Speakers at a discussion here on Monday said adopting circular economy principles can help address overall climate crisis, global inequality and alleviate poverty.
They came up with the observation at a session titled 'Circular Economy: Addressing Poverty and Exclusion for Climate Justice' as part of the 6th Gobeshona Conference.
ActionAid Bangladesh hosted the panel discussion during the conference jointly organised by International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) and International University of Bangladesh (IUB) at IUB campus.
The industrial revolution has spurred massive development and industrial growth but at the cost of our planet and its environment, said Farah Kabir, the Country Director of ActionAid Bangladesh while moderating the session.
In circular economy process, goods are turned into resources at the end of their service life for others minimizing waste.
Circular economy can redefine economic growth focusing on societal benefits helping to create new green industries and jobs.
It reduces environmental degradation of the environment, protect biodiversity and increase resilience to the physical effects of climate change, she said while presenting the key note.
Farah Kabir said ActionAid Bangladesh has been one of the forerunners in Bangladesh working on climate justice with focus to address inequality, poverty and exclusion.
She said ActionAid Bangladesh has been demanding for an alternative development model for over decades as well as demonstrating ways to incorporate circularity within its programme and operations.
Dr Saleemul Haque, Director of ICCCAD, mentioned circular economy as solution to both climate and wastage problem.
He said, the future economy cannot sustain with producing industrial waste in such amount.
“We have to reengineer the economic system. Specially, our garment industry is a big opportunity for us. If we can promote and ensure circular economy minimizing pollution and waste, it will benefit our environment, our life as well as bringing reputation to our products in the global market”, he said.
Asif Ibrahim, Director of BGMEA, said the RMG sector has already taken initiatives and most of the big brands, which are the buyers of Bangladesh, have taken the initiatives to promote circular economy and suppliers in Bangladesh have also started to align themselves with the idea.
“Yet, much of the production in the entire manufacture industry, including garments sector, is operation in linear economy producing waste and pollution,” he said adding that time has come for everybody to wake up and manufacturers need to take initiatives to bring the change.
John Warburton, Senior Environment Adviser of DFID Bangladesh said circular economy in Bangladesh is not still happening to a large extent.
Bangladesh government needs to take initiative to promote circular economy. Policy and regulations need to be enforced, he added.
He also emphasised on waste management claiming that poor waste management leads risk to not only environment but to health and other areas as well.
The speakers in the discussion called for promoting greater awareness and consumer behaviour change to promote and practice circular economy.
S M Monzurul Hannan Khan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, spoke as the chief guestat the inaugural session of the conference in the morning.
He said Bangladesh being a vulnerable country, is trying to enhance resilience through its policy and action.
“We are preparing the 8th national five-year plan and we are trying to address the climate change issues in our policy and planning,”said the additional secretary mentioning that researches can play vital role to strengthen the plan.
He also urged the development partners to work with the government in order to address the climate change impact.
Robert Chatterton Dickson, British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, said every day the headlines are reminding them that something is going wrong.
He said it is time to mobilize global opinion and global citizens to act on preventing climate crisis.
Ban Ki Moon, Co-Chair of Gobal Commission of Adaptation (GCA) shared a video message where he expressed his concern about the changing climate and urged everyone to take necessary actions.
“Revolution is required in three areas- understanding, planning and finance. Bangladesh has shown how preparing community can reduce disaster risk and loss. The country has shown its leadership in promoting locally led action,” he said in his message.
Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of VEON, the parent company of Banglalink, arrives here on Tuesday on a two-day visit.
During her first visit, Ursula Burns will meet various stakeholders and government dignitaries to discuss Bangladesh’s technological progress, challenges in the telecom industry and VEON’s future plans.
An iconic leader in the global business arena, Ursula Burns has a number of remarkable achievements to her name.
Expressing her long-held willingness to visit Bangladesh, Ursula said, “I am earnestly looking forward to visiting Bangladesh, a country VEON has been serving with its firm commitment over a long period of time.”
She said it will be an exciting experience for her to meet new people and witness how digital and technological advancements are driving the country’s overall progress.
“I hope my fruitful conversations with different stakeholders will help us serve our customers in the country even better in the period ahead,” she said.
Ursula Burns is scheduled to leave Dhaka on Thursday, said a media release on Monday.
Ursula Burns was appointed Chairman and CEO of VEON in December 2018, following a period as Executive Chairman and previously Chairman of the Board of Directors.
She has extensive international experience of large companies confronting technology change in their industries.
She was Chairman of the Board of the Xerox Corporation from 2010 to 2017 and Chief Executive Officer from 2009 to 2016.
Former US President Barack Obama appointed her to help lead the White House national program on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), and she served as chair of the President's Export Council.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller on Monday encouraged voters to cast their votes hoping that the elections to two Dhaka city corporations will be ‘festive, free, credible and participatory’ ones.
He said the important thing is that folks go out and vote whatever candidates they choose to vote for.
“Election turnout in Bangladesh is often found much higher than the United States,” he told reporters after his meeting with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda at the EC Secretariat.
Brig Gen (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury was with the CEC at the meeting.
Elections to both the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) will be held on February 1.
The US Ambassador said they, along with other members of diplomatic corps, will see how this democratic process goes during the polls of Dhaka North and Dhaka South City Corporations.
He said it is also encouraging to hear that people on both sides of the political spectrum are looking at each other as worthy candidates and whoever win will be the leaders of Dhaka.
Encouraging all voters to participate in the process, the US envoy said it is sometimes imperfect, noisy but a “vitally important” one.
He laid emphasis on allowing voters who want to cast their votes are allowed to do so.
The US Ambassador said the officials explained him about the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the February-1 city corporations’ polls.
On December 22 last, the CEC announced the election schedule for the polls fixing January 30 as the voting date but the date was rescheduled for February 1 as January 30 coincided with Saraswati Puja.
China has reaffirmed its willingness to provide further support, within its capacity, to Myanmar in the Rohingya repatriation process and resettlement of the displaced people from Rakhine State.
This was mentioned in a statement issued on Sunday at the end of the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s two-day state visit to Myanmar.
The two countries signed a number of deals.
The Chinese side supports the efforts of Myanmar to address the humanitarian situation and promote peace, stability and development for all communities in Rakhine State, reads the statement.
Myanmar reiterated its commitment to receive verified displaced people based on the bilateral agreement reached between Myanmar and Bangladesh, according to the joint statement.
Myanmar thanked China for its understanding of the complexity of the issue and for all its support to Myanmar.
Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation deal on November 23, 2017.
On January 16, 2018, Bangladesh and Myanmar inked a document on ‘Physical Arrangement’, which was supposed to facilitate the repatriation.
It stipulates that the repatriation will be completed preferably within two years from the start.
Despite all the preparations, no Rohingya turned up on August 22 last year to accept the ‘voluntary’ repatriation offer, prompting authorities to suspend the process for the day.
The first batch of Rohingyas was scheduled to return on November 15, 2018 but it was also halted amid the unwillingness of Rohingyas to go back for the "lack of a congenial atmosphere" in Rakhine.
A youth exchange programme with Qatar will start through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on youth and sports, State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russel said.
He disclosed the matter after a bilateral meeting with Salah bin Ghanem, Qatar’s Minister of Culture and Sports, at a hotel in Doha, said a PID handout.
Russel said the youth exchange programme will be taken up through this MoU.
“The players will be given advanced training with the help of experienced coaches of the two countries,” he said.
Russel said the Qatari Minister praised the progress made by Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Salah bin Ghanem said currently about 400,000 Bangladeshis are working in Qatar, playing an important role in the economic development of Qatar and Bangladesh.