Report:  Report on CoP-24 Participation

Duration: 01 to 15 December, 2018

Place: Katowice in Poland.

Participant: Syed Aminul Hoque

The 24th CoP (Conference of the Parties) is held in Katowice in Poland with participation of around 195 countries and their representatives from government official, climate scientist, civil society and development activist and campaigners. I have also participated in this two week long global event since 1-15 December. The CoP mainly facilitated the discourse on the implementation of Paris Agreement especially (globally agreed document in 2015 in CoP-21 climate change conference) reducing global warming and fighting climate change impacts. Here I have tried to put my observation and progress of this global negotiation. [Click here full report]

Today December 24 2018, CSO (civil society organization) s representatives have organized a press conference today held at national press club and criticize the outcome of global climate change negotiation (CoP-24 held in Katwise / Poland during 01-14 Dec’2018). They said that the outcome is frustrating and hardly incompatible with Paris Agreement. They also criticize the proposed “Paris Rulebook” that has ignored the MVCs (Most Vulnerable Countries) interest as there have no specific decision and text regarding to reducing global temperature up to 1.5 degree, financing, displacement and Loss and Damage, which were key demands of MVCs (Most Vulnerable Countries).

The press conference was moderated by M. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chief Moderator of EquityBD and key note paper was read out by Mr. Syed Aminul Hoque of same organization. Among others, Mr. Qumrul Islam Chowdhury of FEJB (Federation of Environmental Journalist in Banagldesh), Md. Shamsuddoha of Chief Executive-CPRD (Centre for Participatory Research & Development) and Mr. Badrul Alam (Banglaesh Krishak Federation) spoke in the event.

Presenting of key note, Syed Aminul said that the and latest progress of CoP 24 negotiation outcome is frustrating and there are hardly any particular text of in the proposed Paris Rule Book on financial commitment, technology and capacity building issues for vulnerable countries. Syed Aminul condemned developed countries for backtrack on their commitment to provide these supports. He also expressed concerned that Paris Rulebook has neglected the climate changed displacement and Loss and damage; vulnerable countries largely side-lined on their own to address the impacts of climate change.

Mr. Shamsuddoha criticized as COP-24 is failed in fact to increase ambition of countries to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases as per the findings of the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 degree. The refusal of the CoP especially by developed countries to take the IPCC report will seriously undermine the implementations of Paris Agreement, in fact which will further aggravated the suffering of MVCs.

Mr. Qumrul Islam Chowdhury said since the Paris Agreement we lost our demand like historical responsibility and compensation and in 2018, we lost responsible support commitment like unconditional support from developed countries in fighting climate change through adopting the Paris Rulebook. Our country as vulnerable are now, that we will have to be self-depended to mitigate, to adapt, and to protect our people from climate impacts especially in coastal areas.

Mr. Badrul Alam opine that developed countries has able successfully to dilute their financial commitment of 100 billion dollar during pre 2020 period even 2025 onward with new financial goal. MVCs have now no option to raise their voice either for historical responsibility, polluter pay principle and demanding compensation as well.

