Inclusive Finance for Climate Change Management

The Institute of Microfinance (InM) organised a seminar on “Inclusive Finance for Climate Change Management” on November 27, 2015 in PKSF Bhaban. Professor M. A. Baqui Khalily, Executive Director, InM and Dr. Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed, Project Coordinator, CCCP, PKSF, were presented the keynote papers at the seminar. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, InM, presided over the session. Professor Tsuji Kazuto, Visiting Senior Advisor, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Dr. Henry Scheyvens, Director, National Resources Management Group, IGES, Japan, and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF, was present as the Guests of Honor at the Seminar.

Dr. Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed, Project Coordinator, CCCP, PKSF

He mentioned the importance of climate change management and adaptation. In his speech he raised three important questions regarding climate change and its impact: a. what do we mean by inclusive finance? b. what are we really doing and c. what will be the future impact of it? He also said that, climate change has numerous impacts as sea level will rise and vulnerability will increase through unpredictable flood, cyclone, river erosion and natural calamity. He said it is needless to mention that climate change will have severe negative impact on our future target towards our sustainable development. He also said global community set a goal that by the year of 2050 every country will concentrate to increase their GDP minimum upto 2 percent. If situation could not be controlled, instead of 2 percent increasing it might decrease upto 9.4 percent by the year 2100, which would be really alarming.

Professor M. A. Baqui Khalily, Executive Director, InM

He highlighted the consequences of climate change and what would be done. He said InM has done series of studies both in northern and south-western part of Bangladesh.He said there is no doubt that access to finance is very important and creating a big change in people’s life. Many study proofs that as well. In his opinion access to finance had huge impact on climate change adaption. Otherwise, they might have to seek hello from the informal credit market which may make there situation more vulnerable. Along with the existing facilities some new interventions are required for the microfinance second generation.

Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, managing Director, PKSF

Mr. Md. Abdul Karim mentioned that for Bangladesh climate change has knocking at the door for quit a few years. He said that Bangladesh is more vulnerable country because of no fault it’s the victim of adverse climate change impact.Instead of seeking or expecting global support we need to diversify our products for poverty alleviation and climate change adaptation. He said microcredit no longer microcredit any more. Rather it is catering appropriate products both financial and non-financial based as per peoples’ need.

Dr. Henry Scheyvens, Director, National Resources Management Group, IGES, Japan

Dr. Henry Scheyvens started his presentation with a glade of thanks to InM for organising such wonderful seminar. Dr. Henry classified what are the major findings of Microfinance rather than to poverty adaptations. He said he tried to see world’s finance from the perspective of hassle that the poor faces in their every day life. In his opinion, Bangladesh is among the very few countries where this issues are technically and successfully managed through microfinance programme. This microfinance save the poor from the traditional informal lenders where they had to suffer unbearable trouble. In Bangladesh microfinance institutions are playing a very important role to mitigate the climate change vulnerability and adaptation process. In his opinion a sustainable institution and networks are required that will act in the community level, local government level, national level, to provide hassel free support to deal the community with the climate change and towards sustainable adaptation.

Professor Tsuji Kazuto, Visiting Senior Advisor, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Professor Tsuji Kazuto said like many other countries Bangladesh is facing the impact of climate change badly. Like other countries it is important to have sustainable adaptation measures for the poor. In his opinion, there is a huge opportunity for the financial service provider. In this regard, microfinance institutions has huge opportunity for further innovation over financial products, delivery channels and relevant factors. To develop a systematic financial development approach, he suggested to take four steps. They are a. the data collection, assessment and providing evidences; b. financial product development, improvement or even diversification or more flexibility, more adaptability to the client’s needs; c. sustainable client center and d. capacity building at various levels and the importance of the training.

Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, InM

In the concluding remarks he adds something on Tsuji’s speech. He said, first of all water is the most important sector to climate change because it creates direct impact on it. He also adds local level research is necessary and the development of action programme should not only focus on research and keeping people in the center but also keeping mind about mulitidimensional aspects of poverty. So we have to keep this fact in out mind. In his opinion while doing these external factors are need to be counted. Another steps might be incremental adaptation, if we can not measure the transformative adaptation that is mentioned in the sustainable development goals. It is important to mention another thing that is microfinance institutions need to be renamed as development finance institutions since they are not only providing finance, along with it they are contributing towards overall development of the households as well as the country. In his concluding lines he mentioned that since community knows what is better for them community based approach in adaptation is the best option in this regard.