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Earth Community Organization (ECO)
the Global Community


Md. Hasibur Rahman
England
hasibur.rahman@royagcol.ac.uk
icms@bdcom.com


for Discussion Roundtables 1, 2, 7, 25, 26, and 28

Table of Contents









 
Urban Slums Impacts on Environment in Bangladesh


Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated country of the world. About 130 million people are living in a limited geographic boundary i.e. 147570 sq. km. and the growing rate of population is about 2.17 per cent. Average population density is about 900 per square kilometer. Dhaka is one of the most densely populated cities of the country. Increases of population creating unemployment, more food demand and shelter demand. Day by day rural people are coming to the city for searching income sources. The land less farmers, low-income people who don't have any shelter in rural area are gathering in the Dhaka City and Chittagong City are creating slums in the government's abundant / un-used land and also at private lowland area.

A huge number of slum are increasing in the urban area of Bangladesh and adversely impacting on environment and social health. Though slums are not expected in the urban area but they are increasing in every year and the slum dwellers are involved in urban social activities, some times they play a positive role by working in garments and other industrial sector. But, the slum dwellers are always depriving from the minimum civic facilities. It is fact that presence of large number of slum dwellers in the urban area has already been created stress on far beyond the healthy urban capacity and the citizens minimum facility specially in the Dhaka city, thus impacting several social problems. Rural people who are not the victimized of different natural calamities such as cyclone, flood, river erosion and social injustice are causing to migrate them to different city just for quest of livelihood. So it is needful to give due attention from every corners to the slum dwellers and their rehabilitation to implement a healthy environment friendly planned society.


Abstract(s)

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated country of the world. About 130 million people are living in a limited geographic boundary i.e. 147570 sq. km. and the growing rate of population is about 2.17 per cent. Average population density is about 900 per square kilometer. Dhaka is one of the most densely populated cities of the country. Increases of population creating unemployment, more food demand and shelter demand. Day by day rural people are coming to the city for searching income sources. The land less farmers, low-income people who don't have any shelter in rural area are gathering in the Dhaka City and Chittagong City are creating slums in the government's abundant / un-used land and also at private lowland area.

A huge number of slum are increasing in the urban area of Bangladesh and adversely impacting on environment and social health. Though slums are not expected in the urban area but they are increasing in every year and the slum dwellers are involved in urban social activities, some times they play a positive role by working in garments and other industrial sector. But, the slum dwellers are always depriving from the minimum civic facilities. It is fact that presence of large number of slum dwellers in the urban area has already been created stress on far beyond the healthy urban capacity and the citizens minimum facility specially in the Dhaka city, thus impacting several social problems. Rural people who are not the victimized of different natural calamities such as cyclone, flood, river erosion and social injustice are causing to migrate them to different city just for quest of livelihood. So it is needful to give due attention from every corners to the slum dwellers and their rehabilitation to implement a healthy environment friendly planned society.


1. Introduction

Environmental pollution means disturbance of natural resources such as air, water pollution and soil degradation that adversely impacts on environment and socio-economic structure. Environment includes Urban Environment, Rural Environment, Economic Environment, Social Environment etc. Environments of the convenient residential area and the environment of the slums area is completely vis-a-vis scenario exists in Bangladesh. Adverse effects of slum are mostly impacting the two densely populated cities specially Dhaka and Chittagong of Bangladesh. Low-income generating slum dwellers are living in hand to mouth, most of them are day labor. Such situation needs to be eliminated as soon as possible for the well being of the country. It is important to give attention to environment of the slums, health and sanitation, source of drinking water, population control, working class and per capita income, education etc. Most of the slums are created in lowland area and easily get inundated by the medium to heavy rainfall. Very unhygienic condition prevails in slum area and most of the people specially their childrenís always suffer from different diseases. Municipal facilities is quite absent in slum area so, sanitation condition is very poor and insufficient. There is absent of legal electric power supply or gas line connection and fresh water supply, almost all civic facilities are absent in the slums. Most of the slum dwellers are rickshaw puller, day laborer, autorickshaw drivers, gatekeeper, factory worker etc. and most of the female workers are housemaids and a significant part of young girls are garment workers.

2. Scenario of Slums

According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), total population of Bangladesh is 112 million as of 1991, out of which 19.1% are rural people and 2.4% are urban people and most of them are extremely poor and shelter less. About 80% of total population of the country are facing at least sort of housing problem and 35 million people are absolutely homeless. Only 10-20% people live in the houses that are hygienic and having modern facilities. A survey report, 1992 of Urban Research Center shows that about 40% of total population of Dhaka are floating and are slum dwellers. There are more than 1700 slums in the Dhaka city above and among those 423 slums are illegal. Most of these slums/clusters (76% of total slums) were established during the last 19 years i.e. after the independence of Bangladesh and over 50 new clusters added in every year to the total units.

It is reported that most of the slums/squatters in the city are owned by private individuals and a significant part of the settlements were established on the Government or semi-government owned lands mainly by the Department of Railways, Public works and Building and Roads and Highways.

The sanitation conditions such as drainage systems are insufficient and flood situation in the slums is very worsen. The slums and squatters that were located in the low-lying areas of the inner city and in the fringes were the worst affected by the 1988 and 1998 flood. A few slums have very narrow internal road connection while most of them don't have that. Majority of the households are made up of bamboo walls or tin walls and polythene sheets / straw roof's. The most striking feature of slum population of Dhaka city is that they comprise one-fourth of the city's total population but occupy only a very small area of total residential area and some of the slum population density is about 5789 sq. km. (i.e. more than 6 times higher than the overall density of Dhaka's population).

Most of the children of at ten years old start earning money by different works, such as in motor workshops, in small hotel and in different shops. The major population falls between 10-20 years and most of them are engaged in earning money and most of them are female garment workers under this age group. The 20-30 years age group population who are mostly related to different profession, maximum young slum dwellers earn money by different way such as rickshaw puller, van puller, autorickshaw driver, bus driver, hotel boy, small hotel cooker, day labour, garments worker, mechanic, gate keeper, housemaid, petty traders, carpenter, nursemaid, sanitary workers, tailor, handicrafts makers etc. and most women of this class are working as housemaid or day labor. Some people of 30-40 years age group earn money by performing various activities and women work as housemaid mainly. Number of 40-50 years age group people are small trader / petty trader (requires less capital investment) like fruit selling, cigarette vending, floating a tea stall, etc. The most pathetic and worsen situation observe of the slum dwellers of 50 or more years older people are burden of their family, they can't earn their livelihood some of them become beggar.

3. Impact on Environment

Low income generating and land less people are the inhabitant of the slums and their activities like defecation and urination happen in open space area that are causing environmental degradation. Some of the slum dwellers have made hanging toilet by jute sacks and bamboo pole for sufficient sanitation in the slum areas. There were no legal gas, water, electric supply also except few illegal oneís. The slums created abandoned comparatively low land areas and due to opening of the drains from the surrounding areas, household wastes, polythene bags and other wastes of their own, decayed and produce bad odour including different greenhouse gas and leached contaminate underground water through leaching. They also use waste papers, tires, tubes, wood, bamboo, rags from garment factories as fuel for cooking and other household purposes. They use kerosene (HC) lamps at night time and for inefficient burning gases like CO2, CO, soot are released to the atmosphere which appears in case of air pollution of the Dhaka city. In some cases, diesel/ petrol fuel, lubricating oil from garage cum workshop of slum area pollute the soil. Due to scarcity of water, the environmental conditions of the slums are very unhygienic for human but congenial to breeding of mosquitoes, insects (e.g. flies), pathogens effects slum pollution and surrounding environment.

4. Impact on Human Health

As an unhealthy condition prevails in the whole slum area so, mosquito, housefly etc. bred there in masses and they are suitable vectors of different pathogens. They carry and contaminate diseases within the slums and also in the surrounding areas in many ways e.g. food contamination. The slum dwellers may also be a vector of different pathogens (of course unknowingly and lack of awareness about health care) and spread diseases in their working places such as residence of other people while working (as housemaid), in hotels, clinics and so on.

The slum dwellers are the victims of the first order of such an unwholesome condition of their habitat and then the surrounding people. They often suffer from various diseases like diahorrea, dysentery, small pox, fever, stomach pain, etc. and sometimes with complex diseases. Mainly Children are suffer from different water born diseases and also suffer from ill health, suffocation, malnutrition, etc.

5. Socio-Economic Impact

Including children, most of the slum dwellers are engaged in income related activities to survive themselves. They are serving urban people in many ways like as rickshaw pullers to bus drivers, housemaids to sweepers, etc. Most middle to old aged women work as housemaid and that's why lower middle to middle class people can have housemaids at cheaper rates. In fact, the city dwellers are very much dependent on slum dwellers in maintaining their daily life. Majority of young women works in garment factories and depending on this labour force, the garment sector has appeared to be a fast growing export oriented sector in Bangladesh. So these people who were totally jobless in the village, now can earn for better life and can dream to educate their children.

