Bangladesh Climate Change Trust: Latest scenario of activities and Developments

--Md. Didarul Ahsan

BCCT is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) of the Government of Bangladesh. It was formed under Climate Change Trust Act, 2010 to provide administrative and organizational support to a Trustee Board that oversees overall management ofClimate Change Trust Fund (CCTF). The CCTF is a self-financing mechanism of the Government of Bangladesh to address the adverse impacts of climate change. It is an annual block allocation from the revenue budget of the Government. It is created fully from domestic source and is separated from Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF), a coordinated financing mechanism by the Government of Bangladesh, development partners and the World Bank.While BCCT is concerned with the projects implemented by government, semi-government and autonomous agencies, the management of NGO projects has been delegated to Palli Karma- Sahayak Foundation (PKSF).

Background

Reflecting its strong commitment to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Government of Bangladesh attaches highest importance to the necessity of enhancing national capacity to cope with the risks induced by climate change. To achieve this end, Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) 2009 was formulated with specific focus on the following six thematic areas, namely (1) food security, social protection and health, (2) comprehensive disaster management, (3) infrastructure, (4) research and knowledge management, (5) mitigation and low-carbon development, and (6) capacity building and institutional strengthening.

To implement 44 programs specified under the six thematic areas of BCCSAP 2009, Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF) was created in the fiscal year of 2009-10. The Trust Fund was being operated through a project titled ”Strengthening Institutional Capacity of Climate Change Unitunder theMinistry of Environment and Forests”. Subsequently, Climate Change Trust Act, 2010 was enacted; and as per the direction of Climate Change Trust Act, 2010, Bangladesh Climate Change Trust (BCCT) was established on 24 January 2013 with effect from 13 October 2010.

Objectives

s           To utiliseCCTF as a special sector in addressing climate change vulnerabilities beyond the development and non-development budgets of the Government;

s           To prepare and implement special programmes and appropriate action plans related to climate change in order to ensure sustainable development;

s           To initiate activities and projects for strengthening institutional, social and human resource capacities of vulnerable communities to tackle climate change;

s           To conduct action research, disseminate research findings and undertake pilot programmes on climate change adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer, finance and investment;

s           To prepare, initiate and implement short, medium and long term plans, programmes and projects to adapt to and reduce loss of climate change;

s           To create public awareness on issues related to climate change; and

s           To support post-disaster emergency programmes related to climate change

Mainfunctions

s           To provide administrative and organisational support to the Trustee Board and the Technical Committee formed under Climate Change Trust Act, 2010;

s           To receive and scrutinize the project proposals from different ministries and divisions;

s           To implement the decisions of the Trustee Board;

s           To manage Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF);

s           To release funds for the projects approved by the Trustee Board;

s           To coordinate with the Climate Change Focal Points of different ministries or divisions;

s           To communicate with different stakeholders related to climate change including civil society, NGO, private sector and international agencies;

s           To monitor and evaluate the projects approved under CCTF.

BCCT Team

BCCT has a total of 82 staff. It is headed by a Managing Director holding the rank of Additional Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh and functioning as its Chief Executive Officer. Among other posts, one Deputy Managing Director holding the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government is followed by one Secretary and two Directors.

BCCTis functionally divided into three branches:

i)          Administration and Finance;

ii)         Planning, Development and Negotiation; and

iii)        Monitoring and Evaluation.

The Secretary of BCCT looks after administration and financial matters. Two Directors are responsible for leading the remaining two branches. There are five positions of Deputy Directors and eleven Assistant Directors under the three branches. Assistant Directors are directly recruited from fresh graduates of different disciplines including engineering and environmental science.

Governing Mechanism

BCCT and its functions are governed by a 17-member Trustee Board. The Trustee Board is the highest decision making body for the Trust Fund. It comprises Honourable Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests as the Chair and 16 (sixteen) other members including 9 (nine) ministers/state ministers, Cabinet Secretary, Governor of Bangladesh Bank, Finance Secretary, Member of Planning Commission and two experts appointed by the Government.The Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, is its Member-Secretary.

 

To assist the Trustee Board, there is a Technical Committee headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests. It comprises thirteen members including experts/representatives from the Planning Commission, Department of Environment, Department of Forest, Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) and social organizations/NGOs working on climate change.

Guiding policies, Laws and Rules of BCCT

s           Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009

s           Climate Change Trust Act, 2010 (Act no 57 of 2010, 12 October 2010)

s           Climate Change Trust Fund Policy (15 February 2010)

s           Guidelines for preparing project proposal, approval, amendment, implementation, fund release and fund use for government, semi-government and autonomous organizations under the Climate Change Trust Fund (27 March 2012)

s           Guidelines for selection of NGO (Nongovernment organizations) and project implementation under the Climate Change Trust Fund (9th March 2010)

s           Bangladesh Climate Change Trust (BCCT) Regulations 2013 (24 January 2013)

s           Bangladesh Climate Change Trust (BCCT) Employees Service Rules, 2013 (24 January 2013).

Financial Flow

s           The Government allocated BDT 2700 crore (US$ 385 million approximately) to CCTF during the last five fiscal years.

s           As per Climate Change Trust Act,2010, a maximum of 66% of the allocated amount as well as the interests accrued on the remaining 34% kept as fixed deposit can be allocated to CCTF projects.

s           As of April 2014, 282 projects have been undertaken with an estimated cost of 1997.04 crore taka. Different Ministries, departments and agencies of the Government are implementing 219 projects while 63 projects are being implemented by NGOs. Among the Government projects, 31 have already been completed. So far, 25 crore taka has been allocated to Palli Karma- Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), which is entrusted with the management of NGO projects.

