The environment has been wielding the whole world life and its ecosystem from the time immemorial. Untoward environment destroys the living world. On the other hand, the utile environment ameliorates the sufferings of the community and civilisation. From the primitive era human beings have been competing with the environmental setbacks for their survival and in this way, to march forward. That’s why a world watchword has been lilting that there is no substitute to the patronage of the environmental equipoise.
From an occult espial it becomes clear that various natural disasters are continuously increasing due to the environmental imbalances. The increased use of fossil fuel, growth of population and the excessive amount of environmental pollution have turned the world into an inhabitable place. In the consequences of these alarming situations environmental movement has been started throughout the world.
The industrial revolution (1789), greenhouse effect (1970), green revolution (1960), green economics (2012) - these concepts have risen in the context of environmental problems. The environment movement has been started centring how the earth can be saved from environment pollution. Several environment experts have led and are continuously leading this movement in diversified ways like Rachol Luis Carson, at the end of 1950, wrote a book named “Silent Spring” showing the environmental destructive role of the insecticides and this helped to raise the consciousness of the American mass on the environmental issues and accelerated the environment movement.
Bangladesh is not out of this misfortune; rather her circs is more minatory. The rate of forest land is only 6% where 25% forest land is necessary for the environmental balance of a country. The rate of environment pollution is also high and as a result, various problems related to environmental imbalance are increasing day by day in Bangladesh. So, we need a strong and widespread environment movement.
The environment movement was hatched in the decennial of 80 in Bangladesh. This got momentum in the decade of 90. Many environment pioneers were united under the organisation Paribash Rakkha Shopoth (PRS). The people of Bangladesh living abroad have also united to protect the environment. In 1998 they founded an organisation named Bangladesh Environment Network (BEN). In the January of 2000 an international conference on the environment of Bangladesh (ICBEN) was organised with the initiative of the PRS, BEN and other environmental organisations. The aim of this conference was to unite all the environmental working organisations. The Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA) and Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers’ Association (BELA) are the two prominent organisations that are working for the betterment of the environmental standards. In this regard, the decision of the case BELA vs. Bangladesh (49 DLR AD) is a remarkable one because in this case the BELA was given the locus standi in an environmental issue and an anti-environmental plan was declared void. This case has played a significant role in the further flourishment of environment vibrancy. Subsequently in different cases the right to a pollution free environment has been declared as a fundamental right.
In this way, the environmental vibrancy has got more impetus through the movements like Save Environment, Save Rivers, and Work for Better Bangladesh. Some positive initiatives have been taken up to now with the hard efforts of the environmental organisations and members of the civil society. Introduction of the lead free gasoline, banning of two strokes vehicles and polythene products, passing of the water reservoirs protection Act and Brick Kiln Establishment Act, formation of commission on rivers are the results of some successful attempts of the environment movement.
In 2010 in the third galaxy of ICBEN the environment programme “The Calling for Dhaka- 2010” was sheltered. In this proclamation an analysis of all the basic reasons of the environmental problems and recommendations on how to solve those were prepared. The government and the administration have to play the key role in the decision making processes. So the programme was held to influence the governmental environmental policies. Besides in order to inspire the people from all the sections different political parties, professionals, social, cultural and sport organisations were summoned to be connected with this vital movement.
Lately, we have eyed the vigorous role of different environmental pressure groups like National Oil, Gas and Electricity Protection Committee, National Sundarbans Protection Committee and other collateral bodies against the Rampal issue. They are trying to influence the government to change their decision. Now we are hoping for a pragmatic and eco-friendly decision from the government since the Prime Minister has already assured that the government will never take any anti-environmental project hampering the interests of the nation.
Though there has been an incessant assiduity to carry on the environment movement the environmental degradation of the country is not emasculating at a satisfactory rate. The water pollution and grabbing of water land are not stopped and thus the marshy lands are dying gradually. Industrial pollution, air pollution and sound pollution are increasing. The forests and bio diversities are diminishing. Bangladesh is still lagging behind to touch the indictments of environment pollution.
Therefore, it is high time to be discreet and accent the environment movement by uplifting feeling and participation of the people over the whole country to save and restore the natural panorama of the land.
Bayjid Rayhan, Dhaka University Moot Court Society