Autonomous Board with Democratic Ownership emphasized for Climate Trust Fund

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Dhaka, 26th April 2011. Today civil society rights group in a press conference held at national press club said that, transparent and effective use of climate trust fund which has been contributed from national revenue is a pre condition to draw attention of donors, they also emphasize to form autonomous board with democratic ownership like PKSF and IDCOL under the Forest and Environment Ministry to manage the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF). They have also caution the Ministry not to embark on outsourcing of the fund. The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD, while it was spoken by Ziaul Haque Mukta of CSRL (Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood); position paper was read out my Mahbub Hasan of Coastal Development Partnership. Other members of the group are On Line Knowledge Center, Arpan, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Kishani Sohva, and Center for Global Change, Development Center International, Lead Trust, and La via Campesina, Sirak Bangladesh, Uddipan and Voice. The press conference was also attended by Prodip Kumar Roy of On Line Knowledge Center, Abdul Kader Hazari of Arpan, Syed Aminul Hague and Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD. .

Ziaul Haque Mukta of CSRL mentioned that, there were only media reports on NGO funding which consists of 1.5 % of the total fund, there are hardly any reports on 98.5 % of funding to government projects, he demanded more detail information on those projects, which should be under media and public scrutiny.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD appreciated the Minister’s immediate response on media reports who has gives some how an assurance of reconsideration of the process. He also mentioned that while the Minister well coordinated all the government and non government groups for international negotiations, it is expected that he could also be taking considerations of all concerns in this fund management, that which should be an example of transparent, effective utilization both in country and abroad.

In the position paper / press statement thirteen organization leaded by CSRL and EquityBD has also mentioned that, while the present nature of fund management is “government ownership” i.e., being comprised of government minister, secretaries and bureaucrats, in contrast the democratic ownership means the participation of representatives from opposition, media, local government and civil society. The group has demanded four criteria of integration in all projects in this regard which are (i) corruption risk assessment, (ii) information disclosure policy in view of right to information, (iii) complain response mechanism and (iv) participation matrix.

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