2030 WRG in the News

FT: Sustainable Development: sanitation needs more private investment

By Sarah Murray, Financial Times reporter

Some 5,000 people living on low-incomes in poor housing in the Ghanaian city of Kumasi have been given better access to toilet facilities thanks to a project that uses an innovative business model. More than 1,000 toilets have been provided to residents under the scheme, designed by Ideo.org, a non-profit spin-off from Ideo, an innovation and design consultancy. Some 80 per cent of the population of Kumasi lacks domestic sanitation.

To prepare for the project, Ideo interviewed families about the kinds of sanitation they used. It found people were either defecating in the open or using poorly maintained public toilets. The only other option for them was to invest in a pit latrine, which are expensive to install and need to be emptied periodically by vacuum trucks, further adding to the cost.

“It was pretty unaffordable for middle and lower-class families in Kumasi,” says Jocelyn Wyatt, co-lead and executive director at Ideo.org. “So we thought that there could be a service model instead.” The end result was a rental toilet, also designed by Ideo.org, with a waste removal service, which households pay a monthly fee to use.

The UN estimates that more than 2.5bn people in the world lack basic sanitation services. These are badly needed. Among other things, lack of sanitation facilities increases the incidence of diarrhoea, a leading cause of death in children under five. The challenge is coming up with ways to fund the infrastructure needed to provide sanitation services.

Creating markets and educating consumers of the health benefits of sanitation is part of the process, says Sean Moore, portfolio manager at Acumen, a New York-based social impact investment fund. “The challenge has been understanding how people value clean water,” he says. “How do you create a willingness for people to spend their little discretionary money on this versus other things?”

This is a question being considered by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, part of the UN. Working with governments, non-governmental organisations and others, the WSSCC is developing education and training programmes, as well as awareness-raising campaigns that, for example, encourage people to adopt good hygiene practices such as hand washing.

“The approach is to bring about a change in thinking on the part of large numbers of people on the connection between sanitation and health, education and human dignity,” says Chris Williams, WSSCC’s executive director.

Generating demand is one thing, but creating incentives for investment in the infrastructure needed to supply sanitation services is another, and many see a bigger role for business and the financial sector. Globally, just 8 per cent of financing for water and sanitation infrastructure comes from the private sector, according to a report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group.

“One of the main challenges is the fact that in much of the developing world, responsibility for managing water and sanitation rests with government,” says Will Davies, Africa lead for the IFC’s 2030 Water Resources Group. “Utilities are often not run on financially sustainable lines and so find it difficult to access private financing.”

Moreover, traditional public sector or aid-based approaches to infrastructure have not always been successful, says Acumen’s Mr Moore and he cites the construction of water boreholes and wells as an example. “Often, the appropriate maintenance services weren’t in place and there wasn’t ownership of them by the community,” he says. He sees promise in local responses and companies that tap into microfinance and pay-as-you-go models or find innovative ways of generating revenue from water and sanitation facilities.

In India, for example, Guardian, a microfinance institution, makes small loans that allow families to buy water and sanitation products and services such as toilets, connections to the municipal water supply, rainwater harvesting equipment and household water purifiers.

Meanwhile, in Kenya, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology spin-off called Sanergy franchises its locally built Fresh Life-branded toilets to local micro-entrepreneurs operating in slums, and every day it takes the waste to be converted into organic fertiliser and sold to farmers. Sanergy’s model provides work and improves sanitation. And by selling waste to farmers, it generates the revenue needed to become financially sustainable.

When it comes to investments in large-scale sanitation infrastructure, the IFC is also working to help businesses develop skills and access financing through its Sanitation and Safe Water For All advisory service.

Mr Davies believes that widening access to private finance is essential to meet the global need for water and sanitation facilities. “The capacity of the public sector to finance the infrastructure is never going to be enough,” he says.

Source: Financial Times – see the article on the FT website

Statejournal Letter to the Editor: If you spoil our water then you need to pay for our water

News Source: Statejournal.com

Water is life. Every living thing on this earth needs access to clean water to survive. It’s our most precious resource. The 2030 Water Resources Group has predicted that water demand will exceed supply by 40 percent in 15 more years. We are very fortunate to live in a state with a plentiful supply. By comparison, California is in its fourth year of a drought and water rationing has been implemented. While our supply is abundant, we cannot take this resource for granted. With our climate in flux, we should be doing everything we can to protect and preserve our water resources. According to the West Virginia Water Resources Protection Act (West Virginia Code 22-26-3), “The waters of the State of West Virginia are claimed as valuable public natural resources held by the state for the use and benefit of its citizens.” Citizens — that’s us.

So what are we doing with our plentiful and precious water? Besides drinking and recreating in it, we give it away to industry. Extracting natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale is a very water intensive process. Every time a well is drilled, an average of 4 million gallons of water is used. With approximately 1,200 active wells and over 3,000 permitted, the gas industry needs a lot of water. Environment America estimates West Virginia has used 17 billion gallons of water for hydraulic fracturing from 2005 to 2013.

Where does all the water they use come from? In most cases, it is sucked right out of our rivers and streams. There are approximately 155 water withdrawal sites permitted in West Virginia. The water is mixed with a cocktail of chemicals and pumped underground to fracture the shale and capture the natural gas. Once a gas well has been drilled, the water resurfaces as flowback and produced water, which is essentially industrial waste. The water is too polluted to return it to the rivers and streams from which it was taken. So instead, the toxic water is disposed of in underground injection wells where it is supposed to remain, but that’s another issue.

Why is the natural gas industry allowed to waste our water? These companies do not pay a cent for taking this water from our rivers and streams and ruining it. It’s only fair these companies compensate us for the use of that water. They need to pay for taking and using our most precious resource. West Virginia citizens should not be required to give away such a vital resource to enhance the profits of the gas companies.

It’s time for gas drillers to pay — even a very modest amount — for the water they take from West Virginians. You want it? You use it? You spoil it? You should pay for it.

Jim Sconyers
West Virginia Sierra Club
Terra Alta

The Independent: Peter Brabeck-Letmathe: Nestle Head sceptical about health benefits of the gluten-free revolution

News Source:  The Independent

The recipe is changing for the food industry. Processed food sales are under pressure in America where consumers are seeking out healthier alternatives. For gluten-free or organic goods they are turning to new brands and smaller producers they think they can trust. It leaves companies like Nestlé, the world’s largest food company that feeds and waters millions with brands such as KitKat, Nescafé and San Pellegrino, with a problem. “I think at the back of everybody’s mind we always have this idea that small is beautiful and big is a little bit ugly,” says Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the company’s chairman.

