New project launched to reduce climate vulnerabilities of coastal communitiesMar 22, 2017
Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world. The country is frequently subjected to cyclones, floods, and storm surges due to the adverse impact of climate change. Coastal mangroves are playing significant role in protecting the life and livelihoods of the millions of vulnerable coastal populations from climate induced extreme weather events. Through this project, over 650 ha of mangroves will be planted, 112 ha of Fish-Fruit-Forest model will be demonstrated and about 60,000 climate vulnerable poor people will be benefitted through diversified climate resilient livelihoods options in five highly climate vulnerable coastal districts
To reduce vulnerability of coastal communities to the adverse impacts of climate change, Mr. Anwar Hossain Manju, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests officially launched a four-year project entitled ‘Integrating Community-based Adaptation into Afforestation and Reforestation Programmes (ICBA-AR) in Bangladesh’ on 22 March 2017 at the CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka.
To mark the launching, an inception workshop was organized in the CIRDAP auditorium where the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Mr. Abduallah Al Islam Jakob, the Secretary in Charge of the Ministry of Environment and Forests Mr. Istiaque Ahmad, UNDP Deputy Country Director Ms. Kyoko Yokosuka and Additional Secretary and the National Project Director of ICBA-AR project Mr. Nurul Karim were present. Mr. Mohammed Shafiul Alam Chowdhury, Chief Conservator of Forest, chaired the programme. Mr. Arif M. Faisal, Programme Specialist of UNDP presented an overview of the project for an interactive discussion. Senior government officials, representative from development partners, foresters, climate experts, NGOs representative, academicians and media among others took part in the discussion. Project Manager of ICB-AR Programme, Forest Department and UNDP representative responded the questions raised by the participants in interactive discussion session.
Workshop Chief Guest Mr. Anwar Hossain Manju said, the coastal districts are not confined with only few districts, rather it is surrounded the country from southern part to Teknaf Peninsula’. He emphasized to expand the project to other coastal districts in addition to the four districts outlined in the project document. Mr. Manju also said, the year 2016 was the most warming year in the history and it is suspected that the year 2017 will exceed the previous records.’ He thanked UNDP and other agencies for supporting the Ministry of Environment and Forests to reduce the climate vulnerability.
View of the inception workshop of ICBA_AR. from left Mr. Mohammed Shafiul Alam Chowdhury (Chief Conservator of Forest-Forest Department), Mr. Md. Nurul Karim (NPD of ICB-AR Programme), Mr. Abdullah Al Islam Jakob (Hon’ble Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests), Mr. Anwar Hossain Manju (Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests), Mr. Istiaque Ahmad (Secretary in Charge, Ministry of Environment and Forests and UNDP Deputy Country Director of Bangladesh Ms. Kyoko Yokosuka
Deputy Minister, Environment and Forests, Mr. Abdullah Al Islam Jakob said, “now Bangladesh is a role model to the other climate vulnerable and disaster prone countries of the world for various initiatives at policy and implementation level targeting the goals of SDGs. Due to the government and development partners initiatives, the loss of lives and resources have reduced significantly during the last decades compare to earlier decades. For example, SIDR was most devastating but causalities were less and coastal mangrove forest acted as a barrier against storm surge and cyclone.”
Attending as Special Guest, Mr. Istiaque Ahmad, Secretary in Charge of the Ministry of Environment and Forests said, ‘today we have begun a journey which will prepare us in coming future to be better prepared in meeting steep challenges put forward by climate change and its impacts’. He also added that ‘despite all odds, challenges and limitations, Bangladesh is responding proactively, judiciously and efficiently. Bangladesh has identified climate change as one of its key development challenges, and embraced actions aimed at increasing climate resilience of people, its resource base, infrastructures, through strategic national investment and innovative climate financing.’
Attending in the workshop as Special Guest, UNDP Deputy Country Director Ms. Kyoko Yokosuka said, “A UNDP study report shows that 95% of the poor people living in the exposed coastal areas have experienced impacts of climate change and one of the top 3 reasons why people are unable to escape poverty is due to climate change. It is clear that the poor in general, and women, person with disability, and so on, living under below poverty line are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change’. She also added saying, ‘UNDP is a long-term development partner for Bangladesh – since 1972, we have been working with the People of Bangladesh, to promote Empowered Lives, and Resilient Nation. UNDP Bangladesh will continue working closely with the government, development partners, and other stakeholders to support the effort for expediting the progress and prosperity of Bangladesh, particularly to address the climate induced impact by ensuring sustainable forest management.”
Mangrove plantation along the coastline is an effective measure to reduce vulnerabilities and hazards of such extreme weather events. Since 1960s the Forests Department has planted over 200,000 ha. of mangroves along the coast. However, the success of afforestation and reforestation efforts has been highly variable due to a range of institutional, technical, socioeconomic and legal factors that affected their long-term sustainability. To address those of limitation, UNDP has implemented the country’s first NAPA priority LDCF supported project ‘Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change through Coastal Afforestation (CBACC) Project’ between 2009 and 2015 which has planted 9,000 ha of mangrove and non-mangrove and benefitted over 20,000 households. For further improvement of coastal greenbelt management and to scale-up the achievements of the CBACC project, MoEF and UNDP have taken up the follow-up project ‘Integrating Community-based Adaptation into Afforestation and Reforestation (ICBA-AR) Programmes in Bangladesh’. It is expected to benefit over 60,000 ultra-poor people through climate resilient livelihoods diversification and plantation over 650 ha of mangroves with diversity of species.
The project is being implemented in seven upazilas of four highly vulnerable coastal districts namely Bhola, Barguna, Patuakhali and Noakhali. In addition, Pirojpur district is also in the process of inclusion.
The project is implemented by the Forest Department under the Ministry of Environment and Forests and UNDP with the financial support from the Global Environment Facility. The implementation partners of the project are Bangladesh Forest Research Institute, Department of Agriculture Extension, Ministry of Fisheries & Livestock, Bangladesh Water Development Board and Ministry of Land.