Workshop stresses COVID-19 adaptation plan and inter-ministry coordination

Virtual national level consultation workshop on formulation of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP)
Virtual national level consultation workshop on formulation of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP)

The government of Bangladesh has held a national level consultation workshop initiating the formulation of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP). The objective is to lay the groundwork for integrating adaptation into development planning.

Participants of the workshop underscored the need for stronger integration of local governments into the NAP process, establishing smooth coordination mechanism for inter-ministry coordination, aligning multilevel policy at all levels of the government and enhanced knowledge on adaptation process at the local and national level. Taking into cognisance the COVID-19 pandemic, speakers urged to carefully examine the situation and make NAP a COVID-proof adaptation plan. They emphasised innovative funding mechanisms as well as taking stock of the existing adaptation funding mechanisms.

Held within the framework of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) readiness and preparatory support project, titled Formulation and Advancement of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Process (GCF NAP Project), this three-year project aims to make significant contribution towards enhancing the institutional coordination mechanism in Bangladesh.

Reflecting on COVID-19, Khurshid Alam, assistant resident representative of UNDP Bangladesh, emphasised on moving beyond the recovery to old normal and requested the government to make the right choices for a green and nature-based development path. He stressed that the private sector has a big role to play, and must include risk to disruption into their business model, emphasised that finance adaptation also makes business sense which is not explored properly.

Md Taibur Rahman, project manager of the NAP process, hoped that NAP would be a science-oriented evidence-based holistic and integrated adaptation plan for the country, mainstreamed into the development planning and budgeting process including Delta Plan 2100, the five-year plans and SDGs with the appropriate legal and institutional framework necessary for implementation.

Special guest, additional secretary (development), ministry of environment, forests and climate change, A Shamim Al Razi, said, “Bangladesh being a climate-vulnerable country is doing its best to make climate change adaptation effective. We need to prepare our adaptation plan without delay which will help us to combat climate change and adaptation goals under the Paris Agreement.”

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Special guest, additional secretary (climate change), ministry of environment, forests and climate change, Mizanul Hoque Chowdhury, said. “NAP should place strong emphasis on raising public awareness from grassroots to the national level to combat negative impacts of climate change.”

Special guest, additional secretary (environment wing), Mahmud Hasan, said, “As we know that unplanned urbanisation is a big environmental challenge, NAP should adequately address urbanisation issue and restrict unplanned urbanisation.”

The chief guest of the workshop, secretary of the ministry of environment, forests and climate change, Ziaul Hasan, said, “Today's workshop on formulation of NAP involving officials from related government ministries and agencies aims to apprise them of the targetted outcomes of this project and how we can integrate ourselves in a better way to make NAP document country-specific and best effective for our survival against climate-induced vulnerabilities. Successively we will include all possible stakeholders including climate-vulnerable people in the formulation process of NAP.”

Wrapping up, chair of the workshop, AKM Rafique Ahammed, director general,Department of Environment, said NAP will focus on enhancing the adaptation capacity and reduce vulnerability. It will be a country-driven cross-sectoral inclusive and transparent living document for climate change adaptation which will be updated based on long and midterm adaptation needs.

Through the GCF NAP project, Bangladesh is expected to meet the existing gap of institutional arrangement and coordinated strategy for mid and long-term climate change adaptation investment by putting in place the capacity for establishing funding strategies for the implementation of its NAP process.

Near about fifty representatives from different government ministries, departments and research organisations and UNDP attended the workshop.

The workshop underscored the importance of fostering dialogue, coordination, collaboration and coherence among relevant processes at all levels of government with a clear roadmap.

NAP will gather and analyse information, develop risk scenario, generate experience and science-based adaptation strategies in line with Bangladesh’s priorities outlined in SDG, Delta Plan 2100, Perspective plan, five-year plan and its ambition to graduate from LDC to middle-income countries. It will allow Bangladesh to identify country-specific adaptation needs, develop and implement strategies to address the adaptation needs, as well as help her decide on actions to protect vulnerable communities.

The Department of Environment is executing the project with financial support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and having UNDP Bangladesh as the implementing partner.