“So automatically when you see something which is small or more regional it has to be better, whether it is true or not is not important. Perception is reality, OK?”

The consumer, he thinks, “is looking for distraction. They want to see new things happening in their consumption pattern whether this is no gluten or organic or all-natural.”

But it is not always a distraction grounded in scientific fact. “There are so many people who are defining what is healthy and the media is multiplying the thing even more. But the fact is that there is very little that is really scientifically proven.”

He questions the gluten-free revolution – the removal of the protein found in wheat and barley that holds food together but is linked to bloating and stomach cramps. Some 20 per cent of people say they want to eat gluten-free, even though “this is absolutely wrong because for 98 per cent of [them] gluten is very important, especially for children in their development because of the protein that it has.”

Brabeck-Letmathe blames Hollywood stars for amplifying diet changes well beyond the 1.5 per cent of the population for whom gluten causes an allergic reaction. It is not the first time that diets have been distorted.

Nestlé is trying to overcome another perception failure by reinventing frozen food, which consumers are ditching in favour of fresh.

“You will not have a healthier product than a frozen vegetable – and we are not in the vegetable business,” he says, having relaunched Lean Cuisine ready meals with a full range of organic and gluten-free options. The company is also revisiting old recipes to reduce sugar, salt and artificial flavours where it can.

Brabeck-Letmathe, a wily Austrian, has seen it all in close to 50 years at Nestlé. In the battle of the supermarket aisles with other food giants such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Danone and Kraft, he has hived off slow-growth divisions such as dried pasta and spent heavily on sophisticated new ways of consumption such as the Nespresso coffee-capsule system, now a middle-class favourite.

Nestlé is far from small, with 339,000 staff and annual sales of £60bn. But it does not mean Brabeck-Letmathe is above concern at the “ruthless and reckless game of consolidation” that is sweeping in the industry. It is being led by activist investorsincluding Warren Buffett who are forcing through mergers such as between the processed-cheese maker Kraft and Heinz in a bid to squeeze costs and thousands of jobs.

We meet at the Salzburg Festival, which Nestlé has sponsored since 1991 and where it has given an award for the best young conductor since 2010. Brabeck-Letmathe, 70, looks healthier than when I saw him just over a year ago. His grey hair is starting to grow back after treatment for a “curable illness” that Nestlé assured investors would not stop him working.

“Let me put it this way: you never know with this stuff but for the time being no treatment is foreseen, so I am free.” His doctor had banned him from flying long distances, an odd sort of purgatory for a jet-set executive, but he put the spare time to good use, qualifying as a helicopter pilot in January.

It was that ambition to travel that drew the young Brabeck-Letmathe to Nestlé in the first place. He spent 17 years with the company in Latin America, arriving in Chile just before the Marxist Salvador Allende was elected President, continuing his ascent after returning to the group headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1987.

His relationship with chief executive Paul Bulcke took off when they worked together in Latin America, so much so that they speak Spanish to each other even though one is Belgian, the other Austrian.

He has amassed a string of other influential roles, sitting on the board of beauty group L’Oréal, oil giant ExxonMobil and also chairs Formula One. His profile means that Brabeck-Letmathe is often the first line of defence when things go wrong. Still associated with that baby-milk scandal, Nestlé’s latest row has blown up in India, where health authorities say the lead and monosodium glutamate levels in its Maggi noodles are too high. Nestlé disagrees, but has had to take 30,000 tons of noodles off supermarket shelves.

It is potentially hugely damaging but a short-term worry compared to the food industry’s biggest challenge: how to increase production by 70 per cent by 2050 to feed the extra two billion people on the planet and greater demand for richer diets.

Brabeck-Letmathe thinks it can happen as long as a single resource is better managed: water. As chairman of the 2030 Water Resources Group, a public-private group pushing for water reform, he regularly gets quoted as saying that access to water is not a human right, a controversial stance from the seller of millions of bottles of Nestlé Pure Life and Buxton.

That is only half the story. He insists that water is a human right for the 25 to 50 litres needed per day for hydration and minimum hygiene – making up 1.5 per cent of the water that is being withdrawn from the system. The rest, less so.

“To fill up your swimming pool is not a human right or to water the golf course is not a human right, OK? We are still using water like it was given from heaven.”

Having warned five years ago that the world will run out of water long before it runs out of oil, he says the answers are out there. “If we had the water efficiency of Israel in agriculture in the rest of the world we wouldn’t have the problem, straightaway. If we had the water efficiency of Singapore in households we wouldn’t have a water problem. So we know where the answers are but there is not sufficient political will to implement [them].”

Even though it is one of the biggest drinks companies in the world, Nestlé’s water use is “minimal” he argues, calculating the company withdraws 0.0009 per cent of the world’s water: “So even if you say that Nestlé shouldn’t have a right to sell water, if wouldn’t solve anything.”

Such is the size of Nestlé’s business in the UK, he can’t help worry about the impact of the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. “I think it would be really very negative for Europe and for the UK.”

Nestlé has built up its supply base in the UK, with a big chocolate operation in York, the result of its takeover of Rowntree Mackintosh, plus mineral water bottled at Buxton in Derbyshire and various coffee factories. It adds up to close on £400m of exports but “those things would most probably fall apart” if the UK left the EU. It sounds like he is saying that small isn’t always so beautiful.

Source: The Independent

El Comercio: “Crecer en base al uso intensivo del agua es inviable”

News Source: El Comercio

Entrevista completa a G Delacámara - El Comercio - 12 de julio 2015

De cada S/.10 que se producen en el Perú, S/.8 son de zonas donde el agua es escasa, apuntó el consultor Gonzalo Delacámara

El modelo económico basado en el uso intensivo del agua es visto como poco sostenible en el tiempo. Más aun si trata de zonas donde el recurso es escaso o debe venir de otro lugar como ocurre en países como Israel, Australia y, claro está, el Perú.

Por ello, la plataforma público-privada 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG) trabaja con actores públicos, privados y sociedad civil para que tomen un papel más activo en el logro de una mejor gestión del recurso hídrico en el país.