On the other hand, they increase urban population density and various problems in the urban society. About 50% or more rickshaw puller have no license and it is in doubt that a single rickshaw puller has a minimum knowledge about traffic rules due to illiteracy thus creating serious traffic jam in the city in every day. Similar statement is applicable to that of tempo, autorickshaw, bus driver, etc. Some footpaths of the city have already been occupied by poor habitants. Thus the transport system of Dhaka city as a whole became very vulnerable and the situation is worsening day by day for increasing the people of unexpected large number of slum dwellers in every year. Metropolitan law and order situation is impacted negatively as many antisocial activities originate in the slum areas. Some times they involved in drug trafficking, households steeling, robbery and also anti social activities by the young girls.

6. Governmentís Strategy

Large numbers of rural people are migrating to the cities due to gradual decline in rural economy, recurrent natural disaster and other causes. So, number of floating people are increasing gradually in the cities and non-proprietor settlement are growing quickly in the cities and the people of this kind is leading a hard life but some of them are playing a significant role in the urban economy.

In view of these, the government has already implemented two projects, one at Mirpur, Dhaka (entitled " Infrastructure improvement Project & Institutional Strengthening of Housing and Settlement Directorate") and other is in Chittagong by WB, UNDP & GOB. To serve the same purpose, other two projects are being drawn up, one at Minpur by NGOs under the supervision of the Ministry of Land and the other at Keranigang and Gagipur (Adjacent to Dhaka) by Housing and Settlement Directorate.

Development of habitat and communication are the most important among the identified sectors like structure plan, water supply, planned and integrated development of city's housing sector in order to extend urban facilities under Fifth Five Years Plan. To meet the increasing demand, RAJUK (implies Capital City Improvement Authority) the former DIT (Dhaka Improvement Trust) has been implementing project since 1966 entitled "Uttara Residential Area Extension Project". First and Second phase have already been completed (1966 - 1998) covering 561.72 ha of land and third phase (1999 to 2001, covering 910.58 ha of land ) is yet to start. To serve the same purpose, the Dhaka Metropolitan Development Plan (DMDP) is funded by UNDP and the Government of Bangladesh, with UNCHS acting as executing agency. The UNDP/UNCHS assistance covers both Dhaka and Chittagong.

7. Conclusion:

Urban slum dwellers imposing extra pressure on socio-economic and environmental problems of urban area of Bangladesh. To uplift this situation, the government has taken some necessary measures to conserve environment, social injustice and simultaneously, create employment-generating activities for the slum people. Besides, some non-government organization is helping poor people by giving micro credit loan for small trading and agricultural production, such as small poultry, fisheries and livestock development, cottage industry etc. Through income generating programme government and non-government social organization are encouraging the slum people to return their native village, so they can earn their livelihood even in their native village then they would not feel interest to migrate to the cities to live in a narrow unhygienic place. In case of those who are already became closely associated with urban life are need to provided with minimum civic facilities, some sort of technical training, non-formal education, environmental awareness for health and sanitation for efficient use of manpower. Even, any one of them feel interest to go back their village and willing to be self employed, they should also provided with small scale credit facilities to conserve further degradation of the present situation urban pollution.

To lead better life every slum dweller expects help from the government in terms of better housing and settlements. Small number of slum dwellers gets financial support to start income generating activities on returning to their native village and rest people are fur away from the help. So, many of them are frustrated about getting any help from the government thus they are not moving from the urban area. It is important to take necessary step to rehabilitate the slum dwellers before eviction.

References:

1. Dhaka Metropolitan Development Plan (1995-2015), Vol.-II Urban Area Plan (1995-2005), December, 1995.

2. Staff Paper, Vol. 2, October, 1997, Published by The Department of Environment.

3. Slums and Squatters in Dhaka City, 1988 by Center of Urban Studies (CUS).

4. The National Housing Policy, 1993.



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Natural Resources Conservation and Sustainable Development in Bangladesh

ABSTRACT

Bangladesh occupies an area of 147570 square kilometers between latitudes 20034/ and 26038/ N and longitudes 88001/ and 92041/ E. The country is bounded to the west, north and east by India and to the extreme south-east by Myanmar. The Bay of Bengal lies to the south. Almost the entire area of Bangladesh is still an active delta formed by three major rivers are the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna. Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated country of the world. The total population is estimated to have been 124 million in January, 1997 and growing at a rate of 2.17 per cent. Average population density is about 800 per square kilometer. Bangladesh is a developing country, where the per capita income is only about US$250. The population is overwhelmingly rural (80 per cent) and engaged in various agricultural activities. It is estimated that 9.25 million hectares (ha) or 64.2% of the land area is cultivable.

Agriculture is the major economic activity of Bangladesh accounting for the majority of GDP (32.4% in 1996-97). An estimated 2.56 million ha (17.8%) of the total land of the country is under forest. The Government owns (classified & unclassified) forests i.e. 2.22 million ha & the rest 0.34 million ha is owned privately. In the past widespread destruction, unplanned extraction, clearing of forest land for agriculture etc. have reduced the forest coverage to about 8% as against minimum requirement of Bangladesh is to way a number of environmental problems.

Sustainable development is the development in relation with the conservation of natural resources and providing for economic growth that meets the needs of the present and future generation. In Bangladesh where development and conservation of natural resources is under pressure from rapid increasing of population, unplanned urbanization and industrialization, illiteracy, poverty, etc., all are leading to degradation of environment and ecosystem. On the other hand country is suffering from devastating natural disasters, such as cyclone, intrusion of saline water, storm and floods. The topic of cancer passes through the middle of Bangladesh, the country falls in the tropical region. Cyclone, tidal-surge and flood comes every year and destroyed natural resources including wildlife, biodiversity, settlement and human lives. Natural disasters are beyond of control but the adverse effects of human activities that are causing global warming could be minimized.

Natural resources management, stakeholder participation and sustainable development are interrelated. Sustainable development is a process which will start with situational analysis including problems identification, prioritization followed by policy making, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In many cases, problems identification and its ranking or future planning is not done by involving participatory approach. It is evident that the stakeholder problems or root-causes of threats that depletes natural resources are remains behind the consideration. More importantly in the field of development in general or in agricultural, particularly a few common approaches are considered for planing that is far from fully participatory approach. Coordination of national planner/policy maker and stakeholder participatory approaches is needed to input in the field of any development. As because the local stakeholders are important components who are exploiting natural resources and also they can conserve the same for better environment.

It is an urgent need to take necessary measures in order to control and minimize the adverse effect of human activities. And to ensure conservation of natural resources and planned urbanization, industrialization, sustainable agricultural development etc. are the main components. Proper implementation of environment friendly and sustainable development policy is most important along with a pragmatic implementation strategy.

Recommendations and policy implementation regarding mitigative measures in order to conservation of natural resources and balanced development is needed to the national as well as to the global context.

Key Words: Natural Resources Conservation, Sustainable Development and Environment

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Bangladesh occupies an area of 147570 square kilometers between latitudes 20034/ and 26038/ N and longitudes 88001/ and 92041/ E. The country is bounded to the west, north and east by India and to the extreme south-east by Myanmar. The Bay of Bengal lies to the south. Almost the entire areas of Bangladesh lies in the still active delta formed by three major rivers are the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna, which flow into Bangladesh from the west, north and north-east. Bangladesh is a relatively flat country with its highest peak at only 1200m. In fact, 90 per cent of the land is fertile alluvial plain. On the basis of formation, three principal physiographic units are recognized as the tertiary hills (part of Chittagong Hill Tracts, Chittagong, and Sylhet districts), the Pleistocene terrace (Madhupur Tract, Vhawal Tract and Lalmai in the middle and Barind Tract on the north of the country) and the recent alluvial plain (rest of the country).

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated country of the world. The total population is estimated to have been 124 million in January, 1997 and growing at a rate of 2.17 per cent. Average population density is about 800 per square kilometer. Bangladesh is a developing country, where the per capita income is only about US$250. The population is overwhelmingly rural (80 per cent) are engaged in various agricultural activities.

In the past, dense natural tropical moist evergreen and semi-evergreen forests occupied nearly all of the limited hilly lands of the country. But at present, tropical moist evergreen and semi-evergreen forests occupy only 0.59 million hectares of the hilly land on the northern and eastern boundaries of Bangladesh. Yet, these are the most important forest resource of the country from the economic, productive, aesthetic, environmental point of view. At present, it becomes evident that faulty forest management practices, encroachment, overexploitation, unplanned conversion of forest, shifting cultivation, and repeated natural calamities like cyclone, flood etc. are the root causes of deforestation and degradation of natural tropical moist evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of the country.

Environmental pollution occurring due to rapid industrialization particularly in the sectors of leather, pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals, etc. The country has about 30000 industrial units out of which only 6000 are large industries and the rests are cottage industries. Most of the mills and factories of Bangladesh are located along with the river bank of Dhaka, Narayangong, Tongi, Chittagong and Khulna. However, most of these industries have been set up in such a way that it is becoming a great concern to environmental issues because of the fact that most of these industries are discharging and dumping the wastes and effluents without treatment into the nearby water bodies including rivers, canals, drainage systems etc. which are polluting soil, water and air seriously. Already 1200 industrial units have already been identified as major polluting indutries (DOE, 1997).

Two major cities of Bangladesh are the capital, Dhaka with a population of 6.84 million and the port city Chittagong with a population of approximately 2.35 million in 1991. Both cities are known as industrial associated city. The other important cities are Khulna, Rajshahi in the north and Sylhet in the north-east.

