Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) suggested forming a high powered commission to ensure governance in climate finance in Bangladesh. It also urged the developed countries to disburse the committed funds to tackle adverse impacts of climate change. These recommendations were tabled at the consultation meeting titled “Climate Finance Governance: Institutional and Practical Advancement, Challenges and Potential” on July 9 at the BRAC Centre Inn
Coordinator of TIB’s Climate Finance Governance Project (CFGP) M Zakir Hossain Khan presented a working paper at the consultation. Environment and Forests Minister Anwar Hossain Manju, MP attended the programme as the Chief Guest while Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of Bangladesh Masud Ahmed was present as the Special Guest. Chaired by TIB Trustee Board Chairperson Advocate Sultana Kamal, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman and Deputy Executive Director Dr Sumaiya Khair were also present among others.
The working paper identified some commendable steps by the government including formulation and up-gradation of Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009, introduction of Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) financed by domestic resources, introduction of Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) financed by donors etc. On the other hand the paper presented a sad picture of the fund disbursement status both in BCCTF and BCCRF. Under BCCTF-only U$D 251.5 million against commitment of U$D 350.60 million under BCCRF and U$D 146.10 million against commitment of U$D 188.20 million have been disbursed.
Apart from inadequate disbursement, lack of coordination between BCCTF and BCCRF authorities, inadequate allocation for adaptation, unavailability of fund related information, political influence in selection of implementing organisation and project approval were among other challenges in ensuring governance in climate finance.
Taking part in the discussion, Project Coordinator of Community Climate Change Project Dr. Fazle Rabbi emphasised on forming National Designated Authority and National Implementing Entity (NIE) for lobbying with donors to secure the committed fund.
Additional Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Forests Didarul Alom urged the CAG office to ensure more transparency in BCCTF through in-depth and proper audit.
Bangladesh had already shown its expertise in project formulation but lacks in implementation - Prof Monowar Hossain
Executive Director of Institute of Water Modeling Prof Monowar Hossain said that Bangladesh had already shown its expertise in project formulation but lacks in implementation. He emphasised on extensive research to have better understanding on climate change impact.
Jahangirnagar University teacher Sormindo Nilormi stressed on addressing gender sensitivity in project planning and implementation.
Special Guest Masud Ahmed said that his office always puts empahsis on high risk and high value projects while conducting audit but not all climate projects need audit.
The Chief Guest Anwar Hossain Manju, MP said the ministry is would do everything to ensure transparency and accountability in implementing climate projects. The added that limited domestic resource is not enough to combat climate change and therefore, coordinated efforts should be there to disburse fund against commitment made by developed countries.
Highlighting inadequate allocation for climate finance in 2014-15 budget, Dr Iftekharuzzaman urged the government to reconsider the allocation and increase it at the same time.
To ensure transparency and accountability in climate finance, the working paper also placed seven recommendations which include among others assigning of a national authority to secure finance from Green Climate Fund (GCF), ensuring representation of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in GCF decision making process, bringing of World Bank managed resilience fund related info under the jurisdiction of Right to Information Act and proactive and on-demand disclosure of project related information.