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Workshop held on Environment and Climate Change: Role of the ADB in Bangladesh

By farjana - Posted on 24 September 2008

Participants from various civil society organizations agreed to monitor closely the
 policies, projects and programs of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Bangladesh in the face of changing nature of the ADB. Speakers critically evaluated recently drafted the national action plan on climate change. The national action plan was drafted without any public participation especially the vulnerable communities. 

The day long consultation on Environment and Climate Change: Role of the ADB in Bangladesh held at the Mohammadpur auditorium attended by nearly 40 representatives from NGOs, civil society organizations, academicians, journalists and human rights activists across the country. Speakers demanded that international financial institutions (IFIs) and northern multinational companies should shed the climate hypocrisy if they want to consider impacts of climate change on people.

The event was organized by Voice, a research and advocacy organization based in Dhaka and Manila based NGO Forum on ADB- an international civil society networks.

Ahmed Swapan, Executive Director of Dhaka based NGO- VOICE while inaugurating the consultation Ahmed Swapan said that the climate change issue is related with neo-liberal economic policies pushed by northern donors and international financial institutions especially ADB. According to Ahmed, the transnational companies are the major culprit of the climate change.

While explaining the role of ADB in Bangladesh, Dr. Avilash Roul from Manila-based NGO Forum on ADB explained that ADB must consider or review its future investment in energy and transport sector in Bangladesh to avoid its hypocrisy on climate change. So far the ADB has lent largest amount in the energy sector followed by the transport and communication in Bangladesh. According to Roul, the ADB has not at all made the climate impact component prior to design any projects in Bangladesh.
Waheeda Bashar Ahemd from Action Aid-Bangladesh convincingly put the interest of the vulnerable groups in right perspective. She suggested that any climate change strategy must involve vulnerable groups concern which can’t be compromised or negotiable.

Among others, Ziaul Haque Mukta, cordinator of Oxfam-International, Asgar Ali Sabri from ActionAid Bangladesh, Iqbal Hossain from Save the Children-UK, Md. Hil aluddin from Angikar Bangladesh, Hosne Ara from VSO International, Zakir Hossain from NAgorik Uddog, Sajjad Ansari from In Search of Light, Shawkat Ali from Sharp, Abdul Jalil from CDP, Remuna Nurain from Bela, Hasan Mehedi from Humanity Watch put their respective concerns on the occasion.

The consultation detailed out a short term and long term strategies to work on climate change issue. There has been a strategy to bring media into the strategy on climate change in more concrete way.