Thursday , April 2 2020


‘Delhi Declaration’ at desertification summit: So near yet so far

by Mayank Aggarwal on 17 September 2019 • Restoration of land impacted by desertification and degradation can have long-term benefits for the development of society and thus a proactive approach is required to restore degraded land, held the recently concluded 14th Conference of Parties (CoP14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). • Over 190 countries adopted the ... Read More »

New IPCC land report – contentious issues raised, resolved

Delhi, 21 August (Indrajit Bose) — Several contentious issues arose prior to the adoption of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) of the Special Report on Climate Change and Land. The SPM was adopted in Geneva, Switzerland, on 7 August, after a hectic week of negotiations on a line-by-line basis, between authors of the ... Read More »

Buriganga illegal settlement eviction team attacked; 5 hurt

Keraniganj, July 11 (UNB) – A group miscreants attacked a team of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) during an eviction drive at Postogola along the Buriganga riverbank on Thursday, leaving an executive magistrate and four members of the team injured. The BIWTA team, led by an executive magistrate, launched the drive in the morning. At one stage, when the ... Read More »

Saline water leaves BD croplands barren in 37 Satkhira villages

Satkhira, June 21 (UNB) – Farmers in Sadar uapzila of the district had harvested paddy from wetlands in a festive mood even last year, but this year they are struggling to remove saline water from their paddy fields, let alone harvesting crops. A fear has gripped the farmers of 37 villages as shrimp farm owners filled nine waterbodies in the ... Read More »

No continent, no country not impacted by land degradation

By Desmond Brown Ankara, Jun 17 2019 (IPS) – The coming decades will be crucial in shaping and implementing a transformative land agenda, according to a scientist at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) framework for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). UNCCD-Science Policy Interface co-chair Dr. Mariam Akhtar-Schuster, who spoke with IPS ahead of the start of activities to ... Read More »

24bn tons of fertile soil globally; 8% GDP of poor nations lost annually

Dhaka, June 17 – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said dryland degradation reduces national domestic product in developing countries by up to 8 percent annually. “We must urgently change such trends,” he said in a message marking the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought that falls on June 17. He said protecting and restoring land – and better using ... Read More »

Palestinians vow to battle illegal Israeli confiscations

Palestinians pledge to continue the dream of passing land to their children and grandchildren amid accelerating seizures By Shatha Hammad Tayseer Ataya stands, leaning on his cane and gazing at his plot of land on Risan hill, west of Ramallah. The 65-year-old man has been forbidden from accessing his property for close to a year. In August 2018, Israeli settlers ... Read More »

Organic croplands emit 40% less GHG, mitigate climate change

With a share of 10–12% in carbon-dioxide equivalents (CO2-eq.), agriculture contributes substantially to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Considering indirect emissions from agriculture-related activities such as fertiliser production and land use change, this share can be up to 30%. In 2005, the agricultural sector contributed 56% to the emissions of the anthropogenic non-CO2 GHGs, i.e. nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane ... Read More »

BD ministry disfavours cases against land acquisition notice

Dhaka, May 21, (UNB)- The Land Ministry on Tuesday issued a notice embargo on filing cases over land acquisition before seeking amends from the deputy commissioner. It says that there is no scope to receive any complaint after issuing four notices under the section 4 and 8 of the Acquisition and Requisition of Immovable Property Act (2017). Several cases filed ... Read More »

Desertification, drought: Land conservation a risky business

UNITED NATIONS, Apr 29 2019 (IPS) – In light of land degradation and climate change, the protection of the environment is crucial—but the protection of the very people working tirelessly and with much risk to preserve nature should be just as important. Forests have long been underestimated—they sustain biodiversity, regulate the world’s water and weather cycles, and even provide the air ... Read More »

Dhaka high-rise fire: One owner secures bail

Dhaka, April 11 – The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Court of Dhaka yesterday granted bail to Tasvirul Islam, one of the owners of FR Tower in the case filed over the devastating fire that ripped through 22-storied FR Tower at Banani in the capital, killing 26 and leaving some 70 people injured on March 28. Magistrate Md Tofazzal Hossain of ... Read More »

Israel PM vows to annex West Bank settlements if re-elected

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if he is re-elected. Israelis go to the polls on Tuesday and Mr Netanyahu is competing for votes with right-wing parties who support annexing part of the West Bank. The settlements are illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this. Last month the US ... Read More »

