Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Mohammad Shahab Uddin said various projects and activities are being implemented to address the visible development of the country’s environment and the negative effects of climate change. He said the government was conducting regular campaigns to restore illegally occupied government forests, prevent deforestation, illegal brick kilns and use of banned polythene. It will be possible to develop the environment of the country with the cooperation of local administration and all. He said mobile courts are being set up to monitor the use of 100% block bricks by 2025 and to control pollution caused by vehicles.
The environment minister made the remarks while addressing a virtual coordination meeting of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change with the divisional commissioners at his official residence in Dhaka on Thursday (April 8) morning. Deputy Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Begum Habibun Nahar addressed the coordination meeting chaired by Secretary Ziaul Hasan NDC as the special guest. The meeting was attended by Additional Secretaries of the Ministry, Heads of Departments / Agencies and Divisional Commissioners.
The environment minister said mobile courts are being set up to monitor the use of 100% block bricks in government construction, repair and renovation works by 2025 and to control vehicle pollution. He said the campaign is being intensified to increase public awareness on noise pollution control and mobile courts are being conducted as required. Necessary steps will be taken to control the use of mobile court against illegal polythene / plastic bags banned in the control of plastic / polythene pollution, to stop the use of single use plastic in coastal areas within a year and at the same time to stop the use of single use plastic in hotels and restaurants across the country.
The environment minister said steps should be taken to fill reservoirs and rivers and increase public awareness to prevent river pollution. He said legal action should be taken if necessary to prevent the discharge of industrial, boat and man-made wastes directly into the river. Hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centers need to ensure regular supervision to ensure medical waste management. Initiatives should be taken to raise public awareness on the negative impacts of climate change, including reviewing and regularly inspecting BCCT projects under implementation.
The Environment Minister said that more caution should be exercised in allocating khas land in areas other than protected forest (protected forest land, vested forest land) and if necessary, action should be taken in consultation with the forest department. The Environment Minister called upon the Divisional Commissioners to provide necessary assistance to the ongoing crash program to take appropriate measures for the eviction of forest encroachers. The Divisional Commissioners were also called upon to take legal action for the recovery of illegally settled forest lands and to take necessary steps to properly record the forest lands. The meeting called upon the Additional Divisional Commissioner of Chittagong to take necessary steps to rescue the 25-30 acres of rubber plantations owned by the Forest Industries Development Corporation from illegal occupation by the Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET).
The meeting requested for the active cooperation of the Divisional Commissioners in all the activities of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. In their speeches, the divisional commissioners mentioned that the work related to this ministry is being done through mutual coordination. He expressed his firm commitment to work more closely for the development of the country’s environment in the future.