Ministries to get climate cells
The government has set up a secretariat on climate change under the environment and forest ministry to monitor the activities for combating climate change and deal with the climate change fund.
The government has taken the initiative to face the challenges of climate change as Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to global warming.
A special allocation of Tk 300 crore was given in the last budget for the first time for development activities to combat climate change.
Ministry sources said the government is going to form climate change cells with experts at all ministries to take necessary steps for mitigating the impacts of climate change on their respective sectors.
"The climate change cells at the ministries will monitor the activities to mitigate climate change's impacts and make suggestions for taking new programmes. The secretariat on climate change will coordinate the activities," Deputy Secretary of Environment and Forest Dr Nasiruddin told The Daily Star.
The ministry has already formed three special committees -- Inter-ministerial Climate Change Steering Committee, Climate Change Technical Committee and the Trust Fund Board -- to facilitate the works of the secretariat, ministry sources said.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its report in 2007 said climate change is irreversible and all sectors including agriculture and health are going to be affected because of it. Besides, natural calamities will be frequent.
Among the least-developed countries (LDCs), Bangladesh is playing a key role in combating climate change and it is the first LDC to create a climate change fund from its own resources, it said.
Ministry sources said non-government organisations can submit project proposals, each involving a budget of not more than Tk 10 crore, through the ministry concerned.
The ministry itself can also submit project proposals and implement it though its institutions.
"But the focal point of all the projects has to be climate change," said a top official of environment and forest ministry.
The technical committee with experts on climate change will evaluate the project proposals and forward it to the Climate Change Steering Committee headed by the environment and forest secretary.
The secretariat on climate change will initially seek proposals for small-scale pilot projects.
Following the recommendations and approval of the steering committee, the Climate Change Fund Trust Board headed by the finance secretary will disburse the fund.
"This special fund is not part of the annual development programme, rather it is like a trust fund. If we do not spend the money, it will be there to be spent later for combating climate change," said ministry high-ups.
The experts on climate change and ministry officials have drawn up the guidelines on spending from climate change fund. It will be placed at the cabinet meeting today, ministry sources added.