bangladesh world bank may 11 2012The country's climate activists Thursday demanded exclusion of the World Bank's role in fiduciary management of Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF).

They also criticised the government's decision on increasing the service charge for the World Bank (WB) in initiating the fund.

Climate change campaigners from seventeen civil society organisations (CSOs) raised their voice in favour of forming a democratic ownership in all climate fund managements to bring transparency.

The demands were made at a press conference organised jointly by the CSOs held at the National Press Club in the capital.

Executive director of VOICE Ahmed Swapan Mahmud presented the keynote paper which revealed that the government earlier said WB will help to build capacity in BCCRF management until 2013 in exchange for 1 per cent service charge out of the total grants.

But, the government recently authorised WB's engagement until 2018 and raised service charge between 4 and 9 per cent out of the financing, the paper said.

The paper also showed that there is no exact clarification by the government or WB about the 'capacity building.'

Chief moderator of Equity and Justice Working Group (EquityBD) Rezaul Karim Chowdhury while coordinating the programme said so far our knowledge goes we know the government has got $128 million till date as grants for climate resilient from the global fund.

"If four to nine per cent of the amount is just spent for so-called capacity building, then what would be with the rest of the amounts," Chowdhury quipped.

He said the developed countries have promised to grant $30 billion by 2012 for the climate vulnerable countries with a goal of $100 billion by 2020.

Bangladesh has at least 15 per cent right over the grants as she is the most vulnerable country subject to climate change impact, he added.

Online Knowledge Society executive director Prodip K Roy said there should not be any more influence of World Bank in BCCRF beyond 2013.

We think, the time is enough for a country to learn how to manage funds, he added.

The climate campaigners placed a five-point demand that includes World Bank's explanation on 'the capacity building' and other role they performed in last three years.

They also demanded full transparency in all the projects funded from BCCRF through websites.

The CSOs have stressed for formation of an independent institution with democratic ownership for climate fund management like national institutions PKSF and IDCOL.

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Climate Finance Governance Network, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood, Climate Change Development Forum, Network for Climate Change in Bangladesh, Arpon, Bangladesh Bhoomiheen Samity, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Coastal Development Partnership, Centre for Global Change, Kishani Shobha, Manush Manusher Jonno, Media Foundation for Trade and Development, Sirajganj Flood Forum and Shurakhya O Aggragoti Foundation (SAF) among others CSOs took part at the programme.

Published in The Financial Express