¿Cuál es la labor que realiza esta institución en el mundo y desde hace pocos años en el Perú? 
La organización 2030 Water Resources Group nace a partir del Foro Económico Mundial, como una iniciativa con una serie de socios desde bancos de desarrollo, instituciones no gubernamentales, el sector privado y con una presencia fuerte de la Corporación Financiera Internacional (del Banco Mundial). El objetivo es cerrar la brecha de la demanda y oferta de agua al 2030 en los países en desarrollo.

¿Cuál es la situación del Perú en cuanto a la gestión del agua?
El Perú forma parte de un grupo de países del mundo donde se ‘pesca donde no hay pescado’, porque ocho de cada diez soles que se producen provienen de un lugar donde no hay agua, como es la costa. Esto es común en los estados del oeste americano, en especial en California, una de las grandes economías del planeta, pero con graves problemas en el tema del manejo de los recursos hídricos. Allí también están el norte de Chile, una buena parte de Argentina, así como Israel y el sur de Australia y también de Francia.

Para la agroexportación, Israel es el ejemplo que se ha seguido: hacer crecer el verde en un desierto.
Todos estos países han construido un modelo de desarrollo que demanda de manera intensiva agua en circunstancias en que esa agua no está o está distribuida en otro lugar. Esta paradoja de ser capaces de generar un modelo de crecimiento en un lugar que depende de un recurso escaso genera una serie de fricciones y costos importantes. Esto hace que los conflictos en el Perú, tal como lo tiene censado la Defensoría del Pueblo o el ANA, hayan crecido a más de 200 en número; muchos de los cuales derivan en violencia. Es importante reconocer que el Perú está en un momento en que debe tomar determinadas decisiones no coyunturales, sino en cuanto a su modelo de desarrollo basado en el agua.

¿Este modelo de producir en una zona árida ya no será viable en el mediano plazo?
El modelo plantea dudas respecto a su sostenibilidad. O se mejora el manejo de los recursos hídricos o existen riesgos para los principales sectores productivos del país. Si uno analiza la balanza de pagos del Perú, uno encuentra que el 52% del valor de las exportaciones es minería y el 11% es agricultura, es decir que solo tomando esos dos sectores, un 63% del valor de las exportaciones son intensivas en el uso del agua.

Lee el informe completo en la edición impresa de Portafolio Economía & Internacional.

 

 

The Construction Index: Netherlands to help Bangladesh tackle flooding issues

News Source: The Construction Index (UK)

Dutch ministers have signed an agreement focused on the protection of Bangladesh against flooding and on improving sanitation and drinking water supply. In addition, the Netherlands and Bangladesh will join forces in the fields of land reclamation and port development. The agreement signed by ministers Lilianne Ploumen (foreign trade and development cooperation) and Melanie Schultz van Haegen (infrastructure and the environment) is with the Bangladesh government and the World Bank.

The Bangladesh flats – the largest delta in Asia and the most densely populated delta in the world – are facing major water issues.

The collaboration is to result in the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, a long-term vision comprising technical solutions, as well as an investment plan. The plan is intended to contribute to Bangladesh’s aim of becoming a mid-income country by 2021.

Schultz said: “At first sight, the water challenges in the Netherlands and Bangladesh are similar: low-lying, densely populated delta countries, with major rivers flowing out into the sea, comprehensive migration into the cities, a strategic position vis-à-vis the hinterland. The scale and the complexity of the issues are, however, not comparable. Nonetheless, more intensive collaboration will benefit both countries.”

Ploumen added: “A delta plan only works if everyone is involved. The Netherlands, being a polder country, already has considerable experience in this regard, but in Bangladesh overall involvement is not yet a matter of course. The very poorest, and women in particular, hardly have a say. This really calls for improvement.”

Two-thirds of Bangladesh lies within the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta. The partnership between the Bangladesh government, the Netherlands, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private branch of the 2030 Water Resources Group, will facilitate the sharing of expertise and information between the participating governments and the World Bank. The agreement builds upon a collaborative agreement between Bangladesh and the Netherlands dating from 2012.
Schultz said: “Key words are prevention and long-term planning. In the Netherlands, we command 800 years of experience. It is my personal mission to put Dutch knowledge and expertise into action worldwide in order to make countries more resilient. And conversely, we can learn a great deal from the circumstances in other countries.”

Over the past decades, the Bangladesh government has invested more than US$10bn (£6.4bn) to make the country less vulnerable to natural disasters. River dykes have been strengthened, emergency shelters have been constructed where people can shelter during cyclones and warning systems have been set up. These efforts have significantly reduced the number of casualties, damage to the living environment and the material damage resulting from extreme weather conditions.

Source: The Construction Index

Bengali News Sources: WB has joined with Delta plan : MoU signed

3 articles from Bangladesh Newspapers (Language Bengali)

