Civic groups and lawmakers on Saturday demanded involvement of the representatives of civil society groups and the affected people to make management of climate change fund management transparent and accountable.

They called for the creation of an independent inter ministerial board under the supervision of the prime minister with representatives from civil society groups and the affected people for the management of the climate fund.

Speaking at a national consultation meeting in the city on the eve of 17th UN Framework Convention on Climate Change they said that the prime minister's supervision would ensure coordinated action by different ministries in it.

The board, they suggested, should comprise representatives from the ministries of forest and environment, food and disaster management, planning and agriculture.

The consultation on 'Democratic Ownership and Social Accountability in Climate Fund Management' was jointly organized by Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh, Coastal Development Partnership, IBON Foundation, The Reality of Aid and Voice at the National Press Club.

The speakers said that though the government adopted Bangladesh Climate Change Strategic Action Plan and created Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund and Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund there were questions about the management of climate change funds in Bangladesh.

By involving the affected people and civic groups with the government in the management of the fund its utilisation would be more transparent and accountable, said ruling Awami League lawmaker Md Sohrab Ali Sana.

A member of parliamentary standing committee on forest and environment ministry, Sana said that the democratic ownership of the fund could be ensured only by facilitating the participation of the affected people and the civil society in its management.

He called for the creation of a separate ministry for coastal affairs, facing the severe adverse impact of climate change.

Action Aid Bangladesh country director Farah Kabir raised the question whether all the actions in Bangladesh were taken democratically.

Turning to developed countries she said it was regrettable that they failed in their commitment to cut down carbon emission by 2010.

She said that the developed countries did not do it when their economic condition was good and now the question was how they would do it facing economic hardship.

Moderated by EquityBd chief moderator Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, the meeting was also addressed by Jatiya Party lawmaker MA Jabbar, Oxfam country director in Bangladesh Gareth Price Jones, Bangladesh Krishak Federation general secretary Badrul Alam and Rampal upazila parishad former chairman Abdul Jalil.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, popularly called COP 17, would be held in Durban, South Africa, next month.

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