Building Climate Resilient Livelihoods (BCRL) project kicked off with an inception workshop The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Environment (DoE), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) kicked off the project Building Climate Resilient Livelihoods in Vulnerable Landscapes in Bangladesh (BCRL) with an inception workshop organized in Dhaka on 22 February 2024.

Dr Farhina Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) participated the event as the Chief Guest. In addition, Dr Fahmida Khanom, Additional Secretary (Development Wing), Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change, Badal Chandra Biswas, Director General, Department of Agricultural Extension, and Dr Dicky Simorangkir, Team Leader, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Unit, FAO attended the event as Special Guests. Dr Abdul Hamid, Director General, Department of Environment joined the event as Chief Guest.

USD 10 million-budget project aims to strengthen resilience for impacts of climate change with improved livelihoods and reduced vulnerability in three selected areas of climate vulnerable areas such as High Barind Tract-(HBT), waterlogging-prone and saline-prone areas, and Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh. The project will be implemented through cross-sectoral approach and institutional capacity building, supported by dissemination, and scaling up of adaptation technologies and innovations along all value chains.

FAO supports DAE for Bangladesh’s transition to a climate resilient production system
The BCRL project will be implemented with technical assistance from FAO where DoE is the lead implementing agency, and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) is the co-implementing agency. Under this project, FAO will support DAE for Bangladesh’s transition to a climate resilient and nature positive production system, consistent with national development goals and adhering to best practice social and environmental safeguards. DoE will be supported to develop an innovative financial instrument, investment models, and inter-sectoral planning and investment prioritization framework. The overall objective of the BCRL project is to improve the resilience of vulnerable people, and ecosystems to climate change, improve livelihoods through increased value addition in the agricultural food systems of Bangladesh and enhance national capacity for integrated adaptation.

Dr Dicky Simorangkir, Team Leader, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Unit, FAO Bangladesh said on the occasion “FAO’s relationship with DoE and DAE is very diversified and BCRL project will ultimately promote most effective and locally appropriate adaptation options in Bangladesh’s climate hotspots. In addition to BCRL project, FAO has the capacity to provide technical assistance to foster climate resilient development in the country and in a position to mobilize more climate finance from multilateral funding sources such as GEF, GCF and Adaptation Funding in the future.”

Badal Chandra Biswas, Director General, DAE said “The project will promote integrated adaptation in Bangladesh’s climate hotspots to reduce climate risks and loss and damage. For instance, the project will support approximately 30 000 farmers and 120 000 household members through improved seeds, machineries, rainwater catchment structure, vermi-compost pits, community seed banks, agro-met advisories, and capacity building grant for farmers organizations.”

Dr Farhina Ahmed, Secretary, MoEFCC stated that “BCRL is a country-owned project where DoE and DAE will implement most of the activities. Most of the resources will go to the key climate hotspots of the country to reduce the vulnerability of poor and marginal people. During formulation phase of this project, three sub-national workshops, and three national level workshops were conducted, and more than 300 national and local stakeholders were consulted.”

Under this project, DAE will bring 16 000 ha of land under climate resilient agricultural practices; train 32 000 farmers on adaptation; provide machineries, farm equipment, and stress-tolerant seeds to 19 000 vulnerable farmers; establish 150 rainwater catchment structures and 300 women-led vermicompost pits and 100 community seed banks. DAE will also develop and disseminate crop advisory and agro-met information to 27 200 farmers twice a week for wheat, maize, mango, cashew nut, watermelon and dragon fruits and develop the capacity of agricultural entrepreneurs and micro SMEs. Also, DoE will prepare a strategy document on innovative financial instruments, develop investment models, enhance the capacity of national stakeholders on climate risk assessment, and prioritization of adaptation measures in agricultural sectors, and gender-sensitive agricultural value chains.