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Bangladesh: Environment Minister for Strong Resistance Against Polluters, Land Grabbers
Source: unbconnect.com
Source Date: Sunday, June 03, 2012
Focus: Knowledge Management in Government
Country: Bangladesh
Created: Jun 05, 2012

Environment and Forests Minster Dr Hasan Mahmud on Sunday urged all to build a strong resistance against the polluters and land grabbers to protect the country from environmental peril.

Addressing a press conference at his Secretariat office ahead of the World Environment Day, he mentioned the government initiatives to protect the environment.

Dr Hasan Mahmud said apart from the six divisional headquarters, offices of the Directorate of Environment (DoE) have been set up in 21 district headquarters to strengthen monitoring activities in order to bring the environment polluters to book.

“We have enacted the Environment Conservation (Amendment) Act 2010 and the Environment Court Act 2010, and also announced a number of guidelines to protect the country’s environment,” he said.

The Environment Minister said the government has been giving more emphasis on the enforcement of these laws than at any time in the past.

“Only 20 percent of the country’s industries had Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) when we (Awami League) assumed office in 2009, but now 60 percent of industrial units have ETP.”

He said the government also announced a number of places in the country as Ecologically Critical Area (ECA). These included Cox’s Bazar Sea Beach, and the four rivers surrounding Dhaka City -- Buriganga, Balu, Turag and Shitalakhya.

The Directorate of Environment (DoE) has not yet given any clearance to set up any structures in the area marked as ECA in Cox’s Bazar, Hasan Mahmud said in reply to a query.

About the country’s vulnerability due to climate change, he said: “Bangladesh is being affected by all indicators of global climate change. I think, we are the most vulnerable country in the world due to the negative impacts of climate change.”

Asked about the proposed Rampal Power Plant near the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, the Environment Minister said the authority concerned has already submitted the ministry a report on Environment Assessment. “We have not yet given environmental clearance to set up the power plant.”
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