Campaign on CoP

Dhaka, 19th December 2010. Today in a press conference a right based civil society network EquityBD mentioned that, role of Bangladesh delegation in climate negotiation was contradictory and they have also mentioned that the Cancun agreement will aggravate the climate injustice, especially through carbon trading, they termed in fact it has rooted the very exploitive nature of climate capitalism. The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD, other speakers of the press conference was Golam Mortoza, the Editor of Shaptahik, who was also jointly along with EquityBD and CSRL organized photo exhibition and seminar in Cancun during the CoP 16 negotiation, 29th November to 10 December. Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD also spoken in the press conference.

Speakers mentioned that they have had one photo exhibition stall, one seminar on climate migrant’s rights, two protest rally along with other international civil society organizations, and conducted two press conferences in UNFCCC official premise. Weekly Shaptahiki, SUPRO and CSRL were also participated along with EquityBD in all those events.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD in his key note presentation said that the Cancun process legitimized the role of World Bank, that the bank will manage the 100 billion Global Green Fund for first three years. Since the beginning in the country and also whole over the world, civil society and NGOs were opposing this, as they mentioned this will strengthen World Bank to continue its conditionality which are anti poor and in favour of market liberalization for multi nationals and developed countries. He also criticized the role of Bangladesh government delegation, prior to Cancun, in a press conference delegation categorically mentioned that they will oppose any World Bank role in climate financing. Government has not opposed it in Cancun in fact. He also mentioned that while in international negotiation Bangladesh government delegation opposing any loan in climate adaptation finance, but in the country government External Resource Division already in process to take loan in this regard. He also mentioned that the Cancun agreement does not heed the IPCC fourth report, which has already mentioned about the dangerous consequences of keeping temperature more than 1.5 Celsius of 1990 level. UNFCCC has also kept the discussion on going on Kyoto protocol, which is the only legally binding commitment, in fact accepting the opposition form Japan and other developed countries. He mentioned that the whole agreement strengthen the Carbon trading by the REDD (Reduction of Enhancing Deforestation and Desertification) program, in fact which will give rights to the developed countries to continue the high level of carbon emissions.

Mr. Golam Mortoza the editor of Shaptahik, criticize the government delegation, which is around 100 in numbers, to him this is wastage of government ex-chequer money. He mentioned that most of the member has little idea of the negotiation process, and has not shown up in crucial events; especially in the office and booth. He also mentioned the conflict of interest in involvement of some of the consultants, who has own NGOs and do consultancy business along with some donor agencies and international financial institutions. He appreciates the role of Minister Dr. Hasan in his presentation and negotiation, the Bangladesh delegation has got leadership role along with Australia to build consensus among the country delegates, in fact, it is after the arrival of Minister the group were activated and well coordinated. Speakers of the press conference, has demanded more coordination initiative especially with civil society from government in future international climate negotiation process, especially toward CoP 17, Durban, South Africa so that Bangladesh will gain global attention and wider sympathy.

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December 8th, 2010. Today in a press conference held at Luna Hall, Moon Hotel where UNFCCC CoP 16 is being held, more than 200 civil society organizations urged global leaders not to give any role to the World Bank in climate finance; they have launched a global campaign on “World Bank of Out Climate Finance” and released a signed letter. The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD, while four others in mute, making a tap as written UNFCCC in mouth, as a symbol of protest, they are Ms.Dorothy from Focus on Global South, Philippines, Ms. Kate from World Development Movement, UK, Ms. Elena from CRBM, Italy and Mr. Luca from Friends of the Earth.

The only speaker and moderator give explanation that why four others were mute, is as a sign of protest to the UNFCCC process where civil society hardly any space to reflect decent voice and protest, and it is also symbol of protest against the Mexican government deliberate attempt to keep civil society 50 km far from the conference place, prevented the protestor especially La Via Campesina, who has been prevented to come and protest in the conference nearby. Mr. Reza explain four reasons that why the World bank should not be given any role in climate finance, i.e., (i) World Bank maintain double standard, still it is investing highest money in fossil fuel projects which are the major cause of climate catastrophes, (ii) the Bank maintain anti poor conditionality in developing countries like privatization and commercialization of essential services, e.g., health, education, water and power etc, (iii) the Bank management has oligarchic decision making process, that only the develop countries i.e., the highest carbon polluters has the majority share to take decision, and finally (iv) it is a Bank take sides to multinationals and for market based solutions. During question and answers Mr. Reza mentioned that, UK government has already given 650 millions pound sterling to World Bank to give loan for climate adaptation to the country like Bangladesh, Niger and Kyrgyzstan. Worst climate impact already is already happening Bangladesh, and loosing its 1 % GDP, but it has very little responsible for carbon emission, its people has already per capita debt of $ 150, for each of the $ loan it is paying 3 $ to the world Bank, so the country like Bangladesh and other least develop countries should not be imposed with both climate and debt burden.

