Dhaka, 19th April 2014. Today EquityBD, a network of right groups, organizes a seminar titled “Is Bangladesh Ready to Face Climate Problem in Future? National Budget 2014-15: Climate Resilience and Adaptation” at the National Press Club. Civil society rights group expresses worries on the mismanagement of two climate funds and demands inter-ministry coordination and integration of climate adaptation in the national budget.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD moderates the seminar while Mr. MA Mannan, the State Minister to Finance and Planning, participates in the seminar as the Chief Guest. Other speakers of the seminar are Sohrab Ali Sana, former MP, Dr. Abdul Matin of BAPA, Qamrul Islam Chowdhury of BEJF, Aminur Rasul of Unnayan Dhara, Syed Jahangir Hossain Masum of CDP and Prodip K Roy of Online Knowledge Centre. Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD presents the keynote paper.
Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD in his keynote presentation says that, BCCSAP (Bangladesh Climate Change Strategic Action Plan) is a standalone document and the 6FYP (Sixth Five Year Plan) has a little integration to this document and other climate resilience actions. UNDP CPER (Climate Change Public Expenditure Review) 2012 it is already shown that only 3.8% of the budget allocation has effective correlation with climate change. He proposes five key demand in his keynote paper, which are (i) BCCSAP and 6FYP has to be reviewed for a common integrated national plan, (ii) Trust and Resilience fund should be brought under a common management with democratic ownership, (iii) all ministries must prepare climate change planning within their midterm framework, (iv) protecting coastal land must be prioritized in all planning and national budget, and (v) all the cities must be prepared for accommodating future climate migrants.
State Minister to Finance and Planning Mr. MA Mannan said, Coordination is a problem in Bangladesh while the country has a lot of urgency in respect of poverty alleviation. He stressed that there must be a unity in this regard and politicians must come out of confrontational politics.
Aminul Rasul of Unnayan Dhara in his speech raises question on both trust and resilience fund management. He demands white papers on this two different climate fund management. Prodip K Roy demands that these two fund should be brought under one single management. Sayed Jahangir Hossain Masum demands there must be an urgent planning to maintain and repair all the cyclone shelter in coastal areas.
Dr Abdul Matin, the General Secretary of BAPA, criticizes different government policies that are hardly coherent to the climate response. Qumrul Islam Chowdhury said that Bangladesh must be technically and capacity wise prepared to have access in Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury the moderator of the seminar mentioned that it would be unwise if policy makers wait for grant to protect its own people from future climate catastrophes. he stressed that there must be priority and integrated planning especially in national budget for climate resilience.