Workshop on Approaches to Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 Formulation: Baseline Study Plan and Ministries’ Participation
The General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission and the TA Team of the BDP 2100 Formulation Project organized a workshop at the NEC II Conference Room last week on 11 September 2014. The objective of the workshop was to discuss approaches to Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 Formulation, Baseline Study Plan and Ministries’ Participation.
Special Guest of the workshop, Mr. Md. Nojibur Rahman, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Bangladesh said, “The Delta Plan programme is a visionary one, and it will greatly benefit from the views of all stakeholders and experts.”
At the workshop, Mr. Md. Mufidul Islam, Project Director of the BDP 2100, made a presentation and informed that GED will stimulate the involvement of ministries, divisions and agencies in order to build partnership and ownership, share ideas, knowledge and understanding of needs in order to link planning to sectoral policy documents. “Deliverables of the BDP 2100 formulation project will ensure views of relevant stakeholders, and this involvement will be coordinated through the designated focal points,” he said. He also added that deliverables such as the inception report, baseline study reports on 19 themes, investment plan and future reports generated will be shared with all focal points for their views and comments.
Mr. Jaap de Heer, Team Leader, BDP 2100 TA team provided a brief overview of the project and the process being used to formulate the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. He summarized the challenges of delta management in Bangladesh in three key points, “Facing water resource problems including climate change, need for long term holistic vision, strategy, plan, investments for better management of land and water and institutional and governance setting needed to make BDP 2100 approach possible and implementable.” He discussed the key points in detail, discussing issues such as scenario-based adaptive strategies of the delta plan and the need for widespread socio-political support, among others. He further mentioned that the delta plan will be a living document that is able to incorporate issues as they come along in the future, and that is why it is adaptive. In regard to baseline studies, the point of the workshop, he mentioned that each of the 19 baseline studies will take the current policy situation, sectoral status, drives/ pressures, integrated analysis into account to develop a holistic interpretation and vision and lead to the analysis and scenario development required for the BDP 2100. He presented a sample ‘terms of reference’ for the baseline studies for discussion amongst the stakeholders present, and added that there are areas in which these themes are linked, and these cross-linkages will be explored.
Mr. Christiaan Reebergen, Deputy Director General, International Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Netherlands was present at the workshop as a special guest, who said, “Our countries have so much in common. I think the most important element here is for the plan to be adaptive. At first in Netherlands, we made a delta plan but soon realized that we need to change it because the world is changing very fast. So we need plans to evolve as the world evolves. Secondly, I think the private sector needs to be involved, because a lot of the required interventions need investments which cannot be funded by the public sector alone. Institutional development is needed to carry forward the implementation of this plan, which brings people together who needs to work together. It’s not just about water and water management, but also about land and agriculture and development overall, because all these things need to be considered together and not as standalone issues.” He ended his speech saying he is looking forward to the collaboration between the governments of Bangladesh and the Netherlands in putting the BDP 2100 together.
Also present at the workshop as a special guest was Dr. Zafar Ahmed Khan, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources. He made very interesting comments as well, saying, “One disaster like Sidr and Aila can set parts of Bangladesh back 10 or 15 years. We need to be prepared for these things. I cannot think of any country more relevant than the Netherlands to support us in formulating this plan, since they face the same problems we do.” He further added that such high profile plans often fail to capture the views and opinions of the common of Bangladesh, but that is very important since they are the ultimate beneficiary. This creates a problem is implementation of plan documents, and many plans which were otherwise really well put together were not as successful since they could not be implemented properly. He expressed the need for the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 to avoid this pitfall.
After the conclusion of official speeches, those present at the workshop were invited to express their views and make comments. At the end of the open discussion session, the room was compartmentalized into eight groups to represent the eight clusters (which includes the 19 themes) of the BDP 2100. Each group carried on with the discussion on study plans individually, and the discussions were recorded for review of the GED and the TA team.
The following are the eight groups (which include the 19 themes of the BDP 2100):
- Morphological dynamics of Bangladesh Delta
- Water resources
- Coastal Polder issues
Water Supply and Sanitation
- Public heath, water supply and sanitation
Disaster Risk Reduction
- Climate change issues
- Disaster management
- Land resources
- Urbanization and settlement
- Agriculture and food security
- Fisheries and livestock
- Ecological Settings
- Forests and biodiversity
- Environmental pollution
Economics and Finance
- Growth of Population and Management in the context of resources setting
- Socio-economic and demographic condition
- Sustainable Transportation Infrastructures
- Information and creation of knowledge management Institution
- Institutional framework/arrangement
- Regional cooperation
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