It is imperative to empower local governments for the proper utilisation of the budget allocated for the victims of climate change, speakers said at a webinar yesterday.

They also underscored the need to ensure transparency to check corruption in implementing the projects on climate change.

They said this at a webinar titled “Stakeholder Consultation on Bangladesh Climate Budget FY 2021-22”.

The event was organised by ActionAid Bangladesh.

During his speech, Prof Mizan R Khan, deputy director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), opined that the country will not be able to progress much in climate adaptation unless the decision making process is decentralised.

He claimed that the budget is allocated based on the influence of political figures of certain constituencies rather than what is needed.

Prof Mizan, also programme director of Least Developed Countries University Consortium on Climate Change (LUCCC), said the National Adaptation Plan should be an aggregation of local and regional plans, and it should be planned based on local and regional impacts of climate change.

Ferdousi Begum, deputy secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, said they have been trying to implement a women and children friendly budget. 

She said as women and children are more vulnerable to climate change, they should be the major focus while implementing the budget.

Underscoring the need for proper implementation of the budget, Farah Kabir, Country Director at ActionAid Bangladesh, stressed on the participation of local communities in the implementation of climate budget.

Tanjir Hossain, Resilience and Climate Justice Lead for ActionAid Bangladesh, gave a presentation on the budget on climate change.

He said a total of Tk 25,124 crore is allocated for climate change in 2021-22 fiscal. Of this, Tk 10,286 crore is kept for operational tasks and rest for the development.

Tanjir said the highest allocation was made for programmes on energy efficiency, development of climate resilient cropping systems and production technologies, livelihood protection, and adaptation against drought, salinity, submergence and heat.

On the other hand, the budget allocation for the Ministry of Water Resources is significantly reduced by Tk 427.19 crore, from the revised allocation of Tk 3,261 crore in 2020-21, he added.

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