Moderator of the press conference Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury opined that, UNFCCC is now turned a platform of talk show without any results. But even though Bangladesh need to continue to raise voice. For consistency of position, continuity of the negotiators and all above for integration of climate issue in the national planning, a supra body like climate commission should be formed like what have had happened in Philippines. He expressed hope that, political leaders should be serious on the issue in future, political parties should announce their position in their election manifesto.
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Poland, 12 December 2018: Civil Society leaders from MVCs (Most Vulnerable Countries) and LDCs (Least Developed Countries) termed the negotiation outcome frustrating in a press conference held today in the CoP 24 Global Climate Negotiation in Poland. They demanded to finalize the Paris Rulebook as urgent action within this CoP-24. They also demanded to ensure first-start financing by developed countries that is in fact important for adaptation actions for MVCs and their survival.
The Press conference titled “MVC & LDC Peoples’ expectations and CoP 24” held at the meeting room of climate conference center, Poland where CSO leaders including Dr. Ainun Nishat (Delegate of Bangladesh govt. Negotiation Team), Mr. Soumya Datta (Member, Advisory committee of UNFCCC Climate Change Technology Center and Network-CTCN and Coordinator-Climate Action Network- South Asia, India), Mrs. Rushka Sthapit (Secretary-LDC Watch), Md. Shamsuddoha (CPRD, Bangladesh) and Mr. Manjeet Dakhal (LDC Negotiator) participated and spoke. The key demand is presented by Mr. Golam Rabbani (Research Fellow, Bangladesh Center for Advance Study) and Aminul Hoque (EquityBD) from Bangladesh.
Presenting of key demand, speakers said that the bleak ongoing performance and progress of CoP 24 negotiation is frustrating for us and there is no particular text of finalizing the Paris Rulebook, financial commitment with first-start financing and new Goal of Finance post 2020 period for implementation of MVC & LDCs adaptation actions. Favoring LDCs interest, they put four demands including i. Finalize the Paris Rule book as urgent action and within CoP-24, ii. Ensure first-start financing by developed countries for MVCs to start their most urgent adaptation actions, iii. Ensure easier access to GCF for MVCs Govt.-NGOs stakes and iv. WIM-Excom. (Executive Committee of Warsaw International Mechanism) report on displacement and loss & damage must be linking with GST (Global Stock Take) and Transparency Framework with separate financial mechanism.
Mr. Shamsuddoha said that making the rulebook on implementation of Paris Agreement is very much inadequate and itself flout due to overwhelming with huge divergences of views among Parties on many issues. CoP-24 leaders will have change their mindset, stop the vested role-playing and engage in the negotiation giving more and balanced focus of both MVCs interest. So that Paris Rule book to be developed based on the science limiting 1.5 degree warming, he opined.
Mr. Soumya Datta said if we want really a transformative changes, the finance is crucial. But the rich countries are playing a dirty game, because the US$100 billion dream is not coming anywhere yet and leveraging the private finance to make burden for MVC & LDCs in the name of climate finance. So it’s better to start repent the financing agreement and its process. The rulebook may talk a lot about reporting, verification and review, but these cannot be productive until it is owned by the rich countries and that finance is really needed to lowering global temperature.
Dr. Ainun Nishat said The IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C rise, the stakes of current ambition of GHGs reduction and said there is a “huge moral, ethical imperative” for leaders to “step up” for new ambition. So we reiterating that the stocktaking is an opportunity for rich and developed countries reconsideration the assessment and enhancing of GHGs reduction target and implementation of ambition in view of 1.5 degree temperature goal achieving.
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Today December 05 2018, in CoP 24 Global Climate Negotiation in Poland, Civil Society leaders from MVCs (Most Vulnerable Countries) and LDCs (Least Developed Countries) have meet a press conference in CoP-24 premises and demand for urgent action by developed countries to keep global warming to 1.5 degree temperature. They also demanded that the “Paris Rule Book” (Propose modalities to implement Paris Agreement) will contain MVCs interest addressing their vulnerability and survival strategies.
The Press conference titled “MVC & LDC’s Peoples’ expectations and CoP 24” held at the meeting room of climate conference center, Poland where representatives of different CSO leader like Dr. Ainun Nishat (Delegate of Bangladesh govt. Negotiation Team), Mr. Sanjay Vashist (Coordinator-Climate Action Network- South Asia, India), Mr. Hemantha Withanage (Executive Director-Center for Climate Justice, Sri Lanka), Mr. Atle Solberg (Head of Coordination-Platform of Disaster Displacement-PDD, Geneva) and Mrs. Lena Barenn (Coordinator-Norwegian Refugee Council-NRC, Geneva) are participated and spoke and the key demand is presented by Aminul Hoque (EquityBD) from Bangladesh.