Earlier in the morning a rally was leaded by the activist from Friends of the Earth, Jubilee South, La Via Campesina, Attack France, and Grass Root International and several other local organization was marched from Palacio Municipality and came in the Km Zero of down town Cancun, and they have smashed a Pinyata (a pig effigy of World Bank). The rally was spoken by Hemantha from Sri Lanka, Earl from Canada, Carolina from El Salvador, Elisa from La Via Campesina, Beverly from Jubilee South, Primo from FDC. There were thousands of protestors participated in the rally, there were huge contingent of police, para military forces, helicopter in the sky watching the rally and prevented to proceed toward conference premise.

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Dhaka, 08th December 2010: Today, EquityBD, a network of NGOs / CSOs in Bangladesh, called the government of Bangladesh to keep the World Bank out of climate financing in country’s climate adaptation plan. EquityBD has demand this issue through organizing a human chain with support of other like minded friends in front of national press club. They also criticized that the involvement of WB in country’s adaptation financing process might privilege the WB business interest and even undermine the government priorities in case of adaptation plan. They also said that, receiving loan from WB would impede the government voice in internationally on claiming of unconditional financial support for adaptation from rich countries.

The human chain is leaded by EquityBD and moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akanda (Coordinator EquityBD) and participate and speak by other representatives of 16 no of like minded network member.

Mr. Mahabub Hossen of CDP (Coastal Development Partnership) said that the WB is a credit lending organization whose target is doing business an making profit and now talking to save the environment which is very contradictory and funny, because the WB commitment never commensurate with its existing policy and actions in developing countries even Bangladesh. The nature of action of this organization is harmful for environment due to investing in the fossil fuel activities till date. So WB finance never support the climate even countries adaptation activities.

Syed Aminul Hoque of EquityBD said that WB is the selected agent of rich countries for their lending business, that’s why it would be impossible to implement any pro-poor adaptation action for government. He also said that, WB doesn’t have enough money for adaptation financing except conduct of some research activities. So that it’s clear that WB will never finance the country’s adaptation plan really which is pressing need for our poor and climate change victims.

Md. Sahidullah from SURO said that, the rich countries and big carbon emitters don’t follow the Kyoto Protocol agreement for financial support for poor countries which is breaching their commitment and searching business mechanism in the name of financing. That’s why they insist and provocation the poor countries to endorse the WB involvement in climate finance. He also urges to the global leader to follow the UNFCCC process for climate finance and demanded to keep the WB out of this process.

Mr. Firoj Ahmed of Lead Trust condemned some of our bureaucrats for unethical perusing the government to take the loan from WB, because it will serve their personal interest. He advised the government to be alert from this hypocrisy for the sake of poor people and refrain from taking any loan from WB in the name of climate finance which ultimately made the country indebted instead of real improvement of climate change vulnerability.

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December 6th, 2010, Cancun. Today in UNFCCC official premise Cancunmesse international civil society leaders demanded New UN protocol for Climate Forced Migrants as Universal Natural Person.” Among others the demand voiced and supported by Green Peace International Executive Director Mr. Kumi Naido in the seminar titled “Climate Induce Migrants: Need of New UN Protocol” held at auditorium Aguila, it is organized by EquityBD jointly with CSRL, Jubilee south, LDC Watch, SAAPE and Shaptahik. The seminar was moderated and the key paper presented by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, the Chief Moderator, EquityBD. Among other the seminar was spoken by Kumi Naido, Executive Director, Green Peace; Mizarul Kayes, Foreign Secretary, Government of Bangladesh; Maria Lauren Theresa, Secretary General, Asia Pacific Research Network; Dorothy Gurrera, Focus on Global South; Kate Blogejenic, World Development Movemnet and Dr.Ahsan Uddin, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood. Abdul Awal of SUPRO has given conclusion remarks.

EquityBD jointly with Jubileesouth has been doing this global campaign since 2009 and they have same seminar in December 2009 in CoP 15 Copenhagen. So far they collected around 100 signatures of the prominent organizations from Asia, Africa and Latin Amercia. In his presentation Rezaul Karim Chowdhury has presented possible climate forced migrants figures from different regions; especially he mentioned the stern report figures which have estimated 200-250 millions climate induced migrants by the year 2050. He has also mentioned that the issue is already in UNFCCC negotiation table included in the Tianjian text and also in the proposal of G 77 plus China draft although it is not in concrete form.

