Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has underlined the need for protecting the environment to ensure sustainable development in the country. “For sustainable development there should be coordination with environment and development. Otherwise, development cannot be sustainable,” she said.
The premier was speaking at the Tree Fair and Campaign for Tree Plantation programme to mark the World Environment Day at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) on Sunday. She virtually joined the event from her official residence Ganabhaban.
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 fulfil 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 mentioned her government is setting up 100 economic zones across the country to prevent indiscriminate industrialization and preserve the arable lands.
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 also said that 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.
Prime Minister also inaugurated the National Environment Fair and National Tree Fair 2022 at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.