Ever-increasing environmental challenges, coupled with global climate change, are the greatest threats to development initiatives across the world. There is no end to the sufferings of the poor, particularly those who are engaged in the agricultural sector in the poor countries including Bangladesh. So, national and international measures are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The discourses on climate change are also in the centre of development. However, the negative impacts of climate change pose an additional threat that adds to, interacts with, and can reinforce existing risks, placing additional strains on the livelihoods and coping strategies of the poor and the vulnerable.
PKSF decided to address the climate change issue with in its central mission of poverty alleviation through inclusive financial services. The issue of climate change is a global phenomenon and its negative impacts are more severely felt by the poor people in the climate vulnerable countries like Bangladesh. To mainstream environmental and climate change issues, it established the Environment and Climate Change Unit (ECCU) in 2012 to ensure sustainable poverty reduction. It is important to note that PKSF is accredited by Green Climate Fund (GCF) as a Direct Access Entity (DAE) and it also looks after the UN Adaptation Fund as the National Implementing Entity (NIE) in Bangladesh.
The ECCU is responsible for conducting environmental impact assessment and promoting waste management and identifying sustainable adaptation options and protocols for different climate vulnerable areas for appropriate mitigation action. The Unit has been developing environmentally appropriate climate change adaptation and mitigation protocols in accordance with the government policies. Modern and indigenous knowledge are integrated to develop these protocols. It develops environmental management and compliance strategies for PKSF, its POs and others engaged in such activities. The Unit identifies environment and climate-sensitive activities and develops appropriate framework and practices for implementation. It also plays an active role to enhance capacity and awareness on environment compliance and management relating to climate change issues. The government entrusted PKSF with the implementation of Community Climate Change Project (CCCP), financed under Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF). The project’s objective was to find ways to combat the negative impacts of climate change at the grassroots level.
To further increase the resilience of the poor living in the flood-prone areas, PKSF launched the Extended Community Climate Change Project – Flood (ECCCP-Flood) in April 2020. Co-financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), this project is expected to enhance resilience of 90,000 participants to climate change through adopting and practicing climate adaptive activities and thus help them face the challenges of the impacts of climate change on their lives and livelihoods. More than 45,000 targeted project participants will be able to protect their homesteads and household resources from flooding through raising homestead plinths and reconstruction of their houses. 2500 targeted households covering 11250 project participants will adopt and practice safe drinking water technology.
PKSF also implemented a project under GCF’s Readiness Support scheme to increase Bangladesh’s accessibility to GCF. The ECCU arranged a number of seminars and workshops for raising awareness about environment management and developed a number of environmental management guidelines for small enterprises and suggested some best practices for promoting sustainable enterprises at the local level.
The ECCU coordinates the national and international funding sources to improve access to climate finance, which will ultimately contribute to sustainable poverty reduction.