On 5th December, EquityBD and other four other partners has organized the same seminar in the “Dialogoclimatico” a CSO /NGO premise in down town Cancun parallel to UNFCCC CoP 16. Where among other Jubilee south International Coordinator Ms. Beverly Keen also spoke, she has given detail deliberations of the situation in Latin America. In 6th December seminar Kumi Naido mentioned that forced migrants should not be considered as dispensable, he expressed full Green Peace solidarity on the campaign. Kate Blogejenevis of WDM, mentioned that his county like UK should take responsibility of this climate induce forced mirgrants .as it is part of their reparation of already accumulated climate debt. Dorothy Gurera of Focus on Global South said UNFCCC must get out of marker based solution; it has to be in human centric solution, where rights for climate induced migrants should be a centre point. Mari Lauren Theresa of APRN mentioned that this struggle for climate migrants rights is a part of greater social struggle that people of south seeking justice from northern countries. Dr.Ahsan Uddin mentioned that such an increase number of climate induced migrant’s in fact increasing social safety net budget of Government of Bangladesh in fact which is extra burden for Bangladesh in development budget. Mizaurl Kayes, Foreign Secretary of Government of Bangladesh, he highlighted the issue with relation to the securitization aspects. He said that, especially in this respect UNFCCC should not end up with a declaration will be a mere “creative ambiguity”.

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Cancun, Mexico, 5th December 2010. Today Bangladesh UNFCCC negotiation team chief state minister for forest and environment Dr. Hasan Mahmud today has visited a stall on photo exhibition title “… but life’s goes in climate impact’s ground zero in Bangladesh…” in Cancunmesse, the UNFCCC official premise in Cancun, Mexico. The photo exhibition jointly organized by CSRL, EquityBD and Shaptahik, featuring climate impact in Bangladesh especially in respect of water and migration.

He was received by Golam Mortoza, the Editor Shaptahik and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chief Moderator, EquityBD. There are fifteen photos featuring real struggle of Bangladeshi people, especially Sathkira people struggling for fetching water, tub well the major source of water has gone under saline water, how preserving and collecting drinking water become costly, how slum housing looks like in Dhaka, Dhaka people lives during 1998, has received huge attention from official delegates and observers who are participating in CoP 16 UNFCCC negotiation process which has started 29th November and suppose to be concluded on 10th December. Along side the stall, there is another one official stall of government of Bangladesh run by government officials, which have all related information, policy and planning materials related to climate adaptation planning in Bangladesh.

While discussing with Rezaul Karim Chowdhury and Golam Mortoza, he appreciated this photo exhibition initiatives, he said that such a positive engagement of Civil Society to project Bangladesh problems is a need in international level. The exhibition has already visited other dignatories of Bangladesh, like Dr. AK Abdul Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations. Mr. Imrul Kayes, Foreign Secretary of Government of Bangladesh also visited the stall.

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Dhaka, 13th November 2010. Today at Dhaka reporters unity in a seminar title “Cancun Conference and Climate Justice” speakers demanded that government delegation for Cancun conference must tell the nation what is their position in Cancun and what is their cost too, they also demanded that government delegation should demand mitigation first, and then reparation of ecological debt. They mentioned that adaptation financing commitment seems simply a carrot, that the delegation should not be confused. Civil society has also demanded international climate tribunal for climate victims and affected countries in view of recently held climate tribunal in the city. The seminar was organized by EquityBD a network of civil society and right based NGOs, they have also mentioned that the country has received single farthing $ 110 millions as committed by UK and other governments. The seminar was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Chief Moderator EquityBD; paper was presented by Sayed Aminul Haque, Secretariat Coordinator EquityBD. Among others main speakers were Ghyas Uddin Ahmed MP, member, parliamentary standing committee on ministry of environment and forest, Dr. Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, Coordinator, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihood; Farooque Ahmed of MFTD; Ziaul Haque Mukta, Campaign Manager, Oxfam GB; Badrul Alam, Bangladesh Krishok Federation; Mrs. Saudia Anwar, Network on Climate Change Bangladesh, Mahbubul Alam of WWB Trust.

In his paper, Sayed Aminul Haque mentioned that, government should give emphasize in home front, especially in respect of climate fund management, which should not be limited only to bureaucratic management at present which is happening now, there must be transparent practice, at least government must declared that in funding projects there must be corruption risk assessment, information disclosure policy, complaint response mechanism and local project committee with CSO participation. Dr. Ahsan Uddin Ahmed mentioned, UK and other developed country government misguiding Bangladesh in disguise of funding commitment to distract attention on demanding mitigation, he mentioned there must be a strong voice for rights of climate migrants.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury mentioned that there are difference of position between Prime Minister and the government delegation in respect climate migrants issue, while Prime Minister right fully so serious on the issue. He also beware that government and mass people should not fall in the trap of carbon trading, which is a false solution, being promoted for the interest of multinational corporations and developed countries. Ziaul Haque Mukta mentioned that, nation should not expect that government delegation would be judged on how much money they will be bringing; in fact Cancun is not the forum for that, delegation has to show the national courage for demanding mitigation. He also demanded that Bangladesh must demand 2nd and 3rd extension of Kyoto protocol and should be as legal binding to all parties. He mentioned that it is shame for US that as because of lack of legislation in their congress other countries are not able or hesitant to reach a common agreement. Badrul Alam mentioned that, this climate change issue should be an important issue for the political parties, otherwise cheating of developing countries, confusion created out of multi National Corporation will continue in the country. Saudia Anwar, has given detail elaboration of latest UNFCCC draft text, where still lack of specific commitment on adaptation financing and mitigation target.

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