LAST Friday,the Daily Star reported on the importance of Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) plans related to climate change which was discussed during the “Seventh International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change,” organized by Bangladesh Center for Advance Studies (BCAS). As Bangladesh is in the forefront of negative climate change impacts, there is no argument about the need of these CBAs. But how much work has been done and what's the best methodology to implement these CBAs in the community level still remain a work in progress.
The Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) has supported 140 sectoral adaptation planning projects and research and capacity building projects on climate change adaptation and mitigation with funding from the development budget. However, these projects still have not reached the communities to create more concentrated and customised adaptation plans in the village levels -- where the need for CBAs is the greatest. The efforts so far have been more top down rather than grassroots driven. Various international and national organizations have also started working with CBAs but the work has not been well coordinated so far.
At the moment, to implement successful CBAs the main issues remain with securing and channeling o of funding, getting local government involved in the CBA planning process as well as higher participation of women of the concerned communities.
Also Ecosystems Based Adaptation (EBA) goes hand in hand with community based adaptation plans, as creating resilient ecosystems and climate-resilient communities are two strong instruments to fight climate change impacts.
While a lot remains to be done in this front, our community people might already have informal CBAs in place following tradition and the experience from life with negative impacts of climate change. We hope the government, along with donor and NGO communities, will put to good use the available resources and mitigate the vulnerability of the people of Bangladesh, where disaster unfortunately has become a byword.