As a consequence of the rapidly growing population, there exist energy deficits, resource shortages and tremendous pressure to use forestland for agriculture, human settlement and other infrastructural related purposes. All these causing deforestation and environmental degradation at an alarming rate. According to FAO (1981), annual deforestation in Bangladesh is estimated at 8000 hectare. Urban settlements face difficulty in meeting the demand of energy and disposal of domestic wastes.

Use of pesticide grew rapidly in early 1970s following the introduction of chemical fertilizers for modern rice varieties. The residual effect of pesticides and chemical fertilizers are contaminated ground and surface water, causing downstream users health problem and damaging inland fisheries, soil friendly micro-organisms. The country's 75 per cent of the 9.25 million hectors of farming land has lost fertility mainly because of overuse of chemical fertilizer (Reports BSS). Now-a-days, about 7000 MT of pesticides is being used in agriculture field. Assuming that about 25% of the used pesticides drain off into open water bodies through rainfall and floods, the aquatic environment obviously gets polluted. This pollution may cause sudden death of fishes and other aquatic organisms. It can also hamper growth of aquatic biodiversity including fish by disrupting feeding, immunity and reproduction. As most of the farmers of our country are illiterate they are not aware of the toxic effects of pesticides on environment. The pesticides residual effects changes the physico-chemical parameters of water and effects on human health through food chain cycle.

All these events are alarming to the conservation of natural resources and sustainable use of biological resources. So it needs a high degree of attention to assess the present status of biodiversity, identify endangered species and adopt measures for ex-situ and in-situ conservation of biodiversity integrated with forest management practices in the tropical moist evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of the country.

Sustainable development is the development in relation with the conservation of natural resources and providing for economic growth that meets the needs of the present and future generation. In Bangladesh where development and conservation of natural resources is under pressure from rapid increasing of population, unplanned urbanization and industrialization, illiteracy, poverty, etc., all are leading to degradation of environment and ecosystem. On the other hand country is suffering from devastating natural disasters, such as cyclone, intrusion of saline water, storm and floods. Bangladesh is a country the name has become associated with natural disasters. Cyclone, tidal-surge and flood comes every year and destroyed natural resources including wildlife, biodiversity, settlement and human. Natural disasters are beyond of control but the adverse effects of human activities that are causing global warming could be minimized.

2.0 MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN BANGLADESH

2.1 Climate:

The Tropic of Cancer passes through the middle of Bangladesh, the country falls in the tropical region. But due to monsoon and proximity to the Bay of Bengal, temperature is moderate. There are three distinct climatic seasons in Bangladesh. The monsoon from July to October experiences more than 80 per cent of the total annual rainfall. It is characterized by high temperature, high humidity and low solar radiation. The dry, winter season from November to February receives negligible rainfall and is characterized by low temperature, low humidity and high solar radiation. The pre-monsoon summer from March to June receives some rainfall is occasional heavy thundershowers and hailstorms and is characterized by highest temperature and evaporation rates. Cyclones coming from the Bay of Bengal followed by tidal waves occasionally affect the coastal areas during the pre and post-monsoon transition seasons.

Temperature in Bangladesh ranges between 100C and 400C. It peaks during April and reaches the lowest level in January. Winter temperature average maximum 290C and minimum 110C. Summer temperature average maximum 340C and minimum 210C. Rainfall distribution patterns are uneven and erratic. Average annual rainfall varies from a maximum of about 5000mm in the north-east corner of the country to a minimum of about 1200mm in the extreme west. The critical aspects of rainfall in relation to the use of land resource for cropping relate to the uncertainty of the onset and departure of the monsoon as well as the total amount of rain in a year. Rainfall variability is high in the western part of the country-averaging 17.5 percent in comparison to less than 5 percent in the northeast and southeast. This variability is one of the important determinants of making the western region a drought-prone area.

2.2 Population Density and Growth:

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated country of the world. The total population is estimated to have been 124 million in January, 1997 and growing at a rate of 2.17 per cent. Average population density is about 800 per square kilometer. The population is overwhelmingly rural (80 per cent) are involved in various agricultural activities. Health and education levels are very low, with a life expectancy of 59.5 years.

High population growth in Bangladesh has been identified as very serious problems inhibiting sustainable use of resources and particularly the greatest impact of natural resources. Present population density are one of highest growth rate in the world and which is estimated to be 140 million by the year 2000. Increasing in development or productivity are often loosing balance by the population growth.

The high rate of growth, the large size of population are increasing poverty and other related social problems gives a tremendous stress on natural resources and on the socio-economic aspects of the country. Furthermore, population with increasing numbers entering labour force ages places a tremendous burden to the government to create employment opportunities. These situations constrain socio-economic uplift and creating unemployment.

2.3 Poverty and Illiteracy:

It is estimated that more than half of the population in Bangladesh living under poverty level. Increasing population growth and natural calamities further aggravates the poverty situation in Bangladesh. More than 70% of people are illiterate and they donít have any knowledge of environment management and sustainable development. Landlessness and poverty make the peoples hungry, they always search food and shelters for survive. Poverty and illiteracy acts as a catalyst to many forms of environmental degradation, particularly more in case of forest, fisheries and other biological resources with increasing population. Illiteracy rate among adults (over 15 years) is estimated at 57.4 per cent and among women, it is higher (Bangladesh Economic Review, 1997).

In 1997, the per capita land availability in Bangladesh was 0.11 ha, declining from 0.16 ha in 1981. The continued shrinkage of the land resources base is reflected in the growing landlessness and pauperization. Nearly 56 percent of the population are functionally landless-owning less than 0.2 ha of land. A low land/man ratio further intensifies the competition of the very limited resources for different purposes of use. In near future there would be scarcity of new land for cultivation, because increases of unplanned settlement and other development activities.

2.4 Natural Disastrous:

Bangladesh is suffering from devastating natural disastrous such as cyclone, tidal surge and flood in every year. Cyclones are recurrent phenomenon in the Bay of Bengal. The severe killer cyclones developed during spring and autumn of which 75 per cent occurs strictly from mid April to mid June and mid September to mid December. In many cases the cyclone can be accompanied by tidal serge reaching even more than 20 feet high causing enormous danger to human lives, livestock, trees and infrastructure of the country.

Man-made degradation and over-exploitation of natural resources both aggravate the major natural hazards impacting on environment regionally and worldwide. The cyclone occurred in 1991 in Bangladesh caused the death of about 140000 people. The floods which occurred in 1987 and 1988 were extremely severe, flooded about 57000 and 82000 square-kilometers area of the country (ADB,1991). Some of this severity is said to have arisen out of a reduction of forested land in the watershed, increased drainage congestion and floodplain area reduction upstream and in the delta. Cyclones and floods are resulting in the damage of crops, houses, roads, embankments, educational institutions etc. Through the green-house effects, global warming causing sea-level rise, which is still in the process of being detected, could be a very severe impact on the deltaic country like Bangladesh.

2.5 Land Degradation / Erosion:

Major causes of land degradation/soil erosion in Bangladesh occur through over-exploitation of biomass from the cultivated field, deforestation and shifting cultivation in the south-eastern hilly areas. The southeast region has river systems that are entirely independent of the three major river systems of the country. Rivers in this region generally originate in the hill ranges of Tripura and Assam in India. These rivers directly drain to the Bay of Bengal. The Karnafulli is the largest of these rivers and the port city of Chittagong is situated on its bank. The major causes of land degradation/ soil erosion are as follows:

(a) Deforestation
(b) Shifting Cultivation
(c) Improper Agricultural Practices
(d) Water Erosion
(e) Urbanization and Development Activities

a.) Deforestation:

Bangladesh has a limited forest resources occupying only about 2.56 million hectares (ha), including officially classified and unclassified state forests and forest lands accounted for by village forests and tea/rubber gardens, which cover 17.8 per cent of the country's total land area (FMP,1993). The Forest Department manages all state owned forests except Unclassified State Forests (USF). The USF lands occupy 0.73 million ha and are under the control of the District Administration of the three hill districts, namely Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban.

The state owned forest land managed by the Forest Department include: (a) Hill Forests comprising an area of 0.59 million hectare which are tropical moist evergreen and semi-evergreen forests in greater Chittagong, Sylhet and three hill districts; (b) 0.58 million hectare of Sundarbans mangrove forest and 0.15 million hectare of artificially raised mangrove plantations in the coastal belts and offshore islands and (c) plain land deciduous Sal (Shorea robusta) forest covering 0.14 million hectare (Task Force vol. IV, 91). State forests are the most important sources of forest products in Bangladesh. The Forest of Bangladesh are disappearing at a rapid and accelerating pace both qualitatively and quantitatively. The main causes of deforestation are over exploitation due to population pressure, encroachment and shifting cultivation. According to FAO Forest Resource Assessment Report, the annual rate of deforestation in Bangladesh during the period 1981-1990 has been around 37000 ha (3.3% annually) excluding new plantations against the previously reported deforestation rate of 8000 ha annually over the period of 1971-1980.

