Bangladesh Water Partnership (BWP), in collaboration with the Institute of Microfinance (InM), organised a seminar on 15 November on micro finance in climate change adaptation. The aim was to identify bankable projects and overcome challenges at village level in implementing climate resilience projects.
Representatives from government organisations, academics, national experts in the field of microcredit, NGOs and senior officials working in the field of climate change adaptation and disaster management, and microfinance institutes of the country participated in the seminar. In total over 200 were present at the seminar.
The event consisted of an inaugural session and three technical sessions followed by an open discussion and way forward. Twelve papers were presented from different microfinance organizations from all over the country. The keynote paper was presented by Dr Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed, Project Coordinator, Community Climate Change Project (CCCP), PKSF. In his paper he indicated that if the underground water is not recharged due to climate change, it will eventually cause water insecurity which directly affects the food security. He also said that Bangladesh is the most vulnerable country to climate change and the global effort is inadequate to reduce the greenhouse gas emission. He said that drastic and immediate steps are necessary to reduce the temperature and melting glacier.
The participants actively took part in open discussions and especially women participants expressed their opinions on using microfinance in climate change adaptation.
In the closing session Dr K. Azharul Haq, BWP Vice President, delivered a summary report. It was an important event which provided an excellent opportunity to discuss and understand climate change adaptation at community level, through the application of microfinance with the following objectives:
- To identify the bankable projects and overcome the challenges at village level in implementing climate resilience projects.
- To identify possible links between sustainable microfinance services and climate change adaptation and to highlight opportunities and risks of these links to reduce vulnerability among the poorest populations of Bangladesh.
- To consider communities based on vulnerability, climate change adaptation, as well as disaster management perspectives.
- Increase targeting on women for loan schemes to foster their empowerment.
- To bridge the projects of Government and InM.
A detailed report of the seminar will be submitted by the end of December 2014.