Katowice (Poland), Dec 10 (UNB) – A high-level meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (CoP24) on global warming will be held in Poland on Monday.
Participants are expected to emphasize urgent action by developed countries to keep global warming below 1.5 degree Celsius to avoid the most adverse impact of climate change.
The Bangladeshi delegation is being led by Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury, the secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
Team member Dr Ainun Nishat said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its report had highlighted what the developed countries should do to minimize the global warming.
Her colleague Ziaul Haque said this year’s main focus would be discussing decisions taken in 2015 CoP21 and form some rules, guideline and modernity to implement the Paris agreement.
On December 2, negotiators from around the world met in Poland for talks on climate change, three years after sealing a landmark deal in Paris that set a goal of keeping global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
Envoys gathered in Katowice, a day earlier than originally planned, for the UN meeting that runs until December 14.
The meeting received a boost over the weekend after 19 major economies at the G20 summit affirmed their commitment to the 2015 Paris climate accord. The only holdout was the United States.
Khagrachhari, Dec 10 (UNB) - Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will get two helicopters for its Air Wing within December next year, said its Director General Maj Gen Md Shafeenul Islam here on Monday.
While talking to UNB after visiting the remote Kantalong Border Outpost (BOP) under BGB Battalion-54 in Khagrachhari district in the afternoon, he also said a contract will be signed with Russia within this month in this regard.
“There’re 686 BOPs to protect our 4,427-km border. Many BOPs are situated in far remote areas that BGB men need 4-5 days to reach from their respective camps on foot,” the BGB chief said, adding that for this, the paramilitary force needs its own Air Wing.
Considering the matter, the Prime Minister has already given her consent to procuring two helicopters for the BGB’s Air Wing, he said. “We’ll sign an agreement with Russia within this month and hope we’ll get the two helicopters within the next 8-12 months,” he said.
The BGB chief also said the government has taken initiatives to construct border roads. “As part of the initiatives, the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry has already started a survey from Teknaf to the north to construct the border roads. Besides, BGB has sent a proposal to the Home Ministry to construct border roads from Ramgarh to the north which will connect this BOP (Kantalong).
Once the border roads are constructed, it will bring more dynamism into the border management, he said.
Replying to a query, Maj Gen Shafeenul said presently, one BOP has to monitor a 10-km border area, which is a very difficult task for the border force. “If we can double the number of BOPs, the border management will be more dynamic,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the BGB director general visited the North Lankachhara BOP under BGB Battalion-7 of Khagrachhari and BGB sector headquarters in Bandarban.
He also visited Ramu Regional BGB headquarters and frontiers under Teknaf Battalion on Sunday as part of his regular border inspection.
During his visit, Maj Gen Shafeenul talked to the BGB men of the BOPs and inquired about their wellbeing and various problems.
He asked them to discharge their duties sincerely. Senior BGB officers were present during the visit.
Satkhira, Dec 10 (UNB) –The oversupply of vegetables is forcing farmers in Satkhira to sell their produces at lower prices, raising fears that they will not be able to get back their production costs.
Although Satkhira has recorded a bumper production this season, traders and farmers say vegetables are being sent to the southern district from various places in larger quantities, leading to oversupply.
The prices of various vegetables have come down by Tk 8 to 10 per kilogram compared to the previous season.
Farmer Amzad Hossain, from the Sadar Upazila’s Mahmudpur village, said he planted winter vegetable on two bighas of land. He said he felt discouraged at the vegetable price.
“Last year, I sold cauliflower for Tk 22-25 per kg, but this year I’m getting only Tk 12-14. This time, every maund of cabbage is being sold at Tk 240 – half the amount compared to the last year,” he said.
Like Amzad, Nurul Amin, a farmer from the upazila’s Agardari village, said he grew vegetables – mostly turnip, cabbage and spinach – on three bighas this season. “I’m worried about getting good prices,” he said.
“Last year, one kg of turnip fetched Tk 20-22 but now its price has come down to Tk 13-14. The price of cabbage has halved – Tk 6-7 – compared to the previous season,” the farmer said.
Rawshan Ali, general secretary of Satkhira Vegetable Traders’ Association, said a huge amount of vegetables were entering Satkhira market every day from other districts – pushing down the prices of all types of winter crops.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension, the government had planned to produce vegetables on 9,795 hectares in seven upazilas of Satkhira this season.
