2nd AGM_Society for Bangladesh Climate Justice
1. The 2nd AGM of the Society for Bangladesh Climate Justice was held on 02 January 2011 at the Salamat Housing Society Complex in Surrey.
2. The meeting was attended by 15 out of 20 members in “good standing” (i.e. membership dues paid), including three new members (Total members 74). Those attended the AGM include: Nazrul Islam, Syed Nizamuddin Ahmed, Tareq Islam, Habiba Zaman, Kawsar Hossain, Mahbubul Islam, Abdul Matin, Iqbal Bhuiyan, Rafiqul Islam, Rabi Alam, Harunur Rashid, Nuheen Khan, Mohammad Morshed, Saifur Rahman, and Mohammad Zaman.
3. Three members of the EC sent their regrets (Khaleda Banu, H. Jahangir, and K. Rabbani). Two of them (K. Rabbani and H. Jahangir) attended the Ben-Bapa Conference in Dhaka on behalf of the Society.
4. The agenda was short and included: (i) Annual Report by the Executive Director, and (ii) Annual Financial Statement by the Director-Finance.
5. Motion to adopt the agenda was made by Iqbal Bhuiyan and was seconded by Abdul Matin, Tareq Islam, and Rafiqul Islam. The agenda was thus approved for discussion.
Annual Report by the ED
6. The ED welcomed the members to AGM with New Year’s greetings. The report summarized and highlighted activities of SBCJ for 2010 on all portfolios (see Annex 1). The main activities reported include:
7. The ED regretted on the membership base of the Society, and noted that paid membership must go up and new members must be recruited. The ED further informed that the website is still under construction and will be made more functional in the immediate future.
Comments on the Annual Report
8. The presentation was followed by a very lively discussion on a number of issues, including programs for 2011. Those commented on various issues include Iqbal Bhuiyan, Abdul Matin, Rabi Alam, Rafiqul Islam, Tareq Islam, Syed Nizam Ahmed, Habiba Zaman, and Harunur Rashid. A summary of the comments and suggestions for 2011 programs are in order:
(i) 40th Independence Celebration: A clarification was sought by Iqbal Bhuiyan on the modality and arrangements for hosting the 40th anniversary event. The ED informed that the proposed 40th anniversary will be a separate event (and not the one already scheduled by GVBCA for April 2011). The proposed event will be held in the summer or early fall of 2011 under the leadership of SBCJ and GVBCA. Mahbubul Islam, President of GVBCA, concurred with ED statement. Habiba Zaman suggested that the 40th Celebration event is held in the first half of September 2011 to ensure larger participation from the community and the academia as late summer would be a peak time for family holidays.
(ii) Task Force on Climate Refugee Concept Paper: The formation of a task force and preparation of a concept paper received strong support from the floor. Rafiqul Islam and Rabi Alam led the discussion. Rafiqul Islam underscored the need for reflecting the “voices of the victims” to set the “tone” of the problem internationally. Rabi Alam noted that despite the “unacceptable” position of the Harper government over the climate issue, countries like Bangladesh and others must raise the issue of climate refugees as “victims” and educate the West on the problem. He recommended that the Society must move on this and prepare a concept paper for discussion. Harunur Rashid supported the idea that the victims “voices” must be heard and reflected in the policy document.
(iii) Seminar on Climate Refugees in Vancouver: Iqbal Bhuiyan proposed for a Seminar on Climate Refugees in Vancouver in 2011, with participation of other climate groups in the city and expert participation from BC universities, Canadian, Bangladeshi and other international scholars. Habiba Zaman informed the meeting of related program and expertise at York University (Ontario). Harunur Rashid mentioned of University Toronto, particularly of the Climate studies group. Abdul Matin raised some concerns regarding the “climate refugee” issue in the context of current political climate in Canada and the sensitivity associated with the “refugee” idea. He also narrated some of his personal experience and how people would view such a debateable issue. Tareq Islam explained that one can become a climate “refugees” in his own native country – for instance, many coastal BC people will likely be displaced by the rise in sea level in the future. Our role is to educate people on this important issue and take an advocacy role.
9. Abdul Matin suggested that the Society must look for more advisors from Vancouver and across the country to intellectually stimulate the organization and to help and guide the EC. He also mentioned of having networks in other Canadian provinces.
10. The ED thanked all the participants for their insightful views and suggestions for 2011 Program. The ED then summarized the discussion and put forward two proposals for consideration by the AGM members: first, formation of task force involving Canadian expertise/resources and experts from Bangladesh and other countries; second, to host a day-long event to celebrate 40th Independence of Bangladesh. The proposals were approved by the AGM. The ED also noted the proposal by Iqbal Bhuiyan that the Society (in collaboration with other climate groups) host a climate refugee conference in Vancouver in 2011.
Annual Financial Statement by the Director-Finance
11. The financial statement presented showed a total balance of $874 dollar for 2010 (with account receivable of $420 as membership dues). The report was discussed by the members.
12. A motion was raised by Tareq Islam to “write off” the “receivable.” Rabi Alam suggested that the motion also includes statement to the effect that if any new member (or donor) fails to pay within 30 days of the pledge, membership dues or pledged money will be automatically deleted from the account. The motion was supported by Abdul Matin and was carried.
13. In addition to membership fees from three new members (Nuheen Khan – 2 yrs -$20; Mohammad Morshed – 1yr $10; and Saifur Rahman - 1 yr $10), some members also renewed their memberships. The members include Abdul Matin (2 yrs $20), Hasan Mamun (1 yr $10), Mizan Majumder (1 yr $10), Sabina Firoz Kanta (5yrs $50), Syed Nizam Ahmed (1 yr $10), and Rabi Alam (2 yrs $20). The total amount raised was $160. The amount ($160) was given to the Director-Finance. Director-Networking will update the memberships of the above, based on their payments.
14. The ED thanks all members for attending the AGM. This was followed by some light snacks and drinks, courtesy of the M/H Zaman and Nazrul Islam. The ED also thanked S R Shahin for his continued help in getting the meeting room at the Complex.
Minutes prepared by
Mohammad Zaman – ED
Revised 14 Jan2011