News source: Janakantha Bangladesh

WB has joined with Delta plan : MoU signed

ডেল্টা প্ল্যানে যুক্ত হলো বিশ্বব্যাংক ॥ সমঝোতা চুক্তি সই
তারিখ: ১৭/০৬/২০১৫
•নদীভাঙ্গন রোধে বিশেষ ব্যবস্থা নিতে হবে ॥ অর্থমন্ত্রী
অর্থনৈতিক রিপোর্টার ॥ পানি সম্পদ নিয়ে ১০০ বছরের পরিকল্পনা (ডেল্টা প্ল্যান) বাস্তবায়নে যুক্ত হলো বিশ্বব্যাংক। এ লক্ষ্যে সমঝোতা চুক্তি স্বাক্ষরিত হয়েছে। এর মধ্য দিয়ে সংস্থাটি দীর্ঘমেয়াদী এ পরিকল্পনা তৈরি এবং পরবর্তীতে বাস্তবায়ন পর্যায়ে সহযোগিতা প্রদান করবে। মঙ্গলবার রাজধানীর শেরেবাংলা নগরের এনইসি সম্মেলন কক্ষে এ চুক্তি স্বাক্ষরিত হয়। সমঝোতা স্মারকটি স্বাক্ষরের দিন থেকে কার্যকর হবে এবং তিন বছর মেয়াদে থাকবে। তবে স্বাক্ষরকারী কর্তৃপক্ষের লিখিত অনুমতি সাপেক্ষে পরবর্তীতে এর কার্যক্রম বাড়ানো যাবে বলে জানানো হয়েছে। অন্যদিকে নেদারল্যান্ডসের সঙ্গে নদীর তীরের ভূমি উদ্ধার, রক্ষা এবং কার্যকর ব্যবহার সংক্রান্ত একটি সহযোগিতা চুক্তিও স্বাক্ষরিত হয়েছে।
অর্থমন্ত্রী আবুল মাল আবদুল মুহিত, নেদারল্যান্ডসের বাণিজ্য ও উন্নয়ন সহযোগিতা মন্ত্রী লিলিয়েন পলিউমেন, বিশ্বব্যাংকের পক্ষে প্রোগ্রাম লিডার লিয়া সির্গাট এবং বিশ্বব্যাংক গ্রুপের প্রতিষ্ঠান আইএসসি ২০৩০ ওয়াটার রিসোর্স গ্রুপের নির্বাহী পরিচালক এ্যান্ডারস ব্যারেনটেল নিজ নিজ দেশ ও প্রতিষ্ঠানের পক্ষে চুক্তিতে স্বাক্ষর করেন। অনুষ্ঠানে পরিকল্পনা তৈরির বিষয়টি এখন কোন পর্যায়ে রয়েছে এবং এর আনুষঙ্গিক বিভিন্ন দিক তুলে ধরেন সাধারণ অর্থনীতি বিভাগের (জিইডি) সদস্য (সিনিয়র সচিব) ড. শামসুল আলম। বক্তব্য রাখেন অর্থনৈতিক সম্পর্ক বিভাগের অতিরিক্ত সচিব ও বিশ্বব্যাংক উইংয়ের প্রধান কাজী শফিকুল আযম। অনুষ্ঠানে কৃষিমন্ত্রী মতিয়া চৌধুরী, পানি সম্পদমন্ত্রী আনিসুল ইসলাম মাহমুদ, পরিকল্পনা বিভাগের সচিব মোহাম্মদ সফিকুল আযমসহ নেদারল্যান্ডস, বিশ্বব্যাংক ও সরকারের উচ্চপর্যায়ের কর্মকর্তারা উপস্থিত ছিলেন।
প্রধান অতিথির বক্তব্যে অর্থমন্ত্রী আবুল মাল আবদুল মুহিত বলেন, নদী ভাঙ্গনের কারণে দেশে প্রতিবছর প্রচুর জমি নষ্ট হচ্ছে। এ দুর্যোগ যাতে কমে যায় সে বিষয়ে পরিকল্পনায় ব্যবস্থা নিতে হবে। স্বাদু পানির ব্যবহারের ক্ষেত্রে ভারসাম্যতা রক্ষা করতে হবে। কেননা এখন দেখা যাচ্ছে স্বাদু পানি পান করা ও কৃষি কাজে ব্যবহারসহ নানা ধরনের অপব্যবহার হচ্ছে। লবণাক্ততা বৃদ্ধির বিষয়টি তুলে ধরে মন্ত্রী বলেন, এ বিষয়ে গত কয়েক বছরে খাপ খাইয়ে নেয়া সংক্রান্ত কার্যক্রমে অগ্রগতি হয়েছে। যেমন লবণাক্ত সহনীয় ধান আবিষ্কার ইত্যাদি। তিনি আরও বলেন, এই বদ্বীপকে পূর্ণ কার্যকর করতে হবে।
অনুষ্ঠানে জানানো হয়, জলবায়ু পরিবর্তনের প্রেক্ষাপটে দেশের পানি সম্পদ নিয়ে ১০০ বছর মেয়াদী পরিকল্পনার কাজ শুরু করেছে সরকার। বাংলাদেশ ডেল্টা প্ল্যান ২১০০ শীর্ষক এ পরিকল্পনা তৈরিতে সহায়তা দিচ্ছে নেদারল্যান্ডস। এ জন্য ইতোমধ্যেই দুই দেশের মধ্যে চুক্তির আওতায় নেদারল্যান্ডস এ পরিকল্পনা তৈরির জন্য ৪৭ কোটি ৪৭ লাখ টাকা অনুদান দিচ্ছে। সরকার সাম্প্রতিক কয়েক দশকে পানি সম্পদ, কৃষি, ভূমি ব্যবহার, মৎস্য ও বনসহ বিভিন্ন বিষয়ে পরিকল্পনা, নীতি, কর্মসূচী ও প্রকল্প গ্রহণ করেছে। যার মধ্যে উল্লেখযোগ্য হচ্ছে ন্যাশনাল ওয়াটার ম্যানেজমেন্ট প্ল্যান, ইন্টিগ্রেটেড কোস্টাল ম্যানেজমেন্ট প্ল্যান, হাওর মাস্টার প্ল্যান, এগ্রিকালচার মাস্টার প্ল্যান ফর সাউদার্ন রিজিওন এবং জাতীয় পানি সম্পদ ব্যবস্থাপনা ইত্যাদি। এ পরিকল্পনাগুলো কাক্সিক্ষত হারে উন্নয়ন কার্যক্রম এগিয়ে নিতে পারছে না। একক পরিকল্পনা বাস্তবায়নে দ্বৈততার সৃষ্টি হয়ে সম্পদের অপচয় হচ্ছে। সে কারণেই ৫০ থেকে ১০০ বছর মেয়াদী একটি সমন্বিত পরিকল্পনা করা হচ্ছে। তাছাড়া দেশের টেকসই খাদ্য নিরাপত্তা নিশ্চিত করা এবং সেই সঙ্গে প্রাকৃতিক সম্পদের সুষ্ঠু ব্যবস্থাপনা একটি গুরুত্বপূর্ণ বিষয়। এতে জলবায়ু পরিবর্তন সংক্রান্ত ইস্যুসমূহ যথাযথভাবে বিবেচনা করে দীর্ঘমেয়াদী এ পরিকল্পনা গ্রহণ করার উদ্যোগ নেয়া হয়েছে।
ড. শামসুল আলম মূল প্রবন্ধ উপস্থাপন করার সময় বলেন, পানি সম্পদ, ভূমি, কৃষি, জনস্বাস্থ্য, পরিবেশ, পানি ও খাদ্য নিরাপত্তা, অর্থনৈতিক প্রবৃদ্ধি এবং ভূ-প্রতিবেশ খাতকে বিশেষভাবে গুরুত্ব দিয়ে উন্নয়ন পরিকল্পনা প্রনীত হবে। বাংলাদেশের ব-দ্বীপ ভূমিতে প্রাকৃতিক সম্পদ খাতের ভবিষ্যত উন্নয়ন প্রশাসন সম্পর্কে একটি দীর্ঘমেয়াদী দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি তৈরি করা হবে। সমন্বিত নীতি উন্নয়ন, সিদ্ধান্ত গ্রহণ প্রক্রিয়া ও বাস্তবায়নের সম্ভাব্য বাধা চিহ্নিত করে করণীয়গুলো বিবেচনায় নিয়ে রোডম্যাপ তৈরি করা হবে। এ পরিকল্পনার সঙ্গে যুক্ত সরকারী সংস্থাগুলোর দক্ষতা ও মান উন্নয়ন এবং সমন্বিত প্রাতিষ্ঠানিক কাঠামোর আওতায় আনা হবে। পরিকল্পনার ফলে একই কাঠামোর আওতায় সার্বিক সমন্বিত আকারে সকল খাতে এর সুনির্দিষ্ট পলিসি ও প্ল্যান এবং স্বল্প, মধ্য ও দীর্ঘমেয়াদী, পঞ্চবার্ষিক পরিকল্পনা এবং প্রেক্ষিত পরিকল্পনার প্রতিফলন ঘটবে। এতে সীমিত সম্পদের মধ্যে কার্যকরভাবে জলবায়ু পরিবর্তন প্রভাব মোকাবেলায় কর্মসূচীসমূহ আরও যৌক্তিক উপায়ে বাস্তবায়নের ব্যবস্থা করা হবে।
অন্যদিকে ভূমি উদ্ধার, রক্ষা এবং ভূমির ব্যবহার নিশ্চিত করতে সহায়তা দেবে নেদারল্যান্ডস। এ লক্ষ্যে বাংলাদেশ সরকার ও নেদারল্যান্ডস সরকারের মধ্যে একটি চুক্তি স্বাক্ষরিত হয়েছে। মঙ্গলবার বিকেলে রাজধানীর শেরেবাংলা নগরের এনইসি সম্মেলন কক্ষে এ চুক্তি স্বাক্ষরিত হয়। এতে পানি সম্পদমন্ত্রী ব্যারিস্টার আনিসুল ইসলাম মাহমুদ এবং নেদারল্যান্ডসের অবকাঠামো ও পরিবেশমন্ত্রী মেলেনি সিউলতাজ ভান হাওয়েল স্বাক্ষর করেন।

