MDTF/ Climate Change Resilience Fund

index_photoDhaka, 7th October 2013. Today in a seminar title “ Green Climate Fund, Country Ownership, International Climate Finance : Is Bangladesh Ready ? “ held in Bangladesh Economic Association auditorium in Eskaton, speakers urged government and policy makers to consider a transparent and inclusive national designated authority with supra coordination authority in inter ministerial level to attract international climate finance. The seminar was organized by BAPA, BIPNetCCBD, CCDF, CSRL and EquityBD with the sponsorship of Oxfam and European Union. The seminar was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD; other speakers are Shaymol Dutta Editor Bhorer Kagoj, Tahmina Rahman Director Article 19, Snehal V Soneji Country Director Oxfam, Mamunur Rashid of GoB (Government of Bangladesh) / UNDP project and Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Chairman PKSF and Chief Negotiator of Bangladesh Climate Negotiation Team as the chief guest. Sayed Amiul Haque of EquityBD has presented the key note presentation.

On behalf of the group Sayed Aminul Haque described present climate finance as little coordinated and the climate change strategic action plan as a stand alone document, as the present focal point Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoF&E) has little authority over other ministries. He also criticized the country ownership should not be mere a government or bureaucratic ownership; it should also be open for affected community, media and other groups. He cited examples that Indonesia and Philippines has already created supra coordination body like separate climate change commission and council.

Tahmina Rahman from Article 19, express concern of present practice of transparency, access in information, and automatic disclosure, in two climate funds in the country. Mamunur Rashid of GOB/UNDP stated that annually 5 to 7 % of national budget is going to climate sensitive projects; he said that climate finance is an over all and multi sect oral issue thus it should be coordinated in overall ADP (annual development plan) process. Snehal V Soneji of Oxfam said that related to the preparation of climate planning integration country policy leaders from political parties come forward to discuss this issues.

Dr Quazi Kholiquzzaman as the chief guest in his concluding remarks said that the country in fact should not be expecting much from foreign assistance in respect of climate finance although the country has continuously to raise voice in international level, while country has sufficient level of foreign currency reserve, he also plea that there should be a national designated authority as a supra coordination body in respect of climate planning, which is also a requirement of Green Climate Fund.

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Dhaka, 15th November 2012. Today four civil society right groups climate networks and twelve organization has organized a human chain and rally in front of national press club in Dhaka and protested recent announcement of World Bank (WB) control over climate resilience fund, and also criticize government’s dubious role or slippage of earlier position of ownership on the fund. They have demanded that both Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) and Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) should come under a single autonomous board, must be with democratic ownership. As they stated democratic ownership means taking representation from both party in power and opposition and also from the victim population.

The rally has participated by Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL), Climate Finance Governance Network (CFGN), Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD), Network on Climate Change Bangladesh (NCCB), Arpon, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Surakkha and Agrogoti Foundation, Jatiya Sramik Jote, Nature Campaign Bangladesh, Manush Manusher Jonny, Unnayan Dhara Trust, Self Development, Udayan Bangladesh, United People Trust, On Line Knowledge Trust. The rally was moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD; among the speakers are Joyanta Acharjya, Badrul Alam, Subol Sarker, Nurul Amin, Mizanur Rahman Bijoy and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD. They have carried a banner, which stated that “WB control on BCCRF is a disaster for vulnerable communities; Government must follow Prime Minister declared position. Bangladesh does not want to a bad precedence for other countries on accepting WB control in climate fund”.

Joyannta Acharja said that, most of the WB investment still in extractive industries which is mostly responsible for climate damages, so it’s a climate culprit, now its want to control climate finance market. Badurl Alam criticisized dubious government role, during 2010 January government ministers and others were declared that government will own the fund and WB will manage the fund only for three years, they will do capacity development and gradually hand over the management to the government. Now WB screwing government to take full control the fund in keeping Padma Bridge financing pressure in ahead. WB has also slippage from earlier commitment that it was committed to take 1 % interest or service charge, now it has announced take 4 %, which is unethical. Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of NCCB said that, WB involvement is a threat our national sovereignty, he also said it is shame to UK, USA, and EU who are putting pressure on our government to accept WB control. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said that, WB control over fund in fact giving leverage to the Bank to put conditionality of privatization and commercialization on our essential services like education and health and liberalization of our market for multi national companies.