DAE Deputy Director Arabinda Biswas said the local production was higher compared to the previous year. “Although the local production was buoyant, the market has been flooded with vegetables from other districts. This is why the farmers are getting the lower prices,” he said.
Benapole, Dec 10 (UNB) – Mizanur Rahman Mizan, locally known as a motor mechanic, has turned out to be a very inspiring man as he achieved the national acclaim through inventions of new devices and machines.
Mizan, who has actually no institutional education, has invented 10 devices, including automatic fire extinguisher, anti-pollution machine and automatic irrigation machine.
He has already received 28 certificates, both at local and national levels, in recognition of his achievements.
Mizan started work as a day-labourer at the age of 8-9 to support his family. He used to repair and operate shallow water pumps.
He later managed a job at a motorcycle garage at Navaron Bazar here. Now he is running an engineering workshop -- ‘Bhai Bhai engineering workshop’ at Sharsha Bazar.
Talking to UNB, Mizan said he had a desire of doing something new or inventing new things since childhood.
He said now he is now working to make a small device that would help protect children from drowning. The machine will give signal if any child falls into water and spot the location with symbolic signal.
Mizan said he has already got financial assistance from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for making a mini ambulance by using motorcycle engines. He also developed an automatic fire extinguisher that could be operated even in case of power failure.
The fire extinguisher will start operation within 5-10 seconds of identifying the origin of any fire and turn on the water pump automatically and a cellphone joined with the device will inform others about the fire, he said.
This mechanical device won both the first and the second prizes in the Science and Technology Fair at divisional and national levels respectively.
Mizan also invented a jacket and a helmet which can provide security to firefighters during fire accidents. Mizan’s another invention is a motorcar which could be used for the development of autistic people. This can be run both with patrol and electricity.
He also developed a device by using which farmers will be able to switch on and off their automatic irrigation machines remotely.
For this device, Mizan won the Environment Award at national level on June 5, 2016 and received 17 other awards from Upazila Parishad, district and divisional levels.
His motorcar made with local technology was included in the Access to Information (a2i) project of Prime Minister’s Office.
Mizan said his only dream is to work for the country and the nation. Currently, he is working for developing an air purification machine. “If I get more assistance from the government, I’ll be able to invent more devices,” he added.
Dhaka, Dec 10 (UNB) - The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will commence its own scrutiny and investigation based on the wealth statements submitted by candidates with the Election Commission (EC) very soon.
ACC said they are now collecting the information from the EC and other related organisations which can provide information about the wealth alongside the monitoring of the issue.
According to the wealth statements of different candidates, the income of several candidates have been doubled, tripled or more over the last five years.
The ACC said they are paying more attention to such candidates' wealth statements who earned a huge amount of wealth overnight.
Some of the candidates’ wealth statements are questionable and raise doubt. Reportedly the wealth of several candidates has increased exponentially.
ACC said media reports are being collected for the resources and the copies of wealth statements will be collected from the EC in due time.
According to an ACC source wishing to be anonymous, any inconsistency in wealth statement can also be investigated after the election. The source also said their income must have a legitimate source. Those suspected of acquiring their wealth illegally will face investigation.
The legal limit on election expenses for each contesting candidate is determined on a per capita basis, and varies in line with the size of the electorate in each constituency, with a uniform ceiling that applies for everyone.
In the wake of a recent gazette notification, candidates are allowed to spend Tk 10 per voter (previously Tk 8) in their constituency, yet the spending cannot exceed a ceiling of Tk 25 lakh.
ACC Chairman Iqbal Mahmood said the ACC expects every candidate will submit the true information in the announced wealth assessment and election expenditure. “Those who don’t submit the accurate statement, whose assets don’t have a valid source, whose accounts will not match with the income tax returns, their statements will be investigated,” he added.
The Anti-Corruption Commission has been monitoring the candidates, said its chairman. “Our position is absolutely clear. We’ll take action if it’s required. We won’t consider the party, person or social identity. If we find any wealth which has been earned through corruption, we’ll take legal action."
ACC source also said the income tax documents and wealth statements will be collected for investigation. If the ACC finds any inconsistency, they will be called for interrogation. Thereafter if any irregularity is found, charges of acquiring illegal wealth may be brought against them.
Transparency International Bangladesh also demanded that the wealth statements of the candidates and their family members be examined.
"It’s necessary to create an easy process for bringing the accused under trial. I think it’s a responsibility. It should not be meaningful if they are evaluated based on the person's identity or the political involvement,” TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman told UNB.