Presenting of key demand, Aminul Hoque said that due to inaction of global leaders to climate change issues, global warming already reached more than 0.85 degree Celsius which worsening the climate scenario, that’s why the IPCC latest report made it clear; the world must come together now to take serious action to stop global warming. He says that MVCs are mostly affected. The impact deprives the most vulnerable groups from basic universal rights, particularly people living in coastal areas along with women and girls.
Sanjay Vashist said keeping to 1.50C, GHGs (Green Hose Gases) emissions would have to decline by about 45% between 2010 and 2030 and hit net zero in 2050. That’s significantly faster than what is needed for 20C a reduction of around 20% by 2030. We urged to developed countries to revise and enhance their NDCs as urgent action in reducing GHGs based on the IPPC 1.5 degree strategy. He also opined for ensuring long term finance for long term adaptation of MVCs.
Atle Solberg express deep concern on displacement that’s happening in MVCs due to climate change impacts. Developed countries have to recognize this issue and CoP-24 is opportunity to move this issue with effective manner. TFD (Task Force on Displacement) will submit recommendations to the parties but need to start their action to avoid risk of displacement.
Mr. Hemantha Withanage said that, we repeatedly remind the develop countries has an obligation to put adequate resource in to the climate financing. Report says that only 6.6 billion is available that insufficient, that’s why MVCs have to make big budget for disaster management which undermine real development for Health, Education etc. So developed countries should be accountable to appropriate finance at least climate issues and not push the ODA (Official Development Assistance) as climate finance.
Dr Ainun Nishat said CSO will have to raise their voice, because IPCC “1.5°C” report made many messages for developed countries, but it’s core is surely that developed countries will have to take lead keeping “the global temperature to well below 2°C” while “pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C” be an inspirational one and its possible.
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Dhaka, 13 November 2018. Today ten Civil Society Organizations (CSO) demanded an effective government role to ensure the interest of Most Vulnerable Countries (MVC) in upcoming CoP 24 (Conference of the Parties 24) global climate negotiation to be held in Poland. They also opined that Bangladesh should take strong position in CoP-24 for a legally binding commitment with high emission reduction target from developed countries and big polluters to achieve global warming below 2.0 degree Celsius. These demands are raised in the national seminar titled “CoP 24 Climate Conference: Expectation from CSOs in view of Implementing Paris Agreement” held at National Press Club, Dhaka.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD moderated the seminar while keynote paper is presented by Syed Aminul Hoque from same organization. Dr. Quzi Kholiquzzaman, Chairman-PKF has chaired the meeting where Dr. Hasan Mahmud MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF &CC) as chief guest and Dr. S. M. Munjurul Hanan Khan, Additional Secretary – MoEF&CC participated as special guest. Among other speakers Dr. Aynun Nishat-Professor Emeritus of BRAC University, Mr. Qumrul Islam Chowdhury of FEJB (federation of Environmental Journalist), Md. Pothar Hossen of BCJF (Bangladesh Climate Journalist Forum), Mr. Gerry Fox (Team Leader-PROKAS), Md. Ziaul Hoque Mukta from CSRL (Center for Sustainable Rural Livelihood), Md. Shamsuddoha of Chief Executive-PRDI spoke in the seminar.
In the keynote presentation Syed Aminul Hoque said that the CoP 24 conference is going to adopt “Paris Rule book” to implement the Paris Agreement which is very important to save country interest especially finance, technology and capacity building support. So our govt. delegation should strong position while setting modalities in Paris Rule book that ensure easier and effective access among these support mechanism.
Dr. Quzi Kholiquzzaman said that success of climate negotiation outcome will be threatened since the politics behind the scene is stronger than temperature goal. We, therefore, have to work with own capacity based on our resource.
Dr. Hasan Mahmud stressed on govt. position for the target of high emission reduction by big polluter countries as global temperature increasing and must rise up to more than three degree centigrade if all countries fulfill their commitment on reducing taregt. But we are frustrated observing the role of developed countries and their dubious role in implementing the PA. So CSO role is imperative like previous and raise voice together indeed
Dr. Aynun Nishat opine to take CSO recommendations before government position and should importance to hear CSO opinion. This is being slower somehow but need further strengthen. He also advice government to raise voice on the issues of Capacity building in upcoming CoP.
Dr. Munjurul Hanan Khan said that, Bangladesh has been playing a good role since the climate negotiations and there have well coordination between CSOs and govt. that is our strength. This CoP we also going to prepare our position and we will included our CSO opinion.
Please download related paper [Bangla Press Release] [English Press Release] [Presentation EquityBD] [IPCC Report Bangla] [IPCC Report English]