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Dhaka, 14th August 2012. Today seven civil society climate networks and ten non government organizations (NGO) in a human chain in front of national press club has demanded full transparency and policies in NGO funding from Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF). They have also criticized government for a top down and bias process in this regard. The human chain has moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, other speakers of the rally were Prodip Kumar Roy of Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood, Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Mahbub Haque of Bangladesh Centre for Human Rughts and Development, Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of Network on Climate Change Bangaldesh, and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD.

Participating seven networks are BAPA, CSRL, CCDF, EquityBD, CFGN, NCCB, BIPNetCCBD, and other ten organizations are OKS, BKF, Arpon, Kishani Sohva, DCI, VOICE, Prodip, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somiti, Manush Manusher Jonno and United People Trust.

Prodip Kumar Roy of CSRL has said that during March 2011 government has declared to give climate financing to 53 NGOs, whom has been widely criticized by media and civil society, later government has postponed the disbursement and declared that it will be reviewed. Later during September 2011 in a circular government said it will form a committee to review the decision. But so far there are confusion, he apprehend that government might has already distributed money to the NGOs from the trust fund, civil society groups tried as best to know the details, but hardly any body giving information.

Mizanur Rahaman Bijoy of NCCB, criticized government that in fact it has no criteria and policies for NGO selection. He demand a concrete policy declaration in this regard, which should be bottom up, i.e., government must select NGOs based on fair governance, existence and proven commitment, then in next stage they should be trained and given time to go to grass root to discuss on project formulation. He criticized government as the present process like giving “contractor ship” to NGOs, he term the process is to make the NGOs corrupted and thereby to benifit bureaucrats and corrupt politicians.

Badrul Alam of BKF demanded that the NGOs who got the funding they must declare their detail project information in public domain especially to media. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD said that government must not loss the opportunity to set good example in NGO climate finance, he demand all the climate fund especially both BCCTF and Bangladesh Climate Change Resilenc Fund (BCCRF) should be through a single channel which should a autonomous foundation with democratic ownership, where board will be represented by both government and opposition representatives including civil society and media.

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Dhaka, 10th May 2012. Today six civil society climate networks and eleven organizations has organized a press conference in national press club. They have demanded there should not be any more fiduciary management role of World Bank in Bangladesh climate resilience fund beyond 2013, they also demanded an independent institution with democratic ownership for all climate fund management. They have also express worries that there is a conspiracy going to extend present role of World Bank in resilience fund until 2018.

The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD, position paper read out by Ahmed Swapan Mahmud of VOICE, introductory speech was given by Prodip Roy of OK Soceity, other spekers of the press conference were Progoti Chakma of BIPNetCCBD, Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD and Khokan Sikder of CDP. The group have given five specific demand in this regard which are; (i) by the year 2013 there should not be any role of World Bank in BCCRF, (ii) government should explain why the service charge rate to World Bank has been set from 1 to 4 or 9 %, which is still not clear; (iii) there must be full transparency of all the projects funded from BCCRF though websites; (iv) World Bank must explain what are the capacity building and other role they have performed in last three years, so that the government can take over the responsibility in future; and (v) finally government must show political will to get rid of conspiracy of donor darling consultants and bureaucrat’s nexus, who are trying to keep and extend World Bank role for longer.

The networks and organization who have organized the rally are, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Climate Finance Goverance Network (CFGN), Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL), Climate Change Development Forum (CCDF), Equity and Justice Working Group (Equity), Network for Climate Change in Bangladesh (NCCB), Arpon, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity (BBS), Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF), Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Centre for Global Change (CGC), Kishani Shoba, Manush Manusher Jonno, Media Foundation for Trade and Development (MFTD), OK Society, SDO, Sirajgong Flood Forum, Shurakka O Aggragoti Foundation (SAF) and Voice.

The group has cite examples of national institution like PKSF and IDCOL, they urged such an independent institution with democratic ownership is the best answer to manage climate fund. They define the democratic ownership means as with the participation of representatives from government and opposition party, climate victims, local government and media too.