Deforestation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts and other region occurs due to collection of wood for various household and industrial purposes, clear cutting, burning is a regular phenomenon. These deforestation activities occurs large scale destruction of forest cover expose land to accelerated soil erosion, reduces soil fertility and soil moisture retention capacity, cause rapid siltation in basin and river beds resulting in drainage congestion and increasing damage from flush floods. More over it causes depletion of forest resources and biodiversity and ultimately degrades the environment. Deforestation effects the local hydrology of the region and causes poor distribution of run-off from watershed. Moreover, deforestation are depleting natural resources and habitat of wildlife biodiversity and ultimately causing environmental degradation.

b) Shifting Cultivation:

Shifting cultivation is a cycle of process, cutting to be burning the natural vegetation in the hilly areas to create more cultivated land. Under this process crops are grown for years until the land becomes either poorer in fertility or infected by bio-agents such as weeds, pests, pathogens and parasites particularly in the pedosphere and then the site for cultivation is shifted having the land for degradation. Then the land is having fallow to allow regeneration and replenishment of soil fertility for a long period. At the end of the fallow period the cycle may be repeated or the cultivators move to entirely new land and start a new cycle there.

Extension of shifting cultivation, improper cultivation practices on hilly slope causes increase in degradation of soil. The total area in high areas is about 756,687 ha out of which 32,500 ha is under shifting cultivation and topsoil loss is 1.5 million tons per year. The total area in low hill areas is about 573,892 ha out of which 20,864 ha is under cultivation with arum, ginger, turmeric, pineapples etc. and has a soil loss of about 0.94 million ton/year as on site effect. Drainage congestion, flash floods, burial of fertile land by sandy debris, landslides/ slips, loss of lives and properties are spectacular as off-site effect. In the case of shifting cultivation about 10-15 percent of the land may be cultivated at any point in time, however population pressures compel shifting cultivators to reduce fallow periods to speed up the rotation cycle. This leads to a depletion of organic matter, soil erosion and lower long-term productivity. Due to population pressure, the human settlements in the hilly areas are increasing day by day. In Hill Tract districts of Bangladesh about 108,000 people are dependent on shifting cultivation and about 1 million hectares of land is affected (FAO 1986). Due to absence of ownership of hilly land, no control over movements of people and livestock are maintained. Illiteracy and very poor sense of soil conservation of the shifting cultivators lead to overgrazing of lands by their livestock. Shifting cultivation on 5% and 10% slope at Ramgarh in the hill district caused removal of 92 and 184 ton/ha/year, respectively. The soil loss on 50% slope is 30 ton/ha/year (Islam 1995).

c) Improper Agricultural Practice :

In Bangladesh, green revolution strategy is based on only high yielding rice varieties. This strategy resulted in the increasing shift of land from non-rice crops to rice production. This has ultimately tens to a mono crop agricultural practice and decrease the diversity of rice. Mono cropping practice decreases cultivation of non-cereal crops considerably. Especially it decline in the practice of various kind of pulses and cereals. Ultimately mono-cropping cultivation impacts on soil health, i.e. soil physical and chemical properties and the cultivation practice followed in growing monsoon crops does not obey the principles of soil and water conservation practice. Intensive cultivation, irregular supply of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and unsustainable irrigation management are causing soil degradation at an alarming rate. Improper agricultural practice increasing soil degradation, in near future soil would be less productive.

d) Water Erosion:

In the rainy season land degradation occurs due to water erosion is as serious problem in hilly terrains due to shifting cultivation, massive deforestation and other unsustainable agricultural practices on hilly slopes. As a result, severe soil erosion occurs in hilly slope areas due to shifting cultivation as well as its decrease soil pH, organic matter content and deplete of nitrogen, calcium, magnesium and potassium content of soils. In every year flood causing river bank erosion that enhance the losses of river side land, displacement of population, loss of social cohesion, disrupting living patterns, damaging crops, infrastructure and development.

e) Urbanization and Development Activities:

Urbanization has to be accompanied by building of adequate infrastructures like housing, roads, educational institute, recreational facilities and sufficient greenery. Provision of essential utility services like electricity, pure drinking water, public transport system, gas, telephone etc are needed in urbanization. All of these construction/development activities are disturbing natural resources and sustainable ecosystem. The two major cities of Bangladesh are the capital, Dhaka with a population of 6.84 million (area is 1353 sq. km) and the countryís major port city Chittagong with a population of approximately 2.35 million (area is 986 sq. km) in 1991. Both cities have also major industrial areas associated with them. The other important cities are Khulna, the second most important port city, Rajshahi in the north and Sylhet in the northeast. The urban population is projected to double in the next 10 to 15 years mainly due to the influx of migrants from rural areas for getting employment. The population of Dhaka was estimated to be growing at an annual rate of 6.5 percent in 1985-90, while Chittagong at a rate of 5.1 percent. These are about three times the national rate of population growth (Khan and Keong, 1992). Urban settlement faces difficulty in meeting the demands for natural resources, energy and disposal of domestic wastes. The solid wastes are used to fill low lands and liquid wastes are thrown into nearby water bodies or the rivers system resulting in the contamination of soil, ground water and open water sources.

Construction of dam, bridge and embankments caused much deterioration of soil in terms of quality of sediment and disturbance. Development activities like water resources development works have caused sediment erosion either directly or indirectly. City development activities in some district head quarters (e.g. Dhaka, Chittagong, Rangamati, Sylhet etc) needed earth filling in some places. There has been a continuous carrying of soils by cutting from different hills. Authorized contractor, private companies or even individuals are engaged in removing soils to make profit without giving any attention to the consequences of huge soil losses and land slides in any locations within the region. Road construction is another reason of soil erosion and exact quantitative estimation of sediment loss in those areas is not available.

2.6 Water pollution/ Water issues:

The greater part of the landscape of Bangladesh is dominated by the combined networks of three major rivers, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna. These three rivers and their tributaries have their headwaters outside the country in Nepal, China, Bhutan and India and about 90 per cent of their flow originates outside Bangladesh. Out of 700 rivers including tributaries in Bangladesh only 54 are inter-country rivers. In fact, the inter-country rivers are the main sources of freshwater flow in Bangladesh. So, the country has almost no control over its river water flow. Construction of barrages, withdrawal of river water by the upstream country India, excessive rainfall and flooding in the upstream countries are adversely affecting the environment of the country for last few decades.

The agriculture in Bangladesh is depended mostly on rainfall. The effects of drought are felt through crop failure completely or partially due to moisture deficiency during span of crop life. Regional aspects are also a factor, whereby watershed management practices in upper riparian countries can have significant impacts on Bangladesh. The Farakka Barrage is an example, where restricting fresh water flows during the dry season, has caused serious problems in southwest of Bangladesh. The diversion of Ganges water by the Farakka barrage in India has contributed to the reduction of surface water availability and aggravated the desertification process in the western part of the country.

Blocking of rivers and natural channels by cross-dams and embankments for flood control, drainage and irrigation purposes in the inland open waters results in reduction and drying up of wetlands as well as fish habitats. All most all the rivers and stream in Bangladesh receive direct discharge of industrial effluent, agro-chemical residues and domestic and municipal wastes into natural water bodies cause pollution of the aquatic environment resulting in death of fish and disrupting aquatic ecosystem. Ultimately, the toxicity of water pollution effects on human health by taking water, fish and other edible organisms. Besides, arsenic contamination in ground water is already alarming on social-health problem in Bangladesh, it is estimated based on geologic criteria that about 50 million people might have been exposed to threat of arsenic contamination.

2.7 Intrusion of Salinity:

The major water issues relate to dry season phenomenon such as salinity intrusion in the coastal areas particularly in the southwest due to reduced and reducing river flow/fresh water flushing. These reduced flows are mainly due to the construction of embankments and other water development activities causing more rapid siltation of river channel that deplete fish resources including reduction of wetlands and biodiversity.

The coastal zone is extensively affected by intrusion of salt water into the rice growing area reduces rice production and other agricultural production in the wetlands area. There are some reasons for which salinity increases in the rice filed i.e. diversion of Ganges river flows by Farakka Barrage by neighbouring country India, over drafting of fresh water aquifers, upstream withdrawal for irrigation for rice/ other crops and shrimp culture etc. Salinity also impacts the areas of urban and industrial centers of Khulna and Chittagong. When the stream flow of the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna and their tributaries diminish greatly during the dry season, there is substantial inland penetration of salinity through the complex estuarine river system. This salinity intrusion limits the opportunity for supplementary irrigation of dry and early monsoon crops in coastal fresh water area and damages the same crops by flooding during very high tides.

High salinity also affects the growth of mangrove vegetation greatly including the change of species composition and growth retardation of certain tree species including the top dying of Sundri (Heritiera fomes) and changes the general morphological characteristics of certain plants in Sundarban Mangrove Forest. On the other hand, oil spills, ballast water discharge and other pollutant discharge from the large number of ships that travel through the ports of Bangladesh presents a high potential for degrading the marine and coastal environment.

2.8 Industrial Pollution:

There are about 30000 industrial units in Bangladesh, out of which only 6000 are large industries and the rests are cottage industries. Most of the mills and factories of Bangladesh are located along river front of Dhaka, Narayangong, Tongi, Chittagong and Khulna.

