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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION INITIATIVES IN BANGLADESH

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Title: ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION INITIATIVES IN BANGLADESH


1
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2
Policy and Legal premise for Environment and
Natural Resources management in Bangladesh
issues concerns trends and institutional framework
  • Ainun Nishat Ph.D.
  • Country Representative
  • IUCN-The World Conservation Union
  • Bangladesh Country Office

3
My Statement
  • In Bangladesh, Policy and Legal Instruments for
  • management of environment and natural resources,
  • focus duly on issues related to Sustainable
  • Development and more or less commensurate with
  • global approaches however these instruments have
  • not been effectively internalized, as
    institutional
  • framework has not evolved appropriately due to
    lack
  • of commitment of policy makers and politicians.

4
Introduction
  • There is a general consensus at global level on
    need to integrate environmental concerns in
    development planning and management.
  • Some still see concerns for environment as
    efforts to control development.
  • Some claim that their business will loose
    competitive edge. But this is not correct.
  • What is aimed at, in all policy documents, is
  • SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

5
Introduction (contd…)
  • In 2000, the UN has set 8 MDGs, which is an
    agenda for improving the human condition by 2015.
  • The 7th MDG deals with the environmental
    sustainability. This goal has 3 targets (9, 10
    and 11).
  • Target 9 aims to reverse loss of environmental
    resources
  • Environmental sustainability and human well-being
    are very closely related. Environmental
    sustainability is a must for any strategy for
    pro-poor growth.  

6
Introduction ( contd…)
  • In Bangladesh a large number of the population
    live below poverty line. For them, the
    environment provides the vital resources for
    their livelihoods.
  • Present day approach on sustainable development
    is documented in the JPoI, (Johannesburg Plan of
    Implementation), or, WSSD outcome that combines
    recommendations of Agenda 21, various
    Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements and the
    targets of MDGs.

7
Emergence of concerns
  • Conservation of nature Protection of flora and
    fauna conservation of wilderness
  • Pollution and industrialization.
  • Nuclear fall-outs and radiation.
  • Silent Spring
  • World Conservation Strategy,
  • Caring for the Earth
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
  • Approaches for Sustainable Development
  • Alien Invasive Species
  • Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

8
Important Global Events
  • UN Global Summit on Environment on Environment
    1972,
  • Earth Summit (UNCED), 1992
  • Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, 1992
  • Millennium Development Goal (MDG), 2000
  • Formulation of various MEAs
  • CSD meetings, M meet, WTO sessions
  • WSSD 2002, Jburg Plan of Implementation

9
What is Environment
  • (taken from US Environment Policy Act 1969 where
    no
  • definition was given)
  • … … … the whole complex of physical, social,
    cultural, economic and aesthetic factors which
    affects individuals and communities and
    ultimately determine their form, character,
    relationship and survival… … …

10
Sustainable Development
  • The Brundtland Commission defines sustainable
    development as the development that meets the
    need of the present,without compromising the
    ability of the future generation to meet their
    own needs.
  • … even the narrow notion of the physical
    sustainability implies the concerns of social
    equity between generations, a concern that must
    logically be extended to equity within each
    generation .
  • Sustainable development ensures.. a harmonious
    process of social and economic betterment that
    satisfies the needs and values of all interest
    groups while maintaining future opportunities and
    conserving natural resources and biological
    diversity.

11
Sustainable Development
  • Development meet needs of people and improve
    their living standard.
  • Conservation maintain the capital represented
    in natural resources
  • Focus on only development may lead to serious and
    often irreversible degradation of nature and
    ecosystem
  • Development and conservation have to be taken
    together.

