Today 14 June 2018, nine civil society networking organizations on climate change coordinated by COAST Trust and EquityBD has organized a press conference at national press club and demand to give focus climate resilient Infrastructure development for climate Financing in upcoming national budget for 2018-19 fiscal year. They also criticize government for coating the traditional development budget as climate finance. They urged government to ensure adequate and additional new budget for climate resilient economy and building adaptive capacity of coastal people.
The press conference is moderated by M Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chief Moderator of EquityBD and key demand is read out by Syed Aminul Hoque of same organization. Among the others, Mr. Quamrul Islam Chowdhury, President-Federation Environment Journalist Forum Bangladesh, Motahar Hossain, Secretary-Climate Change Journalist Forum, Mrinal Kanti of Bangladesh Indigenous People Network on Climate Change and Badrul Alam of Bangladesh agriculture federation has spoken in the event favor of the demands.
Presenting the key demand, Syed Aminul Hoque said, this is good that government is preparing report on climate finance but observation showing on 2018-19 proposed budget for climate finance amount BDT 18,948 crore (8.82% of proposed budget) in fact color coating of climate finance on traditional development expenditure those done in previous. Following this observation, the group made four recommendation for 2018-19 new budget those are (i) Government must ensure new and additional budget as climate finance out of traditional allocation (ii) Separate between growth orient infrastructure and climate fighting infrastructure and will make allocation accordingly to save climate vulnerable people (iii) Expedite the preparation of NAP-National Adaptation Plan with mass participation and ensure budget for required adaptation finance, (iv) Ensure transparency and accountability of climate finance along with BCCTF-Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund.
Mr. Quamrul Islam said that the proposed climate finance is inadequate to fight climate change impact. Apart govt. suffering lack of capacity of her NIEs (National Implementing Entities) to influence the global climate financing process. He recommended to build up NIEs capacity to mobilize additional global finance that ease govt. to more support on climate finance.
Mr. Rezaul Karim opined, that government should follow her own climate change strategy plan, identify the climate hot spots for appropriate climate action and allocate budget accordingly through setting priority to develop specific climate resilient infrastructure.
Mr. Badrul Alam said that implementing climate finance activities under “Trust Fund” is questionable to mass as this has hardly impact in climate change arena. Even this year government didn’t allocate money for this fund which is a setback for implementing climate change action plans. He demand to engage the mass with the process, implementation and monitoring of trust fund. Motahar Hossain said cyclone SIDR and Aila has damaged major part of coastal embankments those we need to construct with new high to face tidal surge. Apart salinity is a new problem looming cause of mass displacement. Government should importance these issues and increase budgetary allocation.
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