Bangladesh demands allocation of funds for population at risk
Sun, Dec 13, 2009
Daily Star/Asia News Network

COPENHAGEN - The Bangladesh delegation to the Copenhagen talks has demanded allocation from the adaptation fund in proportion to the percentage of its population exposed to climate change.

Bangladesh has made significant progress in many sectors including food production and population control over the years but these achievements might be lost due to the impacts of climate change, the speakers told a global audience at a presentation at the Bella Center in Copenhagen.

The country has devised its strategy and action plans to battle climate change and also developed its capability. But it now needs fund to show the world how to deal with climate change through adaptation, the speakers said.

"The climate change adaptation fund has to be created by mandatory contribution of developed countries as over and above their usual overseas development assistance fund," said state minister Hasan Mahmud, who is now leading the Bangladesh delegation, at a press conference in the afternoon.

"More or less one billion people are affected in the world due to climate change and at least 15 per cent of them live in Bangladesh," he said.

The state minister for forest and environment said at least 70 per cent of the adaptation fund should go to the Least Developed Countries and the most vulnerable ones among the LDC groups should get priority.

Earlier, the Bangladesh delegation arranged a presentation called 'Bangladesh: A Victim of Climate Change - Sharing Experiences with the Global Community' where vulnerability of Bangladeshi people to climate change were presented with scientific data.

Ainun Nishat, member of the delegation, presented the facts on climate change while Mihir Kanti Majumder, secretary to the forest and environment ministry, conducted the session.

"We want to lead the world when it's a matter of climate change adaptation," said lawmaker Saber Hossain Chowdhury, chief of the all-party group on climate change.

"We need to show the world that we are not just victims but doing a lot to battle the climate change," said Raja Debashish Roy, former special assistant to the chief adviser to a caretaker government.

Ainun Nishat said agriculture and eco-system depend on the climatic order in Bangladesh.

He said Bangladesh's agricultural sector is facing many problems but the country is making preparations to fight climate change.

Bangladesh has already made its national action plan and it will be included soon in the five-year development plan, he said.

When asked how the government will manage the Multi Donor Trust Fund offered to Bangladesh by development partners on bilateral basis to fight climate change, the state minister said it is yet to be in operation.

But when it comes in operation, the government might let World Bank manage the fund for a short term as per a condition set by the development partners, he said.

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