Increased budget allocation sought through climate finance in 2019-20 fiscal year for coastal protection

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Today 22 June 2019 in a seminar at CIRDAP auditorium Dhaka , civil society organizations and climate networks have criticized government for Ignoring Climate Finance requirement in national budget 2019-20. They made demand to government to increase climate finance in 2019-20 fiscal year effectively for climate infrastructure development to protect and saving millions of climate vulnerable people in coastal areas. They also demanded to strengthen the BCCTF (Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund) operations through revise of policies with provide sufficient money.

Seminar is “Ensure Priories and Adequate Budget Allocation Protecting Coastal Communities” chaired by Mr. Zafar Alam MP (Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change), Mr. Quamrul Islam Chowdhury as special gust. The event moderated by Mr. Mustafa Kamal Akanda, Asst. Director of COAST Trust. Key note presented by Syed Aminul Hoque from same organization. Apart Mr. Rafiqul Islam, Director (Federation of NGOs in BD), Mr. Badrul Alam, President-Bangladesh Krishak Federation, Mr. Nurul Islam Chowdhury, Environmental Activist and Cox’s Bazar Correspondent, New Age, Prodip Kumar Roy, CSRL, Bangladesh and many other stakeholders from civil society organization, climate network form different corner form coastal areas spoke on the issues.
Presenting the key note, Syed Aminul Hoque said that government has been including ministries under climate financing process those good but do not allocating sufficient money as per requirement in view of climate vulnerability. He criticized the proposed budget allocation BDT 23,785 corer (4.5% of total budget) very poor and just separated the figure from traditional budget following some criteria under climate fiscal framework. Rationally he made five specific demand as i. Proposed climate budget need to revise in view of BCCSAP (Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009) projection and increase allocation accordingly at least 02 percent of GDP, ii. Special allocation ensure for Coastal districts based on their vulnerability and adaptation priority, iii. Highest allocation to be made for climate protection infrastructure like Embankment & shelter, vi. Govt. will have to strengthen the BCCTF operation giving sufficient money with revision of policies and v. Engage local people and MPs (Member of Parliament) to monitor budget implementation progress.

Prodip Kumar opined government has proposed climate budget without any proper planning and assessment and urgent adaptation requirement in coastal areas. That’s proposed budget do not address the adaptation priorities those elaborated in BCCSAP (Bangladesh Climate change Strategy action Plan), SDGs requirement and the 7th five year plan. He demand to prepare NAP (National Adaptation Plan) as urgent set adaptation priorities and ensure budget accordingly to support adaptation.

Mr. Nurul Islam Chowdhury said due to climate change impact thousands of people displaced and leaving their home from coast and move to the urban with socio-economic hazard and create crisis. But government Social Safety Net program (SSNP) do not address properly due to the program politicized. He urged government to bring these people identify as climate vulnerable and include SSNP.

Mr. Zafar Alam MP opine the embankment is first for coastal protection and budget is insufficient in fact. We will discuss with our parliamentary committee meeting and also propose to the parliamentary session for budget increase if there scope for me.

Mr. Badrul Alam, Quamrul Islam opine and recommended govt. to push people in implementation process and involve MPs (Member of Parliament) for periodical monitoring on local level development progress.
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