referring to the signing of three important instruments between the two sides in June 2015 on resilient and sustainable delta management for a prosperous Bangladesh, collaboration in land reclamation and land accretion in Bangladesh, and partnership on knowledge and innovation for sustainable development, the Dutch Minister assured Bangladesh Ambassador of taking measures for early implementation of the instruments specially on land reclamation and accretion. Both sides agreed to initiate commencing pilot/demonstration projects in this regard, specifically on land reclamation in and around Chittagong Port. The Dutch Minister also assured to look into the Bangladesh’s proposals for estuary development and potential cross dam projects for land reclamation in the coastal zone of Bangladesh.
Thanking the Dutch Minister for the Netherlands’ support to Bangladesh in water sector since 1960s, Bangladesh Ambassador requested the Dutch Minister to reinvigorate their support in implementing Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 as well. The Ambassador also sought Dutch support under the broader framework of Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 for mitigating long-term flood risks through basin-wide water management, river-dredging, capacity building of Bangladesh River Research Institute and knowledge development through education and training. The Dutch Minister assured to continue their support in implementing Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 to better manage water resources of Bangladesh and mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change. The Dutch Minister also suggested that countries of our region can learn from the experience of Europe how the upper and lower riparian European countries have mitigated flood risks in Europe through close cooperation.
Ms. Melanie Schultz, Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Netherlands highly appreciated Bangladesh’s leadership role in the Delta Coalition.