In a press conference held at the national press club civil society climate networks and organizations demand to integrate the climate adaptation strategy in the forthcoming National Plan and Budget. They also demand a review on the performance of two climate funds and raise question on allocation and effectiveness of BCCSAP (Bangladesh climate change strategic action plan) and on the supremacy of the Ministry of Forest and Environment on it.
Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD moderates the press conference while Mr. Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD presents the keynote paper before the journalists. Mr. Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of NCCB, Mr. Tapash Chakraborty of CSRL and Mr. Mainuddin Mahin of BKF were the other speakers. Mr, Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD addresses the welcome speech in the press conference today.
These civil society rights groups comprise of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL) led by Oxfam, Climate Finance Governance Network (CFGN) led by TIB, Climate Change Development Forum (CCDF) led by BCAS, Bangladesh Indigenous People Network on Climate Change and Bio Diversity (BIPNetCCBD), Equity and Justice Working Group (EquityBD), Network on Climate Change in Bangladesh (NCCB), Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF), Online knowledge Society (OKS), PRAN, VOICE, Nature Campaign Bangladesh, and Humanity Watch.
In the keynote paper Sayed Aminul Haque points out, in view of a UNDP report, allocation for climate in the national budget is reduced down to 5.2% from 7% in last three years where a number of projects have been included. 28 out of 57 ministries and departments have only 1 or 2 climate projects each where inconsistently 9 of them have up to 102 projects. 18 of the ministries and departments have no projects at all. But the fact is, to build up a long term climate adaptation capacity in Bangladesh every ministry and department should have at least some projects to duly address.
Syed Aminul Haque adds, according the same report, the government has implemented 1,316 projects in the last three years out of which only 3.2% had strong relevance with climate adaptation while 8.6% had significance relevance but in rest 87.6% had little or somewhat relevance. This is quite conflicting with the long term goal of the government for mitigating the climate change.
Mizanur Rahman Biojy mentions that, out of 107 projects from climate trust fund, highest 26 projects has been allocated for Chittagong and 22 for Dhaka. But for the most climate impacted Khulna region only 9 projects have been disbursed. He also demands for Green Tax in the next budget from the rich who are somehow responsible for climate impact.
Tapash Chakraborty of CSRL raised question on the government response toward climate adaptation and integration for being much more rhetoric instead of being in real action. He also demands to prepare the national budget through parliamentary process where demand should be identified by the climate affected people through their elected representatives and discuss in the parliament to be finalized.