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Dhaka, 12th April 2012. Today six civil society climate networks and eleven organizations has organized a human chain and rally in front of national press club. They have demanded there should not be any more fiduciary management role of World Bank in Bangladesh climate resilience fund beyond 2013, they also demanded an independent institution with democratic ownership for all climate fund management. They have also express worries that there is a conspiracy going to extend present role of World Bank in resilience fund until 2018.

The networks and organization who have organized the rally are, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Climate Finance Goverance Network (CFGN), Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood (CSRL), Climate Change Development Forum (CCDF), Equity and Justice Working Group (Equity), Network for Climate Change in Bangladesh (NCCB), Arpon, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity (BBS), Bangladesh Krishok Federation (BKF), Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Centre for Global Change (CGC), Kishani Shoba, Manush Manusher Jonno, Media Foundation for Trade and Development (MFTD), OK Society, SDO, Sirajgong Flood Forum, Shurakka O Aggragoti Foundation (SAF) and Voice.

The rally was modarated by Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, other speakers are Ahmed Swapan of VOICE, Prodip K Roy of OK Society, Subal Das of BBS, Zakir Hussein Khan of CFGN, Monsur Hallaz of NCCB, and Badurl Alam of BKF. The group has placed additional four demands in their written statement, these are (i) government must publicly clear on what is the service charge World Bank taking from the fund, is it 1 % as like as past commitment, or is it now 4 or 9 % as rumor going on, (ii) there should be full transparency of all resilience fund projects through website, (iii) what was the role of World Bank technical assistance in respect of capacity building of government as they were promised to build independent capacity to manage the fund in future and (iv) government must have political courage to get rid of bureaucrat and donor darling consultant nexus.

Group blame that government has fallen in the trap of this nexus so that World Bank role will be prolonged. The group has set examples of national institution like PKSF and IDCOL, they urged such an independent institution with democratic ownership is the best answer to manage climate fund. They define the democratic ownership means as with the participation of representatives from government and opposition party, climate victims, local government and media too.

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Dhaka, 9th October 2011. Today eighteen civil society rights group leaded by EquityBD formed a human chain and rally in front of national press club and demanded that the government must aware of conspiracy and corruption trap, and they urged to reconsider all climate fund to form a single autonomous board as also to make World Bank out of climate finance. They group have also urged, this as the right solution while government is already in a lot of public question in respect of transparency in climate fund disbursement. The group consists APON, ASOW, CSRL, On Line Knowledge Society, EquityBD, Lead Trust, NCCB, BUP, Bangladesh Bhumihin Somity, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Jatiya Sramik Jote, SIRAC Bangladesh, Humanity Watch, DCI, PRAN, SDO, SUPRO, and VOICE. The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD; other speakers of the rally are Mizanur Rahman Bijoy of NCCB, Prodip Kumar Roy of On Line Knowledge Centre, Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD, Fakhrul Ferdous of DCI, Mohin Ahmed of Bangaldesh Krishok Federation, and Farhana Akther of SUPRO.

Prodip Kumar Roy of On Line Knowledge Center mentioned that government has already raised a lot of question on transparency of climate fund disbursement; he also mentioned that there is hardly any information on what World Bank is doing on Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund. He urged the government to reconsider the two funds (BCCTF and BCCRF) for amalgamation in a single fund management i.e. to form an autonomous board like PKSF.

Fokrul Ferdous of DCI mentioned that, it is an international conspiracy that government is maintaining such a questionable fund management so that World Bank will have the means and space to finger corruption, thus justify her claim to manage the fund. And in fact which will strengthen World Bank conditionality leverage to open our market for multi national companies and to make our country in more indebt ness.

Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD has criticized the present formation of two climate fund board, which he term as mere Government Ownership. He proposed alternative term “Democratic Ownership” i.e., the board should also consist of member of parliaments from opposition, representative from media, local government and climate victims. He suggested four following steps, government to follow in already disbursed projects, i.e., in each of disbursed project there should have (i) corruption risk assessment, (ii) information disclosure policy, (iii) complain response mechanism and (iv) participation index in all implementation level.

