Society for Bangladesh Climate Justice
I. Meeting – Update and Attendance
1. A meeting of the Executive Committee (EC) was held on 10 June/2010 at the Salamat Housing Complex in Surrey. The meeting was chaired by the ED Dr. Mohammad Zaman. Those attended the meeting include Dr. Iqbal Bhuiyan - Director Program; Dr. Abdul Matin – Director, Networking; Dr. Khalilur Rabbani- Director Administration; Mr. Mahbubul Islam – Director Finance; Engr. H. Jahangir, Member-EC and Mrs. Kawsar Hossain, Member-EC. Regrets were received from Mr. Tareq Islam – Director Research; Mrs. Khaleda Banu – Director Community Liaison; EC Members Mr. Rafiq Islam, Mr. Nazrul Islam; and Advisor Dr. Harun Rashid.
2. The Chair welcomed all EC members attending the meeting on a short notice. Prior to adoption of the agenda for the meeting, the ED provided a brief update on the meeting with the Director – CIDA Vancouver Office held on 18 May/10. The ED summarized the discussions with CIDA as follows:
(i) It was a very informative and useful meeting with CIDA in exploring prospects for future funding and program support
(ii) Prospect for CIDA funding for advocacy/research is very limited at this time
(iii) SBCJ needs to undertake collaborative work with other non-profit groups working in similar areas, including the BC Council for International Cooperation
(iv) Focus in the short-run more on the Voluntary Sector (CIDA portfolio) that requires only two years experience for eligibility for CIDA funding
(v) Contact CIDA Country office in Dhaka for Bangladesh operations – many areas including environmental and climate change issues
(vi) Establish organizational capacity and readiness
3. In sum, SBCJ must work to establish a credible profile. The ED noted that the meeting to consider the proposal in this meeting would be a step forward toward that end.
4. The agenda adopted by the EC for discussion and consideration in the meeting included the following:
(i) Review of the proposal on Climate Adaptation Research in Bangladesh (CARIB_Draft1 prepared by Dr. Harun Rashid)
(ii) “40 Reasons to be Proud of Bangladesh” to promote image of Bangladesh abroad
(iii) SBCJ Rep to the Research Advisory Group (RAG) on the project titled “Preparing BC for Climate Migration: An Uncertain Climate for Migration and Settlement” conducted under the auspices of the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
III. Discussion and Resolutions
(i) Review and approval of the draft CARIB proposal for further preparatory work for submission to SSHRC, Canada
5. The ED briefly presented the scope, content, and status of the proposal, based on an update prepared by Dr. Rashid. The potential collaboration and partnership with SFU/UBC and institutions and experts in Bangladesh was also mentioned as preparatory steps, which will continue for the next few months to finalize the proposal. The ED noted Dr. Rashid’s efforts and continued intellectual support and leadership in developing the proposal. While all EC members expressed their appreciations for the work done to date, some suggestions were made by the members: (i) to explore involvement of BUET in module 2 and further clarify the use of the research findings, particularly by the Government of Bangladesh (Engr. H. Jahangir); (ii) further clarify the use the research, particularly the benefits of such a research project from policy perspectives (Dr. Iqbal Bhuiyan); and (iii) further emphasis on citizen education on environmental issues (Mahbubul Islam). The ED briefly responded to the nature and use of applied and action research and how the work will benefit future policy as well as climate adaptation work.
6. EC members unanimously resolved that Dr. Rashid be given full freedom and necessary support to finalize the proposal (in collaboration with SFU/UBC, and experts and institutions in Bangladesh) and explore all sources of funding for the project. It was also resolved that the ED will maintain regular contacts and liaison with Dr. Rashid and keep the EC updated about the developments through mails or EC meetings.
(ii) 40 Years of Bangladesh Independence – “What makes you Proud of Bangladesh?”
7. The ED explained the back drop for the “40 Reasons to be Proud of Bangladesh” as a move to promote image of Bangladesh abroad. The media, particularly in the west, keep depicting Bangladesh as the “poorest” countries and so on without taking note of the progresses and achievements in many fields. The ED made the following points:
8. The ED noted the achievements are least highlighted in the media, and therefore, it is time that we take initiative to establish the “image” and the new “branding” of Bangladesh.
9. After a very enthusiastic discussion on this by Mahbubul Islam, Dr. Matin, Dr. Rabbani, and Mrs. Kawsar Hossain, it was resolved that SBCJ, along with the various Bangladeshi associations in B.C., will initiate an internet-based survey among the Bangladesh-Canadians to submit one or more reasons (i.e., achievements) that make them proud of Bangladesh. The survey will be conducted over the next several months and will be coordinated by Director-Networking Dr. Matin. The EC will finally choose “40 Reasons to be Proud of Bangladesh” from the list of submissions and will use this as the “theme” for the 40th Anniversary of Bangladesh Independence in Vancouver.
(iii) SBCJ Rep to the Research Advisory Group (RAG) on “Preparing BC for Climate Migration”
10. The letter from CCPA was distributed to the EC members. The CCPA study aims to address the following questions:
(i) What is BC’s adaptive capacity for climate-based migration, from the perspective of service providers and policy and decision makers?
(ii) What policies and programs need to be developed or strengthened to build adaptive capacity in BC to deal with a significant influx of climate migrants?
(iii) What is BC’s socio-cultural capacity for climate-based migration, and what steps can be taken to ensure an inclusive response to mass migration?
(iv) Are service providers familiar with environmental degradation as a key reason for migration?
11. The focus of CCPA research constitutes the “core” of SBCJ work. It was, therefore, viewed as an important contact and avenue to promote the cause of the climate migrants. The EC unanimously resolved that ED Dr. Zaman should represent SBCJ to the RAG (In case of his absence, Director Program Dr. Iqbal Bhuiyan or Director Networking Dr. Matin will represent SBCJ).
Minutes prepared by
11 June 2010