World Environment Day 2010 - Prabir Maitra
June 5 is World Environment Day. It is a very important day for the mankind as well as for the other species. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was from 5-16 June 1972. It is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and public action.
In Australia all the tiers of government i.e. Federal, State and Local are celebrating this day with different programs involving communities. Examples of some of the activities are organising a neighbourhood clean-up, encouraging people to stop using plastic bags, walk or ride a cycle to school or work, start a recycling drive etc.
Parramatta City Council one of the leading councils in Australia has its own Environment Program. Through this program it conserves and protects the natural systems and resources within the City, minimizes human impacts and pressures on the natural environment and provides waste and street cleaning services to ensure the health and safety of the City and maintains its appearance. It also has programs to protect natural bush land, improve water quality of its rivers, and manage domestic wastes. Like in other areas Bangladesh can benefit at a great deal exchanging ideas and expertise at Council levels with Australia.
Bangladesh Environment Network (BEN) is doing a very important job of making Australian Bangladeshi community aware of the environmental issues that Bangladesh, Australia and the whole World is facing and as a community what we can do to combat or prevent them. In any major international forum on environment Bangladesh is always highlighted for its greater risks of global warming. One third of its land may submerge under the water within not very distant future – consequences of which can be huge. The consequences will not be limited to Bangladesh only - it will have a global impact.
Bangladesh is already facing an alarming degradation of environment. Land to population ratio is the highest in the world. Over population, lack of public awareness of environmental issues and education, lack of proper planning and government controls, lack of resources are a few reasons among many. Not long ago a global survey suggested that Dhaka is the World’s most unlivable city after Harare, Zimbabwe. I don’t know what were the criterion was but I am definite more people suffer environmental pollution in Dhaka than in Harare. Harare has much smaller population of 2.8 million to Dhaka which has more than13 million.
Every year there is a theme of World Environment Day. This Year’s theme is 'Many Species. One Planet. One Future'. This year’s event will celebrate the incredible diversity of life on Earth as part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. Bangladesh once was an exceptional example of bio-diversity but now it is being destroyed at an alarming pace. Pressure on the land is unsustainable – use of chemical fertilizer, lack of waste management, allowing industries to dump their waste in the rivers are few reasons for the destructions. Already many species of plants, flowers, fishes, birds and insects are extinct – if the government and the people don’t take appropriate measures it will have catastrophic consequences.
I congratulate Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) and BEN for providing free and quality advisory service to the government of Bangladesh regarding environment, organizing seminars, rallies etc. to make people aware of the environmental issues and practical ways to protect it. My heartfelt congratulations to both BAPA and BEN for their contribution in Bangladesh despite their limited resources. I encourage our community to participate in the activities on BEN in Australia. I also pledge my sincere support for these two organizations.
Parramatta City Council
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