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‘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 »

Cleaning Dhaka’s air: Brick kilns blamed for 58pc pollution

Dhaka, Sept 2 (UNB) – The government has taken a series of measures to tackle air pollution in the capital and protect the environment, said Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin. In an interview with UNB, he blamed various development projects in general and brick kilns in particular for the unhealthy air quality of Dhaka. “Brick kilns ... Read More »

Pure as snow? Scientists say air carrying plastics to Arctic

Berlin, Aug 15 (AP/UNB) — Scientists say they’ve found an abundance of tiny plastic particles in Arctic snow, indicating that so-called microplastics are being sucked into the atmosphere and carried long distances to some of the remotest corners of the planet. The researchers examined snow collected from sites in the Arctic, northern Germany, the Bavarian and Swiss Alps and the ... Read More »

Plastic bottles sales banned at San Francisco airport

San Francisco, Aug 3 (AP/UNB) — San Francisco International Airport is banning the sale of single-use plastic water bottles. The unprecedented move at one of the major airports in the country will take effect Aug. 20, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday. The new rule will apply to airport restaurants, cafes and vending machines. Travelers who need plain water will ... Read More »

Our poisonous air is harming our children’s brains: HRW

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says almost 700,000 children under five die each year as a result of air pollution. Millions more are being condemned to a life of ill health because of the damage it does to their developing brains and bodies. Which is hardly surprising when you realise nine out of ten of us are breathing polluted air. ... Read More »

Carp spawning spot Halda River, polluter plant fined

Chittagong, July 17 –The Department of Environment on Wednesday suspended the production of Picking power plant in Hathazari Upazila and fined it Tk 20 lakh (Taka 2mn) on the charge of polluting Halda river by dumping wastes. The Halda is the last remaining natural carp spawning ground in Bangladesh. Read More »

Pesticide salad, leaded fish with plastic, chemical fruit

By Baher Kamal Madrid, Jul 10 2019 (IPS) – In case you were not aware or just do not remember: all you eat, drink, breathe, wear, take as a medicine, the cosmetics you use, the walls of your house, among others, is full of chemicals. And all is really ALL. For instance, in your bathroom, formaldehyde often sits in your ... Read More »

Bird caught feeding chick cigarette butt in devastating pic

‘The baby needs to become a poster child for change’ A parent bird has been spotted feeding its chick a cigarette butt, highlighting environmental concerns and prompting a wave of anger at careless smokers. The black skimmer bird was photographed at a beach in Florida, US, picking the butt up and putting it in the baby’s mouth, reports INDEPENDENT. Karen ... 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 »

Desertification ‘more dangerous, more insidious than wars’

By Desmond Brown Ankara, Jun 18 2019 (IPS) – Businesses are being encouraged to follow the lead of the youth to halt desertification, reduce degradation, improve agricultural sustainability and restore damaged lands. “The youth is a very particular case. The youth give me a lot of hope because I see their passion, and I see their vision,” head of the ... Read More »

HC to know steps for stopping fish cultivation in Sewer lagoons

Dhaka, June 19 – The High Court Division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday wanted to know the steps taken to implement its 2015 directives for stopping cultivation of fishes in Dhaka, Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) lagoon in Dhaka’s Kadamtoli, as its water and fishes are poisonous and harmful. The apex court directed the authorities concerned to submit ... 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 »

Place Sundarbans on ‘World Heritage in danger’ list: IUCN

Dhaka, June 15 – International Union for Conservation of Nature( IUCN), the official advisor on natural World Heritage, recommends for three natural sites, including the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, to be listed as “World Heritage in danger.” The other two sites are Mexico’s Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California and the Ohrid region in North Macedonia. IUCN’s advice ... Read More »

Digital solution to plastic waste

It was once a shoreline buried by enough trash to render it invisible, warranting the unfortunate nickname “toilet bowl”. Now the Philippines’ Manila Bay beach is unrecognisably clean compared with a few months ago, a transformation so sudden and extreme that it brought tears to the eyes of residents. The clean up started on 27 January, when 5,000 volunteers descended on ... Read More »

Dhaka asks for climate justice, compensation

Dhaka, June 5 – State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has asked for climate justice that needs to be established and demanded compensation and adequate financial and other assistance for adaptation measures. He called for more concrete global coordination and insisted that the developed countries and the countries responsible for producing huge amount of greenhouse gases must triple ... Read More »

A premature death every five seconds for air pollution: UN

Dhaka, June 3 (UNB) – Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment David Boyd on Monday urged governments to take bold action to beat air pollution, improve health, address climate change and fulfill their human rights obligations. “Air pollution is a silent, invisible and prolific killer that is responsible for the premature death of 7 million people each year, ... Read More »

Antibiotics in Bangladesh river exceed ‘safe’ levels: Study

Dhaka, May 28 (UNB) – Antibiotics exceeded ‘safe’ levels by the “greatest degree” in Bangladesh, Kenya, Ghana, Pakistan and Nigerian rivers, while a site in Austria was ranked the highest of the European sites monitored, says a new global study. Metronidazole has also exceeded safe levels by the biggest margin, with concentrations at one site in Bangladesh 300 times greater ... Read More »

Guard against using chemicals on fruits: Hc asks govt

Dhaka, May 20 – The High Court on Monday directed the authorities concerned to form separate teams to monitor fruit markets and warehouses across the country so that none could able to use chemicals on fruits. The HC bench comprising Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader passed the order after holding hearing on a supplementary petition filed ... Read More »

The monetization of garbage

By Stephen Nwaloziri Berea, Kentucky – As a child growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, in the late 1990s, I remember women roaming through my community and chanting in Yoruba, “onigo de o! Anra bata rubber ati ayo t’on jo.” This translates as “The bottle peddler is here! We buy rubber sandals and leaky (aluminum) pots.” Some families would separate their ... Read More »

Dhaka’s supply water contaminated in 59 city areas: Report

Dhaka, May 16 (UNB) – Water supplied by Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) is contaminated in 59 areas under its 10 zones, according to a report submitted to the High Court on Thursday. Local Government, Rural Development (LGRD) Ministry placed the report prepared by Wasa before the court. On May 13, Wasa handed over the report to the ... Read More »

Clues emerge in ‘missing’ ocean plastics conundrum

It’s a puzzle that has perplexed scientists for years: humanity dumps millions of tonnes of plastics into the world’s oceans annually, yet only a tiny fraction remains visible on the surface. Now an international team of researchers believe they may be closer to determining where Earth’s “missing plastics” end up, using an unprecedented global effort to track and draw down ... Read More »

Wasa’s failure to submit report on water irks HC

Dhaka, May 13 (UNB) – The High Court on Monday expressed discontent as Dhaka Water Supply & Sewerage Authority (DWASA) authorities failed to submit a report after examining its water supplied to different areas. The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md KhairulAlam also asked the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) to submit a report ... Read More »

HC order: Remove 52 substandard food products from market

Nestle withdraws Maggi noodles in India after food scare

Dhaka, May 12 – The Bangladesh High Court on Sunday asked the authorities concerned to remove immediately from the market 52 food items of different local brands failed quality tests of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI). The HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by Palash Mahmud, ... Read More »

Plastic waste pact approved with US among few holdouts

Geneva, May 11 (AP/UNB)  — Almost every country in the world has agreed on a legally binding framework for reducing polluting plastic waste, with the United States a notable exception, United Nations environmental officials said Friday. An agreement on tracking thousands of types of plastic waste emerged at the end of a two-week meeting of U.N.-backed conventions on plastic waste ... Read More »