An industrial survey was undertaken by the Department of Environment in 1997, through which 1176 are major polluting industries have been identified. Sector-wise distribution of these polluting industries Tanneries-198, Textiles-365, Cement-5, Jute-92, Chemicals & pesticides-118, Food & sugar-38, Rubber & plastics-63, Pulp & paper-10, Pharmaceuticals-149, Engineering-129, Distilleries-4 and Fertilizer-5.

Almost all the industries have little or no waste management plant/ effluent treatment plant regarding pollution control and occupational health. Nearly all agro-chemical and large industries dump the solid and liquid effluents into rivers and canals without any treatment which causes severe pollution of the rivers near industrial areas, resulting in the loss of aquatic biodiversity and these industries also causing serious air pollution that impacts on environment and causing green-house effects.

3.0 ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN BANGLADESH

In recently, Bangladesh of government has taken the crucial step to ensure the effective implementation of the Environmental Conservation Act, 1995 by declaring six sites as Ecologically Critical Areas, all within the countryís highly significant coastal, marine and freshwater wetland ecosystems. And Sundarbans mangrove forest ecosystem (10,000 sq. km area) has declared as a World Heritage Site, will have a significant and positive impact on the long-term viability of the countryís important biodiversity resources. The Government and other non-government organization are views sustainable development as process of social and economic betterment that satisfies the needs and values of all groups of people while maintaining future opportunities and conserving natural resources of the country. With the view to combat the environmental degradation the government is formulating environmental strategy for sustainable development.

The Govt. plans to improve environmental education and training programs, develop comprehensive environmental data bases public information and participation programs, develop and implement projects. The Govt. has also improving environmental aspects by dealing with environmental management, promote international co-operation to protect natural resources, and limit trans-boundary pollution; regional water sharing, prepare periodic plan and reports on the state of the environment, etc. Furthermore, the Govt. intends to formulate a national human settlement strategy for planned expansion of cities and rural settlements for sustainable use of land. Government and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) has already been launched poverty alleviation program through micro-credit loan programs.

3.1 LIST OF SOME INITIATIVES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:

A wide range of initiative has been under taken by the Government and the Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to conserve the environment as well as sustainable development. These are as follows:

1. National Environment Policy, 1992; the Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and the Environment Conservation Rules, 1997 under the Act have the main objective of maintaining natural ecological balance and ensuring sustainable development of the country through the planned development and conservation of the environment.

2. National Environmental Management Action Plan (NEMAP) has been formulated and under the process of implementation.

3. Formulation of a National Conservation Strategy (NCS) and its implementation is in progress.

4. The national Forest policy, 1994 having the aim to ensure ecologically sound and sustainable development of forest resources with the active participation of people are being implemented.

5. A 20year's Forestry Master Plan is formulated for 1993-2013. It envisages an afforestation program through both conventional forestry operation and a vigorous pursuance of people participation. Social forestry and Agro-forestry are given due importance to save the natural forest and stop deforestation as well as to meet the ever increasing demand of forest resources.

6. A pilot project on "Coastal and Wetland Biodiversity Management" is being implemented by DOE and founded by UNDP-Global Environmental Facilities (GEF).

7. There are 4(four) national parkís, 11(eleven) wildlife sanctuary and one Game Reserve in Bangladesh which are protected areas for the preservation of flora and fauna in their natural habitat. About 5.27 percent of forested area and 0.81 per cent of total land has been declared as protected area. Attempts are being taken from the Government to increase the protected area.

8. Updating the list of endangered and threatened species of flora and fauna is being done by the Bangladesh National Herbarium and IUCN- The world conservation union of Bangladesh.

9. An action plan for phasing out of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) in Bangladesh has been formulated and implementation is going on by DOE and funded by UNDP.

10. Programme that is in progress to convert gradually public sector vehicles into Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) operated ones.

11. A pilot project on Bangladesh Climate Change Study has been implemented and presently Least-Cost Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategy is being formulated.

12. A pilot project on Agenda 21 is a basis to attain sustainable development through policies initiated and coordinated at the national level is being formulated.

13. Sustainable Environment Management Programme (SEMP) a project which is going to implement by the Ministry of Environment and Forest through technical and financial assistant of UNDP.

14. Bangladesh Environmental Management Project is going to implement by Department of Environment with three demonstration project such as (i) Design and demonstrate models of sustainable environmental management (ii) Develop environmental management tools and techniques and provide practical training opportunities for DOE technical and managements and participants in industry and local communities and (iii) Raise environmental awareness among wide and varied- funded by Canadian International Development (CIDA).

15. Neither any industry shall be established nor any project shall be undertaken anywhere without obtaining Environmental Clearance from the Department of Environment (DOE). For this reason, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) should be ensured for all new development projects and industrial units.

16. Implementation of recently prepared Sector-wise Industrial Guidelines and Standards for four major types of industries, namely, textiles, cement, pulp & paper and fertilizer is being done for environment friendly industrial development.

17. Public awareness through publicity in the mass media like Radio, Television and Newspaper about the environmental management is being done. Institutional development and strengthening component is of vital importance. It focuses on developing awareness and capabilities, processes and institutions that will plan and implement development programs in an integrated manner, across multiple sectors, and with regard to environmental concerns.

4.0 CONCLUSION

In Bangladesh population growth is the most critical and constantly changing factor in the ecological system affecting the demand on natural resources. Greater numbers of peoples mean the demands of more food, water, forest products, more energy, more employment problem and consequently severe environmental degradation. More than half of the population in Bangladesh are living under poverty level. So it is inhuman to ask the poor people to conserve the natural resource, who are engaged whole days in search of food and shelter to keep the body and soul together. Before campaigning about environmental awareness program there should be ensure of poverty alleviation and mass literacy program including the control of population growth.

It is widely recognized that sustainable development is closely linked to a healthy environment and ecosystem. In Bangladesh, environment conservation and sustainable development was a low priority aspect in the past. Now-a-days, environmental conservation has been accepted as the key aspects for the sustainable development, the very survival of all over the world. There is still a significant lack of public awareness and moreover environmental issues have not been yet incorporated properly in development activities. This requires integrated management of resources and integration of environment in all development activities.

Sustainable development is a process which will start with situational analysis including problems identification, prioritization followed by policy making, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. In many cases, problems identification and its ranking or future planning is not done by involving participatory approach. It is evident that the stakeholders problems or root causes of threats that depletes natural resources are remains behind the consideration. More importantly in the field of development in general and agricultural development in particular a few common approaches that are used for planing are far from fully participatory. Coordination of National planner/ policy maker and stakeholder participatory approaches is needed to input in the field of any development. As because the local stakeholders are important components who are exploiting natural resources and also they can conserve the same for better environment.

It is an urgent need to take necessary measures in order to control and minimize the adverse effect of human activities, which are causing environmental degradation. And to ensure conservation of natural resources and sustainable development, urbanization, sustainable agricultural system etc are the main components. Proper implementation of environment friendly and sustainable development policy is most important along with a pragmatic implementation strategy. Coordination of national policy maker/planner stakeholders participatory approaches are most important in the field of sustainable development.

5.0 RECOMMENDATIONS

∑ Introduction of appropriate sustainable agricultural system with the balanced use of chemical fertilizers with organic, mineral, green manure and natural pest controls.

∑ Formulation of proper land use policy and monitor and evaluate physical, biological and socio-economic component of land use and sustainable development.

∑ Promote policies and strengthen institutional framework to develop cooperation and coordination among the donor community groups and facilitate access by local population to appropriate technology.

∑ Enhancement of the capacity of NGOs, Govt. agencies to increase poverty alleviation programme including non-formal education on environmental and ecological awareness.

∑ Ensure stakeholder participation in public community planning and enforcement of planning decisions and find out the root causes of threats and destruction of habitats of biological diversity.

∑ Evaluation and monitoring of previous development activities to find out the adverse impact and improve future sustainable development.

∑ Need proper implement of environment conservation actís and legislation.

∑ Reduction of pressure on natural resources through alternative income generation sources.

∑ Sound forest policies based upon the capacity of the forest and the land under them to perform various functions, with conservation of forest resources staring with the local people.

∑ Technological transfer and sharing of existing global technological facilities and financial help in conserving natural resources and fragile ecosystems.

∑ Adequate extension communication between research works and farmers can solve premitive agricultural system including sustainable irrigation management, proper use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

∑ Development of bilateral and/or regional programmes involving neighboring states and international organizations in respect of natural resources conservation and sustainable development.

∑ Mass awareness, human resource development, capacity building regarding natural resource management in various field that need to be prioritized both for professional and technicians.

6.0 REFERENCES

ADB,1991. Disaster Mitigation in Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Bank, Manila.

Bangladesh Economic Review, 1997. Ministry of Finance, Government of Bangladesh.

BBS (1997). Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh 1997. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Dhaka.

DANIDA, 1989. Environment Profile: Bangladesh, Danish International Development Agency.

DOE, 1997. Introducing DOE, Department of Environment, Govt. of Bangladesh.

FAO, 1981. Forest Resources of Tropical Asia, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.

FMP, 1993. Forestry Master Plan, 1993/2012, Vol. 1, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt. of Bangladesh.

Forest Department, 1997. Information Cell, Tree Fair-1997, Dhaka.

