Statistics and Informatics Secretary Dr. Shahnaz Arefin has said that environmental degradation is a burning issue, but the severity and impact is not yet well measured.
She made the remarks while addressing a workshop on “Environmental Statistics and GIS Integration for Natural Resource (Capital) Accounts to Measure Green Growth in Bangladesh” jointly organised by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and the World Bank on September 16-19 in Tangail.
She said, “Where we are today is a comparison from yesterday, and we need accurate data to give us a better understanding of where we will be tomorrow, especially in the context of climate change and environmental degradation”.
So, she said, having robust environmental statistics is very important. “This work is multidisciplinary and multifaceted.”
She urged for a convergence of different organizations and agencies’ workflows.
The importance of the regular production of environmental statistics of the highest possible quality has been emphasized at the opening session of the workshop
The workshop explores a range of evolving technologies for collecting more and improved environmental data to support natural resource (capital) accounting and nature-smart policymaking for green growth in Bangladesh.
The government stakeholders emphasized the fact that the environment and development nexus is very strong and interrelated, thus environmental statistics would become mandatory and urgent for understanding and monitoring the progress of green growth, the SDGs, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and the 8th Five Year Plan.
Md. Rafiqul Islam, project director of the Strengthening Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Statistics (ECDS) scheme, BBS said, “The workshop creates an opportunity for Bangladesh to advance its implementation of the ‘Bangladesh Environmental Statistics Framework (BESF) 2016-2030’.
“Now we have to plan how BBS can successfully institutionalize and operationalize natural resource accounting for measuring green growth indicators of Bangladesh in partnership with ministries, divisions, departments and organizations.”
The challenge is to approach green growth through market-based solutions. And sound data is needed to devise these solutions,” said Eun Joo Allison Yi, Senior Environmental Specialist, World Bank Group.
Dr. Ahsan H. Mansur, Executive Director of Bangladesh Policy Research Institute (PRI) said, “Unless there is a strong economic rationale behind actions, people are unlikely to change. Green growth is no different – we need to understand its economic imperative and make strides.”
A wide range of ministries, government departments, research institutes, and stakeholders that are key for environment data production and application joined the workshop, including the Ministry of Planning Statistics and Informatics Division (SID), Planning Commission, Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Forest (BFD), Department of Environment (DOE).