Financial Management

The financial management of CCTF projects is administered through observance of existing government financial rules. For all procurements under CCTF projects, the compliance with Public Procurement Act, 2006 and Public Procurement Rules, 2008 is mandatory.

Project selection Procedure

Government, semi-government or autonomous agencies submit their project proposals to concerned ministries/divisions of the government. If satisfied, the ministry/division forwards the proposal to Bangladesh Climate Change Trust (BCCT). Upon scrutiny, BCCT places the proposal to the Technical Committee for screening. The Technical Committee verifies the viability of the projects and recommends to the Trustee Board for their approval/disapproval or any revision, if required. There are two sub-committees to assist the Technical Committee.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Approved projects implemented by government, semi-government and autonomous agencies are monitored by three different entities:

1.         Implementing ministries or agencies monitor the project activities through Project Steering Committee (PSC) and Project Implementation Committee (PIC).

2.         BCCT has its own mechanism for monitoring and evaluation of CCTF projects. Headed by a Director, there is a Monitoring and Evaluation Branch that receives Monthly Progress Report from the Project Directors, sends inspection team for field visits, and convenes regular monitoring meetings with Project Directors. Headed by the Deputy Managing Director of the Trust, there is also a Monitoring Committee that analyses the monitoring reports and puts forward its recommendation for proper implementation of the projects.

3.         Local administration has been engaged in the monitoring process to ensure local oversight. The administrative officers and the elected representatives also discuss these projects in the district coordination meetings.

The concerned implementing ministries are, however, mainly responsible for monitoring and evaluation of projects. They are required to conduct monitoring and evaluation of CCTF projects following the same procedure they maintain while dealing with the projects under Annual Development Programme (ADP).

Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) is assigned for monitoring of NGO projects funded through BCCTF.

Completed projects are evaluated by the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of Ministry of Planning.

Accountability Mechanism

s           Both BCCT and individual projects are audited by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of Bangladesh.

s           The Trustee Board is also required to submit to the Government an Annual Report on its activities of the previous fiscal year.

s           BCCT is answerable to questions raised by Honourable Members of Parliament (MPs) in JatiyaSangshad. Its activities are also discussed in the meetings of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Environment and Forests.

s           There are representatives from Civil Society in the Trustee Board and the Technical Committee.

Glimpses of Succcess

s           15.4 kilometres of coastal sea dyke have been constructed.

s           6760 cyclone resilient houses have been erected.

s           142 kilometres of embankments have been built.

s           122 kilometres of river bank protective work have been completed.

s           535 kilometres of canals have been excavated/re-excavated.

s           44 water control infrastructures including regulators/sluice gates have been constructed.

s           166 kilometres of drainage have been constructed in the urban areas to reduce water logging.

s           740 deep tube wells, 30 pond-sand-filters (PSF) and 50 water treatment plants have been installed.

s           500 water sources and 550 rain water reservoirs have been established.

s           Agro-met stations for early weather forecasting have been set up in 4 upazilas.

s           143.35 million trees have been planted and 4971 hectares of forest land have been brought under afforestation.

s           7800 biogas plants have been installed.

s           528000 improved cook-stoves have been distributed.

s           12872 solar home systems have been installed in the remote off-grid areas.

s           Stress tolerant crop varieties like BINA Rice-7, BINA Ground Nut-1, 2 as well as BRRI Rice-40, 41, 47 have been introduced.

s           4500 metric tons of stress tolerant seeds have been produced and distributed.

s           A community radio station has been set up for educating vulnerable communities on issues related to health and agriculture.

Recognition

s           The Project titled “Revegetation of Madhupur Forest through rehabilitation of Forest Dependent Local and Ethnic Communities” has bagged ‘Daily Star Climate Champion Award, 2012’.

s           Theproject titled “Biogas and Improved Stove Expansion” has received ‘Environment Award, 2013’.

Way Forward

Establishing Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF) and developing its institutional arrangements demonstrate the commitment of the Government to the issues of climate change. Over the last five years, Bangladesh Climate Change Trust (BCCT) has attained considerable organizational capacity and experience required for effective fund management. BCCT is now ready to receive and manage global climate fund. Upholding the strong determination of the Government in addressing the concerns arising from climate change, BCCT has been preparing itself to achieve the following targets in the days to come:

s           To enhance its role as the key climate change focal point for Bangladesh both in national and international arenas;

s           To gain access to global climate funds through obtaining recognition as the National Implementing Entity (NIE);

s           To ensure active participation on behalf of the government in climate negotiations in the regional and global forums;

s           To undertake more projects responding to the increasing demands arising from the need of strengthening resilience of the climate affected people across the country;

s           To undertake projects for reclamation of land, particularly in the coastal areas so that the space can be increased for economic activity and human habitation;

s           To expand its activities by paying adequate attention to all the thematic areas defined by BCCSAP 2009;

s           To establish itself as a hub of knowledge management and research on climate change in Bangladesh.

Md. Didarul Ahsan, Additional Sectorary and Managing Director Bangladesh Climate Change Trust