The General Assembly of the United Nations (UNO) announced 5 June as the World Environment Day in 1972. The main aim of declaring this day as World Environment Day is to integrate human interactions and the environment. In fact, the UN felt the necessity to observe a day as environment day for enhancing the understanding of the human being and environment.
With the increasing of population and mounting pressure on environmental resources, the international community realised that our beloved environment should be protected from the degradation, misuse and destruction. Indeed, the human being cannot pass a single second without the blessings of the environment. However, we the human being are the enemy of the environment. Considering this truth, the NU urged the member states to observe a day as “World Environment Day” on 5 June every year.
This year, the theme of the day is “Connecting People to Nature”. This day “implores all human being on the planet to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and its importance, and to take forward the call to protect the Earth that we share”. The theme of this year has been set for the realisation of the beauty and importance of the environment. We the humans are lucky enough that nature has given us plenty of resources for our property and happiness.
The ‘World Environment Day’ is a day for everyone on the planet in everywhere. Since 1972 this day is observed by all the member states to disseminate the knowledge about the environment, nature, resources and how intimately the human being is depended on the environment. This year theme is also dedicated to “think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we rely on it.”
Now, on this special day, I tend to address something about the lesson of world environmental day in the context of Bangladesh. We know that Bangladesh is a tropical country, and a country of green and natural beauty. The county is a full of natural resources with flora and fauna, different varieties of fish species, birds, forests, rivers, and a plenty of scopes to produce vegetables and food grains. However, It is a matter of the fact that we do not understand the importance of the environment.
We still conceive the predisposed idea that the Allah creates all. So, everything will be automatically regenerated for our need and consumptions. This law of nature is not like what we perceive. We will not be able to regain hundreds of rivers that we have already lost. We the people have accelerated the process of dying and decaying of the rivers, flora and fauna, fish species, birds, forest, water and even our pride “Sundarbans”. Our major rivers are being seriously polluted due to the rampant dumping of human and industrial waste. Our tannery and garment industry are letting thousands of tonnes wastes to the rivers which are causing pollution and accelerating of dying of the rivers and channels near the Dhaka city.
The agricultural revolution and indiscriminate use of chemicals have increased the production two to threefold, but it has caused serious havoc in our land, animals, native fishes, flora and fauna and human health. We are yet to introduce sustainable agriculture system. Moreover, corrupt practices of some people in the agricultural sectors have accelerated the process of contamination and decaying of fertility of the land.
However, do we care for our environment? Most of the industries do not care the environmental and clean law. Powerful people are indiscriminately capturing Hill, reserve forest and rivers and setting up industries and business centres. They are not aware of how much important these objects are for the environmental protection and ensuring sustainability of the country. For their capital and profit mentality, they even do not care about destroying the most magnificent locations in the country.
The country is experiencing a very hard time to provide the energy and water supply to the people. Thus, the government has even undertaken the dangerous nuclear and coal power plant. Of course, both the projects are perilous for the environment and human health. The location of the coal power plant at the proximity to the Sundarbans has increased the anxiety among the sensible people about the future of the most precious and the part of world heritage.
On this special day, it should be our motto that we have to protect our nature and environment for the future generation. We have a small landscape with some remarkable natural beauty-- longest sea-beach, Sundarbans, beautiful hilly area in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Our future generation will feel proud of these beautiful, magnificent and paramount places that Bangladesh has. If we lose it, we may not regain. Thus, we have to protect, preserve and maintain these beautiful natural locations that truly provide the vitality of the country.
The write is a PhD candidate at the Flinders University Australia. He also teaches at the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh.