Bangladesh on its way toward formulating the National Adaptation Plan

Md Mostafa Kamal delivers his speech while (from right) Md Ashraf Uddin, Md Mizanul Haque Chowdhury and Dr Ainun Nishat look on

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the Economic Relations Division (ERD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) organised a strategic planning workshop on 9 October 2021 at the BRAC CDM in Gazipur to discuss the progress of Bangladesh’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP).

Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Md Mostafa Kamal, attended the workshop as chief guest while the Director General of the Department of Environment (DoE) Md Ashraf Uddin was present as special guest on the occasion. Additional Secretary of the ministry and national project director of the NAP Formulation Project Md Mizanul Haque Chowdhury chaired the workshop while Arif Faisal, Programme Specialist from UNDP, moderated the session. More than 40 representatives from relevant ministries and line agencies attended the event.

The focus of the workshop was on key strategic papers drafted by the NAP formulation team. Other issues included its proposed structure and contents; monitoring, evaluation and financing framework; possible investment plan and capacity building and knowledge management on climate change adaptation. Participants emphasised the local vulnerability issues, investment plan, adaptation measures and assessment of adaptive capability and capacity development needs of the climate-vulnerable localities.

Welcoming the participants, Arif M Faisal, Programme Specialist, UNDP briefly stated the need for an inclusive NAP that would incorporate the development agenda so that it can contribute to Bangladesh’s journey in becoming a developed country by 2041. To make it an internationally accepted policy document, he emphasised peer review of the NAP by national and international experts. He also emphasised enhancing resilience building in both society and the ecosystem.

Stating the objective of NAP formulation, Mirza Shawkat Ali, Director (Climate Change), DoE and Deputy National Project Director, NAP Formulation Project said that NAP will address long term adaptation investment and enhance the national capacity for integration of climate change adaptation in planning, budgeting and financial tracking process.

Outlining the NAP, Professor Dr Ainun Nishat, Advisor of the NAP formulation team said that NAP should focus on adaptation priorities for combatting climate change, identify investment strategies and establish monitoring, reporting and verification mechanism. “For successful formulation and implementation of NAP, we need to have consensus on different aspects of the NAP,” he added. Elaborating the capacity development plan in NAP, Dr Nishat said, “The transformative capacity development approach of the NAP will define climate change and answer how it is interlinked with national and sectoral level planning.”

Director General, DoE, Md Ashraf Uddin said, “Resource mobilisation will be a key challenge for NAP implementation”. In this regard, he emphasised strategies meaningful and effective ways to mobilise resources from internal and external sources.

Participants at the NAP strategic planning workshop

Md Mostafa Kamal said, “We need highly focus on de-carbonization of development efforts and in doing so we should look for all possible avenues to promote green growth without compromising development aspirations.”

Concluding the workshop, the chair Md Mizanul Haque Chowdhury said, “We need to identify the potential private sectors engagement who are willing to contribute to climate change adaptation by investing in promoting resilient market and reducing carbon emissions”. He thanked all the participants for their thoughtful deliberations.

Before this workshop, a series of consultations were held at the local, district and national levels that provided valuable insights for the formulation of NAP. Through the NAP formulation, Bangladesh is rolling to a future where all of its development interventions will be adaptive and climate-resilient.

To this end, the plan will contribute to the resilience building of the vulnerable people in the climate risks prone areas so that the local community can adapt to climate change and eternally graduate from the chronic poverty trap. This strategy to mainstream climate change into national planning is expected to be emulated by the sector ministries and divisions in their respective annual development plans.