Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday underlined the need for protecting the environment to ensure sustainable development in the country, reports UNB.
“For sustainable development there should be coordination with environment and development. Otherwise, development cannot be sustainable,” she said.
Hasina virtually joined the event from her official residence Ganobhaban.
The theme for World Environment Day this year is “Only One Earth”, with focus on “living sustainably in harmony with nature”.
The PM said that while going for development that everyone has to adopt the nature based solution. “This is urgently needed,” she said.
She said that every development project in the country has to fulfill one condition: to plant at least five trees for each tree felled for it.
Bangladesh, she said, needs development for improving the people’s lives. But the development must be fairly balanced with the nature and environment, she observed.
She said these projects have provision of harvesting rain water to preserve the ground water.
The PM reiterated her call not to leave a single inch of arable land uncultivated as the world is under threat of scarcity of food grains due to Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war.
“Our land is fertile and we have manpower, we have to produce our own crops, we will produce whatever we need, we will have to shun our dependency on others,” she said. She said the manpower of Environment Ministry has been increased to 1133 from 265, the environment directorate office has been set up in 50 districts and gradually every district will get an office.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin, Deputy Minister Habibun Nahar, chairman of parliamentary affairs committee on Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry Saber Hossain Chowdhury also spoke on the occasion while its Secretary Dr 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 awards including Bangabandhu Award for Wildlife Conservation and National Environment Award among the recipients.
The PM also inaugurated the National Environment Fair and National Tree Fair 2022 at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
The Environment, Forest and Climate Change ministry is holding a month-long 'National Tree Plantation Campaign' and a week-long 'Tree Fair 2022' across the country as part of the World Environment Day programme.
'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 theme of this year is 'Brikhaprane Prokriti-Protibesh, Agami Projanmer Teksai Bangladesh'.
Hasina called upon all to plant tree saplings to create green afforestation aimed at maintaining a healthy and safe environment in the country.
She mentioned that her party Awami League began tree plantation programme during 1984-85 when there was no discussion on the issue of environment in the world.
As part of the programmes, the Awami League began along with its associate bodies tree plantation campaign on the first day Bangla month Asharh every year to create afforestation in the country, she added.
Hasina said though Bangladesh has no role in causing global greenhouse effect, it has become the worst victim of the climate change.
She noted that her government undertook “Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan” in 2009, while Bangladesh has been the first country which formed Climate Fund on its own resources to combat adverse impact of the climate change.
The premier added that the work on National Adaptation Plan on formulating Adaptation Strategy will be completed by end this month.
She pointed out that 100 canals have reopened in Sundarban region and asked the relevant officials to reclaim the remaining ones soon.
The PM also unveiled a publication of Bangladesh Forest Research Institute (BFRI) titled Research Achievements of BFRI.