Environment rights groups want climate commission
DHAKA, JUNE 12: Environment rights groups said on Wednesday that the climate change adaptation planning has barely been integrated into the national budget 2013-2014. A national climate commission should be formed for appropriate integration of climate adaptation, which is necessary for the country's survival. They were speaking at a press conference on "Budget 2013-14 does not comply with climate adaptation", jointly organised by Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan (BAPA), the Climate Change Development Forum (CCDF), Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL), Coastal Development Partnership (CDF), Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD), Network on Climate Change Bangladesh (NCCB), VOICE, PRAN and HumanityWatch.
Mostafa Kamal Akanda and Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD, Farzana Akhter of VOICE, Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of the NCCB and Atiqur Rahman Tipu of the CDP spoke on the occasion. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD moderated the press conference.
Syed Aminul Haque, reading out from a keynote paper, described agriculture and healthcare as most important areas with regard to climate adaptation.
He pointed out that the government has reduced the budget allocation for the two sectors this year, compared to the previous year.
This year's budget allocation for the agricultural sector has been reduced by 20 per cent. The healthcare sector's budget allocation amounts to 4.2 per cent of the total budget, compared to 5 per cent last year.
Syed Aminul Haque termed the government's Bangladesh Climate Change Strategic Action Plan (BCCSAP) as a mere standalone document, which has barely been integrated into the Sixth Five Year Plan of Bangladesh.
He cited a UNDP study that 88.6 per cent of the government's allocation towards climate planning during the last three years has hardly any relevance.
He added that only 3.8 per cent of this amount is directly related to climate change issues, while 8.6 per cent is significant in terms of climate planning.
Atiqur Rahman Tipu mentioned that a single ministry cannot act to pursue or coordinate among other ministries, so the BCCSAP and the BCCTF have not been much effective. He said the country needs a national climate commission as in the Philippines.
Farzana Akhter said women are the worst victims of climate changes, adding that the government should prioritise budgetary allocation in the health sector on women-related issues.
Mizanur Rahman Bijoy said there are allegations of corruption and lack of coordination regarding the management of the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF).
Published in The Independent.