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Dhaka, 8th November 2018. Today thirty-two civil society rights group facilitated by Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD) in cooperation with Tax and Financial Justice Asia (TAFJA) and Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ) and as a part of global week of action, have organized a human chain rally in front of national press club Dhaka, where they have demanded party election manifesto with measures to contain illicit flow or capital flight, bank money embezzlement and black money. They urged to stop culture of political patronage to create “Robber Baron” in the country, and they have also urged to make the loan information of MP (Member of Parliament) public in forthcoming election. The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, other speakers of the rally were, Md Shariful Islam Bangladesh Foundation, Mahbub Khokan Jatiya Unnayan Parishad, Feroza Begum Bachete Sheko Nari, Qader Hazari Aorpon, Sayed Aminul Haque, Ahsanul Karim and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD.

Apart from these key demand the group has placed six demands in this regard, (i) To control banking and financial sector central bank should be independent and there should be banking reform commission, (ii) loan defaulters and those who reschedule the loan again and again, they should not be given MP nomination, (iii) Bangladeshi’s whose name came in panama and paradise papers should not be given MP nomination, (iv) There should be white paper on Bangladesh Bank reserve money hacking, share market scam, responsible person should be given punishment, (v) To stop illicit money transfer there should be a cell to compare international price market, and (vi) To eliminate corruption, national integrity strategy should be implemented in all level.
Ahsanul Karim of EquityBD said that during 1870 to 1914 in the history of United State of America’s capitalist growth there was state or political patronage to elite and rich people to accumulate wealth in primitive way, who has been named as Robber Baron in the history. Same culture is happening in our country for last 47 years, but the difference is that those US Robber Barrons have had invested those money in their own country, but in our country such Robber Baron transfer their capital in developed country like Siungapore, Malaysia, Canada and other different tax heavens. According to the GFI (Global Financial Integrity) report 2017 it is more then 9.11 billion dollars, on which we could have two Padma bridge. Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD said that, these Robber Barons now is being occupying our politics. But the parliaments should be filled with honest people who are not greedy and no track record of primitive accumulation.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD and COAST said the country should not be like Zimbawe, Hondurus and Venezuela, that because of mismanagement of financial sector, our families will abandon their children will started mass migration. It is the poor migrant of the country send dollars while rich do illicit transfer of those. In fact there are little of private investment in last five years. He urged Prime Minister and political leaders to take action to contain illicit flow and to create confidence of the private investor and people.
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Report: Report on Participation in APRRN 7th Asia Pacific Consultation on Refugee Rights (APCRR7).

Duration: 21 to 25 October, 2018

Place: Bangkok, Thailand.

Participant: Barkat Ullah Maruf

It was a great opportunity to be able to participate in the APRRN’s 7th Asia Pacific Consultation on Refugee Rights (APCRR7) held in Bangkok, Thailand during 21 to 25 October 2018. COAST is a member of APRRN and that’s why we participate in it. Participants from all the member organizations in Asia Pacific countries as well as many refugee participants took part in this great assembly. [Click here full report]

Up to 200,000 coastal people may be forced to migrate annually to the country’s inland areas to find alternative livelihoods due to climate change induced salinity and sea level rises, according to a new study.
Researchers from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Ohio State University jointly conducted the study examining for the first time the complex relationship between flooding, soil salinity, rural livelihood and migration, along with providing some adaptation strategies.
The study, “Coastal Climate Change, Soil Salinity and Human Migration in Bangladesh” was conducted last year and was based on two different datasets collected in 2003-2011 and 2005-2010. Coauthored by IFPRI’s Valerie Mueller from IFPRI and Joyce Chen from Ohio State University, the study was released yesterday. [Click here full report] [Report Download]

Dhaka, 14th October, 2018. Today, from a press conference, speakers urged to ensure equal rights for women in family income and decision-making process. The demand came from a press conference titled ‘Ensure fair right of women to family income’ organized by the National Committee on International Rural Women’s Day Celebrations. On the eve of the International Rural Women Day (15th October), speakers also opined that, besides usual household work, women are involved in various unpaid work in agricultural, fisheries, forestry, livestock and various labor-intensive industries. However, due to the lack of financial value of these invisible labors, women are not properly recognized in the family and in the society. Therefore, women’s opinion in the decision-making process is ignored and neglected. For the overall socio-economic development of the country, the legal recognition of women’s contribution must be ensured, the press conference organizers urged.

Organizers informed that, International Rural Women’s Day will be celebrated in more than 40 districts. Like every year, the day is being celebrated this year too with various programs including rallies, seminars, human chains, fairs and awarding person contributing in different fields of rural women empowerment. They also informed that, since 2000, in Bangladesh, various voluntary and development organizations (NGOs) have been celebrating rural women’s day at local and national level with their own funding under the banner National Celebration Committee. It is to be mentioned that EquityBD works as secretariat of National Committee on International Rural Women’s Day Celebrations.

The Press Conference was moderated by Ferdous Ara Rumee, Secretariat Coordinator of the National Committee on Rural Women’s Day Celebrations, while Shamima Akhter, the President of the alliance, presented the keynote paper on the press conference. Member of the National Committee Nahid Sultana, Masuda Faruque Ratna Executive Director of Gram Bikash Sohayok Songtha, Morzina Ahmed Executive Director of Disable Welfare Society, Rehana Begum of Bangladesh Krishok Fedaration, Ivan Ahmed Kotha of Socheton Somaj Seba Hizra Songha were also spoke at the occasion.

