BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said the commitment of political leaders is now vital to protect the environment and biodiversity.
“Earth is fast approaching destruction as developed countries have achieved industrial development in their own interest. Global warming caused by excessive carbon emission is destroying the ecosystems and the ecological balance of the world,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader said, “Protecting the environment and biodiversity is a very big issue, and a commitment of global lenders is necessary. Similarly, the commitment of political leaders, especially those in power, is much more needed to protect the environment in our country.”
BNP arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press, marking World Environment Day.
Stating that different viruses and bacteria like Covid-19 are emerging to take revenge on humankind for destroying nature, Fakhrul said it is now necessary to create a sustainable environment. “The sustainable environment depends on how we manage the river, water, forest, soil and wastes.”
He, however, bemoaned that the current government has no focus on saving the environment and the flora and fauna of the country.
The BNP leader also said an adequate allocation was not given for the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Affairs Ministry in the budget proposed for the next fiscal year to protect nature and biodiversity. “This government has no responsibility towards people since it’s not elected by them.”
He said the government received around Tk 700 crore from the Global Climate Fund over the last few years. “The interesting thing is that they ate up half of the money, and returned the rest as they could not do anything to utilise it. The main goal of this government is to indulge in plundering.”
Fakhrul said many people, mainly the day-labourers, are passing through a critical time while around six crore people have become poor as a fallout of the Covid pandemic, but the government is hardly concerned about it.
He said their party has repeatedly been asking for giving the needy people cash support to save their lives and livelihoods amid the coronavirus. “But they’re taking up mega projects. They’ve allocated Tk 10,000 crore helping the needy people but the Tk 75,000 crore for mega projects is not necessary at this moment. The biggest necessity is now to save people.”
Fakhrul called upon the BNP leaders and activists to play a role in creating awareness among people about the environment as he said the world is being destroyed due to an internal conflict between humankind and nature.
He said at least 5,000 Neem trees can be planted in every district as part of an effort to save the environment.
“We’re destroying the environment and biodiversity in many ways to meet the demands of humankind. We now use chemical fertilizer instead of composed and traditional ones as we’ve succumbed to capitalism and multinational companies. Now fertilizer business has been the best business,” he said.
The BNP leader said men have destroyed forests, rivers, water and created big concrete structures for the sake of survival, livelihood and civilization. ”The existence of Royal Bengal Tigers is now at stake. The birds that used to arrive here can no longer come. Biodiversity is being lost. As a result, nature has started taking its revenge. But we’re constantly fighting with nature. We’re going to the Moon and to Mars.”
Fakhrul recalled their party’s various initiatives, including launching a social afforestation programme and canal excavation, to conserve nature during its rule. “But the current rogue and monstrous government is destroying all our achievements.”
He urged the BNP leaders and activists to get united instead of getting frustrated over the current situation of the country. “We won’t get rid of the adverse situation if we become frustrated. We have to move forward with the light of hope, overcoming despair. We’ve to fight and survive. That’s the law of nature.”
The BNP leader also hoped that their party chairperson Khaleda Zia would recover soon from her illness and lead the nation to achieve a victory in their struggle for the ‘restoration of democracy.
BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, party vice-chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed, environment and forest affairs secretary Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul and Bangabandhu Agricultural University’s Professor GKM Mostafizur Rahman, among others, spoke at the programme.