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Climate Change Adaptation: Experts stress for designing climate-smart development projects

  • Published at 10:46 pm November 28th, 2018
web-Climate Risk Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA)
Speakers at the workshop titled 'Establishing a Climate Risk Screening System for Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into National Development Budgeting Activities' on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

They also stressed on developing tools for designing climate-smart development projects

Climate change experts have emphasized on the integration of climate risk and vulnerability, to implement Screening Vulnerability Assessment (SRVA) tool in the development process, to minimize the loss due to climate change.

They came up with the remarks while addressing a workshop titled “Establishing a Climate Risk Screening System for Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into National Development Budgeting Activities,”   jointly organized by the Planning Commission of Bangladesh and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at a city hotel on Wednesday.

They also stressed on developing tools for designing climate-smart development projects.

The event was aimed at spreading the knowledge of products including the Climate Risk Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA) tools and guidelines developed during the project period. 

Farida Parveen, a climate change expert in her presentation on “Bangladesh Climate Risk Atlas,” said: “Bangladesh needs a high level screening approach from climate and geophysical hazards at an early stage of project development, and user friendly guidance on climate risk screening tools and their potentials to apply towards that target development.

“Climate risk screening refers to a systematic process of evaluating development projects to determine the extent to which their objectivities and activities might be affected by future climate related impacts, and to identify adaptation options to reduce any resulting adverse impacts and exploit opportunities.”

“In absence of screening, development activities may lead to mal-adaptation, an increase in exposure or vulnerability to climate change, either by overlooking climate change impacts or by undertaking inadequate adaptation actions,” she added.

ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash said: “Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to climate risks. So, in all projects taken for the development of the country, it should include the issue of climate change to address risk and manage it effectively.

“The tools developed with ADB-assistance will help to make right climate-smart investments, leading to optimal use of public resources.”

Shameem Hasan Bhuiyan, a Hydro-meteorologist in his presentation on “Climate Projection Scenarios for Bangladesh,” said: “Bangladesh is among the highly vulnerable countries in the world to climate change impacts.

It will eventually affect agriculture, fisheries, ecosystems, environment, ecology and economy of the country.”

While addressing the need to mainstream climate change in development activities of Bangladesh, it has been highly felt that the need for assessing the vulnerability and risk of new initiatives must be taken into consideration.

Speakers at the program said the CRVA process will minimize the climate change and disaster risks in future investment of development projects in Bangladesh.

They added that integrating the CRVA tool in the project formulation, implementation and M and E stages will help inform investment of public expenditure.

The event also showcased and discussed tools designed under an ADB technical assistance “Action on Climate Change in South Asia (TA 8572 REG).”

The project’s central output is a customized climate risk and vulnerability assessment tool and system, aimed at guiding government agencies, departments and ministries to incorporate climate change adaptation and mitigation options in project design. 

The tool will also help the Planning Commission to ensure that public sector investment projects in the Annual Development Program are resilient to potential damages, due to climate change and natural hazards.

The project also pilot tested the climate risk and vulnerability assessment tool on three agriculture and water resources projects in Barisal, Rajshahi and Sylhet, and conducted training for government officials on CRVA and cost benefit analysis of climate change adaptation.

Planning Division Senior Secretary Md Ziaul Islam, Planning Commission members- Mohammad Asif uz Zaman and Shamima Nargi, Chief of Programming Division of Planning Commission Md Sayeedul Haque attended the event, among others.