A New Journey to combat climate change
The 13th International Conference on Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA13) brought together practitioners, grassroots representatives, local and national government planners, policymakers and donors working at all levels and scales to discuss how we can drive ambition for a climate-resilient future which is led by the community. The conference took place on April 1 to April 4, 2019 in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and offered four days of discussion and debates, skill sharing and knowledge exchanges.
Themes for this year’s CBA were even more interesting and exciting: climate finance, adaptation technology and policy engagement. Apart from these three thematic areas, the conference covered 25 sessions during four days conference, all of them engaging, thought-provoking and based on the practicality of the changing world.
This opportunity was great for BRAC’s Climate Change Programme (CCP) to join CBA 13 as there have been an enormous number of takeaways which are essential to plan for a paradigm shift to combat the severity of climate change impacts. A total of 8 members, represented BRAC Bangladesh and BRAC International countries attended CBA 13. Dr Saleemul Huq, Advisor Climate Change Programme, was among the BRAC team members. Attending with others provided an excellent opportunity for BRAC to have a look at what is being discussed at the international level and at the same time share what the community-based adaptation that BRAC has been doing as best practices.
Climate Change hits the poor hardest. BRAC believes that poor people lack the opportunity to change their lives and BRAC works to link people with opportunity and options appropriate. As a change catalyst, BRAC has a more extensive portfolio and successful track record on facilitating opportunity creations; it has become a real means of reducing poverty by improving both people’s standard of living and economic self-sufficiency, as well as offering a pathway to education, health care and equity between men and women and adaptation to the climate change.
Community-based adaptation is a community-led process where communities’ are the owner of their choices, priorities, knowledge need and capacities. CBA is an excellent method to eradicate poverty by improving livelihood, communities in order to plan for coping with the impacts of climate change. To do so, strengthening resource mobilisation must seek linkages between climate change finance and countries’ long term planning and budgeting by mainstreaming climate change in every aspect.
BRAC finds CBA as an effective platform to participate and be a part of the community-based approach in combating climate change. BRAC, along with the other thousand organisations, want to see a world where all individuals and communities are climate resilient, but how?
Through providing space for the young people as think tanks to find solutions by making them problem solvers; improving the delivery of finance to solve the local problem; achieving transformative adaptation; and enabling girls, women and men as agents of the transformative adaptation.
On this note, BRAC has that capacity to strategies this source of financing for resource mobilisation in order to establish community-based adaptation and can play a vital role to tackle future impacts of climate change. It would be a mutually beneficial approach due to their association with livelihoods, assets and money-generating activities used by households for consumption, coping with uncertainties and responding to new opportunities.
On the other hand, BRAC’s Ultra Poor Graduation Programme (UPGP) is driving a large number of beneficiaries towards creating income sources to come out of poverty and graduate to receiving microloans by making them financially capable and socially acceptable in the community. BRAC WASH Programme is providing hard and soft solution for climate change adaptation.
One of the most talked windows for climate financing, which the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the new hope for vulnerable climate countries. GCF is committed to fighting climate change and must ensure a sufficient flow of at least 50% resource for adaptation that supports resilient activities. What we must do is to ensure the funding to be driven towards the priority actions in favour of communities regarding climate change adaptation.
On the discourse on adaptation technology—it must be obtainable, sustainable and expandable to go further. However, the CBA has extended its discussion on the following technologies which are limited to the level of effectiveness for community-based adaptation to climate change as of now. The approach will only be successful if it reaches the communities where lives and livelihoods are threatened by climate change. More research and piloting is required to make it a game changer.
CBA platform can be useful as a source of identifying community-based funding to take the effort forward in a more meaningful way. Ensuring successful CBA at a larger scale requires integrated funding sources and institutional arraignments within the relevant stakeholders. The characteristics of this kind of collaboration have to be flexible enough to allow communities to remain in the driving seat of their initiatives, and there is a belief that CBA would be successful in achieving that.
It is yet to be considered that besides Government agencies working wholeheartedly in leveraging policy strategies in the climate change development projects; actions must be coherent and should not be fixed to its terms instead including private sector could be a new route for scaling out the community-based adaptation.
The CBA conference series aims to bring synergies among the practitioners who are collectively seeking to rethink solutions that enable transformative outcomes through the agency of communities driving climate action.
On this regard, BRAC, the largest NGO in the world, has many things to offer as it covers a large number of participants at the community level. The Climate Change Programme has been taking forward an approach in mainstreaming climate change in all the programmes of BRAC to create a footprint as the organisation always does.
There are many more to come as the adaptation process itself follows ‘learning by doing’ method. The organisations like BRAC via its Climate Change Programme are also doing the same, and the future is bright, as it can offer from a different.
Md. Ashadudzaman Asad, is the Senior Manager of the Climate Change Programme at BRAC. Abu Sadat Moniruzzaman Khan, is the Programme Head of the Climate Change Programme at BRAC.