Thursday 18, August 2022

PM emphasises on nature-based solution for sustainable development

Time Digital Report: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday directed the authorities concerned to go for a nature-based solution to achieve sustainable development keeping the environment protected, reports BSS.

"Development would never be sustainable unless we do it in coordination with the environment. So, we have to go for a nature-based solution keeping it in mind," she said.

The prime minister said this while addressing a function at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka on World Environment Day and Environment Fair-2022 coinciding with "National Tree Plantation Campaign" and "Tree Fair 2022".

This year's theme of World Environment Day is "Only One Earth", focusing on "living sustainably in harmony with nature".

The prime minister joined the "National Tree Plantation Campaign" and "Tree Fair 2022" virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.

Sheikh Hasina said the country should go for development but, it will have to be done following nature-based solution policy. "This is urgently needed," she added.

She said the government has clear instructions that if any tree is needed to be cut for any development project, five times more trees have to be planted.

"We have to do our development. Our population is increasing and people of Bangladesh should get a developed life and they need to lead their lives without any hassle. And we have to ensure it," she said.

So, for development, if any tree is cut down, five times more trees have to be planted to protect the environment, she reiterated.

"We always take our plans this way," she continued.

In this connection, Sheikh Hasina said for preserving arable lands, the government is setting up 100 economic zones across the country to prevent indiscriminate establishment of mills and factories.

The prime minister said that there should be a rainwater harvesting system in these projects to preserve the groundwater for the sake of the environment.

She reiterated her call not to spare a single inch of arable land uncultivated as the world is under threat of scarcity of food grains due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war.

"Our land is fertile and we have manpower. We have to produce our own crops. We produce whatever we need. We will have to shun our dependency on others."

Regarding the manpower of the environment ministry, she mentioned that the manpower has increased to 1,133 from 265, while the offices of the environment department have been set up in 50 districts and gradually every district will get its office.

Sheikh Hasina also underscored the need for tree plantation and afforestation to keep the nature, environment and ecology of the country protected as well as ensuring improved and beautiful life of the future generations in the deltaic Bangladesh.

To this end, she called upon all to plant tree saplings to create green afforestation to maintain a healthy and safe environment for future generations in the country.

She mentioned that her party Awami League began a tree plantation programme in the 1984-85 period, when there was no discussion on environmental issues in the world.

She added that as part of the programme, the Awami League along with its associate bodies begins a tree plantation campaign on the first day of Bangla month Asharh every year to create forest in the country.

The prime minister said it is the Awami League government that keeps necessary provisions for tree plantation in the implementation of various development projects and accordingly maintains such provisions strictly.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has no role in global greenhouse effect, but the country is the worst victim of climate change.

She said her government undertook "Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan" in 2009, while Bangladesh is the first country to form the Climate Fund on its own resources to face the adverse impact of climate change.

The head of the government said the works of the National Adaptation Plan on formulating adaptation strategies will be completed by the end of this month.

She referred to 100 canals reopened in the Sundarbans region and asked officials concerned to reclaim the remaining canals soon.

Later, the prime minister planted three saplings — "Jam", "Palash", "Neem" on the Ganabhaban premises.

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin, Deputy Minister Habibun Nahar, and Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry Saber Hossain Chowdhury also spoke on the occasion while Secretary to the ministry Farhina Ahmed gave the address of welcome.

A video documentary on the government activities to protect the environment was also screened.

Earlier, the forest minister, on behalf of the prime minister, handed over various awards including Bangabandhu Award for Wildlife Conservation and National Environment Award among the recipients.

The prime minister also inaugurated the National Environment Fair and National Tree Fair 2022 at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.

The Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry is conducting the month-long "National Tree Plantation Campaign" and organising the week-long "Tree Fair 2022" across the country marking the World Environment Day.

"National Tree Plantation Campaign" will be held from June 5 to July 4 while "Tree Fair 2022" will take place from June 5-11.

The prime minister also unveiled the cover of a publication of Bangladesh Forest Research Institute (BFRI) titled 'Research Achievement of BFRI.

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