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PM asks officials to speed up monitoring on environment safety

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PM asks officials to speed up monitoring on environment safety

Thereport24.com Desk:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the officials concerned to speed up their monitoring on environment protection and tree plantation to promote country's green development, conservation of biodiversity and protect the natural resources on which people rely for lives and livelihood.

“Green economy is the only way to ensure sustainable development and protect the earth from greenhouse gas emission. So, green economy should be brought in the mainstream in all national activities to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs),” she said.

The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the programmes of this year’s World Environment Day, Environment Fair, National Tree Plantation Campaign and Tree Fair organized by Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) at a function at Krishibid Institute of Bangladesh on Sunday, reports BSS.

"Ecological effect of every development project should be assessed very carefully and steps should be taken for controlling pollution," she said adding that "nothing should be extracted from the sea, land and forests which is detrimental to nature."

On the occasion the Prime Minister distributed this year's 'Bangabandhu Award for Wildlife Conservation', 'National Environment Award', 'Prime Minister's National Award for Tree Plantation', and Benefit Sharing Cheque among the beneficiaries of Social Forestry.

Minister for Environment and Forests Anwar Hossain Monju, Deputy Minister Abdullah Al Islam Jekob, MoEF secretary Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Director General of the Department of Environment Raisul Alam Mondol and Chief Conservator of Forests Yunus Ali also spoke on the occasion.

The Prime Minister said her government has given utmost importance to protection of environment and conservation of biodiversity. The provision has been incorporated in the constitution through 15th amendment which clearly bestowed the duty on state for conservation and protection of nature and resources.

"So as a nation, it's our constitutional obligation to protect the environment," the Prime Minister said.

Sheikh Hasina said the theme of this year's world environment day- 'Let's Go Wild for Life' and the theme for National Tree Plantation Drive- "Trees for livelihood, Trees for Life"- both are befitting to the time. Paying tributes to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Prime Minister said Bangabandhu had prepared every field for building Bangladesh in consistent to its ecological aspects.

Bangabandhu had framed the 'Water Pollution Control Ordinance' in 1973 and in this course the Department of Environment (DoE) had been created, she said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pointed out that as a political party Bangladesh Awami League through its peasant wing, has been observing month- long tree plantation drive every year since 1985. This programme is playing significant role in tree plantation drive. She hoped that the countrymen would follow the example giving special attention to tree plantation.

Pointing out the recent flood, the Prime Minister said deluge is very helpful for us. But necessary preparations should also be put in place to cope up with the adversities of flood situation. For this, the government has taken various steps for dredging of the rivers, maintenance of the river paths, widening the rivers' storage capacity and earmark floodplain areas.

Sheikh Hasina urged everybody to come forward for helping the people affected by recent flood. Flood recharges the underground water reservoir and brings huge alluvium making the arable lands fertile. But, it also causes sufferings of the people, which is possible to negate through joint efforts, she said.

Highlighting the projects taken for environment protection, Sheikh Hasina said many of those projects, particularly the climate change trust fund with own resources, could draw attention of the world community. "Bangladesh's constant efforts have made it possible to become as chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in the global climate change negotiation meeting and other forums under the UN climate regime," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said, " Bangladesh is a country full of diversity. So we have to protect it by any means to keep it liveable for the future generation."

She said Bangladesh is land of huge population with small size of land. But, the country could successfully manage food for everybody, thanks to planned measures of the government as well as research.

"Bangladesh now relies on its own food production. Now, we have to protect our country's diversity," the Prime Minister said adding that indiscriminate felling of trees, cutting of hills and any harmful activities against the nature should be stopped.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has ensured access of the farmers to agricultural information allowing them to know about the proper use of fertilizer and pesticides in crops fields. It's also helping by reducing river pollution. In this regard the Prime Minister urged everybody to remain careful against discharge of mobile, oil and wastes from ships and other water vessels into the river to check pollution.

Laying importance on forestation and creating greenbelt, the Prime Minister said her government's steps helped increasing the forest cover to 17 percent. But the coverage should be at least 25 percent, she said adding that it would require some additional measures.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has already given directives for taking massive forestation drive in the country's southern parts, particularly creating artificial mangrove on river estuaries and coastal areas. "In addition, steps were taken to create coconut garden across coastal belt, which would be a source of earning for people and as well it would protect the land from cyclone and water surge," she said.

The Prime Minister said all proposed economic zones would be environment friendly and every ministry would take steps for development of green belt in the southern part of the country.

Ends/thereport24.com/S/Jul 31, 2016