UNDP film gives voice to Thirty Million

Jun 13, 2016

A scene from Thirty Million. Credit: Adrien Taylor

A UNDP-supported documentary on the threat sea-level rise poses to 30 million Bangladeshis premiered in New York City on Monday 13th June.

Watch the trailer here.

Bangladesh is predicted to lose 17 percent of its land by the end of the century if global sea levels rise by one metre. That has the potential to displace 30 million Bangladeshis.

The film, Thirty Million, was co-directed by British climate scientist Dr. Daniel Price - who last year cycled from New Zealand to Paris as part of the Pole to Paris campaign - and New Zealand TV journalist Adrien Taylor. The film, financed by UNDP with support from the Least Developed Country Fund of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), was launched by high ranking officials from UNDP, GEF and Bangladesh at an event in the UN Secretariat in New York City.

The film is now available for free viewing online at thirtymillionfilm.org.

“It’s hard for people to grasp the enormity of the issue when we talk about 30 million Bangladeshis at risk of being displaced by climate change and rising seas,” says Dr. Price. “It’s almost ten times the amount of people who have left Syria throughout the crisis there.”

“We’re on the cusp of seeing major human migrations driven by climate change,” adds Mr Taylor.

While “Thirty Million” highlights explicitly the plight of the people of Bangladesh, attendees at the screening in New York emphasized that the global challenge of climate change is everyone’s concern and that more has to be done, sooner and with more intensity, in order to reign in global temperature rise.

"Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries on the world, but it is far from the only one,” notes Haoliang Xu, Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia Pacific. “Many more than the 30 million in Bangladesh are at risk if we refuse to act and delay investments in adaptation. I am glad that we had the privilege of partnering with the “Thirty Million” and contributing to the production of this powerful statement about the effects of climate change."

Looking ahead, UNDP and partners will be carrying the call for increased action through to COP22 in Marrakesh, and work with partners to translate the Paris Agreement into tangible, concrete results. 

Contact information

Carl Mercer, UNDP, carl.mercer@undp.org

UNDP Around the world