The World Bank will provide assistance for delta plan

News source: Samakal Bangladesh

ব-দ্বীপ পরিকল্পনায় সহায়তা দেবে বিশ্বব্যাংক
সমকাল প্রতিবেদক
দেশের পানিসম্পদ নিয়ে ১০০ বছরের ব-দ্বীপ পরিকল্পনা (ডেল্টা পল্গ্যান) বাস্তবায়নে সহযোগিতা করবে বিশ্বব্যাংক। এ বিষয়ে সংস্থাটির সঙ্গে সমঝোতা স্মারক সই করেছে সরকার। নেদারল্যান্ডস সরকার এবং ২০৩০ ওয়াটার রিসোর্সেস গ্রুপের (ডবিল্গউআরজি) মধ্যেও এ নিয়ে সমঝোতা হয়েছে। এসব সমঝোতার আওতায় টেকসই ব-দ্বীপ ব্যবস্থাপনা, সমন্বিত পানিসম্পদ ব্যবস্থাপনা, দুর্যোগ ব্যবস্থাপনা এবং জলবায়ু অভিযোজনে বাংলাদেশকে সহযোগিতা করবে উন্নয়ন সহযোগীরা।
গতকাল মঙ্গলবার শেরেবাংলা নগরের এনইসি সম্মেলন কক্ষে সরকারের পক্ষে অর্থমন্ত্রী আবুল মাল আবদুল মুহিত তিন বছর মেয়াদি সমঝোতা স্মারকে সই করেন। অন্যদিকে নেদারল্যান্ডস সরকারের পক্ষে দেশটির পররাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রী লিলিয়েন প্লুমেন, বিশ্বব্যাংকের পক্ষে প্রোগ্রাম লিডার ড. লিয়া সাইগার্ট এবং ডবিল্গউআরজির পক্ষে অ্যাল্ডারস বার্নটেল সই করেন। অর্থনৈতিক সম্পর্ক বিভাগ (ইআরডি) আয়োজিত এ অনুষ্ঠানে কৃষিমন্ত্রী বেগম মতিয়া চৌধুরী, পানিসম্পদমন্ত্রী আনিসুল ইসলাম মাহমুদ, সাধারণ অর্থনীতি বিভাগের সদস্য ড. শামসুল আলম, পরিকল্পনা কমিশনের সচিব সফিকুল আজমসহ সংশ্লিষ্টরা উপস্থিত ছিলেন।
এ সমঝোতার আওতায় বাংলাদেশ সরকার, নেদারল্যান্ডস এবং বিশ্বব্যাংক গ্রুপের অংশীদারির ভিত্তিতে তথ্য ও অভিজ্ঞতার বিনিময়, যৌথ কর্মকাণ্ড চিহ্নিত ও বাস্তবায়ন এবং অভিজ্ঞতা ও সক্ষমতার সমন্বয় করা হবে। ২০১২ সালে বাংলাদেশ এবং নেদারল্যান্ডসের মধ্যে স্বাক্ষরিত অন্য একটি চুক্তির ওপর ভিত্তি করে এই চুক্তি করা হয়েছে। সমঝোতার আওতায় বাংলাদেশ ডেল্টা পল্গ্যান ২১০০ প্রণয়ন করা হবে। সমঝোতা স্মারকটি সই হওয়ার দিন থেকে কার্যকর হবে এবং তিন বছর মেয়াদে কার্যকর থাকবে।
অনুষ্ঠানে প্রধান অতিথির বক্তৃতায় অর্থমন্ত্রী বলেন, দীর্ঘমেয়াদি পরিকল্পনায় নদীর ভাঙনরোধ ও জলবায়ু পরিবর্তন মোকাবেলা করা হবে। ব-দ্বীপ পরিকল্পনা বাস্তবায়ন করা গেলে নদীভাঙন যেমন ঠেকানো যাবে, সেই সঙ্গে জলবায়ু পরিবর্তনও সহজে মোকাবেলা করা সম্ভব হবে।
ডবি্লউআরজির নির্বাহী পরিচালক অ্যাল্ডারস বার্নটেল বলেন, এ অংশীদারি ও পরিকল্পনা খুবই গুরুত্বপূর্ণ। কারণ পানিসম্পদের বৃহৎ চ্যালেঞ্জ মোকাবেলায় বিভিন্ন পক্ষ থেকে সম্পদ এবং অঙ্গীকার প্রয়োজন।
অনুষ্ঠানে জানানো হয়, বাংলাদেশ ডেল্টা পরিকল্পনার মূল লক্ষ্য হলো_ ব-দ্বীপ ব্যবস্থাপনায় একটি দীর্ঘমেয়াদি রূপকল্প তৈরি, ভিন্ন ভিন্ন পরিস্থিতির জন্য প্রস্তুতি গ্রহণ ও সাড়া দেওয়া এবং সরকারি প্রতিষ্ঠানগুলোকে চিহ্নিত করে চ্যালেঞ্জ মোকাবেলায় সংগঠিত করা। বেসরকারি খাত ও উন্নয়ন সহযোগীদের সম্পৃক্ত করে একটি দীর্ঘমেয়াদি বিনিয়োগ কর্মসূচি সৃষ্টি করা হবে। গত দশকগুলোতে বাংলাদেশ সরকার প্রাকৃতিক দুর্যোগে ঝুঁকি কমিয়ে আনতে ১০ বিলিয়ন ডলারের বেশি বিনিয়োগ করেছে।
এ উপলক্ষে এক বিবৃতিতে বাংলাদেশে নিযুক্ত বিশ্বব্যাংকের কান্ট্রি ডিরেক্টর জোহানেস জাট বলেন, ভৌগোলিক অবস্থান, দারিদ্র্যের হার এবং জনসংখ্যার ঘনত্বের কারণে বাংলাদেশ জলবায়ু পরিবর্তন এবং এর সঙ্গে সংশ্লিষ্ট অর্থনৈতিক ঝুঁকির মধ্যে রয়েছে। ডেল্টা প্ল্যান ২১০০, ব-দ্বীপের টেকসই ব্যবস্থাপনার মাধ্যমে এ চ্যালেঞ্জের মোকাবেলা করবে এবং এর মাধ্যমে লাখো মানুষ উপকৃত হবে ও ভবিষ্যৎ প্রজন্ম সুরক্ষা পাবে।
তিন বিষয়কে গুরুত্ব দিয়ে ডেল্টা পল্গ্যান তৈরি করছে জিইডি। এগুলো হচ্ছে নদী ব্যবস্থাপনা, জলাবদ্ধতা দূরীকরণ এবং ভূমি উদ্ধার। এছাড়া পানিসম্পদ, ভূমি, কৃষি, জনস্বাস্থ্য, পরিবেশ, পানি ও খাদ্য নিরাপত্তা, অর্থনৈতিক প্রবৃদ্ধি এবং ভূ-প্রতিবেশ খাতকে বিশেষভাবে গুরুত্ব দিয়ে উন্নয়ন পরিকল্পনা তৈরি করা হবে। সমন্বিত নীতি উন্নয়ন, সিদ্ধান্ত গ্রহণ প্রক্রিয়া ও বাস্তবায়নের সম্ভাব্য বাধা চিহ্নিত করে করণীয়গুলো বিবেচনায় নিয়ে রোডম্যাপ তৈরি করা হবে।
বাংলাদেশ ডেল্টা পল্গ্যান ২১০০ শীর্ষক এ পরিকল্পনা তৈরিতে সহায়তা দিচ্ছে নেদারল্যান্ডস। পরিকল্পনা তৈরির জন্য ৪৭ কোটি ৪৭ লাখ টাকা অনুদান দিচ্ছে দেশটি।

