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NEWS: Governments present the building blocks to mainstreaming CBA


 “How can you make sure integrating climate change adaptation within development planning is not just a tick-box exercise?”

On the first day of this year’s International Conference on Community Based Adaptation (CBA) being held in Dhaka, Bangladesh 22-25th April a group of Government officials set the stage for the theme of the conference, ‘Mainstreaming CBA’.

CDKN has been supporting a Government Cohort to study the key elements to mainstreaming adaptation, including CBA, within the development planning process. The group includes a mix of senior and junior officials from Asian and African Governments.  They met at last year’s CBA conference to learn from the practitioners and experts and reflect on how to use the policy-making process to scale-up adaptation best practices. Following a number of write-shops they have prepared a draft working paper on the building blocks of mainstreaming adaptation. During the plenary session the key findings were presented and CDKN’s partner, IIED, facilitated a wider discussion with the conference participants on the issue.

The working paper which is due to be published later this year puts forward an approach which an African official coined at one meeting in 2012 as ‘Main-streamlining’. This is a pragmatic set of bespoke policy responses based upon national capacities and domestic understanding of circumstances to deal with the impacts of climate change.  At today’s panel session the officials put forward this concept as a practical instrument for government planners to think through the integration of climate resilient responses into policy. The key dimensions of climate main-streamlining include integration into policy objectives, and among spatial planning scales and temporal planning scales.

The idea is to look at what is realistic and feasible with the institutional, policy and funding constraints that exist.

At the same time as discussing this conceptual framework and practical approach, the panel highlighted country case studies. As part of this initiative the Government cohort have published four briefing notes  on Bangladesh, Cambodia, Gambia and Kenya, authored by individual Government officials which gives their experience and insight against the ‘building blocks’ framework.

Mousumi Pervin, an expert working on the Bangladesh Government’s Poverty Environment and Climate Mainstreaming (PECM) project in the national Planning Commission gave the key note address today highlighting Bangladesh’s experience.

Bangladesh is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that by 2050, 17 per cent of Bangladesh will have been claimed by rising seas, forcing 20 million people to relocate. In order to reduce the level of vulnerability the country faces, the government is stepping up its efforts to establish an institutional and legal framework, which is strongly conducive to the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Mousumi explained how political will facilitated a climate-resilient development planning process in Bangladesh. The issue has been reflected in the ruling party’s election manifesto and climate change has become an environmental, as well as a development, issue. As a result the Government has incorporated climate change into various plans and projects such as the Perspective Plan, and the Annual Development Programme. However, she also presented the challenges which remain, such as the information gap that exists on the detailed impacts of climate change and building synergies between different plans and programmes.

Watch more space for more details of these country case studies, and you can check out live updates and join the debate online at the CBA Conference website

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