ADB, Japan help Bangladesh tackle climate change challenges

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Source: Asian Development Bank

Flood-prone Bangladesh is getting support from Japan and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to tackle the huge challenges posed by climate change over the coming decades. ADB’s Board of Directors approved a technical assistance grant of US$2 million from the Japan Special Fund to beef up the capacity of government agencies carrying out a 10-year Strategy and Action Plan that addresses food security, disaster preparedness and other key issues linked to climate change. Bangladesh, with its low-lying delta and typhoon-prone location, is susceptible to extreme weather events. In recent years, the country has seen higher-than-normal temperatures, heavier monsoon rains and an increasing number of tropical cyclones and storms linked to climate change. With temperatures expected to keep rising over coming years, it is estimated that average sea levels may rise by around 30 centimeters by 2050 and could make about 14% of the country highly vulnerable to flooding.

“This assistance will help put the country on a low carbon economic growth path, make it more climate-resilient and help strengthen its food and energy security,” said Zahir Ahmad, Project Implementation Officer for ADB’s Bangladesh mission.

Along with building up the capacity of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and other government agencies, support will be given to develop specific climate change mitigation and adaption programs and projects. A sub-program will also be put in place to attract private sector businesses and other stakeholders to invest in clean energy projects eligible for carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.

Without addressing the impacts of climate change, Bangladesh is likely to see more hunger and increasing conflict as scarce natural resources dwindle even further in future.

The full cost of the technical assistance is estimated at $2.5 million with the Government making an in-kind contribution of $500,000. It will run for two years, starting in August 2009, with the Ministry of Environment and Forests the executing agency.

The Japan Special Fund is financed by the Government of Japan and is administered by ADB.

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