Bangladesh needs a National Designated Authority to Attract International Climate Finance

NGO News Report :: (Dhaka, 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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