The 16th South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit to be held in Bhutan this month is expected to sign a number of agreements on environment protection and trade in South Asia, the Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes said on Saturday.
The theme of the summit is "Conservation of Environment and Climate".
Briefing reporters Mijarul Quayes said that the theme of the summit is important as some South Asian countries including Bangladesh and the Maldives are most vulnerable nations to the changing climate.
Quoting environment scientists, he said the Maldives will lose its existence with the rise of sea level while Bangladesh will lose 20 percent of low-lying areas in the Bay of Bengal resulting in displacement of 25 million people.
He said the council of ministers comprising the Foreign Ministers of the 8-member SAARC countries will finalize a declaration on the climate change.
Quayes said though the Copenhagen Summit (COP-15) on Climate Change failed to reach a legally binding agreement on reducing the greenhouse gas emission, but it is a first step to lead to the such agreement at the COP-16 in Mexico in December this year.
He said the summit is expected to sign agreement on rapid response to natural disaster, cooperation in environment conservation, trade in South Asian countries and the South Asian Development Fund.
The 2-day summit will be preceded by the Council of Ministers meeting on April 27, Standing Committee meeting of the Foreign Secretaries on April 25-26 and Programming Committee meeting of senior officials on April 24.