Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Govt moves to use climate fund rightly

Govt moves to use climate fund rightly

Okays an act to ensure transparency

Staff Correspondent

The government will promulgate an act to use climate change fund judiciously and transparently so that benefits reach the affected people properly.

The cabinet yesterday approved the draft Climate Change Trust Fund Act, 2010. The draft will soon be finalised and sent to the law ministry for vetting.

Earlier on August 24, the cabinet approved Climate Change Trust Fund, which was supposed to be registered under the Bengal Trust Act 1882.

"The law ministry suggested us to make a law in this regard since general people are the beneficiaries," Environment and Forest Secretary Mihir Kanti Barua told The Daily Star yesterday.

He said the act is needed to bring the entire process--from generating fund to approval of projects and use of the fund through a trustee board--under a strong legal coverage.

He said 66 percent of the fund would be spent on six designated areas marked under Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan while 34 percent would be in bank for crisis situation.

The prime minister told the meeting that apart from assistance from international agencies and countries, Bangladesh has taken various steps on its own to face the adverse impacts of global climate change.

"Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. The government has moved to make the act to protect people and their property from the adverse effects of climate change," said Prime Minister's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad after the meeting.

He said the government has already allocated Tk 700 crore for the fund. The Ministry of Environment and Forests would allocate the fund to relevant NGO projects.

Ainun Nishat, senior adviser on climate change for the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Asia, said Bangladesh should prepare for judicious utilisation of the fund.

"Huge local and foreign fund will be channelled to the trust. Therefore, a mechanism is needed for the fund management," he told The Daily Star.

Held at the Secretariat, the cabinet meeting approved in principle two other drafts--Domestic Violence (Resistance and Protection) Act, 2010 and Slaughtering of Cattle and Controlling the Quality of Meat Act, 2010.

The PM's press secretary said domestic violence against women impacts adversely on children ultimately harming the future generations. "This should be stopped," he quoted the premier.

In the meeting Hasina said she came to know that slaughtering of animals does not take place at hygienic places. "This should be done at a clean and hygienic place to avert health risks," observed the premier.

Recently Bangladesh has started exporting halal (animals killed according to Muslim law) meat to Malaysia. "There is a worldwide demand of halal meat and an act is needed for the export of meat," added Azad.

Meanwhile, the cabinet sent back the draft Right to Information (Amendment) Act. 2010 to information ministry for some corrections and asked it to place the revised draft in the next meeting.

Courtesy_

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