WB has connected with Delta plan

News source: Jugantor Bangladesh

ডেল্টা প্ল্যানে যুক্ত হল বিশ্বব্যাংক
যুগান্তর রিপোর্ট
প্রকাশ : ১৭ জুন, ২০১৫
পানিসম্পদ নিয়ে ১০০ বছরের ব-দ্বীপ পরিকল্পনা (ডেল্টা প্ল্যান) বাস্তবায়নে সহযোগিতা করবে বিশ্বব্যাংক। এ লক্ষ্যে সংস্থাটির সঙ্গে বাংলাদেশের একটি সমঝোতা স্মারক সই হয়েছে। মঙ্গলবার রাজধানীর শেরেবাংলা নগরের এনইসি সম্মেলন কক্ষে টুওয়ার্ডস রেজিলেন্ট অ্যান্ড সাসটেইনেবল ডেল্টা ম্যানেজমেন্ট ফর এ প্রোসপোরাস বাংলাদেশ শীর্ষক এ সমঝোতা স্মারক বাংলাদেশ সরকার, নেদারল্যান্ডস সরকার, বিশ্বব্যাংকের আন্তর্জাতিক উন্নয়ন সংস্থা (আইডিএ) এবং ইন্টারন্যাশনাল ফিন্যান্স কর্পোরেশন/২০৩০ ওয়াটার রিসোর্স গ্র“পের (ডব্লিউআরজি) মধ্যে সই হয়। এ সমঝোতার আওতায় টেকসই বদ্বীপ ব্যবস্থাপনা, সমন্বিত পানি সম্পদ ব্যবস্থাপনা, দুর্যোগ ব্যবস্থাপনা ও জলবায়ু অভিযোজনে সংস্থাগুলো বাংলাদেশকে সহযোগিতা করবে।
বাংলাদেশ সরকারের পক্ষে অর্থমন্ত্রী আবুল মাল আবদুল মুহিত ৩ বছর মেয়াদি এ সমঝোতা স্মারকে সই করেন। অন্যদিকে নেদারল্যান্ডস সরকারের পক্ষে দেশটির পররাষ্ট্রমন্ত্রী লিলিয়েন প্লুমেন, বিশ্বব্যাংকের পক্ষে প্রোগ্রাম লিডার ড. লিয়া সাইগার্ট এবং ডব্লিউআরজির পক্ষে অ্যাল্ডারস বার্নটেল সই করেন। অর্থনৈতিক সম্পর্ক বিভাগ (ইআরডি) এ অনুষ্ঠানের আয়োজন করে। কৃষিমন্ত্রী বেগম মতিয়া চৌধুরী, পানিসম্পদমন্ত্রী আনিসুল ইসলাম মাহমুদ, সাধারণ অর্থনীতি বিভাগের সিনিয়র সদস্য ড. শামসুল আলম, পরিকল্পনা কমিশনের সচিব সফিকুল আজমসহ সংশ্লিষ্টরা অনুষ্ঠানে উপস্থিত ছিলেন।
সংশ্লিষ্টরা জানান, বাংলাদেশ সরকার, নেদারল্যান্ডস এবং বিশ্বব্যাংক গ্রুপের এ অংশীদারিত্বের মাধ্যমে তথ্য ও অভিজ্ঞতার বিনিময়, যৌথ কর্মকাণ্ড চিহ্নিত ও বাস্তবায়ন এবং অভিজ্ঞতা ও সক্ষমতার সমন্বয় করবে। বর্তমানে সমঝোতা স্মারকের সামগ্রিক উদ্দেশ্য হল বাংলাদেশ সরকার, নেদারল্যান্ডস সরকার, বিশ্বব্যাংক একত্রিত হয়ে শক্তিশালী অংশীদারিত্ব গড়ে তোলা এবং বাংলাদেশের ডেল্টা প্ল্যান ২১০০ প্রণয়ন। সমঝোতা স্মারকটি সই হওয়ার দিন থেকে কার্যকর হবে এবং ৩ বছর মেয়াদে কার্যকর থাকবে।

