Both national and international climate funds need to be facilitated in such a way that they can address the priority actions in the adaptation scenario
Adaptive Capacity is a crucial initiative for extreme climate-vulnerable countries like Bangladesh. The adaptive capacity has been made improved by the scenario of high climate change uncertainty. (Eakin, 2006). An immediate and strategic response to the climate crisis is ‘financing’ for adaptation measure, and the developed country governments are the main facilitators of the climate finance mechanisms (Chowdhury, 2012).
In Bangladesh, the financing of adaptive capacity to climate change gets established institutionally and starts implementation work on the ground (Eakin, 2006). Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol (KPAF), Amazon Fund, Environmental Transformation Fund (ETF), Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Trust Fund, Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA), Hatoyama Initiative, International Climate Initiative (ICI), Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) are some of the sources of available climate fund in Bangladesh focusing on adaptation arena (Chowdhury, 2012).
However, it has been suggested that externally funded adaptation can increase climate vulnerability by creating reliance and subsequently reducing governance capacity (Piggott-McKellar, et al 2020). Besides, there is still uncertainty about how funding for adaptation should be done in general. (Forsyth, 2013).
“Consultation and participation from the communities; not just their elite representatives; but the ground level people are highly needed”
According to the former finance minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith, climate change should be incorporated in the normal development programs and adaptation funds should be grant basis. Emphasizing this issue, it was expected that there will be a learning-by-doing experience between the funding mechanisms by 2020 (Hedger, 2011).
To face this expectation, one of the main challenges for governments and donors is the lack of political clout to effectively lead and coordinate (Hedger, 2011). There is no overall capacity development plan, so donor support is often very narrowly focused on project-based, fragmented capacity development initiatives with little impact on overall capacity development (Chowdhury, 2012; Hedger, 2011).
Centralised project activity, neglecting the needs of the most vulnerable communities, lack of local-level planning mechanism, limited role of the local government to the development process and lack of capacity to monitor climate financing system are causes of failure of implementing sustainable climate fund (Hussain, & Ahmad, 2020; and Chowdhury, 2012).
While channelling adaptation finance, it is extremely important to identify the priority needs of the communities. Otherwise, money will land in places where it may not be necessary, thus reducing the accountability of adaptation finance and increasing the vulnerability of communities. To ensure that money flows in the right direction and to the right people, the Readiness Program of Adaptation Fund for example, provides readiness grants to implementing entities to cover scoping at both the national level and the local level, through consultation with communities to understand their conditions and priorities – which was the case in Adaptation Fund Programme in Costa Rica (Adaptation Fund, 2020).
“Centralised project activity, neglecting the needs of the most vulnerable communities, lack of local-level planning mechanism, limited role of the local government to the development process and lack of capacity to monitor climate financing system are causes of failure of implementing sustainable climate fund”
In the proposal preparation phase, the implementing entity was given the readiness grant that covered consultation with communities, desktop climate vulnerability assessment as well as translating all the documents from Spanish into English (Adaptation Fund, 2020).
Both national and international climate funds need to be facilitated in such a way that they can address the priority actions in the adaptation scenario. Consultation and participation from the communities; not just their elite representatives; but the ground level people are highly needed.
The vulnerable people need to be properly engaged so that they can understand and participate in the decision-making process as to where the money needs to be invested. Local needs should be prioritized when acquiring funding for adaptation projects – and the monitoring for this needs to be done both from the donor and the recipient.
Mahmuda Akter is working as a Research Officer at ICCCAD.
Samina Islam is working as a Junior Research Officer at ICCCAD.