The sea is the new horizon of economic development, the minister says
The Bay of Bengal has enormous resources, but there are no adequate ideas and information about these resources, Planning Minister MA Mannan said on Wednesday.
“Extensive survey and research is needed to ensure sustainable development through the proper utilization of potentials of the sea and marine resources,” the minister said at the inaugural ceremony of an international conference titled “Sustainable blue economy for the development of Bangladesh,” organized at the Nabab Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Building in Dhaka University (DU).
The department of oceanography at DU, the Blue Economy Cell of the government, Bangladesh Institute of Maritime Research and Development (Bimrad), and GreenTech jointly organized the conference.
Speaking at the event, the planning minister said: “Our ancestors always looked west for economic growth, but we have to look south as the sea is the new horizon of our economic development. We are graced with enormous potential blue economy, but we are not prepared to secure the resource.”
MA Mannan further said: “We will continue theoretical research and go to the seas for practical knowledge. Our economy is expanding endlessly in the air, sea, and land; we have launched a satellite in space, and the construction of Padma Bridge is nearing the end. We are on our way into becoming a sustainable, developed economy.”
He urged academicians and researchers to bring forth proposals and new ideas to utilize the blue economy resources.
The minister also assured of setting up a ministry, a department or a commission for the marine resources.
Regarding the proposal by a researcher to allot a ship for scientific research, he said: “If such proposal reaches the prime minister, it would not take much time to get it approved.”
The minister hoped that teachers and students of the DU oceanography department would come forward with specific plans and projects to explore marine resources.
DU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman emphasized undertaking collaborative surveys and research activities to explore seabed resources to achieve a sustainable blue economy in Bangladesh.
He called upon the students, teachers and researchers of the department to work together with the Bangladesh Navy in this regard. He also stressed the need for framing an Ocean Policy.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury and State Minister to Fisheries and Livestock Md Asraf Ali Khan Khasru also attended two separate sessions, while hundreds of students, teachers, academicians, researchers and professionals from home and abroad took part in the conference.