12
The twin pillars of sustainable development
  • The twin pillars of sustainable development are
    respect and concern for people and ecosystems.
  • Development is likely to be sustainable if
  • 1.      It improves the quality of life
  • 2.      It conserves the Earths vitality and
    diversity
  • Source IUCN/UNEP/WWF (1991)

13
  • Sustainable development is a holistic development

14
System of Well Being

15
Some national issues
  • Population
  • Agriculture
  • Forest resources
  • Wetland and Fisheries
  • Biodiversity and medicinal plants
  • Water management
  • Urbanization

16
Regional Issues
  • upstream deforestation
  • water regulation
  • cross-boundary pollution
  • oil spillage
  • fishing trawlers

17
Global Issues
  • Climate Change and Climate Variability
  • sea level rise
  • intense rainfalls
  • higher incidence of storm and surges
  • floods and droughts
  • el-nino and la-nino effects
  • Desertification process
  • Ozone layer depletion

18
Sustainable Development Indicators and Bangladesh
  • Context of development
  • Indicators
  • Status in Bangladesh

19
Sustainable Development Indicators and Bangladesh
  • Environmental parameters indicate sustainability
    trend and the trend is negative.
  • Around 80 of the total population depend to some
    extent on the utilization of natural resources or
    on processing the resultant products
  • Countrys economy is still dependent on natural
    resources (e.g. agricultural sector comprises 25
    of total GDP)

20
Sustainability Indicators
  • Indicators
  • Status in Bangladesh
  • Land Degradation and loss of soil quality
  • Loss of Wetland
  • Degradation of Forests and Loss of Forest Lands
  • Loss of Biodiversity
  • Pollution
  • Ground water contamination with arsenic
  • Climate change and vulnerability
  • Unplanned urbanization

21
Population and sustainable Development
  • I gt f(PAT )........ (Ehrlich and Holdren,
    1971)
  • I impact on the environment
  • P Population
  • A Affluence or Consumption per Capita
  • T Technology or level of Impact per
    Consumption.

22
Population Growth in Bangladesh during last
century
23
Projected population
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Population projection
27
Cropping intensity in Bangladesh
28
Land Degradation
  • It occurs in the form of
  • Soil quality loss due to salinity intrusion,
    fertility decline, nutrient imbalance
  • Top soil loss through erosion

29
Water Quality
  • Environment, economy and livelihoods are
    influenced by water quality
  • Water supply and sanitation
  • Major sources of contamination
  • Industrial effluents
  • Agrochemical
  • Fecal pollution
  • Spillage
  • Low water flow in dry season

30
Arsenic Disaster
  • BD arsenic contamination is possibly the largest
    mass poisoning case in the World
  • 41 districts out of 64 has high arsenic conc. in
    ground water
  • 60 of the total country is contaminated
  • The whole southwest part is severely affected
  • Some eighty million people are at risk

31
Impact of climate change
32
Waste
  • Solid waste (Dhaka City)
  • Estimates for solid waste generated in Dhaka city
    vary from 3,000 to 3,500 tons per day
  • Only 42 of the waste is collected by municipal
    authority
  • Hospital waste
  • Healthcare centers have no proper waste
    disposal/incineration facility
  • Posing serious threat to public health

33
Air pollution
  • Success has been achieved in air quality
    improvement by
  • Introducing unleaded gasoline
  • Curbing lead emission from vehicles
  • Banning two stoke engines in major cities

34
Air pollution
  •  Air pollution is more acute in urban areas than
    in rural areas.
  • In urban area, the main sources are emission from
    vehicle, industrial sectors, and construction and
    open dumping of garbage, and brick kilns in
    per-urban areas
  • In rural area, main sources are brick kilns and
    wood and biomass consumption.

35
Forest cover
  • An estimated 2.53 million ha or 17.49 of the
    total land of the country is forestland
  • Forest land does not necessarily mean forest
    covered land
  • Forest land means lands under jurisdiction of
    the Forest Department
  • In reality only 6 land has forest cover
  • Per capita forestland has shrunk to a 0.022 ha,
    one of the lowest in the world

36
Loss of Wetlands
  • Total estimated area of floodplain was 5.5 m ha
    at the end of June 1985 and 2.8 m ha in 2000
  • Degradation of the wetlands causes
  • Serious reduction in fish habitat, fish
    population and diversity
  • Extinction of many indigenous varieties of rice
    with the propagation of high yielding varieties
  • Loss of natural soil nutrients
  • Increase in the recurrence of flashfloods
  • Deterioration of living conditions
  • Loss of natural water reservoirs and of their
    resultant benefits and
  • Degeneration of wetland based ecosystems,
    occupations, socio-economic institutions and
    cultures.

