Biodiversity declining & Environmental Pollution Increasing Due to Lack of Legal Enforcement – TIB
Mr.Iftekharuzzaman, Executive director of the Transparency International Bangladesh(TIB), said, “As biodiversity is declining due to lack of proper implementation of the existing legal framework for environmental protection in Bangladesh, environmental pollution is increasing alarmingly.”
“Biodiversity in Bangladesh is at high risk due to lack of good governance in environmental protection and management, existing institutional weaknesses, abuse of power and influence-dependent decisions of influential domestic and foreign businessmen and investors, poor supervision, corruption and irregularities in the institutions concerned and political patronage.
The occupancy of forests and water sources has increased; the pressure on natural resources is constantly increasing. At the same time, soil, water, and air are being polluted uncontrollably.”
He said, “According to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of Bangladesh, a total of 4,16,256 acres of forest land has been destroyed in the country since 1989. Of which 1,56,031 hectares have been allocated to various Government and non-government organizations. And 2 lakh 68 thousand 256 acres of forest land is forcibly occupied.”
“The growing and unregulated deforestation have already extinct 39 species of wildlife from Bangladesh and about 30 other species, including the Royal Bengal Tiger of Sundarbans, are in danger. For forest-centric life cycles and ecosystems, these are like thunderstorms,”
Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said, “Ignoring national and international suggestions and protests, the Government has set up various industries including coal-fueled power plants in the vicinity of the world heritage Sundarbans. However, just as the Sundarbans are rich in wildlife and provides life and nature supplies, the recent cyclone Roanu, Fani, and the last Ampan have protected the lives and livelihoods of countless people on the coast.”
We have only one Sundarbans. Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said, despite conserve and protect the natural resources, biodiversity, wetlands, forests, and wildlife as per Article 18(a) of the Bangladesh Constitution, the Government creates the crisis of the Ecologically Critical Area (ECA), especially the Sundarbans. Hence, the environment is a significant threat to the balance of the rich biodiversity and natural ecosystem of Bangladesh.
All industries, including the already established and under construction in other ECAs, including Sundarbans, have to be closed. Besides, the World Heritage Sundarbans, which protects the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Bangladesh, must ensure proper enforcement of environmental laws to preserve the Sundarbans and biodiversity.