Islam M.A. 1985. Soil Erosion and Conservation in Hilly Areas of Agricultural Research in Bangladesh. Proceeding of Bangladesh Research Council, Dhaka.

IUNC, UNEP and WWF (1980), World Conservation Strategy. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN

Khan, M.A.A. and Keong, C.H. 1992. Ecosystems Affected By Population and Development Activities in Bangladesh, In: People, Development and Environment Complex Interlinkages in Bangladesh , Proceedings of a National Symposium, Dhaka.

Task Force Reports, 1997: Bangladesh.


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IMPACTS OF AIR POLLUTION ON HUMAN HEALTH IN BANGLADESH

Md. Hasibur Rahman

Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated country of the world. Industrial and vehicular toxic gaseous emission impacts on environment and causing human health problem in densely polluted urban area. Mitigative measure is being implementing through air pollution monitoring, research, dissemination of research activities, particularly phasing out of two-stroke engine smoke belching auto-rickshaws the most polluting vehicles and finally government has decided to import lead (Pb) free fuel and encouraging to use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Public awareness already been adopting in urban area by the government and different non-government agencies to prevent serious health problems causing by air pollution.

Background:

In common sense people thinks air pollution means vehicular smokes and industrial gaseous emission. But air pollution means any solid, liquid or gaseous substances present in the atmosphere in such concentrations that impact on human health or other living creature as a whole creates environmental pollution. Composition of fresh dry air contents 78.09% Nitrogen and 20.94% Oxygen by volume. The rest of 0.97% is composed of different gaseous mixture elements (i.e. carbon dioxide, helium, argon, nitrous oxides and xenon) and very negligible amount of some other organic and inorganic gases. If these compositions found different in any atmospheric air then the air would be called polluted. Air pollution could be happen by two ways i.e. by naturally and artificially. Naturally, air pollution caused by volcanic eruption, dust bearing cyclone, natural-fog, pollen grains, bacteria etc. Significantly, air is polluting by artificially i.e. man-made vehicular and industrial gaseous emission and also by house holds municipal wastes odors.

Human beings cannot survive without taking atmospheric oxygen through respiration system in a suitable mixture of oxygen, nitrogen and other inert gases. It is an assumption that an adult man takes 16-18 kg air through respiration system in his day life. Fresh air is a basic demand of human beings.

It is recognized that civilization of mankind was started with the invention of fire. Fire creates smokes, so air pollution was started from the primitive period of cave man. At that time air pollution was very negligible in ratio with the density of population. Air pollution increasing rapidly due to technological development, creation of engines, industrialization, power plant set-up, burning coal & crude oil, steam locomotives use of railway, steamer, motor vehicles, transport and internal combustion engines burning petrol, diesel, kerosene and also by households vegetable oils burning, fire-wood, paraffin's & kerosene burning. Including all above, use of aerosol and pesticides are mostly polluting the atmospheric air very seriously.

Developments of the metallurgical and chemical industries are creating smog as air pollutants impacting environment. Emission of chlorocompounds of solvents, dioxins and related compounds (chlorodibenzofurances, etc.) emitting from the chemical industry. One of serous problems is the ozone layer depleting substances by chloroflorocarbons (CFC), helon, methane etc. Brick burning industries in Bangladesh are using fire-wood, coal are increasing air pollution seriously. It is really difficult to completely eradicate of air pollution with use of vehicles, transportation and development of industries but it can be checked and minimize to a certain point.

Industrial emission and fossil fuel combustion in vehicles equipment accounted for large amount of carbon dioxides emission are increasing global air pollution that creating acid rain and greenhouse effect causing global warming and climate change.

Sources of Air pollution in Bangladesh:

Urban air quality in Bangladesh is inferior compared to the rural areas, due to more densely population and traffic congestion. Increasing population, urbanization, transportation and industries are creating uncontrolled emission sources related to air pollution that reflecting as negative impacts on environment as well as human health. - Major industrial sources in Bangladesh are industrial plants of Cement, Pulp & Paper, Fertilizer, Textiles, Leather Tanning, Pharmaceuticals, Pesticides, Ceramic, Paints, Chemicals, Metal Coating, Plastic, Foundry, Soaps, Detergents, Power plants, Open burning of fuel-wood, Brisk burning industries, Solid waste disposal sites etc.

The most general gaseous emissions from industries are odor compounds, such as H2S and NH3, SO2, NOx, CO, carbohydrates, fluorides, acid mists, Cl2, volatile organic compounds and Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM).

- Major vehicular sources in Bangladesh are Mechanized vehicles, Car, Bus, Jeep, Taxi, Truck, Micro & Minibus, two-stroke engine vehicles, motor cycles, Water engines vessels, Railway engine, Air crafts etc.

Major vehicular air pollutants are Suspended Particular Matter (SPM), Carbon dioxides, Sulfur Dioxides, Carbon Monoxides, Hydrocarbons, Nitrogen oxides and particulate of lead compounds and un-burn fuel particles etc. The emission from diesel engines is black smoke, CO, un-barn hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. Two stroke petrol engines which are used in motor cycles, scooters and three wheelers are less fuel burning efficient and release larger amount un-burn fuel and more CO than four-stroke or diesel engines.

Most of the brick burning industry established near the city for the better marketing of their products. These brick- fields are degrading the environment in two ways, i.e. use of fuel wood as a energy source causing deforestation and emission of pollutants contains suspended particular matters, carbon monoxides, sulfur dioxides, fluorine etc. are degrading ambient air quality. The pollutants discharged may cause respiratory problem of human and ashes including other SPM fallen on the crops and plants, often close the pores of the leaves and hamper photosynthesis and respiration of plants. Long term impacts of these pollutants any cause of death of plants and degrading environment as a whole.

House holds pollution causing by burning of coal, diesel, firewood, dry cattle dung, vegetable waste products, refuse burning emit carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxides, hydrocarbon and dust particles. Municipal solid waste and sewage are dumping near the city area, from the decomposition of these waste procedures bad odor and blowing air carries that bad odor to the residential areas causing unusual situation of city life.

With the increasing population and urbanization number of vehicles are introducing rapidly in urban area are causing serious air pollution. Narrow roads, congestion, formation of long queues at intersections, very low speed specially near shopping and commercial areas. Recondition i.e. poor condition of vehicles, low quality of fuel/lead containing fuel and poor traffic management aggravates the air pollution in city area. According to the Department of Environment there are 70-80 percent of vehicles are very poor condition and creating major air pollution in urban area of Bangladesh.

In urban area the ambient air quality is dependent on many factors whereby air movement, traffic volume, congestion, gaseous emission from industries and vehicles are the most important. The traffic emission relates directly to speed to travel, level and quality of vehicles engine maintenance. Suspended Particulate Matter and un-burn fuel causing serious problem in maintaining diesel and two stroke engines.

Environmental Legislation:

With a view to protecting the environment of the country, the government of Bangladesh promulgated Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and Environment Rules, 1997. This Act and Rules empowers the governmentís implementing agency the Department of Environment to prevent, control and abate environmental pollution and conservation of environment in the country. Under the Environment Conservation Rulesí97 Department of Environment is being provided environmental clearance, categorized various industries and projects into four categories on the basis of their expected pollution loads and proposed location. Rules include standards for air, water, noise and odor, vehicular emission, domestic and industrial waste effluents etc. Other related environmental legislation are Factories Act 1965, the Factory Rules, 1979, Shops and Establishments Act, 1965, Radiation Protection Act, 1993.

Ambient Air Quality Scenario:

Department of Environmental has given Standard Limit of SPM-500, SO2-120, CO-5000 and Nox-100 (concentration in micrograms per cubic meter) in industrial area, SPM-400, SO2-100, CO-5000 and Nox-100 in Commercial and mixed use area, SPM-200, SO2-80, CO-2000 and Nox-80 in residential and rural area and SPM-100, SO2-30, CO-1000 and Nox-30 for the sensitive area.

One report of Department of Environment views the investigative monitoring (December, 1996- September-1997) in different points of Dhaka City. The average monthly results of investigative monitoring as shown in December'96 is SPM-602.02, SO2-128.76, NOx-65.50 (in Tejgaon industrial area) in December'96 - SPM-1797.80, SO2-71.53, NOx-24.90 (in Farmgate commercial area).

Atomic Energy Commission showed in a report that at least 50 tones of lead are deposited annually in the air in Dhaka City. It also showed that at certain points with traffic congestion the air contains 463 nanograms of lead. Studies by Dhaka Shishu (Children) Hospital revealed that lead found in blood was eight times higher than the acceptable level, forming lead lines in the bone, mostly among under privileged children living in congested slums near transport hubs in the city.
Health Effects:

Air pollution with the lead is seriously effecting physiological constituent of the human body. It enters in the body through respiration system. Lead is a deadly poisonous metal and prolonged low does exposure causes cancer in human beings.

