Civil Society Demanded Independent Climate Commission

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Dhaka, 22nd October 2011. Today in a national consultation, different right group networks, demanded Independent Climate Commission directly under President to manage climate finance and action plan implementation. Coastal Development Partnership, EquityBD, IBON Foundation, People Movement on Climate Change, Reality of Aid and VOICE has organized the national consultation title “ Democratic Ownership and Social Accountability in Climate Finance” held at National Press Club. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury Chief Moderator, EquityBD and Ahmed Swapan from VOICE have jointly presided over the consultation. Mohsin Ali from Governance Coalition, Badurl Alam from Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Maria Thresa Lauren from Reality of Aid Network, Farah Kabir from Action Aid Bangladesh, Gareth Price Jones from Oxfam, Mahbub Hasan from Coastal Development Partnership, and the two Member of Parliament and also the member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment and Forest, Sohrab Ali Sana and MS Jabber also spoke on the consultation. Dr. Sohel Iqbal has presented the key note paper which was in fact a consensus of different rights groups through a two day workshop.

Dr. Sohel Iqbal in his key note paper mentioned that, although government initiatives and relevant Minister role in preparing climate action plan and in international negotiation is appreciable, but there are concern on non transparent, favoritism and oligarchic management and disbursement of climate trust fund, World Bank role in managing Resilience fund is also non transparent. He said, government themselves falling in the corruption trap, so that World Bank like institutions will be able to get reasons to strengthen their argument to manage the climate fund. He urged media, civil society and non government organizations to come up in promoting citizen monitoring in all climate projects. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury from EquityBD, in his introductory speech mentioned that in fact due to full “government ownership” nature of two climate fund management has arisen this situation which is mostly un desirable to any one. He proposed that it has to be “democratic ownership” “autonomous” and in “Supra Level” it means it will have authority to coordinate all ministries and there must be representation of opposition party, media, climate victims, critical civil society and local government representatives.

Great Price Jones of Oxfam mentioned that, the government should not take any loan in the name of climate adaptation; he also reiterated that Oxfam will help the government in international level negotiation. Farah Kabir from Action Aid Bangladesh has mentioned that, economy of the developed countries are in crisis, so we should not expect much more from them, we have to give emphasize and create examples in our own resource mobilization and utilization. She urged government to think on forming of independent national commission to manage climate fund and planning. Maria Theresa Lauren from Reality of Aid, mentioned examples from Philippine, where government has set a Climate Commission directly under President and also preparing legislation title People Survival Fund to do national resource mobilization and effective utilization.

Mohsin Ali from Governance Coalition mentioned that, climate change is a matter of national survival, so it should be the matter of state, not should be the matter of government only. He demanded in all the climate finance management, there should be the representation of local governments. The two Member of Parliament, Soharb Ali Sana and MA Jabber express concerned about the climate fund management; they also supported the idea of independent commission.

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