Experts propose climate change fund
Thursday, 03 July 2008

Bangladesh Tuesday proposed creating a fund to help SAARC countries adapt to climate change caused by global warming, reports bdnews24.com

Dr Asaduzzaman, research director of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, made the proposal at the technical session of a climate change conference in Dhaka.

But experts from India have opposed creating such a fund and proposed allocating money from the existing SAARC Development Fund.

The two-day SAARC expert group meeting on climate change started at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel. The experts will finalise the SAARC action plan on climate change at Wednesday's concluding session.

The chief advisers' special assistant Devasish Roy inaugurated the meeting.

The ministers from eight-member SAARC countries will meet on Thursday to find ways of promoting climate-resilient development in the SAARC region in a collective effort.

"The SAARC region is highly vulnerable to climate change although the countries of the region are least responsible for climate change," Dr Asaduzzaman told the meeting.

"Climate change is a reality. There should be allocation styled 'SAARC Climate Change Fund' mainly for adaptation programmes in the region," he said.

Dr Ainun Nishat, chief of World Conservation Union (IUCN)'s Bangladesh office, echoed Dr Asaduzzaman.

"At tomorrow's session, we will try to incorporate our proposal for creating SAARC climate change fund," an official with the Department of Environment attending the technical session told bdnews24.com.

The 14th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in New Delhi (April 3-4, 2007) expressed "deep concern" over the impact of climate change.

As a follow-up action, Bangladesh proposed hosting SAARC's first climate change conference in Dhaka. All member countries accepted the proposal.

A SAARC declaration on climate change will be adopted at the concluding session of the ministers' conference on Thursday.

Chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed will inaugurate the ministers' conference Thursday.

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