Civil Society in South Asia Need to Be United to make SAARC Accountable

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IndexDhaka, 17th Febraury 2014: Today a seminar organized by EquityBD, a right based campaign group along with CSRL (Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood), an Oxfam Led civil society alliance with the support of European Union titled “Climate Change in South Asian Countries: Opportunities and Challenges for Regional Cooperation” is held at the national press club where the civil society leaders mentioned that the notion of Nation State is a problem in taking common minimum position in respect or climate change action in South Asia. Civil society is urged to be united in South Asia to made the SAARC accountable.

The seminar is moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chief Moderator EquityBD, keynote paper is presented by Dr. Sarba Raj Khadka from People’s SAARC, a South Asia based civil society alliance in Nepal; Mr. Sanjay Vahsist, Coordinator CANSA (Climate Action Network South Asia), India; Mr Soumaya Dutta, Coordinator, Beyond Copenhagen Collective, India.

The other speakers of the seminar are Lt Gen (Retd.) Mahbubur Raham of BNP, Dr Hasan Mahmud, MP and Ex Minister to forest and environment, Dr. Atiq Rahaman Leading Climate Scientist of the country, Mr. Reaz Hamiddulah, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Ministry; Qumrul Islam Chowdhury leading climate negotiator, Ziaul Haque Mukta, Asia Regional Policy Coordinator of Oxfam, Mr. Snehal Soneji Country Director Oxfam Bangladesh, Ms. Tahmina Rahman, Country Director of Article 19; Mr. Shamsuddoha of PRDI, Dr Golam Sarwar of BUP and Ms. Farhana Sharmin of Practical Action.

Lt Gen (Rtd) Mahbubur Rahman said that, we have to develop the notion as we are the citizen of South Asia so that we can put pressure on our governments and to make SAARC more active in this regard. Dr Hasan Mahmud has mentioned that if countries in South Asia cooperate according to frame of Thimpu Deceleration (2010), South Asia would be the region of immense potentiality and surplus energy.

Soumya Dutta of India said that civil society need to generate alternative community based information in place of information provided by World Bank and other agencies to promote poor people’s agenda in respect of climate change.

Sanjay Vahsist from India insists that there is a need of cooperation among the South Asian countries to form common climate action while World Bank is promoting more investment in this regard. Dr. Sarba Raj Khadka from Nepal says that, People’s SAARC, a convergence process of civil society initiative which have started in 1990, revaluates with climate change agenda to make SAARC accountable.

Mr Riaz Hamidduallah of Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh urges civil society and people’s SAARC to come forward with proposal of specific and achievable projects. Ziaul Hque Mukta of Oxfam Asia gives four specific proposals in this regard, where he emphasizes common but differentiated responsibilities in South Asian countries too. Dr Atiq of BCAS says that in South Asia we should have more science for people instead of making profit. Snehal Soneji mentioned that in respect of climate education young people should be given more important.

Please Download [Bangla Press] [English Press] [Assessment of possible bottlenecks] [Climate Change in South Asia] [IPCC Climate Change Impact_Prediction for South Asia] [Overview of the SAARC Country Positions on International Climate Negotiations] [The SAARC Declarations on Climate Change]
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