Air pollution impacts on human health through polluting agents and suspended particular matters such as municipal wastes, decomposed air-borne gases, vapors, fumes, mist, dust, industrial emission and vehicular emissions. These pollutants effect on human health on contact by skin, exposed membranes and by respiratory system. Immediate and long term impacts on human health are furnished below:

1. Eye Irritation, Nose and throat irritation, Irritation of the respiratory tract
2. Head aches, nausea and suffocation
3. A variety of SPM, particulate like pollens, initiate asthmatic attacks
4. Chronic pulmonary diseases like bronchitis and asthma are aggravated by a high concentration of SO2, NOx particulate matter and photochemical smog.
5. Hydrogen fluoride causes disease of the bone (fluorsis) and mottling of teeth
6. Carcinogenic agents such as exhaust of un-burn fuel causes cancer
7. Dust particles cause respiratory diseases. Diseases like silicosis, asbestosis, etc., result from specific dusts
8. Certain heavy metals like lead (Pb) may enter the body through the lungs and cause poisoning.

Recommendation:

i) It is need to ban new registration of two stroke engines and smoke emitted vehicles as well as phase out of these vehicles.
ii) Need to ensure import of lead free and low sulfur containing fuel.
iii) Proper monitoring and maintenance of all types of vehicles
iv) All vehicles need strict fitness tests and smoke emission test with heavy penalty of defaulters
v) Strictly ban sales of loose lubricating oils for vehicles
vi) Alternative transport fuels like Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), ethanol, methanol and electricity need to introduce in place of traditional fuel.
vii) Better traffic management with construction of fly-over, one way streets, multi-stored parking facilities and foot overpass would be most effective.
viii) Industries must not be set-up in any residential area and these must be set-up in a specific industrial zone (area) with proper effluent treatment plant.

Conclusion:

Air pollution must be considered as the most vulnerable environmental health hazards. It is important to take immediate initiative to protect air pollution on the basis of latest scientific information and technology available. To address this problems environmental education and mobilizing through community participation in the urban area is essential. To reduce air pollution, every one of the society can play an important role by taking right decision of consumer choice and maintaining their own vehicles and also participating in tree plantation. Tree and green vegetation can reduce air pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide and inhibit travelling of dust and chemical elements that causes positive impact on human health.

On the other hand, air pollution stimulated greenhouse effects, global warming and sea level rising. Sea level rising would be most worsen environmental disastrous for the low-lying country Bangladesh. It is important to raise awareness campaign and mitigative measures for air pollution to control global warming.



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Wetland and water pollution management in Bangladesh, by Md. Hasibur Rahman


Bangladesh occupies an area of 14.40 million hectares of which 13.46 ha is a land surface and only 0.94 ha are rivers and other inland water bodies. The country is bounded to the west, north and east by India and to the extreme southeast by Myanmar. The Bay of Bengal lies to the South. Almost the entire area of Bangladesh is still an active delta formed by the three big rivers of the world are the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna. Most part of this basin consists at quaternary alluvial deposits lain down by the three big rivers and 700 rivers including its tributaries and distributeries. The land formations of Bangladesh are mostly riverine floodplains, piedmont plain, uplift terraces and few hilly terrain. Riverine flood plains occupying 80% of the total land of the country. Total area of the wetlands in the country has been variously estimated at between seven and eight million hectares. The principal wetlands comprising rivers and streams, fresh water lakes and marshes including water storage reservoirs, fish-ponds, seasonally flooded cultivated plains and estuarine system with mangrove swamps. The country is facing tremendous degradation of wetland ecosystem and water pollution due to rapid increasing population, i.e., about 124 million with the highest population density is about 800 per square kilometre and growing at a rate of 2.17 per cent (BBS, 1997). More than 95 percent of urban sewage is discharging directly into surface water or river without any treatment and thereby water pollution by bacteria, virus, parasites or other serious water born diseases thus threatening aquatic life as well as human beings. On the other hand water pollution occurring due to rapid industrialisation particularly in the sectors of leather, pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals, petrochemical refineries, iron and steel plants, wood pulp and paper processing, fertiliser, insecticides, synthetic organic compounds etc. The country has about 30,000 industrial units out of which only 6000 are large industries and the rest are cottage industries. Most of the industries of Bangladesh are located along with the riverbank of the country is Dhaka, Narayangang, Tongi, Chittagong and Khulna the major cities of Bangladesh. Most of these industries have been set up in such a way that it is becoming a great concern to environmental issues because of the fact that these industries are discharging and dumping the wastes and effluents without any proper treatment into the nearby water bodies, including rivers, canals, drainage system etc. which are polluting air, water soil and wetland seriously. Already 1200 industrial units have already been identified as major polluting industries (Department of Environment, 1997). The toxic effects of water pollution are threatening the life of aquatic bio-diversities and reproductive abnormalities in fish, aquatic mammals, impacting a wetland ecosystem and even in human life.

Recently, Bangladesh government has taken up some crucial steps to ensure the effective implementation of the Environmental Conservation Act' 1995 by declaring seven sites as Ecologically Critical Areas, all within the country's highly significant costal marine and fresh water wetland ecosystems and Sundarbans mangrove forest ecosystem (10,000 sq.km. area) has declared as a World Haritage Site, will have a significant and positive impact on the long-term viability of the country's important wetland ecosystem and bio-diversity resources. Government and other non-government organisation are views some strategy sustainable use of water resources as the process of social and economic betterment that satisfies the needs and values of all groups of people while maintaining future opportunities and conserving water resources of the country. There are only about 2.5% of world water is available as fresh water. The precious fresh water resources are scarce in the world as well as in Bangladesh. This scarce resource is being polluted by industrial and sewage discharge. Unsustainable use of water resources has dried up many international rivers of the Asia-Pacific region. Integrated water resource management is only solution to resolve such conflicts arising out of water use.

KEYWORDS
Wetland, Water Pollution and Environment

INTRODUCTION

Bangladesh occupies an area of 14.40 million hectares of which 13.46 ha is a land surface and only 0.94 ha are rivers and other inland water bodies. The country is bounded to the west, north and east by India and to the extreme southeast by Myanmar. The Bay of Bengal lies to the South. Almost the entire area of Bangladesh is still an active delta formed by the three big rivers of the world are the Ganges, The Brahmaputra and the Meghna. Most part of this basin consists at the quaternary alluvial deposits lain down by the three big rivers and 700 rivers and including its tributaries and distributeries. The land formations of Bangladesh are mostly riverine floodplains, piedmont plain, uplift terraces and few hilly terrain. Riverine flood plains occupying 80% of the total land of the country. Total area of the wetlands in the country has been variously estimated at between seven and eight million hectares.

Water pollution refers to unusual changes its normal properties, heat or toxic compounds found in water, which is harmful to human beings, animal or any aquatic bio-diversity. The greater part of the landscape of Bangladesh is dominated by the combined networks of the three major rivers of the world, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghan. These three rivers and their tributaries have their headwaters outside the country in Nepal, China, Bhutan and India and about 90 percent of their flow originates outside Bangladesh. Out of 700 rivers including tributaries in Bangladesh only 54 are inter-country rivers. In fact the inter-country rivers are the main sources of freshwater flow in Bangladesh. So, the country has almost no control over its river water flow. Construction of barrages, withdrawal of river water by the upstream country India, excessive rainfall and flooding in the upstream countries are adversely affecting the environment of the country for the last few decades.

The major water pollutants which cause the impacts are: offensive odours, oxygen demanding wastes, disease causing agents, plant nutrients, synthetic organic compounds, oil, inorganic chemicals, mineral substances, sediments, radioactive substances and heat.

MAJOR SOURCES OF WATER POLLUTION IN BANGLADESH ARE:


1. Domestic Pollution

Human settlements in the coastal areas of Bangladesh don't have a little facilities for domestic waste treatment and therefore, most of the cases effluents either directly or indirectly find their way untreated waste into the rivers and hence Bay of Bengal. The populations have common practice to dump excreta in drains and canals, which goes to nearby rivers. Septic tank effluents are also dumped into the rivers and canals directly or indirectly and cause localised water pollution surrounding the drainage out falls. The rivers, includes Karnaphuli and Pusser, directly receives raw excreta daily from a huge number of people living on both sides of them. Every day a considerable amount of animal blood and intestine of slaughtered animals from the slaughterhouse of a coastal urban find their way into the nearby rivers and hence to the Bay of Bengal.

Major channels that carry domestic and industrial wastes reverse their flows at high tide and spread into the coastal areas causing pathogenic microbial pollution and serious health hazards during the rainy season and flood period. During the dry season the river losses most of its capacity to purify itself causing deterioration of water quality. The fish catch is diminishing in every year, as a result of oxygen depletion of water due to decomposition of wastes. Irrigation has been adversely influenced by the deteriorating water quality of the river and wetlands.

Domestic waste and kitchen waste thrown into the estuary from the cities and from ships anchored in the port areas also more to and from by flow and tidal excursion. During a tidal flood the sea enters the coastal areas and creates unhealthy conditions. Thus, modern sanitation and drainage system is needed for any infrastructure development, but government and some NGOs are trying to improve this situation by raising awareness on health and sanitation to minimise this condition.

2. Industrial Pollution

Water pollution occurring due to rapid industrialisation particularly in the sector or leather, pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals, etc. The country has about 30,000 industrial units out of which only 6000 are large industries and the rest are cottage industries. Most of the mills and factories of Bangladesh are location along river front of Dhaka, Narayangong, Tongi Chittagong and Khulna. However, set up of these industries becoming a great concern to environmental issues because of the fact that most of these industries and discharging and dumping the wastes and effluents without treatment into the nearby water bodies including rivers, canals, drainage systems etc. In 1997 Department of Environment has already been identified 1200 industrial as major polluting industries.