Shamima Akhter said, women are doing more household works than men in Bangladesh, in an average women’s more than 6 hours household’s work are not getting any recognition. On the contrary, a man spends only one hour on such work. If women’s household work can be calculated in monetary, total value will be 87.2 percent of total GDP of Bangladesh. According to the article 345 of the Bangladesh Labor Act 2006, wages of women and mele should be equal, but in the case of transplanting and processing of crops, men’s daily wages is about where 300-600b taka, but women get only 350 taka. Though increasing women’s participation in agriculture seems apparently women’s empowerment, its main advantage is the long-lasting benefits of working with low wages.

Ferdous Ara Rumee said, along with household activities, rural women are involved with different kinds of activities like farming, fisheries and livestock. But since women’s invisible works like these don’t have any monetary value, they don’t have rights to make their own decision, they can’t take petrification in the family level decision naming process. To ensure true women empowerment, to ensure women’s rights in family and state level, invisible efforts of women must be recognized legally.

Nahid Sultana said, women are now not recognized as farmers even after making huge contributions to agriculture. Due to lack of recognition as farmer, they do not get any benefit from government initiatives taken for farmers. When these facilities are ensured, the contribution of women in agriculture will be increased.

Morzina Ahmed said, women’s labor is not considered as a source of household income in rural agriculture, rather it is considered a source of reduction in overall expenditure in crop production. Because if a worker is employed, he will have to be paid, and it is not possible to make work by that labour at the will of the family. In this way, even women are playing a vital role in family income, there is no recognized of their contribution.

Masuda Faruque Ratna said, through the change of law, women’s work, women’s unpaid labor should be recognized. . This recognition will increase women’s social status as well as it will ensure their economic independence and justice.
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Bali, 9th October 2018: As the signatory of Grand Bargain Principles (an UN led discourse of WHS) World Bank is urged to promote localization i.e. partnering with the local organizations in Cox’s Bazar, in the Rohingya refugee responses in Bangladesh.

Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Executive Director of COAST Trust and Co-Chair of CCNF (Cox’s Bazar CSO-NGO Forum) made this urge in his speech during the session titled ‘Meet with EDs of World Bank’. He announces 3 concrete proposals for the World Bank for the Rohingya refugee response in Cox’s Bazar and those are:
1. To prepare a Rohingya pooled fund in view of GB commitment to promote local NGOs and Community who are leading the response.
2. To support GOB in view of UNHCR solidarity paper to support and assist the government of Bangladesh in macro-economic level, and
3. To consider support GOB for area development approach in Cox’s Bazar to promote economic, social and human development potentialities in the long run.

Mr. Hasan, Dean of EDs of World Bank, Ms. Aparna, ED responsible for Bangladesh were also present in the meeting that took place on 9th October 2018 in Bali, Indonesia.

In his speech, Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury thanked the WB president Dr. Jim for announcing half a billion USD for Rohingya response. He also mentioned that we had an opportunity to meet Dr. Jim along with UNSG and hand over a memorandum in this relation.

Mr. Reza raised question in his speech that why WB should not prepare a plan for localization so that local NGOs / CSOs and local communities would lead a humanitarian and development efforts through a ‘Whole of Society Approach’ (WOSA) as WB is one of the signatories of GB (Grand Bargain). He stressed on reducing the fund management cost through a pragmatic reduction of the internationalized response approach.

Mr. Reza also said, the Government of Bangladesh deserves more macro-economic level solidarity support and Cox’s Bazar requires more area development support during the refugee response. Otherwise, this will create vulnerability in the long run for the local people as well as the national economy.

Dean of EDs Mr. Hasan said in response that partnering with local NGOs is a reality of political economy.

Ms Aparna the ED responsible for Bangladesh accepted the notion of Mr. Reza and said that partnering with local NGOs is a smart partnership.

While explaining the Grand Bargain, Mr. Reza said, WB is the distinguished signatory of GB commitments where there are 10 workstreams with 51 indicators. Important feature is stream 2 i.e. localization, that means giving the steering of humanitarian response to the local actors e.g. local government and local NGOs. It also means, the reduction of transaction cost through effective coordination and continuous striving, accountability to the local community and affected population, and finally, use of local knowledge and local resources. [Click here for video link]

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