Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Training Program on Climate Change

A two-day Training Program on ‘Climate Change’ was held at CSS Ava Center, Khulna during November 23-24, 2011. This training program has been conducted as a part of our ongoing research project ‘Water Security in Peri-Urban South Asia: Adapting to Climate Change and Urbanization’. The Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) is conducting this action research in Khulna in collaboration with Khulna University and the Institute of Livelihoods Studies. This training has been conducted to develop institutional capacity in understanding the climate change issues and adaptation needed in the water sector in Khulna. This training program was designed after a detail need assessment and stakeholder consultation in project sites.  

Day 1
Professor Dr. M. Shah Alam Khan (Project Leader, Peri-Urban Project) and Professor Dr. Rezaur Rahman (Coordinator, Climate Change Training) delivered the inaugural speech of the 2-day training program on Climate Change. Prof. Khan provided a brief background and expectation of the training program. After describing the aims and objectives of the training program, Prof. Rahman outlined the structure of the training program in a logical sequence. In this the training program 26 participants were attended from NGOs, GOs and education institute of Khulna.  

Dr. Md. Rezaur Rahman, Professor, IWFM, BUET conducted the first session. The session was basically on the scientific understanding of climate change. However, as a response to the queries of the diversified participants, the discussion was extended to cover a wide range of issues including mitigation, adaptation and the impacts. General inquiry of the participants in this session was the availability and reliability of long term historic data on climate change specifically for Bangladesh. Some indications of climate change at local level were also pointed out in the session. It was agreed that the prevailing problems in the southwest region (e.g., salinity intrusion) will be exaggerated due to the impact of climate change. The debate on the conservation of the Sundarbans in the context of global carbon negotiation was also raised.

Fig. 1:  Dr. M. Shahjahan Mondal delivering his speech in the CC Training in Khulna
At the 2nd session of Day 1, Dr. M. Shahjahan Mondal, Associate Professor, IWFM, BUET presented the observed hydro-meteorological trends in southwest (SW) coastal region of Bangladesh. Starting with the understanding and statistical definition of trend analysis, Dr. Mondal sequentially discussed the observed trends in temperature, rainfall, sunshine, humidity and tidal water levels in SW region. He tried to facilitate the brainstorming process of the participants in validating the observed trend with their daily and job experiences. Interestingly some trends (e.g., decreased sunshine duration) were quickly recognized by the participants. Relationship between the Gorai river flow and salinity in Rupsha river was also reported. At the end discussion some participants expressed their eagerness to know the Gorai river system for better understanding the process. This feedback was readily accepted and incorporated in the next more relevant session.

The third session, conducted by Dr. Dilip Kumar Datta, Professor and Head, Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University, was focused on the attribution of anthropogenic reasons for observed changes in the SW region. Recognizing the necessity for human intervention to the natural processes Prof. Datta emphasized on the limit to such interventions for sustainable development. After a comprehensive presentation of the physiographic, geomorphologic and geologic features of the SW region he explained the anthropogenic causes (e.g., changes in the land use pattern, Coastal Embankment Project, Farakka barrage etc.) of changes in natural system. The session ended with a lively discussion on various pertinent issues including possibility of reverse development, extent of salinity intrusion, priority of climate change over others, scope of tidal river management, alternative of capital dredging etc.

The last session of Day 1 on Climate Change Adaptation in the Southwest Coastal Region was conducted by Mrs. Umme Kulsum, Programme Coordinator, IFLS Project, CAFOD. Mrs. Kulsum basically discussed the major ways of planned adaptation by different sectors focusing on the southwest coastal region of Bangladesh. She emphasized the need for promoting spontaneous response under planned adaptation. Areas of inquiry of the participants in this session include sustainability of adaptation program, adaptation financing, cost benefit assessment, peri-urban concern etc.  

