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bangladesh environmental lawyer association sent a legal notice to ship breaking industries, bangladesh
Aivee Akther Bangladesh Environmental crime

Bangladesh environmental lawyer association sent a legal notice to Ship-breaking industries, Bangladesh

Bangladesh environmental lawyer association sent a legal notice to Ship-breaking industries, Bangladesh


The Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) has sought cancellation of the Department of Environment’s (Bangladesh) to change the shipbreaking industry’s level from red to orange. The organization has sent a legal notice seeking the cancellation of the order.

The legal notice has been sent to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Director General and Director, Department of Environment, Ministry of Industries, Ministry of Labour and Employment, and Bangladesh Shipbreakers Association.

According to The Environment Conservation Rules, 1997, the most polluting organizations classify as red. Under this category, an industry to operate, it is mandatory to assess the

Environmental impact assessment  (EIA) before obtaining environmental clearance from the Government. Although an environmental clearance certificate is mandatory for managing orange classified industries, EIA is not mandatory in this case.

In the legal notice, BELA demanded that the rationale for issuing the order, the process of public opinion verification, and the basis should made public.

According to the notice, the developed countries have decided not to break the ship in their own countries as the shipwrecking industry is extremely harmful to the environment and human health.

India and Pakistan have made the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) mandatory for shipwrecks. But through that order, Bangladesh has changed the wreckage from a more polluting organization to a less polluting one.

Through this, the industries in this sector have got exempted from assessing the environmental impact, which is very risky. In India and Pakistan, the shipbreaking industry classifies as ‘red’.

According to Bella’s statement, various studies on shipwrecked workers have found that asbestos-borne cancer was responsible for most of the deaths in the sector.

According to a report filed in the Indian High Court, sixty percent of workers at a shipwreck yard in Gujarat have got diagnosed with asbestos cancer. If such a survey got conducted on the workers of Bangladesh, this number would not be less than other countries.

The statement further said that “The concerned authorities have not yet shown any success in following the directions of the high court to control the ongoing pollution of the shipbreaking industry and ensure the safety of the workers.”

“Despite repeated court directions, at least 203 workers have died and 90 have got maimed. No impartial investigation got done. In addition, pollutants from shipwrecks have already harmed coastal fisheries.”

Shipping has several adverse environmental effects, including air pollution, water pollution, acoustic pollution, and oil pollution. Ships account for more than 18% of air pollutants.

In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) predicts that shipping accounted for 2.2 percent of worldwide human-made emissions in 2012. These emissions will climb 50 to 250 percent by 2050 if no action takes.

In addition, workers in the shipping industry are routinely subject to injuries, fatalities, electrocution, paint fume inhalation and asbestos-related respiratory disorders, fires and explosions from welding, noise-induced hearing loss, and lead poisoning.

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