Bangladesh needs to formulate a plan and take appropriate and effective steps to implement it to ensure eco-friendly development, analysts said yesterday.
According to the Sustainable Development Goals, the country can’t develop itself economically alone. Bangladesh must advance socially and environmentally based on green technology, they said.
They made the comments at a virtual discussion on “Building back a greener Bangladesh”. The Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI) organised the programme in collaboration with the World Bank Group.
Several master plans, policies and strategies, including the Eighth Five-Year Plan, Delta Plan and Mujib Climate Change Prosperity Plan, have been formulated for the country’s development environmentally, said Ainun Nishat, professor emeritus of Brac University.
“But, plans are usually implemented traditionally. That is why we have to pay close attention to the implementation of the projects. The projects have to be implemented transparently.”
“Moreover, we have to be careful enough in choosing technology,” said Nishat.
Bangladesh’s economy should be developed socially and environmentally, and all the social and environmental parameters must be included in the future development plans, speakers said.
The models of the developed countries should not be copied, and Bangladesh needs to draw up its own approach for green development, they said.
Atiur Rahman, a former governor of the Bangladesh Bank, said there should be a body, and the process should start from the finance ministry.
“There should be a green window at the finance ministry, which will take the green finance forward coordinating with all ministries.”
He said entrepreneurs were interested and funding was there, but the process of securing funds was not very easy.
“So, the rules should be made easier, and more sectors should get access to the funds,” Rahman said, adding that incentives should be given to produce green energy.
PRI Executive Director Ahsan H Mansur moderated the programme, while Eun Joo Yi, senior environment specialist at the WBG, presented a keynote paper.
Mansur said enforcement was critical, and the lack of transparency, particularly with the Department of the Environment, was a serious problem.
“We have to address this issue. As of now, there is no transparency in their inspection reports. We do not know how many factories have been inspected and what the results are.”
Community involvement is also important as they should know how much harm has been done, he added.
Highlighting the successful models of Korea and Colombia’s green growth, Joo Yi presented a proposed model on “Green Growth Roadmap and Action Plan for Bangladesh”.
She also presented a three-year analytical programme in a detailed overview of the Build Back Greener to Green Growth (BBG).
Joo Yi emphasised developing a BBG platform to facilitate dialogue across sectors to refine BBG diagnostics with the government and the World Bank Group’s internal teams.
Climate change and pandemic risks are critical factors to address for a greener recovery and green growth in the future, she observed.
Zaidi Sattar, chairman of the PRI; Prof Mohammad Tamim, an energy expert; Sarwar Jahan, a former professor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology; Syed Nasim Manzur, managing director of Apex Footwear; and Ziaur Rahman, country manager of H&M Bangladesh, also spoke.