Bandudeltas: Bangladesh, Netherlands and the World Bank sign MoU for Delta Management

News Source: Bandudeltas Bangladesh 

The government of Bangladesh signed an agreement on 16 June 2015 with the Netherlands and the World Bank Group including its private sector arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC) with the 2030 Water Resources Group to strengthen management of the Bangladesh Delta, Asia’s largest and the world’s most populated delta. The partnership will help to develop and implement the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, a long term and holistic vision for the Bangladesh Delta, and help to realize Bangladesh’s goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2021 while maintaining the unique biodiversity and physical characteristics of the delta.

A signing ceremony titled ‘Towards resilient and sustainable Delta Management for a prosperous Bangladesh” was organized by the Economic Relations Division (ERD) of the Planning Commission and the World Bank in this regards at the NEC Conference Room of the Planning Commission at Sher-e-bangla Nagar, Dhaka. Mr. Abul Maal A. Muhith, MP Honourable Minister, Ministry of Finance, Government of Bangladesh was the Chief Guest of the ceremony. In his speech, the Chief Guest spoke about the scarcity of clean water in the world today and commented that countries need to work together in order to find the best ways of dealing with such issues. Honourable Minister of Agriculture Begum Matia Chowdhury, Honourable Minister for Water Resources Mr. Anisul Islam Mahmud, Honourable State Minister for Water Resources Mr. Muhammad Nazrul Islam, Bir Protik, international delegates, representatives of the World Bank and the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 Formulation Project were present as well.

Dutch Ministers Lilianne Ploumen (International Trade and Development) and Melanie Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure and Environment) was present. They are in Bangladesh for the week for a number of activities. According to the the Netherlands Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, their visit aims to strengthen the trade- and development relation between the Netherlands and Bangladesh within the themes of textile and water management. They are accompanied by a multi-stakeholder mission of Dutch companies, trade unions, NGO’s and pension fund investors.

Dr. Professor Shamsul Alam, Member (Senior Secretary), General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission, presented the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100 at the signing ceremony. In his presentation, he highlighted many of the salient features of BDP 2100 and said that the delta plan will “address issues related to the harnessing and development of all forms of surface water and ground water and management of these resources in an efficient and equitable manner.”

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Lilianne Ploumen, Lia Carol Sieghart, and Anders Berntell, on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh, Government of Netherland, the World Bank and IFC/ 2030 WRG respectively.

See other related news clippings from other news sources:

Bangladesh:

BD News 24: http://bdnews24.com/economy/2015/06/17/bangladesh-netherlands-ifc-ida-sign-mou-for-sustainable-delta-management

The Financial Express: http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2015/06/17/96952

United News of Bangladesh: http://unb.com.bd/mou-delta-plan

The Daily Sun: http://www.daily-sun.com/printversion/details/51442/Govt-plans-to-uphold-biodiversity-of-delta

Samakal: http://www.samakal.net/2015/06/16/143707

Manobzamin: https://www.mzamin.com/details.php?mzamin=Nzk4OTY=&s=Nw==

Bonik Barta: http://www.bonikbarta.com/2015-06-17/news/details/40156.html

Jana Kantha: http://www.dailyjanakantha.com/?p=details&csl=126706

Ittefaq: http://www.ittefaq.com.bd/print-edition/second-edition/2015/06/17/55176.html

Banglanews24: http://www.banglanews24.com/fullnews/bn/402289.html

Jugantor: http://www.jugantor.com/second-edition/2015/06/17/280226

Manob Kanthahttp://www.manobkantha.com/2015/06/17/43592.php

Alokito Bangladeshhttp://www.alokitobangladesh.com/economics-business/2015/06/17/141254

Naya Diganta: http://www.dailynayadiganta.com/detail/news/31086

Kaler Kantha: http://www.kalerkantho.com/print-edition/first-page/2015/06/17/234499

Business 24: http://www.business24bd.com/39369/

Dhaka Times: http://www.dhakatimes24.com/2015/06/16/70250

Bangladesh Protidin: http://www.bd-pratidin.com/city/2015/06/17/87782

International:

Global Post: http://www.globalpost.com/article/6584057/2015/06/16/roundup-bangladesh-netherlands-world-bank-join-hands-strengthen-delta

China: http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2015-06/17/content_35838510.htm

Webwire: http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=198315

The Financial: http://www.finchannel.com/index.php/business/item/45338-bangladesh-the-netherlands-and-the-world-bank-group-join-hands-to-further-strengthen-delta-management

Xinhua News: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-06/17/c_134332073.htm

World Bank Official Press Release:

http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/06/16/bangladesh-netherlands-world-bank-group-join-hands-to-further-strengthen-delta-management

Dutch Government:

http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/nieuws/2015/06/16/schultz-en-ploumen-tekenen-waterakkoorden-met-bangladesh.html

http://www.government.nl/news/2015/06/16/ministers-schultz-and-ploumen-sign-water-agreements-with-bangladesh.html

 

News Today Bangladesh: Netherlands, WB join hands to strengthen Delta Management

News source: News Today Bangladesh

The government signed an agreement Tuesday with the Netherlands and the World Bank Group including its private sector arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC) with the 2030 Water Resources Group to strengthen management of the Bangladesh Delta, Asia’s largest and the world’s most populated delta, reports BSS. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Lilianne Ploumen, Lia Carol Sieghart, and Anders Berntell, on behalf of the government of Bangladesh, the government of Netherland, the World Bank and IFC/2030 WRG respectively at the Economic Relations Division here according to a WB release.

