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30 March, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 30 March, 2020 12:01:29 AM

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Challenges in front of human civilisation

The USA and China are fighting a trade war but they are ignoring unemployment and its negative impact with spillover effects on respective societies
Md. Joynal Abdin
Challenges in front of human civilisation

Human civilization is busy with economic development, political superiority and mass destructive weapon collection to be winner in the war field. With the advancement of science and technology standard of human living progressed significantly during last century. Scientific inventions contributed towards advancement of every segment of human knowledge. Healthcare sector improved remarkably but COVID 19 challenges pharmaceuticals and healthcare sector’s advancement and threatening human civilization like anything. Scientists are busy with astrological and astronomical inventions but world is becoming warmer, ices are melting up, a significant part of the globe is going to be sink within next couple of decades. Increasing sea level will contribute in climate change that may have slower but destructive effect for the humanity.

The USA and China are fighting a trade war but they are ignoring unemployment and its negative impact with spillover effects on respective societies. Much talked issues of today’s global gatherings and international platforms are addressing everything but ignoring global risks and upcoming challenges to human civilizations. According to the Global Risks Report 2020 top five risks of the world in terms of livelihood were Blow up in asset prices, Middle East instability, Failed and failing states, Oil price shock, Chronic diseases in one decade ago i.e. in the year 2008. Top 5 global risks in terms of impact at that period were Blow up in asset prices, Deglobalization (developed), China hard landing, Oil price shock and Pandemics. If we have a look on the list of one decade ago then we will find all the risks were associated with economic risks. Only health risks was the chronic diseases. Anti-globalization movement was an emerging threat but it was also relevant to trade, investment and business associated risk. Therefore we can state that, one decade ago the world was not focusing on climate change and its possible impact on human civilization with due importance.     

Before half a decade i.e. in the year 2014 top five global risks in terms of livelihood were recorded as Income disparity, Extreme weather, Unemployment, Climate action failure and Cyberattacks. From the impact perspective these were Fiscal crises, Climate action failure, Water crises, Unemployment and Infrastructure breakdown. That means within six years the risks from climate change factor like extreme weather and climate action failure became bold.

Newer sources of risk like cyberattack became visible. Risks like chronic diseases became less important due to advancement of pharmaceuticals and healthcare services. According to the same report top 5 livelihood risks today in the year 2020 are Extreme weather, Climate action failure, Natural disasters, Biodiversity loss and Human-made environmental disasters. From impact aspects these are Climate action failure, Weapons of mass destruction, Biodiversity loss, Extreme weather, and Water crises. From the list of risks today it is seen that, climate change and natural disasters are becoming more challenging for the human civilization as well as for the globe. At the same time manmade crises and mass destructive weapons are becoming more significant threats for the human civilization and for the planet as a whole.

To be more specific extreme weather due to climate change, weapons of mass destruction, biodiversity loss, water crisis, cyberattack, natural disaster, human made environmental disasters, inter-country conflicts, infectious diseases, food crisis and global governance failure are the most significant challenges for existence of human civilization today. But almost all of these issues are less talked and less attention topics in the global forums. SDG targeted few climate change relevant challenges through its 17 goals but most severe challenges like weapons of mass destruction, inter-country conflicts, and global governance failures etc. are unattended or undiscussed and unaddressed challenges of humanity.

If we would like to have a look on the global risks from different categories then we can see that

1.    Economic Risks: Economic risks are unemployment, infrastructure failure, financial failure, unmanageable inflation, asset bubbles, fiscal crisis, energy price, deflation and illicit trade etc.

2.    Environmental Risks: Environmental risks are extreme weather, natural disasters, human made environmental disasters, climate action failure and biodiversity loss etc.

3.    Geopolitical Risks: Geopolitical risks are weapons of mass destruction, inter-country conflicts, global governance failure, national governance failure, collapse of the countries and terrorist attracts etc.      

4.    Social Risks: Social risks are infectious diseases, water crisis, food crisis, forceful migration, failure of urban planning and social instability etc.

5.    Technological Risks: Technological risks are cyberattacks, data frauds and theft, information infrastructure failure, and adverse technology advancement etc.      

  To understand significance of the above mentioned risks we do not have necessity of statistics. But let have a look who, how, why are responsible for increasing vulnerability of these risks. For example 78.5% of the respondents think that Economic confrontations among the global players will go up in near future, 78.4% of the respondents opinioned that Domestic political polarization will be increased in coming days. Similarly; more than 70% of the respondents replied that, Destruction of natural ecosystems, Cyberattacks, Protectionism on trade/investment, Populist and nativist agendas, Cyberattacks: theft of money/data, and Recession in a major economy will be increased and hit the global community.  

Most of the above mentioned risks are interdependent and interrelated. These could be more damaging if a chain reaction of any or a few risks happens. Thus a chain reaction of the major risks could destroy the human civilization if uncontrollable situation arises due to irresponsible behavior of global leaders or irresponsible decision from any of the major stakeholders.

Therefore it is most suitable time to start dialogues among the local, international even global stakeholders to mitigate the major risks. Global platforms like the UN, WTO, and WB etc. may initiate dialogues among the global community and reach several agreements to mitigate the major risks unitedly. If disarmaments or major investment requires to mitigate a major risk then world leaders should be responsible to be united and make it done. It is the right time to look at risks minimization, mitigation with a parallel significance of development in economic, social, scientific fields. Otherwise only development (adverse development) may be cause of destruction of human civilization from this world.     

The writer is Secretary, Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI)

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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