Ten years ago, well before the UNFCCC proposed that countries prepare National Adaptation Plans, (NAPs) Bangladesh developed its own Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) with its own financial and intellectual resources. That led to the creation of the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) with annual contributions from the National Exchequer of around US$100 million a year to fund hundreds of projects over the years.
However each year 33% was kept in an interest bearing bank account for emergency purposes while only 67% of the amount allocated was disbursed . Over the years the emergency or reserve fund, the 33%, grew to several hundred million as the terms of when to use the reserve fund were never finalized, so the funds were never used..
Recently, the government of Bangladesh set up an inter-ministerial committee to decide how and when to utilise the reserve fund. One idea being considered is to turn it into a national Loss and Damage Fund and develop a two-year pilot programme tasked to find out how to provide compensation to the victims of climate change.
The two year pilot phase will experiment with different aspects of loss and damage; including both fast onset as well as slow onset insurance as a potential mechanism, non-economic loss and damage, enabled migration, etc. The initial two year pilot phase would be funded from the reserve fund in the BCCTF and would also be open for the international research community to come to Bangladesh to study what works and what doesn’t.