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Dhaka Tribune

Saber Hossain Chowdhury appointed as Environment Minister

  • MP of Dhaka-9
  • ‘I will work to provide a better environment to the people of Bangladesh’
Update : 11 Jan 2024, 10:42 PM

Saber Hossain Chowdhury was appointed as the minister of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on Thursday.

As a Member of Parliament elected from Dhaka-9 constituency consisting of Khilgaon, Sabujbagh and Mugda, he was the president of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and a member of the Parliamentary Committee on the Ministry of Planning in the 11th National Parliament.  

He was appointed as special envoy of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for Environment and Climate Change in June 2023 and played an important leadership role for Bangladesh and LDCs in global climate talks.

“Despite various global economic and environmental problems, I will work to provide a better environment to the people of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” Chowdhury said to the media at the oath-taking ceremony at Bangabhaban on Thursday. 

He said that although Bangladesh is not responsible for climate change, Bangladesh is suffering from the adverse effects of climate change. “I will work to build global public opinion against climate change.

Saber Hossain Chowdhury was first inducted to the cabinet as a deputy minister in 1999 in the Ministry of Shipping (with responsibility for Ports) and thereafter in the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (with responsibility for LGED).

As the first and only Bangladeshi, he served as the 28th president of Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union from 2014-2017. 

IPU's current membership comprises 179 national parliaments, having well over 45,000 members of parliaments who in turn represent 6.5 billion people across the globe. Established in 1889, IPU is the world’s organization of National Parliaments and is the focal point for worldwide Parliamentary dialogue and building stronger Parliaments and democracies.  

In a distinguished career, Chowdhury has excelled in various roles and responsibilities in Parliament, government, political party and sports administration.

He was the organizing secretary for Bangladesh Awami League from 2001 -2008 responsible for Dhaka Division and also the political secretary to Awami League president and the then leader of the opposition, Sheikh Hasina, during this period.

As president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board between 1996-2001, he successfully piloted the elevation of Bangladesh to Full Member or Test status of the International Cricket Council. 

Bangladesh Cricket Board was decorated with Independence Day Award and Chowdhury was bestowed with Honorary Life Membership of MCC for his services to world cricket.

As a legislator, he initiated the proposal for a new provision in the Constitution of Bangladesh relating to protection and improvement of the environment and biodiversity (Article 18A) as one of the fundamental principles of state policy. 

Other than introducing and successfully piloting Private Member Legislation on criminalizing custodial torture and repealing the Leper’s Act which promoted segregation, he moved a Motion on Planetary Emergency – highlighting climate change, intensity and frequency of disasters, resource sustainability, loss of biodiversity, food security, water stress and planetary overshoot. 

He is a graduate of School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and holds a Joint Honors degree in Economics and Politics as well as a Diploma in Law from University of Westminster, United Kingdom having completed the academic stage for entry to the Bar.

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