Minutes of the Preparatory Meeting
The preparatory meeting was held at the COAST Principal Office, Dhaka on February 02, 2015. The meeting was presided over by Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation. Golam Sarwar (BAFLAF), Subal Sarkar (BBS), Jayed Iqbal Khan (BKF-JI), Sabina Yasmin (BKS), Shibly Anwar (LRC) and Rina Akhter of KKM were present in the meeting. The meeting was facilitated by Md. Mujibul Haque Munir of COAST Trust.
Discussion and Decision
01. Plan of Activities for the First Quarter
The Workshop to Review organizational status and the previous year will be held on 10th February. Two persons from each organization will participate.
Monthly meeting for February will be organized on 28th February.
Other planned activities for the first quarter are: In house assessment meeting, workshop to review organizational plan, preparation of profile and if budget permits the external survey on the FOs
02. New participating organization
According to plan of MTCP2 Bangladesh, a new organization will be included, Bangladesh Fishworkers Alliance will be participating in MTCP2 Bangladesh. As in Bangladesh we have farmers, female farmers, indigenous group, farm laboures, fisher group will add a new dimension in terms of participation. In 2016 we will include more two organizations; one proposal is BAFLF women wing.
03. Bank Account opening
An organizational Bank account is must for fund transfer. Bust some FOs are experiencing difficulties in opening Bank Account, two proposals in this regard:
COAST will support to open the Bank Joint Account in Krishi Bank as a Project of COAST, or they will have to open their account within March. Final decision in this regard will be informed on 10th February Meeting.
04. Travel Allowance
Presently all participants are getting same amount as travel allowance for meeting participation. Meeting suggests that, it is not fair for the participants join from out of Dhaka. So, there is a proposal to allocate BDT 1500 for participants from out of the Dhaka and BDT 800 for participants come from within Dhaka.
Preparation of Organizational Profile in IFAD prescribed format is an important activities of MTCP2. The secretariat is responsible to do that with the support of the FO. To prepare the profile organizational visits will be made from COAST. In February there will be two visits
06. External Survey
An external survey will be conducted to identify the strength, weakness of participating organizations. The survey will also identify recommendations. The meeting welcomes the idea and process.
As there was no other discussion the chair concluded the meeting with vote of thanks.
Asia-Europe Peoples Forum (AEPF) organized a conference on “21 Century Trade and Investment Policies: Challenges and Implication on Land and Natural Resources in Asia and Europe” at Ambhara hotel in Jakrata, Indonesia. There were 35 delegates from different organizations from Asia and Europe. ASM Badrul Alam, President of Bangladesh Krishok Federation attended the conference as one of the panel speakers. He was assigned to speak on the “EU investment in Bangladesh as well as South Asia. Mr. Alam pointed out that EU has a significant investment in Bangladesh focussing major three areas such as 1. Human and Social Development 2. Good Governments and Human Rights 3. Economic and Trade Development. Apart from this it covers the areas of environment, climate change, employment generation, gender equity and life and livelihood security activities, etc. Moreover, EU provides with humanitarian aid in response to emergencies in Bangladesh. In 2007-13 the total investment of EU in Bangladesh amounts Euro 410 millions. EU’s investment in Bangladesh is not non-criticized. There is question about the impact of investment on the target people. It is also questioned whether it is really contributing to the development of the country as a whole. Mr. said that there is a lot of rumour about the development of Bangladesh. It has been said that Bangladesh would be developed country within 2050. Whereas the scientists predicted that one-third of the country in the south would go under water within 2050 due to climate change. It is quite clear that Bangladesh is the front line victim of climate change and it is a big challenge for its development. Therefore, the optimism and reality are quite contradictory. He added that it is time to assist Bangladesh for its development in all respects. But because of the speculation it is deprived from material assistance from outside. Mr. Alam mentioned the position of EU about Bangladesh. He branded the EU position very soft and tangible. He quoted the EU position “Bangladesh’s economic performance has been dynamic and strong. Foreign investment into Bangladesh and trade with other countries (especially the EU), have contributed greatly to this. New jobs have been created and the skills base of the country has been improved, increasing its potential productivity and earning for the future.” Mr. Alam said that EU has its particular policy in its trade and investment in South Asia. It is the largest trading partner of South Asia. It aims at the area of human rights and democracy building in South Asia. In spite of all of this, a research conducted IPSS based in Sri Lanka shows that “EU policy in this area lacks consistency, has not been very effective and has not made a significant impact.” Mr. Alam prioritized in its presentation the need of review of the EU’s policy in South Asia.
Pathak Lal Golder