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PM asks planners to revise concepts to protect environment

  • Published at 03:53 pm June 20th, 2019
PM-Hasina-environment day-PID
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates a number of programs marking the World Environment Day at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Thursday, June 20, 2019 PID

She encourages growing plants at homes, workplaces

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the development planners to revise some typical concepts to save the environment particularly the water bodies.

The prime minister said even though the government has given shelter to displaced Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds, the forests in Cox's Bazar were damaged due to the influx of refugees.

The prime minister made the statements while inaugurating programs of the World Environment Day and Environment Fair-2019 and the National Tree Plantation Campaign and Fair-2019 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka, reports UNB.

She said her government has taken massive programs to protect the world's largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, including creating alternative employment for the locals, expanding the navigability of rivers and channels through dredging, and reducing salinity in the water of the Sundarbans.

As part of her initiatives, the pirates there were forced to surrender in exchange for incentives, while locals were also offered alternative employment opportunities so that they do not overexploit the forest.

“The government has formulated Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan and raised a climate fund to face adverse impacts caused by the climate change. The government allocated some Tk3,500 crore for the fund,” the prime minister said.

Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of climate change, she said adding that the developed countries are largely responsible for it. 

Bangladesh is getting a negligible amount as compensation from the international community, she furthered.

There are a total of 6,78,601 beneficiaries in the social forestation, and some Tk356.82 crore profit money has so far been disbursed among 1,68,564 beneficiaries. 

Now the local stakeholders get 75% profit, while the government gets 25% profit from the social forestation, the premier said.

‘Plant saplings at home, offices’

The prime minister has urged all to plant and nurture saplings in their respective workplaces and houses with a view to protecting the environment.

“I would like to request you all in our schools, colleges, offices, and courts to plant some saplings in your respective workplaces and houses. Also our children need to be taught it (tree plantation). You also have to nurture trees alongside plantation of saplings,” she said.

She launched the National Tree Plantation Campaign by planting a tamarind sapling at the BICC premises.

She also inaugurated the Sheikh Kamal Wildlife Centre in Gazipur and the 12-storey Poribesh Bhaban in the city.

The premier urged everybody to plant at least three saplings – fruit and timber-bearing trees, and one herbal sapling to maintain the natural and ecological balance of the country.

Targeting 20% land to brought under forestation, Sheikh Hasina said creating green belts is imperative for the sake of the environment, and her government is continuing various activities to accomplish it.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin presided over the function, while Saber Hossain Chowdhury, chairman of the parliamentary Standing Committee spoke on the occasion.

Deputy Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Habibun Nahar attended the programs. Environment, Forest and Climate Change Secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury delivered the welcome speech.

3 individuals, 2 organizations get National Environmental Award

At the function, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over the National Environmental Award-2019 to three individuals and two organizations under two categories for their contributions to the environment. 

She also handed over Bangabandhu Award for Wildlife Conservation-2019 and Prime Minister’s National Award for Tree Plantation-2018 at the event. 

The prime minister also distributed cheques among the beneficiaries for the profit earned from social forestation.

Chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, noted Water and Climate Changes expert Prof Ainun Nishat and Scientific Adviser of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation Dr Mubarak Ahmad Khan received the environmental awards under the individual category.

Bangladesh Forest Research Institute (BFRI) and Envoy Textiles Limited received the environmental awards under the organization category.