Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) - Speakers at a workshop in Habiganj on Friday said inclusion is at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the role of MPs is the key to ensure that no one is left behind.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organised the two-day workshop titled ‘Role of Member of Parliament in Monitoring and Implementing SDGs’.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury was the chief guest at the opening session along with a total of 30 MPs and senior government officials of the Parliament Secretariat, said UNDP.
The speakers said parliamentarians have an opportunity, and a constitutional responsibility, to play a significant role in supporting and monitoring implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Agenda 2030 Declaration acknowledges the essential role of national parliaments through their enactment of legislation and adoption of budgets.
Addressing the workshop, Dr Shirin said MPs are playing a critical role in implementing SDGs. “Being elected by the people of Bangladesh, they can take forward the people-centric development agenda by ensuring accountability and transparency.”
She also highlighted the initiatives of the Bangladesh government to mobilise resources for localising the SDGs, such as the social safety net programme.
“Each of the Member of Parliament’s core functions: representation, legislative, budgetary and oversight can be harnessed effectively towards supporting the implementation and realisation of the SDGs,” the Speaker added.
UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo said as Bangladesh poises for alleviation to middle-income status, the need to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for an inclusive and responsible society is more pressing than ever before.
“The workshop has two major aims: informing the parliamentarians of the new 2030 agenda and SDGs and to facilitate the development approaches and tools for the parliamentarians to monitor and implement SDGs at the local level,” Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh, Sudipto Mukerjee said.
Chief Whip ASM Feroz while addressing the workshop said, “Poverty alleviation is essential to achieve the SDGs. “We also need to focus on reducing inequality from our society.”
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Md Fazle Rabbi Miah stressed the importance of public-private partnership in achieving SDGs.
Abul Kalam Azad, Chief Coordinator for SDGs Affairs in the Prime Minister's Office, presented the ‘SDG Framework and role of parliamentarians in monitoring and implementing the SDGs’
Dr Md Abdur Rob Howlader, Senior Secretary to Bangladesh Parliament Secretariat, highlighted the importance of establishing parliamentary mechanisms like Standing Committee in monitoring SDGs.
Among others, Whips Md Shahab Uddin and Iqbalur Rahim, Charles Chauvel, team leader, Inclusive Political Processes Governance and Peace building, UNDP, Radwan Mujib Siddiq, Senior Consultant, UNDP Bangladesh, and Sheela Tasneem Haq, Advisor Political Governance, UNDP Bangladesh were present.
Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) - Two new studies have confirmed that farmers can win both ways -- achieving a boost in harvests and helping to slow climate change.
One study says that they can successfully farm with techniques that can help slow global warming and add to the store of carbon sequestered in the soils around the globe.
And a second study confirms that a range of tested and sustainable practices is already stepping up yields in small farms worldwide, while dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, soil erosion and pesticide use, according to a message received from Climate News Network.
Both studies address a planetary dilemma. Global agriculture is at serious risk from global warming and climate change driven by profligate fossil fuel combustion.
But global agriculture – powered by greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels, ploughing, pesticides and herbicides – is also helping to drive global warming and climate change.
And while researchers have persistently argued that it should be possible both to feed the 9 billion people expected by 2050, and to contain global warming to no more than 2°C by 2100, such advances can be achieved only by massive changes in diet and expectations. But both new studies focus on what is both practicable and possible right now.
US researchers report in the journal Science Advances that they have identified a range of well-established farming practices that – if adopted by everybody – could capture enough carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the world’s soils at a rate that could make a significant difference.
They suggest that simple approaches – cover crops, more thoughtful use of grazing animals, the planting of legumes on rangelands and so on – could, if coupled with dramatic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, notionally add as much as 1.78 billion tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere to soils, lowering temperatures by 0.26°C. Since 1880, global average temperatures have already risen by about 1°C.
More tentatively, they suggest that if farmers added biochar – the residue of crops burned to make charcoal – to their soils, this could reduce global warming by as much as 0.46°C.
“These are very commonly used approaches, though people don't use them to sequester carbon – they are doing it for other reasons”, said Whendee Silver, an ecosystem ecologist at the University of California at Berkeley, and one of the authors.
“Any time you increase the organic content of soils, you are generally increasing the fertility, water-holding capacity, sustainability, decreasing erosion and increasing general resilience to climate change. Sequestering carbon is a side benefit,” he said.
In the same week, scientists from five nations reported in the journal Nature Sustainability that they could show that farming practices that show consideration for the global environment can and do deliver more food at lower costs.
Enthusiasts and environmentalists have been promoting “organic” or sustainable farming for decades.
They looked at data and reports from 400 sustainable intensification initiatives – agroforestry is one example – used on either more than 10,000 farms or over 10,000 hectares of farmland. Altogether, their survey covered an estimated 163 million farms.
And their study showed that productivity went up, biodiversity and ecosystem services were conserved, yet costs were down.
“Although we have a long way to go, I'm impressed by how far farmers across the world and especially in less developed countries have come in moving our food-production systems in a healthy direction,” said John Reganold, a soil scientist at Washington State University in the US, and one of the authors.
Reganold said stronger government policies across the globe are now needed to support the greater adoption of sustainable intensification farming systems so that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by all members of the UN are met by 2030.
“This will help provide sufficient and nutritious food for all, while minimising environmental impact and enabling producers to earn a decent living,” he said.
Chandpur, Sept 14 (UNB) – Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Ministry Dr Dipu Moni on Friday urged the young generation to come forward to make Bangladesh a modern and technologically developed country.
She made the call while addressing the installation ceremony of voluntary organisation ‘Chandmukh’ and ICT Olypiad-2018’ at the Chandpur Govt College auditorium.
Dr Dipu Moni, also Awami League Joint General Secretary and former Foreign Minister, called upon all to work with unity to make the country a livable and beautiful one.
Chandpur Govt College Principal Dr ASM Delwar Hussain, its Vice-principal Prof Asit Baran Das, Police Super Jiahdul Kabir and Chandmukh President Rashed Shahriar Polash, among others, addressed the programme with Deputy Commissioner Md Majedur Rahman Khan in the chair.
A total of 1,300 students from different educational institutions of the eight upazilas of the district took part in the ICT Olympiad.
Later, prizes were distributed among the winners.
Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said democracy is showing greater strain than at any time in decades and laid emphasis on more inclusive democracies.
“That is why this International Day should make us look for ways to invigorate democracy and seek answers for the systemic challenges it faces,” he said in a message marking the International Day of Democracy that falls on September 15.
The UN chief said this means tackling inequality, both economic and political. “It means making our democracies more inclusive, by bringing the young and marginalised into the political system. It means making democracies more innovative and responsive to emerging challenges.”
He said working for a future that leaves no one behind requires all to consider essential pressing questions.
For example, Guterres said, what impact will migration or climate change have on democracy in the next generation? “How do we best harness the potential of new technologies while avoiding the dangers? How do build better governance so that democracy delivers better lives and fully meets the public’s aspirations?”
“On this International Day of Democracy, let us commit to joining forces for the future of democracy,” he said.
Gopalganj, Sept 14 (UNB) – The body of a minor boy was recovered from the Madhumati River at Haridaspur in Sadar upazila on Friday morning, a day after he went missing while bathing.
The deceased was identified as Nishan Bairagi, 7, son of Goutam Bairagi of Andarkota village in the upazila.
Ulpur Union Parishad Chairman Quamrul Islam said Nishan went missing when he along with his mates was taking bath in the river at their village on Thursday noon.
Locals spotted the floating body in the river at Haridaspur around 7am on Friday and retrieved it.