Environment policy a must to meet SDGs: expert

Staff Correspondent | Published: 02:22, Sep 09,2019


The Forum of Environment Journalists of Bangladesh organises a lecture on the Sustainable Development Goals at the National Press Club in Dhaka on Sunday. — New Age photo

UNDP Human Development Report Office’s former director Selim Jahan on Sunday said that Bangladesh needed a comprehensive policy on environmental development for sustainable growth in addition to empowerment of women and increasing expenditure on education and health.

There is also a need for calculating the losses from environmental pollution, he said while delivering a lecture on ‘Sustainable Development: Concept, Indicators and Policies’ at the National Press Club in the capital.

The lecture was arranged by the Forum of Environmental Journalists of Bangladesh.     

Selim noted that a calculation of losses from economic and social perspectives would convince the policymakers to understand the necessity of such a policy.

He recommended a wide interaction at the regional level and not confining it (interaction) to the central level as essential for the much-needed policy.  

Elaborating the perspective of sustainable development at the lecture’s beginning, the former HDRO director said that environment, economics, politics, culture, inequality and inter-generation balance could not be separated from sustainable development.

All these aspects, according to him, should be addressed properly to achieve sustainable development, which became a buzzword since the UN launched the sustainable development goals in 2015 for the member-countries to achieve 17 targets by 2030.

The economist noted that inter-generation balance was crucial as ‘you should not exhaust the natural resources only for a high economic growth now and “store” problems for the future generation’.

 Such development is not desirable and so is an imbalance between cultural and economic development and empowerment of women, he further noted.

Answering a question as to whether the future generation will be affected because of costly projects taken on short-term borrowing and suppliers’ credit, he said that the future generation would face a debt trap ‘if such projects are taken up just to get political mileage’.

FEJB president Quamrul Islam Chowdhury presided over the event while Rezaul Karim, a development expert, commented on the lecture.

Rezaul thanked Selim for his ‘excellent deliberation’ on sustainable development.

He highlighted that inter-country development was crucial as the global development agenda of a country might remain unachievable for its callous neighbours.

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