Day 2:
Prof. Shah Alam Khan conducted the first session of day-2. Prof. Kahn discussed the topic, the global water supply status, impact of climate change on water resources and utilities, analytical framework and adaptation framework. In his lecture Prof. Khan also discussed the impact of climate change in the regional context of Khulna. According to Prof. Khan the fundamental challenges on water utilities are: urbanization pressure, outdated Infrastructure, competition for water resources. Prof. Khan suggested the following monitoring system for better adaptation with the changing environment.
§  Climate Monitoring,
§  Water Availability,
§  Water Quality, and
§  Water Distribution.   

Engr. S. M. Jaglul Haider, Deputy Managing Director of KWASA conducted the 2nd session of Day 2, and discussed the present situation and future adaptation strategies of KWASA in Khulna. At the beginning he discussed a brief overview of KWASA and said that Khulna is highly vulnerable to climate change impact. Eng. Haider claims that the salinity has been started to rise after the commencement of Farakka Barrage by India in 1975. In future, salinity intrusion from the Bay of Bengal is also expected to alter the surface and groundwater hydrology of Khulna with daily, seasonal and annual variation in water quality. To adapt the situation KWASA is the pioneer to develop climate resilience water supply infrastructures in Khulna. Construction of alternative water source is the highest priority in Khulna. To meet the present and future water demand, KWASA is now implementing a surface water based water supply project in Khulna, in which the river Modhumoti will be used as a water source.  In the discussion session trainee were asked several question regarding the water quality, quantity and sustainability of the implementing project. In answer, DMD said that this project has been initiated after detail study which is feasible and have long term sustainability to face the present and future demand of water supply in Khulna.

Prof. Shafuil Islam of Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (KUET) talked about the adaptation in rural water supply in the southwest costal region of Bangladesh. At the initial discussion point Prof. Islam talked about the importance of adaptation in rural water supply in Khulna and its periphery. According to Prof. Islam, Community Based Adaptation (CBA) would be best option in rural water supply for the coastal people of Bangladesh. He said that an effective CBA requires an integrated approach that would combine both the traditional knowledge and innovative strategies to address the current vulnerabilities and future adaptation to climate change in this region. CBA also help to protect and sustain the ecosystem that is important for livelihoods of the coastal people.    

The last lecture was conducted by Dr. A. K. M. Saiful Islam, Associate Professor, IWFM, BUET. He discussed the following agenda in his lecture part:
§  Responsibility and GHG Emission Scenarios
§  Kyoto Protocol  (COP1 to COP7)
§  The Bali Action Plan (COP 13) in 2007
§  The Copenhagen Accord (COP15) in 2009
§  The Cancun Agreements  (COP16) in 2010
§  Durban Conference  (COP 17) in 2011
§  Bangladesh Position  

In the discussion session, Dr. Islam said that although Bangladesh emit negligible amount of GHGs in the global emission, but it’s a reality that we have to play responsible role in both mitigation and adaptation phases of climate chnage. Dr. Islam also discussed how international negotiation takes place in an international meeting such as the COP. He said in such a big international platform our country representatives or policy makers have very limited scope to discuss a long time for their own country. However, I believe that they always try their best to protect our national interest.  

The final discussion session was on the Peri-Urban Project conducted by Dr. Hamidul Huq. In this session Dr. Huq discussed a brief overview of Peri-Urban Project and the research findings that we had till the date. An evaluation session was also carried out after the discussion points of Dr. Hamidul huq to find the feedback of the climate change training from the participants.

The certificate awarding ceremony of the two days training on climate change held at the CSS Ava Training Center. Honorable Panel Mayor-1 Mr. Azmol Hossain Tapon was the chief guest and Prof. M. Shah Alam Khan chaired the session. Honorable Mayor warmly welcomes to the resources persons of the training program with a special thanks to IWFM, BUET. He also welcome to the organization and agencies those were involved in the training program. A closing dinner of the training program was held at the Hotel Royal International located at the center of KCC. Around 45 invited guests attend this dinner program at Royal. In this the dinner Vice-Chancellor of KU and KUET, DMD of WASA, University faculty, civil society representatives, NGO professionals were attended.

Fig.  2: Group Photo of the participants in the Training Program.

No comments:

Post a Comment