Dhaka Integrity Dialogue 3: Call for equity and transparency in green climate funding
National and international experts stressed on need to ensure transparency and equity in securing green climate funds (GCF) which may be possible through the implementation of policies that are parallel to global standards. The speakers reiterated the necessity of monitoring the implementation of projects at the root-level, along with ensuring participation from the community, experts with members of the civil society to monitor the implementation process. They made the observations at a daylong international dialogue that held in the capital on 18 September.
Organised by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), experts from Bhutan, Nepal, Australia, Korea, Germany and Bangladesh were participating in ‘Dhaka Integrity Dialogue 3: Equity and Transparency in Green Climate Funding’ at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC), Dhaka.
TIB organized the dialogue, third of its kind, to identify prospects and challenges in ensuring equity and transparency in mobilizing and accessing the Green Climate Fund, share knowledge and build understanding of the necessary good governance standards among the stakeholders, and strengthen collaboration and cross-country knowledge of experts, practitioners, policy makers and development partners in vulnerable countries.
At the dialogue, there was unanimous consensus among the speakers that Bangladesh is in need to get more accreditation like National Implementing Entities (NIEs) to ensure the chances of securing GCF funds. However, it is imperative to develop articulated funding proposals. To do so, the speaker recommended the government to employ a dedicated pool of fund and resources to develop new projects. In terms of GCF, it is important for the body to ensure a long-term financial sustainability, while achieving credibility among the countries, specially the developing ones.
Experts also recommended improving the capacity of GCF to make a sustainable impact and better disbursement of the funds and called to ensure equitable representation from developing countries in the GCF Board to reap the benefits of the Paris Agreement. The speakers urged to revise investment priorities of GCF in reflection of prioritized adaption actions aligning with NDCs, NAP and SDG targets with increased pro-activeness of the GCF Board to enhance access to GCF through establishing country specific strategy with dedicated funds for the loss and damages especially e.g. welfare and rehabilitation of climate induced displaced people. Speakers further urged adopting principles of equity, participation, responsiveness, and ownership to enhance transparency in adaptation finance for the benefits vulnerable communities.
Chief Guest of the concluding session of the dialogue Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said the government of Bangladesh has undertaken the climate issue with high importance. He said that besides forming its own climate fund in paralelle to GCF, it has been spending a considerable part of its national budget every year in climate adaptation and recently, climate adaptation was significantly included in the newly adopted Delta Plan 2100. Terming prevailing conditions in accessing GCF an obstacle, he underscored the need to address the complex issues for quick release of fund.
In his speech as the Guest of Honor, Mr. Mohammed Iqbal Hossain, Deputy Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh (Senior), Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General underscored the need of transparency, accountability and integrity in climate adaptation projects. Referring poor output of climate adaptation projects, he stressed on careful design of projects for sustainable adaptation.
Professor Dr. Sumaiya Khair, Adviser, Executive Management, TIB presened a brief summary of the dialogue in the concluding session. TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman emphasized the need of exerting pressure upon GCF to make access procedures user-friendly and practical, and develop a robust environmental and social safeguard policy and ensure wide dissemination among stakeholders. He urged for collective efforts to enhance technical capacity of the affected countries, especially those in South Asia in writing proposals for the GCF and effective implementation of the approved projects.
In the daylong dialogue, experts participated in three plenary sessions on key governance issues impinging on the prospect of flow of GCF funds to countries worst affected by climate change. Mr. Mirza Shawkat Ali, Director (Climate Change & International Convention), Department of Environment, Government of Bangladesh (GoB) moderated the first plenary session to identify challenges and prospects of transparency, accountability and integrity in mobilizing Green Climate Fund. Recognising that Bangladesh is one of the worst sufferers of climate vulnerabilities, the speakers suggested to integrate space technologies with the meteorological department, while stating the need for more research as data is needed for developing and designing projects, effective monitoring and implementation.
Country representative of IUCN Bangladesh M. Raquibul Amin moderated the second session to identify prospects and challenges of access to Green Climate fund by vulnerable countries. The participants argued on prospects and challenges in accessing GCF by developing countries, accreditation of NIE and time bound decision-making process. In the session, undersocring the need of a balance between adaptation and mitigation in funding to developing countries, the speakers stressed on eradicating prevailing bureaucracy alleging the lack of interest on the parts of government officials behind the slowing down of the process of implementation. Since there have been allegations of corruption in projects and other levels of administration, experts urged to introduce a unique cell within the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to oversee such matters.
In the third session, speakerss stressed on elaborating modalities and monitoring mechanisms to ensure transparency, accountability and participation for actors within the framework of climate finance, and forming a multi-stakeholder forum under NDA (private, public, CSOs, NGOs, project beneficiaries) to establish coordination among relevant actors, and analyzing macro & micro level for prioritization, vulnerability assessment, effectiveness and sustainability of projects.
Among others, policymakers and government officials, non-government organizations, experts, researchers, policy think tanks, and practitioners with grassroots experience and the national implementing entities who are currently implementing GCF, or will be possibly involved with GCF attended the dialogue.
The first and second integrity dialogues in adaptation climate finance organised by TIB were and held in Dhaka in March 2016 and September 2017 respectively. Since 2011, TIB has been playing pivotal role in research and advocacy on climate finance governance in Bangladesh for ensuring integrity, transparency, accountability and participation in all types of climate funds in Bangladesh.