Most synthetic organic chemical pollution occurs from industrial sources including toxic chemicals and petrochemical refineries, pharmaceuticals manufacturing, iron and steel plants, wood pulp and paper processing, fertilizers, insecticides, synthetic organic compounds, toxic chemicals are the sources of industrial water pollution in Bangladesh.

Most of the industry of Bangladesh don't have proper waste treatment plant or recycling process, resulting both lethal and sub-lethal impact on fish e.g. Sylhet Pulp and Paper Mills at Chhatak, Karnaphuli Paper Mills at Chandraghona, Fertiliser Factory at Fanchuganj, Urea Fertilizer Factory at Ghorashal, Hazaribag Tanneries in Dhaka have playing a major role for the depletion of water resources of Surma, Karnaphully, Kushiara, Sitalakhya and Buriganga rivers respectively. Large scale fish mortality of Sitalakhya rivers was due to raw ammonia released from Urea Fertiliser Factory, Gorashal. The sample collected by Department of Environment from Karnaphuli river shows that 3 mg/l of ammonia at the discharge points of Chittagong Urea Factory whereas according to Bangladesh Water Quality standard it should be within 0.025 mgl. Fish moralities in water ways near Bobarakganj Sugar Mills in Jhenaidah and Setabganj Sugar Mills in Dinajpur district is due to the effluent discharge from these industries. Heavy metals such as mercury enter into the Karnaphuli river by Chittagong Chemical Complex and Karnaphuli Paper Mills lead enter from the oil refinery, chromium from tanneries, cadmium from dying and painting and arsenic from Urea Fertiliser Factory (ESCAP, 1998). Among the most harmful pollutants known to be discharge is mercury, lead chromium, arsenic and iron. These harmful industrial discharges are polluting water and wetland ecosystems of the country. Government has taken some strategy to set-up effluent treatment plant of different industries and creating an industrial zone to minimise water pollution and health impact of urban society.

3. Agro-chemical Pollution:

Agricultural practice especially the high yielding varieties (HYV) cultural practice is the leading non point source of water pollution's viz. Pesticides, sediments and nutrients, principally demand for food crops has resulted in increased conversion of forests and grass land into crop land in many counties including Bangladesh. This has caused greater soil erosion and sedimentation of streams in one hand and on the other hand farmers have increased production by using large amount of fertilisers and insecticides and residual impacts of run-off during rainy season polluted nearest waster body and also ground water. Other cultural practices, such as frequent ploughing and excessive irrigation can aggravate pollution of fresh water with sediments, salts. The sediments, carried into fresh water systems tend to block the habitats of fish, settle out over incubating eggs, causing suffocation of aquatic bio diversity and impacting on wetland ecosystems.

An inorganic fertiliser, being plant nutrient, lead too over fertilisation of water system through run-off during rainy season and irrigation. The addition of excess plant nutrient can lead to a disturbance of phosphors nitrogen balance in the systems as well as excessive aquatic plant growth and intensify eutrophication. On dying of those plants they settle to the bottom, since they are organic, increase the biological oxygen demand of the systems during decomposition.

A large number of pesticides have come into widespread use in recent years. The term pesticide refers to any material which is used to kill pest and cover insecticides, fungicides, herbicides etc. Many of these compounds are non-biodegradable and only slightly soluble in water. Consequently, when sprayed on crop or farmland they tend to be carriers suspended particles into surface, marine or ground water systems. They enter the food chain in both fresh and water systems, under connection in on target organisms and deposit in animal tissues to alarming levels and cause harm to fish, other aquatic bio-diversity and human beings. There is no monitoring team to address the concern of agro-chemicals and pesticise residual impact control to manage water pollution in Bangladesh.

4. Pollution by Ship Oil

In Bangladesh localised oil pollution is said to be heavy in the vicinity of Chittagong and Chalna port harbors. More than 1500 number of ships and 50-60 oil tanker in Chittagong port and more than 600 ships in Mongla port are handled annually. Besides, numerous river craft launches and streamers also play along water ways and discharge wastes oil spillage, bilge washing, into the water and create pollution in the marine environment. Estimated oil spillage at Chittagong port area is over 6000 MT per year while about 240,000 gallons of bilge water is dumped in the water of Mongla port. Most of the marine species and fish near the port areas are susceptible to this pollutant. It also affects costal fisheries in both qualitatively and qualitatively. In the case of oil spill, the water quality may be changed seriously affecting the multiplication of phyto and plankton. It affects the breeding places for shrimp and prawn fishery area, estuarine and mangrove area of the coast.

5. Pollution of Radioactive Materials

These are some wastes of Uranium, Thorium mainly and refraining from nuclear power plant and also from industrial, medical and scientific utilization of radioactive materials in Bangladesh. Some are mutagenic and lethal at relatively low concentrations and with minute doze.

6. Pollution by Temperature

Industrial pollution depending on their type, uses large volume of water for cooling purposes. Cooling water is discharged at high temperature and some rivers may have their temperature so high that fish population completely gets eliminated. This increased water temperature alters the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of aquatic system and thereby causes harm to fish and other aquatic organisms and wetland ecosystems.

7. Intrusion of Salinity

The major water issues related to dry a season phenomenon such as salinity intrusion in the coastal areas particularly in the Southwest due to reducing river flow/fresh water flushing. These reduced flows are mainly due to the construction of embankments and other water development activities causing more rapid siltation of a river channel that deplete fish resources including reduction of wetlands and biodiversity.

The coastal zone is extensively affected by intrusion of salt water into the rice growing area decreases rice production and other agricultural production. There are some reasons for which salinity increases in the rice field, i.e. The diversion of Ganges water by Farakka Barrage in India has created to the reduction of surface water availability and aggravated the desertification process in the western part of the country. Over drafting of fresh water aquifers, upstream withdrawal for irrigation for rice, crops and shrimp culture etc. Salinity also impacts the areas of urban and industrial centres of Khulana and Chittgong. When the stream flow of the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna and their tributaries diminish greatly during the dry season, there is substantial inland penetration of salinity through the complex estuarine river system. This salinity intrusion limits the penetration of salinity through the complex estuarine river system. This salinity intrusion limits the opportunity for supplementary irrigation of dry and early monsoon crops in coastal fresh water area and damages the same crops by flooding during very high tides.

High salinity also affects the growth of mangrove vegetation greatly including the changes species composition and growth retardation of certain tree species including the top dying of Sundari (Heitiera fomes) and changes the general morphological characteristics of certain plants in Sundarban forest.

CONCLUSION

Water pollution arising day by day from the industrial discharge directly to river or water bodies without proper treatment. Pollution is causing due to lack of proper planning, technology and lack of implementation of legislation and monitoring to tale corrective measures to control industrial effluents. The magnitude of pollution on water resources with other associated problems those are created by the industrial and agro-chemicals can be addressed through adopting a sustainable environmental management considering the present circumstances. It is an urgent need to conduct further research and comprehensive study to implement sustainable water resource management in Bangladesh

To solve the issue of sharing Ganges water through Farakka Barrage, Bangladesh government has made a new water agreement with Indian government to solve the bilateral issue, which may reflect a significant and positive impact on the long-term viability of the country's important wetland ecosystem and bio-diversity resources. But it is important to need an international monitoring team for successful implementation of the agreement. Government and other non-government organisation are views some strategy sustainable use of water resources as the process of social and economic concerns and values of all groups of people while maintaining and conserving wetland and water resources of the country. The precious fresh water resources are scarce in the world as well as in Bangladesh. This scarce resource has been polluting by industrial, agricultural and sewage discharge. Unsustainable use of water resources has dried up many international rivers of the Asia-Pacific region. Integrated water resource management is only solution to resolve such conflicts arising out of water use. It is an urgent issue to take necessary measures in order to control and minimise the adverse effect of human activities and to ensure water resources management and environmental conservation in a sustainable way.

Bangladesh government has taken up some crucial steps to ensure the effective implementation of the Environmental Conservation Act' 1995 by declaring seven sites as Ecologically Critical Areas, all within the country's highly significant coastal marine and fresh water wetland ecosystems and A Sundarbans mangrove forest ecosystem (10,000 sq.km. Area) has declared as a World Heritage Site, will have a significant and positive impact on the long-term viability of the country's important wetland ecosystem and bio-diversity resources. Among other initiatives undertaken by the government, Department of Environment (DOE) under the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Industries with assistance of Asian Development (ADB) carried out a study on water pollution and its mitigation measures in Bangladesh.

REFERENCES

BBS (1997). Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh (1997), Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Government of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Economic Review, 1997. Ministry of Finance, Government of Bangladesh.

DOE 1997. Introducing DOE, Department of Environment, Government of Bangladesh.

ESCAP, 1988; Coastal Environmental Management Plan for Bangladesh. Final Report Vol.2, Bangkok, Thailand, 149 pp.

Islam, A.K.M.N. 1992. Limnology and pollution of wetlands. Paper presented in the National Workshop "conservation and Sustainable Management of Wetlands in Bangladesh," December 9-11, 1992, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOE), 1992. Bangladesh Country Report for UNCED 114 pp.




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