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Experts: Invest in climate adaptation not only mitigation

  • Published at 12:34 am October 17th, 2019
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Speakers at a seminar on ‘State of Play Globally on Climate Change’ organized by Brac Climate Change Program at Brac Centre Inn auditorium at Mohakhali in Dhaka on Wednesdayt, October 16, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The report identified eight adaptation action tracks

Experts at a seminar on "State of Play Globally on Climate Change" organized by Brac Climate Change Program at Brac Centre Inn auditorium in the capital on Wednesday stressed importance so that the international community allocates more funds for investing in climate adaptation. 

Director of International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) Dr Saleemul Huq presented newly published report titled “Adaptation Now: A Global Challenge for Leadership on Climate Resilience” by Global Commission on Adaptation. 

The report identified eight adaptation action tracks - Food Security and Rural Livelihoods, Finance, Cities, infrastructure, Natural Environment, Locally Led Action, Water and Disaster Risk Management.

Referring to a study by the International Institute for Environment and Development on global climate finance, he said: “Of the global amount of climate finance, only 20% goes to adaptation, and 80% goes to mitigation. And out of the 20% only 19% of that goes to the local level which is effectively 2% or 3% of the global amount of money that goes to the vulnerable community. That is not right. Not only should more money be available for adaptation, we want fifty-fifty distribution between adaptation, and mitigation.”

If investment is made on five sectors - strengthening early warning systems, making new infrastructure resilient, improving dry-land agriculture crop production, protecting mangroves, making water resources management more resilient; will return much more benefits. The commission report says that the overall rate of return on investments improves as resilience is very high, with benefit-cost ratios ranging from 2:1 to 10:1. 

“We also want this money delivered to the most vulnerable community more effectively then it is being done at this moment. We have to find better ways at the global height to deliver funding to the local level,” he added, emphasizing locally lead adaptation, and the fact that the most vulnerable are not getting adequate support. 

Dr Saleemul Huq emphasized on building the adaptive capacity of people, and he also said: “From being most vulnerable, they can at the same time become resilient as well. Being vulnerable does not mean they cannot be resilient.”

Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP Khushid Alam emphasized on domestic funding, inequality, and poverty, while Ziaul Haque, Director, Department of Environment Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change also emphasized on putting adaptation measures into an action plan, and implementation at ground level. 

Emphasizing on the implementation, Dr Ainun Nishat, adviser of Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), Brac University said: “Actions of climate change need to integrate in everything. There won’t be anything separately done, but in some places it can be specified. Development actions are on one side, and climate change is on the other-side; that does not make any sense. We have to understand and do a lot of things such as – monitoring, and how it is being implemented.”

Sultana Afroz, additional secretary, Wing Chief, Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Finance was present as special guest, while the program was chaired by Dr Md Liakath Ali, Director, Climate Change Program (CCP) Brac and Brac International, & Urban Development Program, Brac. 

Experts at the seminar also suggested collaboration between government, NGOs, academia, UNDP, private sector, and the whole society approach, to act together, and collectively.