DHAKA, April 15 (BSS)- The government today formed an expert committee to revise and finalize the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2008 in light of government’s ‘Vision 2021’ and perspective plan.
Noted climate experts Dr Quazi Khaliquzzaman Ahmed, Dr M Asaduzzaman, Dr Ainun Nishat and Atiq Rahman were made members while Environment and Forests secretary Dr Mhir Kanti Majumder would act as the coordinator of the committee, officials said adding that the committee has been asked to finalize the plan by May incorporating the recommendations of the concerned ministries.
The government on February 2 last formed a cabinet committee to revise the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan headed by Planning Minister Air Vice Marshal (retd) A K Khandakar.
The committee here today in its third meeting, with the planning minister in the chair, took the decision to include the issues like river navigation, water logging, land reclamation, surface water management, deforestation and other environment protection programmes in the revised plan.
Agriculture minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Civil Aviation and Tourism minister GM Qader, Food minister Dr Abdur Razzak, state minister for Environment and Forest Advocate Mostafizur Rahman, state minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud, state minister for Housing and Public Works Advocate Abdul Mannan and concerned secretaries and senior officials attended the meeting.
Noted environmentalist Professor Dr Ansarul Karim and members of the expert committee took part in the discussion.
Initiating the discussion, Dr Khaliquzzaman termed the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan-2008 as an action plan without any ‘strategy’. He suggested that the action plan should be revised integrating economic, political, social and environmental issues with the political vision of the government.
Referring to government’s plan for Vision 2021 and 2035, AK Khandakar said the climate strategies and actions should also be prepared in light of this goal.
“Climate change strategy should have enough focus on water, as it is one of the great natural resources for Bangladesh”, he said.
“We can arrange food and housing for many people, if proper water management is put in place,” the planning minister said noting that this is high time to rethink for population control and impose tax on parents for more than two children.
Agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury said the climate change plan should incorporate some crucial issues like water logging, river dredging, salinity, utilization of living shallow in the rivers and surface water management.
The minister lamented that the water issues particularly the surface water management did not get priority to policy makers despite abundance of the resources in the riverine Bangladesh.
“Even though we have many rivers, we suffer from both drought and flood,” she said adding that we should try to woo donor support to reinforce the navigability of the rivers.
Matia Chowdhury also urged the planners to think about land reclamation in the sea to meet the demand of food and shelter for growing population like Singapore. “In the beginning the land reclamation might be seemed to be costly, but in long term it is costly so much”, she said.
Food Minister Dr Abdur Razzak laid importance on an institutional arrangement for analyzing and releasing actual data on climate, its effect, agriculture, sea level rise and temperature so that people are not confused over the scientific information.
GM Qader also emphasized on coordination in data analysis and integration of environmental issues in the climate change strategy.
State minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud placed a written proposal from his ministry regarding to climate change action plan saying his ministry is giving priority to economy, ecology and security in its all activities.