Thousands of Bangladeshis urge action on climate

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DHAKA, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Thousands of Bangladeshis urged big polluting nations on Tuesday to cut greenhouse gases and help low-lying countries prone to disasters adapt to powerful storms, floods and rising seas.

The calls were made during a colourful rally sponsored by the international aid agency Oxfam at Gaibandha town in northern Bangladesh to draw attention to climate change that threatens millions of vulnerable people.

More than 4,000 people holding placards and banners attended the rally and took part in a march led by elephants.

They sought to raise awareness about global warming, rising sea levels, floods and cyclones that kill thousands and make millions more homeless every year across the world.

Bangladesh, one of the world's most densely populated and poorest countries, has suffered an increase in the intensity and frequency of climate-related problems.

Repeated flooding and a devastating cyclone dealt the country a double blow last year, killing about 4,500 people and destroying nearly 3 million tonnes of foodgrains, mostly rice.

More than a million people made homeless by Cyclone Sidr a year ago are still without adequate shelter, Oxfam said.

The U.N. Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted that Bangladesh could lose nearly one-fifth of its land by 2050 because of rising sea levels due to global warming.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Anis Ahmed and Paul Tait)

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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