Dhaka, 14th June 2012. Today Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD) and Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL) the two network of right based civil society organizations, has organized a seminar title “Is Bangladesh Prepared for Future Climate Change Problems, National Budget 2012-13 and Climate Change Adaptation” held at National Press Club. Speakers in the seminar criticized the government for making the national climate plan as a stand alone document and as a mere responsibility of single ministry, they urged that as climate change issue is crucial for Bangladesh future, then climate adaptation issue should be treated as priority and it should be integrated by all ministries especially in the national budget” .
The seminar was moderated Rezaul Karim Chowdhury Chief Moderator EquityBD; key note presentation given by Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD ;other speakers of the seminar were, Israfil Alam MP and Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Labor and Employment; Soharab Ali Sana MP, Member Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment and Forest; Saheen Monwara Haque MP and Ex state Minister KM Jahangir; Ziaul Haque Mukta, Asia Regional Policy Coordinator of Oxfam Great Britain ; Zakir Hossain Khan Transparency International Bangladesh; Mizanur Rahaman Bijoy of Network on Climate Change Bangladesh; Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara, Syed Mahbubul Alam of WBB Trust; Prodip K Roy of OK Society and Mahbub Hasan of CDP.
In his key note presentation Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD mentioned that ; as implementation responsibility of the Bangaldesh Climate Change Strategic Action Plan (BCCSAP) lying with Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF) and with Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BBCTF), climate change issues has became no issue to other ministries and BCCSAP became a stand alone planning document. He proposed some recommendation in this regard; there should be each ministry plan of operation on integration of climate adaptation issues in view of BCCSAP; budget format should be done such a way that climate budgeting could be easily monitored; Prime Minister her self coordinate the climate adaptation integration issue as it is envisaged in BCCSAP; there should be some experimentation on Zila, Upazila and Union level climate adaptation planning and implementation as climate issue basically is a local issue too.
Ziaul Haque Mukta of Oxfam GB praised the government for inclusion of climate issues in its different planning documents, especially in vision 2012, outline perspective plan, six five year plan, and also inclusion of clause “18.a” in the constitution. But he criticize government in weak implementation e.g.; all those documents hardly been share and discussed in parliament; there are hardly any transparent and accountable mechanism of climate financing; and there are hardly any reflection of those planning documents in national budget.
Zakir Hossaion Khan of TIB criticize the disbursement process in BCCTF which being implemented by MOEF and Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) which is by World Bank, he said there are hardly any transparency of priority setting in both the funds, 90 % allocation of those fund has goes to non coastal areas, whereas coastal areas are most vulnerable. As Minister responsible for MOEF said that he is not responsible for implementation of BCCTF projects which is being implemented by other ministries, then here is a coordination gap.
Israfil Alam MP and Sohrab Ali Sana MP have also expressed reservation in allocation of BCCTF by MOEF. KM Jahangir expressed as implementation of embankment is a priority in climate adaptation program, then he suggested Water Development Board has to be reformed and fiscal year schedule has to be changed from July June to April to March, so that embankment construction will be completed by dry session.
Moderator of the seminar Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD has mentioned that, there is little hope that foreign aid will be coming for climate adaptation as economic health of Europe and America is bad now, he urged government must do all climate adaptation projects from national revenue.