Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Monday said everyone’s collective efforts is needed to protect the country from the adverse impacts of climate change.
“Conservation of the environment, nature and forests are needed to protect next generation. Otherwise, we will be accused by the future generation for the failure,” he said.
The minister made the remarks addressing a function organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change marking the World Environment Day 2023 at Bangabandhu International Convention Center in city’s Agargaon. Deputy Minister for environment, forests and climate change Begum Habibun Nahar and chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee of the ministry Saber Hossain Chowdhury, addressed the function as special guests.
Environment minister Md Shahab Uddin was in the chair while secretary of the ministry Dr Farhina Ahmed gave welcome address.
Dr. Hasan said Bangladesh is an innocent victim of climate change and every adverse impact of the change is visible in the country. Environmental protection is a big challenge for the country, he said. Highlighting the success of country in the areas of environment protection the information minister said the UN has recognized those successes by conferring the ‘Champions of the Earth’ accolade on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2015.
Hasan said the position of Bangladesh across the globe is third in paddy and fresh water fish production, fourth in vegetable and seventh in potato. Success in agriculture has made the densely populated country self-sufficient in food.
Pointing out this year’s slogan of the environment day ‘Beat plastic pollution and ecosystem restoration,’ the minister said about 400 million tons of plastic are produced across the globe annually while about 3000 tons plastic are produced in Bangladesh. Besides, about 11 million tons of plastic waste is thrown in the sea globally, Hasan said.
According to the experts, the minister said, many places will become fishless by 50 years if the situation continues. Sea of Thailand has almost become fishless and everyday 150 to 200 species are posed to extinction.
Out of them about 137 species are endangered due to deforestation, he added.
Shahab Uddin said a 10-year long action plan has been taken to curb the plastic pollution. Besides, a target has been set to increase the areas of forest coverage from the current 22.37 percent to 25 percent in and the size of forest land from 14.1 percent to 16 percent by 2030, he added.
Habibun Nahar emphasized on the participation of the cross section of people with the government initiative taken for environmental protection.
Saber Hossain Chowdhury said as the world is now dealing with climate change, biodiversity loss and plastic explosion, Bangladesh is not out of the impacts of the adverse situation. The environment ministry should play more active role to face the situation, he added.
On the occasion three persons were given ‘Bangabandhu Award for Wildlife Conservation 2022’ award for their role in conservation of nature and wildlife. They are divisional forest officer of Sylhet Md Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Professor Dr Anisuzzaman Md Saleh Reza of Rajshahi University and president of Bangladesh Biodiversity Conservation Federation Dr SM Iqbal.
Deputy assistant agriculture officer Jibonanda Roy, Dr Tuhin Wadud of Begum Rokeya University, senior scientist of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute Dr SM Mafizul Islam and Incepta Pharmaceuticals Limited and Bangladesh Environment and Development Society have received the National Environment Award 2022.
Besides, 18 individuals have received the prime minister’s Jatiya Puruskar 2021 in six categories. Dr Hasan Mahmud handed over the award to the recipients.
Later, the information minister inaugurated the environment fair, national tree plantation programme and tree fair.