Experts have urged the government to increase climate related expenditure in real terms by 5% annually in the next national budget for 2018-19 financial year in order to tackle the growing impacts of climate changes.
Their call came at a press conference titled “Climate Budget 2018-19: Where Do We Stand?” held at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Sunday.
ActionAid Bangladesh and International Center for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) jointly organized the event attended and addressed by researchers, academicians and experts on the issue.
In 2017-18 fiscal year, the climate relevant allocation was 19.20% of the total national budget.
“We would like to encourage the government to share the expenditure analysis and urge them to provide a rigorous analysis of all ministries and projects receiving climate finance,” said ActionAid Country Director Farah Kabir.
She said the government should focus more on community level preparedness for disasters and climate change and increase allocation for this, rather than response and recovery.
ICCCAD Director Dr Saleemul Haque said: “We should not depend only on international donations and support for climate resilient development. With proper management and allocation, we should be capable of improving things on our own.
“The government has taken many development initiatives and allocated money in the previous budgets. But it’s very important how and where this money is being spent.”
He also said voices of the people affected by climate change should be heard while designing and implementing the project of Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF).
At the press briefing, the speakers also suggested that the government should decentralize the climate funding for a better outcome.
They urged the government to prioritize the districts vulnerable to climate change and poverty, and establish a district-level funding mechanism focusing on capacity building of women and youths.
The experts also expressed concern that inadequate preparation in case of an early monsoon and heavy downpour might again hamper agricultural production equivalent to estimated .5% to 1% of the GDP.