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A two day long residential workshop for media professional was held from 11 to 12th March, 2011 at Proshika Human Resource Development Center kaitta, Manikganj. The workshop is focused on the issue of investigative journalism especially climate finance monitoring in Bangladesh where 17 journalist have taken part. Objectives of the workshop to promote investigative journalism in climate finance monitoring and to outline some immediate and perspective plan in this regard. The workshop was facilitated by senior journalists including CSRL and EquityBD members Ziaul Haque Mukta, Nuzhat Imam, Dr. Ahsan Uddin, Dr. Sharmind Neelormi, Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Syed Aminul Haque, Mostafa Kamal Akanda and Atiqul Islam Chowdhury. Papers and power points which have had presented in the workshop are available below for download.
1. Workshop objectives, sessions and outline [Download]
2. Importance Climate Finance Monitoring in BD [Download]
3. Climate Finance in National Level, Trend and Implication [Download]
4. Climate Finance Monitoring [Download]
5. Gender and climate finance monitoring [Download]
6. Investigative journalism, Basic Approaches [Download]

Dhaka, 30th May 2010. Today in a rally and human chain, civil society and non government organizations condemned EUs sponsored on going Asia Conference on Global Climate Change Alliance as a mere talk show, they also criticized EU and UK pressure on government to accept World Bank technical assistance in the climate change fund. The rally was participated by twelve organization led by EquityBD while they placed twelve demands which include compensation of carbon debt from developed countries, participation of civil society and climate victims in climate fund management, creation of separate and independent foundation for climate fund management, immediate construction of embankment in Satkhira and other coastal area and declaration of 30 million Bangladeshi climate migrants as universal natural person and accept their access in developed countries.

The rally was moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Convener of EquityBD in his speech mentioned that in the name of technical assistance in fact World Bank will manage the climate fund, Bangladesh has the example of managing foreign fund successfully especially in PKSF and IDCOL. Thus the involvement of the Bank, even as the provider of technical assistance is suicidal. Bank will use the fund to screw the country for the interest of multi national companies and for blanket privatization and liberalization especially in respect of essential services. Atikul Islam Chowdhury of EquityBD criticized the role of some so called climate experts terming them as ‘the donor darling consultants’, as they are being paid by donor agencies, they do not have moral ground to work with government. Tusar Rahman of Citizen Rights Movement mentioned that most of the World Bank projects in our country are failed project, basically which are benefited so called consultants and elite class, he condemn donors and government attitude of having such a lavish conferences, while almost everyday sufferings of cyclone AILA victims are being reported in media. Mohiuddin Ahmed Munir of La Via Campesina Bangladesh, mentioned that World Bank and other international financial institutions and developed countries are responsible for damages in agriculture sector in the third world countries, he condemn recently held USAID conference on agriculture forum and their advice to commercialize the sector. Ziad Iqbal Khan of Bangladesh Krishok Federation urged as a political government it should not accept this supply driven technical assistance, it must be demand driven, and Bangladesh must have sovereign control over fund.

In conclusion Mustafa Kamal Akanda mentioned that, sufferings of AILA victims and other coastal people is simply out of arrogance and ignorance of donor’s countries, whose pressure and delay techniques are also responsible for this. He also urged government to come out of donor dependency illusions and to prepare plan with own resources.

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index-picDhaka 21st December 2008. Today through organizing a press conference at National Press Club, Dhaka, Equity and Justice Working Group (equitybd) has concluded its three month long campaign on sensitizing political and CSOs opinion against the involvement of the World Bank in the management of proposed Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for climate change adaptation in Bangladesh. The campaign progaramme includes sending post cards from the grassroots level to the Chief Adviser of Bangladesh and UK Minster, organizing seminars in district and national level to sensitize CSOs and political opinion against WB involvement in the management of climate fund. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, convener EquityBD moderated the press conference while Md. Shamsuddoha presented the background paper and campaign outcomes. In this press conference the organizers claimed that they mobilized a number of international CSO organizations and think tanks in favor of their position who also organized huge campaign activities in Poznan, CoP 14 (conference of the parties) climate conference against WB’s involvement in climate financing.

Speakers apprehend a conspiracy on the finalization of MDTF under World Bank management during the tenure of this interim government. They strongly urged to put the matter, especially the preparation of ‘climate change strategy and action plan’ to the next political government. They clarified the rationale of opposing World Bank, saying that this approach will allow the World Bank imposing anti poor conditionality to the countries. Moreover World Bank is playing a hypocritical and double standard role through financing to the fossil fuel and coal fired generating electricity project which are considered as dirty projects globally. Speakers mentioned that they will continue the campaign to sensitize up-coming members of parliament and Upazila chairmen who will be aware on the issue and oppose World Bank and IFIs in climate finance.