37
State of biodiversity
38
Where are we going
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Some major environmental factors
  • Deforestation and habitat change
  • Soil problems (erosion, Salinization, soil
    fertility loss)
  • Water management
  • Base of aquatic resources
  • Open water fishing
  • Human population growth
  • Climate change and variability
  • Toxic chemicals pollution
  • Energy shortage
  • Almost complete
  • All 3 major issue are on increase
  • Serious shortage of water for irrigation
  • Habitats already depleted
  • Serious issue stocks of some species have
    collapsed
  • Highest population density in the world. Fairly
    low growth rate.
  • Serious impact and likely to increase in
    intensity. May be highest in the world.
  • Release level of pollution and poor management
  • At rural household level, a major issue despite
    natural gas reserves.

44
Ganges Basin, Brahmaputra Basin Meghna Basin
45
Dying Gorai
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Towards IWRM
  • a process which promotes the coordinated
    development and management of water, land and
    related resources in order to maximize the
    resultant economic and social welfare in an
    equitable manner without compromising the
    sustainability of vital eco-systems ( GWP, 2000).

49
What are we doing
  • Participated in 1972 World Summit on Environment
  • Set up Pollution Control Board in 1978
  • Dept. of Environment and Ministry of Environment
    and Forest set up in 1989.
  • Environment Policy 1991.
  • National Conservation Strategy (NCS) 1991,
    updated 2005.
  • National Env. Mgmt. Action Plan (NEMAP) 1995
  • Participated in WSSD, M, Rio meetings.

50
What are we doing
  • SEMP 1998, BEMP 2000?, AQMP 2002?, NCSIP-1997?
  • NBSAP, NAPA, NAP, NPA etc. prepared.
  • Env.Conservation Act 1995, Reglation 1997,
    Environmental Court Act 2000.
  • Forestry Act 1927, Amendment 2000.
  • Wild Life Act 1973 ( being updated).
  • Sectoral policies prepared or updated in 90s and
    later on.
  • EIA is compulsory is it followed in true sense?

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Approach
SEMPs approach to wetland management
Project Started
Baseline Study
Participatory Action Plan Developed
Interventions
Awareness Generation
Demonstrations
Sustainability
Community Organizations
Habitat Restoration
Environment Fund
53
Targeted Position
  • Participatory approach
  • Integration
  • Factors pulling
  • backward
  • Professional rigidity
  • Institutional rigidity
  • Lack of capacity
  • Multi-disciplinary
  • Decentralized
  • Partnership with Private sector

Present Position
  • Mono-disciplinary
  • Centralized
  • Public sector
  • Factors pushing forward
  • better understanding of
  • stakeholders views
  • Changing global thinking
  • Pressure from donors/ NGOs

Earlier Position
  • Sectoral approach
  • Command control

54
Concluding remarks
  • Is environment only about Forests and pollution?
  • Who is responsible for conservation.
  • How could piranha could be introduced?
  • Who is responsible for IPR and TRIPs.
  • Who is response about inter-ministerial
    co-ordination.
  • Do we value traditional practices and folk wisdom.

55
Concluding remarks….
  • What we need
  • Change in mind set.
  • We do not have any think tank
  • Capacity is lacking
  • Institutional set up need to be improved
  • Inter sectoral coordination
  • Inter agency coordination
  • ME is weak and learning mechanism is lacking
  • Targets may be set
  • indicators

56
Before I conclude….
  • Let us pay attention to some specific issues
  • Protected area management
  • Wetland management
  • Coastal zone management
  • River bank erosion
  • Arsenic problem
  • Strengthen local govt. institutions
  • Trans-boundary water management
  • Environmental Flow
  • Land degradation
  • Alien Invasive species
  • IPR and medicinal Plants.

57
Thank You
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