The partnership will help develop and implement the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, a long term and holistic vision for the Bangladesh Delta, and help realize Bangladesh’s goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2021 while maintaining the unique biodiversity and physical characteristics of the delta. “Bangladesh’s location, high poverty levels and population density makes it specially vulnerable to the impact of climate change and the large economic losses that come with it,” said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh. “The Delta Plan 2100 seeks to address this very challenge by building greater delta resilience and sustainability to benefit millions of people whose lives and livelihoods depend on this unique environment and to protect it for future generations,” Johannes Zutt added. Two-thirds of Bangladesh lies in the Ganges- Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta and calls for special focus to sustainable delta management. Beset with an already high and growing population density along with growing urbanization, proper planning and management of the delta will secure Bangladesh’s future development over the next decades through improving water safety, food security, and disaster resilience. The Delta Plan aims to create a long-term vision for delta management, prepare for different scenarios and responses, identify and organize government institutions to address challenges and create and facilitate a long-term investment program bolstered by private sector participation and development partners. “Adaptive delta management will build a stronger foundation for prosperous Bangladesh,” said Lia Carol Sieghart, Program Leader, World Bank The partnership among the government of Bangladesh, the Netherlands and the World Bank Group will facilitate sharing of knowledge and information among the participating governments and the World Bank Group identifying and implementing joint activities and building on respective expertise and capacity. The agreement builds upon another agreement signed between Bangladesh and the Netherlands in 2012. “Like all delta countries, Bangladesh and the Netherlands share a common cause to manage these complex environments. They are, therefore, natural partners in the exchange of knowledge and knowhow,” said Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment while also stressing the importance of preventive approach to reduce the risk of disasters. Lilianne Ploumen, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, added “the Bangladesh Delta Plan can only be a success if it benefits all people in Bangladeshi society”. She urged in that connection “to, in the further process, give proper attention also to the interests, views and roles of the poor, the landless people and within those groups particularly to women”. Over the last decades, the Bangladesh government has invested more than $10 billion to make the country less vulnerable to natural disasters. Measures as strengthening river embankments, building emergency cyclone shelters, and developing world class community based early warning systems have significantly reduced the loss of lives and livelihoods and property damages caused by extreme weather events. “The partnership and the plan are so vital because meeting the immense water challenges requires resources and commitment from many actors. This plan will unite government, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and the private sector in Bangladesh for the benefit of the inhabitants of the delta,” said Anders Berntell, 2030 Water Resources Group Executive Director who signed the MoU on behalf of IFC/2030 WRG. 

UNB Bangladesh: MoU signed for Dutch help in delta management; IFC too involved.

News Source: United News of Bangladesh

Dhaka, June 16 (UNB) – The government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tuesday with the Netherlands and the World Bank Group, specifically its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that partners the 2030 Water Resources Group, to strengthen management of the Bangladesh Delta, Asia’s largest and the world’s most populated delta.

The MoU titled ‘Towards Resilient and Sustainable Delta Management for a prosperous Bangladesh’ was signed by Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lilianne Ploumen, World Bank Program Leader Lia Carol Sieghart, and Executive Director of IFC/2030 Water Resources Group Dr Anders Berntell, on behalf of their respective sides at the NEC conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Banglanagar area.

The partnership will help to develop and implement the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, a long term and holistic vision for the Bangladesh Delta, and help to realize Bangladesh’s goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2021 while maintaining the unique biodiversity and physical characteristics of the delta.

Lauding the success of the Netherlands in reclaiming land from the sea, the Finance Minister said that Bangladesh has not really acquired land from the sea the way the Netherlands did because Bangladesh has relied on natural forces to get these land. Muhith also noted that every year Bangladesh gets around 1000 square miles of land automatically as it comes from the sediments that it gets from the Himalayas through various river systems as they make their way to the sea. He also welcomed such initiative and partnership with the Netherlands for formulating the Delta Plan 2100.

Two-thirds of Bangladesh lies in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta and calls for special focus on sustainable delta management. Beset by an already high and growing population along with growing urbanization, only proper planning and management of the delta will secure Bangladesh’s future development over the next decades through improving water safety, food security, and disaster resilience. Speaking on the occasion, Lilianne Ploumen, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, said, “We believe that the Bangladesh Delta Plan can only be a success if it benefits all people in Bangladeshi society”.

The Delta Plan aims to create a long-term vision for delta management, prepare for different scenarios and responses, identify and organize government institutions to address challenges and create and facilitate a long-term investment program bolstered by private sector participation and development partners.

The agreement signed on Tuesday builds upon another agreement signed between Bangladesh and the Netherlands in 2012, in the field of sustainable delta management, integrated water resources management, disaster management and adaptation to climate change, with special reference to the development and implementation of the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100.

The two countries share similarities in their low-lying coastal landscape (the Netherlands’ name literally means “low country”), that is naturally prone to flooding. As such, they enjoy a history of cooperation in tackling the vagaries of nature.

bdnews24.com: Bangladesh, Netherlands, IFC, IDA sign MoU for sustainable delta management

News Source: bdnews24.com

By Staff Correspondent

The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Netherlands and two World Bank Group organisations for a sustainable management of the delta. The deal titled “Towards Resilient and Sustainable Delta Management for a Prosperous Bangladesh” was signed in Dhaka on Tuesday in which Finance Minister AMA Muhith represented the government. International Development Agency and International Finance Corporation are the parties. Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Lilianne Ploumen, World Bank Programme Leader Lia Carol Sieghart and IFC Executive Director Anders Berntell also signed the deal.

The finance minister said at the ceremony: “We can’t ensure proper use of drinkable water in our country. It’s a problem of the entire world.”
He said huge development opportunity would be created in different sectors including drinking water and agriculture production if the waters from the Himalayas could be used properly. “That has not been possible due to our limitations,” he added.

Planning Commission Member Shamsul Alam presented the Delta Plan 2100, a long-term programme undertaken to tackle river erosion, salinity and climate change. Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Lilianne Ploumen, Netherlands Infrastructure and Environment Minister Melanie Schultz and World Bank Resident Representative in Dhaka Johannes Zutt also spoke at the function. Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury was present at the MoU signing.