New law in the offing to save croplands in BD: Minister

Dhaka, Feb 24 (UNB) – Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury on Sunday told Parliament that his ministry has taken an initiative to enact a law titled “Arable Land Protection and Land Use Bill 2019” to save croplands and ensure their best use. “Revising the draft (of the bill), it’ll soon be sent to the Cabinet Division for approval by the Cabinet,” ... Read More »

Mining grabs up land, deals blow to agriculture

SAN SALVADOR, Feb 19 2019 (IPS) – Like an octopus, metals mining has been spreading its tentacles throughout Central America and dealing a blow to the region’s agriculture and natural ecosystems, according to affected villagers, activists and a new report on the problem. “Where the mining company is operating was land that peasants leased to plant corn and beans, our staple ... Read More »

Saving the Buriganga: 50 more illegal structures evicted

Dhaka, Feb 18 (UNB) – More than 50 illegal establishments were demolished in an eviction drive Monday by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA)  along the Buriganga River’s banks. BIWTA Executive Magistrate Mostafizur Rahman led the drive that started from Bochila in Mohammadpur around 10 am but had to stop after a few hours as the demolition of one ... Read More »

46 illegally built religious structures on rivers

Dhaka, Feb 13 – The government has decided to relocate 46 religious structures that built illegally alongside the riverbanks of Buriganga, Turag and Shitlakhya. The shipping ministry has given responsibility to the mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) to arrange lands for relocating these religious establishments, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Commodore M Mozammel Haque told ... Read More »

Farmers secure land and food thanks to ‘eyes in the skies’

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Feb 11 2019 (IPS) – Six years ago while wondering how best to use her engineering skills, Tanzanian ICT entrepreneur Rose Funja decided to enter an innovation competition. Years later she has turned a digital idea into a viable business that helps smallholder farmers across the East African nation access credit.    In Tanzania farmers struggle to obtain credit ... Read More »

Prepare master plan to save cultivable lands: PM

Dhaka, Feb 10 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday asked the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development (LGRD) and Cooperatives to work out a master plan for every upazila for protecting cultivable lands and checking the unplanned construction of buildings, roads and houses on croplands. “We need to design a master plan for every upazila setting aside places ... Read More »

282 structures razed to rivive Buriganga, Karnaphuli rivers

Dhaka, Feb 6 (UNB) – Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) on Wednesday pulled down some 282 illegal establishments along the Buriganga River in the capital and the Karnaphuli in Chattogram. In the capital, the BIWTA mobile court bulldozed as many as 252 structures along the Buriganga River from Islambagh to Loharpool. The drive began around 10:30 am and continued ... Read More »

100 illegal structures on Buriganga river demolished

Dhaka, Feb 05 – The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) Tuesday has demolished around 100 structures that built illegally grabbing the river bank of Buriganga. The second face eviction drive of its 11-day programme has conducted at city’s Nababerchar in Kamrangirchar areas. The BIWTA eviction team led by its executive magistrate Mostafizur Rahman has demolished at least 100 illegal ... Read More »

Drive to free Karnaphuli riverbanks from grabbing begins

Chattogram, Feb 4 (UNB) -The district administration has started a drive to demolish the illegal structures on the banks of the Karnaphuli River in the port city. A team led by executive magistrate and assistant commissioner (land) of Patenga Tahmilur Rahman started the drive in Sadarghat area at 10:15 am on Monday and bulldozed a number of buildings till 12 ... Read More »

Bringing greener pastures back home

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 22 2019 (IPS) – One month on since the Global Compact for Migration was approved, civil society has highlighted the need to turn words into action, supporting those who have been displaced or forced to migrate as a result of environmental degradation. In December, over 160 countries adopted the landmark Global Compact for Migration (GCM) which recognised ... Read More »

‘Finalise land-use policy very quickly to save farm land’

Dhaka, Jan 30 – Land-use policy needs to be finalised very quickly to completely stop the use of agricultural lands in non-farm activities, said experts on Wednesday. They said, it is necessary to take measures to rescue the agricultural land which has already gone to non- agricultural sector. Besides, we have to ensure that the farmers can buy and sell ... Read More »

WB new scheme to privatize land in developing world exposed

Oakland, CA – In advance of the release of the World Bank’s 2019 Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) report, the Oakland Institute exposes the Bank’s new scheme to privatize land in the developing world. The Highest Bidder Takes It All: The World Bank’s Scheme to Privatize the Commons details how the Bank’s prescribed reforms, via a new land indicator ... Read More »