5:16 pm - Monday May 24, 6032

Bangladeshi couple drive message on climate change

A BANGLADESHI couple is on an expedition to raise awareness in Southeast Asia and around the world about climate change, calling their journey “a ride for a greener Earth”.

“We want local people to care more about Mother Earth and be more conscious about the impact of climate change,” Mohammad Shahade Ferdous said.

BD coupleFerdous and his wife Fatema Sultana Shama are afraid that their low-lying homeland may disappear due to rising sea levels.

According to Fardous, the forest and biodiversity of the Sunderbans National Park – a mangrove forest in the Bengal region in Bangladesh and East India – has been seriously affected by the increased sea level.

“Further increases in global temperatures will have a more serious impact on our livelihood. We would like to urge the international community to take action and help us out,” Shama said. For this reason they are motorcycling around the world – and plan to visit 204 countries – to boost awareness about the crisis.

Their journey started in mid-May in Singapore, with the duo riding through heat and rain to reach Bangkok.

Their adventure is funded by the Pathfinder Adventure Club in Dhaka. Their next stops will be Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

“This journey will take us around eight years. However, we do not lose hope. As global citizens, we should take part in curbing the impact of climate change before it deteriorates [further],” Ferdous said.

The couple has long been involved in humanitarian work. They travelled all over Bangladesh for the past decade to campaign for different types of issues including HIV/Aids, pollution and immunisation.

Ferdous joined Red Crescent and the Rotary Club at university, while Shama works for the Urban Primary Health Care Services’ Delivery Project in Bangladesh, an initiative funded by the Asian Development Bank.

They also have a passion for camping. During their recent visit to The Nation, they showed off their camp gas stove. The bike is also loaded with three travel boxes where they keep their clothes and basic necessities.

But while they love the adventure they’re on, they are quick to remind people this is a deadly serious exercise – “Stop climate change before it changes you” is their mantra.