Considering the growing adverse impacts of climate change, speakers at a programme on Sunday sought specific climate budgetary allocation and its proper utilization in the next national budget.
Bangladesh is on the top of the most climate-affected country list, but has not enough preparations to check bad impact of climate change, they said.They made the remarks while addressing the programme at the National Press Club in the capital.
International Center for Climate Change and Development Director Dr Saleemul Huq, Professor Mizan R Khan of North South University and Action Aid Bangladesh country director Farah Kabir spoke on the occasion.
Suggesting relying on own sources of fund, Saleemul said it will not be wise for Bangladesh depending on international aid to face adverse impacts of climate change.
“We have to ensure maximum and best use of our own sources of funds for making them climate friendly. We should not focus on expenditure rather focusing on effective use of fund. We should keep in mind that is the fund being spent on the welfare of people, or climate vulnerable people,” he said.
Several ministries and government department are involved with the climate issues and all the ministries and departments need to work together for facing bad impacts of climate change. Besides, it is also needed a wide range of research on this specific issue, he said.
Professor Mizan said the government reports on climate related issues in between 2009 and 2013 only mentioned the allocation, but how the allocation had been spent are not described clearly in the report.“It is seen in the report that 50 to 52 percent of the allocation has been spent on the boosting skills. But it is clear what kinds of skills have been developed with this allocation. We have to be aware of these issues,” he said.
Time has come to think about how to increase funding at the state level. For that, it is needed to decentralize this budget to face the adverse impact of climate change more effectively, he said urging the government to keep focus on budget decentralization.
Action Aid Country Director Farah Kabir said that impacts of climate is going bad to worse which is constantly affecting on agriculture, heath and education.
The government should increase budgetary allocation in the upcoming budget to address the climate change issues, she said.
On the reflection on the Climate Budget of Bangladesh, organizers made a presentation styled ‘Climate Financing in National Budget: Where Do We Stand?’ at the programme.
The presentation paper recommends to focus is given more on community level preparedness rather than response and recovery and demand increased allocation for disaster and climate change preparedness.
It also sought five percent increase every year to keep in line with the growing impacts of climate change.