Greens on Tuesday urged the government to restore the country’s rivers to avert an acute water crisis the nation would otherwise face by 2025.
Speaking at a symposium for celebrating the World Environment Day in the capital, they said that due to uncoordinated action the government’s investments for the restoration of the rivers became mostly counterproductive.
Bangladesh National Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature hosted the symposium at the lounge of the National Press Club.
Beat Plastic Pollution was the theme of this year’s worldwide celebration of the day.
Chairperson of the committee Hasna Jasimuddin Moudud described plastic pollution as one of the biggest environmental challenges of the contemporary world.
She warned that the plastic materials could exceed fish population in the oceans by 2050.
In her keynote paper, Plasma Plus Application and Research Laboratory director Sharmeen Murshid expressed fears that unabated water pollution together with the pattern of country’s population growth would create water shortage for the nation to the tune of 6,306 million cubic meters by 2025.
Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association’s chief executive Syeda Rizwana Hasan urged the government to disclose how much fines had been realized by the Department of Environment from the grabbers and the polluters of the waterbodies.
She expressed doubts that the fines realized was commensurate to the environmental damage done to the waterbodies by the grabbers and the polluters.
Dhaka University’s development studies professor Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir held allowing setting up of factories near the Sunderbans for the endangered ecosystem and the biodiversity of the world’s largest mangrove forest.
IUCN Bangladesh representative Raquibul Amin urged people to reduce the use of plastics in their daily life.
Speaking as the chief guest, environment, forests and climate change minister Anisul Islam Mahmud no sustainable development would be possible unless and until the environment was freed from pollution.
At a separate discussion hosted by the United Nations Association of Bangladesh to celebrate the day water expert Ainun Nishat said Singapore had overtaken Bangladesh in recycling plastics though the island republic’s annual plastic consumption was 10 times more than Bangladesh’s.
He said that the refusal to use plastics would the best option for Bangladesh to reduce its plastic pollution.
UNAB secretary general professor Haradhan Ganguli blamed capitalism’s aggressive attitude for the environmental degradation facing the world.
Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan and Green Voice jointly hosted a roundtable titled ‘Rohingya in Bangladesh: environmental crisis in Cox’s Bazaar’ at Purana Paltan in the capital to celebrate the day.
Chaired by BAPA vice president Syed Abul Maqsud, the session was addressed by BAPA general secretary Mohammad Abdul Matin, Fazlul Quader Chowdhury and professor Ahmed Quamruzzaman Mazumder.
In a statement, Transparency International Bangladesh urged the government to strictly enforce the ban on plastics and polythene.
At Mongla, Bagerhat, Passur River Waterkeepers, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan and Waterkeepers Bangladesh jointly organised a human-chain, painting and essay competitions to celebrate the day.
Chaired by Passur River Waterkeepers’ coordinator Noor Alam Sheikh, human-chain participants expressed concern over the industrial pollution endangering the Sunderbans.
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