AHM Bazlur Rahman of EquityBD and Quazi Farooque explained the campaign procedure while Mostafa Kamal Akanda delivered the welcome address. Following the UK-Bangladesh climate change conference held in London in September, 2008 EquityBD and 30 other national organizations launched this campaign as Bangladesh Finance Adviser and also UK government proposed the World Bank to manage the fund. The organizers also pointed out that initially UK government announced 60 million pound sterling for five year period while Bangladesh government proposed 45 million pound sterling from this year budget alone; the organizers claimed that GoB contribution to climate adaptation fund is quite unreasonable as Bangladesh is no way responsible for climate change. This is also against the ‘Polluter Pay Exploiter Principle’ of climate financing. Initially the campaign was initiated by 30 organizations from the country and three international networks in Asia.

Among the signatories there are around 50 organizations from the country, where prominent organizations from the countries like Uddipon, ADD, CAB, COAST, Prodipon, NCCB, Solidarity, Innovators, Vocice etc and around 35 organizations from international level these are Jubilee South – APMDD, Jubilee South Africa, SANSAD and INSAF from India, LDC Watch, SAAPE, Focus on Global South, EEPA-Belguim. In respect of individuals there are signatures of Advocate Sultana Kamal ex Adviser to the care taker government, Rashed Khan Menon of Worker’s Party, Hasanul Haque Inu of JSD, Prominent Cultural Activist Hasan Imam, Dr. Alauddin and KM Jahangir of Awami Legue, Shamsuzzaman Dudu of BNP and Golam Mortaza of Saptahiki. Around 3000 post card has been sent to both UK and Bangladesh government.

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Index-picDhaka 11 October 2008: Equity &Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD) today organized a round table discussion on “Multi Donor Trust Fund for Climate Change, Adaptation and the role of World Bank ” at the National Press Club Md Shamsuddoha ,General Secretary of body presented the keynote paper in the event while Dr Tofail Ahmed moderated the discussion on the floor. Among others, former finance Minister Abul Mal Al Muhit, Former lawmaker engineer Md Shahiduzzaman and Ziaul Haque Mukta of Oxfam took part in the discussion and expressed thier views on the much debated management mechanism of the MDTF.

Md Shamsuddoha in his key note held the view that the formation of such a special fund for Bangladesh to support various action plans for adaptation to face adverse impacts of climate change under World Bank supervision will defeat the vary purpose. It will push the country to sideline of the movement for the reduction of carbon emission and knock out it from securing compensation to come from the developed countries as being the major polluters. He said all climate funding should be executed through the existing government channels. He made the point that there should not be any separate body like the World Bank to channel the fund and overseeing its management. He called upon the government not to take any fund on climate financing from the WB sincw sucg funding would eventually accompany tough conditions and regulations. The fund should be given as compensation, not as interest bearing credit, he said The principle to govern the fund should only be that ‘polluter pay and exploiter pay principle’, which means that the developed countries which are responsible for climate change related problems should pay the compensations to sufferers like Bangladesh, he said

Former finance minister Abul Mal Al Muhit said the risks of climate change can not be faced only by undertaking few projects. Reedial measures should be incorporated in all development plans and projects. “The representation of the people who are vulnerable to climate change should be included in fund management and developing the climate change strategy paper,” he said. He further said that the stance of any government in this respect should be published to the people in a White Paper before joining any inter-governmental or international conference in this regard.

Rejecting the ‘Climate Change Strategy and Action plan for Bangladesh’ prepared by the government, Ziaul Haque said it is by and large a collection of as many proposals. It cannot be treated as an effective strategy to face climatic change in Bangladesh as it lacks consultative views of campaign groups and experts opinion. Tthe Bangladesh Climate Conference in London reached a consensus, he said that the polluter countries would reduce emission by 50 percent of their total carbon emission by 2050, although it is considered insignificant by scientists. He urged the government not to lent support to this target in the next UN convention on climate change.

Local government specialist Prof Dr Tofail Ahmed said climate change issue is now a matter of national existence. So, its importance should be underscored seriously.

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