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In appreciation of Prof Saleemul Huq (1952-2023)

"His work for climate justice was tireless and we all have a responsibility to take that work forward”. We want to express our profound sadness at the passing of Prof Saleemul Huq, who was a tireless and inspiring champion for climate change adaptation and capacity-building for vulnerable people and communities worldwide.
Multiple Authors

A tribute to Prof Saleemul Huq

Those of us on the weADAPT team want to express our profound sadness at the passing of Prof Saleemul Huq, who was a tireless and inspiring champion for climate change adaptation and capacity-building for vulnerable people and communities worldwide.

A pioneer in the field, he was named on the 2022 OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) honours list for services to combat climate change. 

We are grateful for Saleem’s work to support, champion and improve the weADAPT platform over many years. Engagement with Saleem led to increased focus on and expansion of community-based adaptation (CBA) work on weADAPT, helping to lead the launch of its CBA network. The weADAPT vulnerability theme also reflects his influence in understanding and approaching the challenges of climate change and his support for the least developed countries and the most vulnerable communities. Saleem’s work influenced much of our thinking on working with and empowering communities, promoting inclusive decision-making, and breaking down knowledge siloes to address shared issues together. 

“Saleem – ‘Bhai’ or brother, as many fondly and respectfully referred to him – was a much-loved mentor, friend, and source of inspiration to many of us in the adaptation community,” said Sukaina Bharwani, a founder of weADAPT. “He recognised and championed the potential of weADAPT in its earliest days of Google Earth visualization, particularly due to his passion for sharing stories and lived experience from the ground. This made for exciting collaborations early on with him during the CBA conferences he pioneered. These are just some examples of his vision and long-time dedication to support and empower the most vulnerable and marginalized. His work for climate justice was tireless and we all have a responsibility to take that work forward.”

Through his efforts in the Global South on negotiating and financing of climate action, Saleem established a legacy in the climate community and beyond it. This will continue to inspire everyone working on climate change adaptation.

His loss is a loss for us and for all of us working to combat climate change. We send our deepest sympathies and thoughts to his family, loved ones and his colleagues at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD).

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