Dr AKM Rafique Ahammed, Director General of Department of Environment on Thursday said Bangladesh has been facing many challenges in terms of land degradation in the country.
“The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is working in formulating policies to address this issue. The government will work on the issues that need to be addressed regarding land conversation in the future,” he said.
He made these remarks at the webinar on Thursday moderated by the Country Representative of IUCN Bangladesh Raquibul Amin.
To commemorate World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, the IUCN and FAO jointly organized the webinar, said a media release.
The webinar had a diverse group of panelists including officials of the government, researchers, practitioners, academicians, communicators and representatives of national and international organizations.
The speakers highlighted various issues related to desertification and drought, and talked about understanding of rights, rewards and responsibilities of land management that can help address the COVID-19 fallout.
Dr. Jonathan Davies, Global Drylands Coordinator of IUCN Global Ecosystem Management Programme said combatting land degradation and desertification and achieving land degradation neutrality is an SDG accelerator.
He also mentioned that IUCN is working on nature based solutions to fight desertification and land degradation, and that nature based solutions are the primary tool to fight desertification and land degradation.
Dr. Md. Sohrab Ali, Director of Department of Environment (DoE) highlighted several policies and actions stated, of the Government of Bangladesh has to fight land degradation in the country.
He provided an update of the status of National Action Programme (NAP) for Combating Desertification in Bangladesh.
Cathy Watson, Chief of Program Development of World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi mentioned in her presentation that the best way to fight desertification and land degradation is by ensuring right trees and vegetation are there to hold the soil together. She also pointed out five techniques to prevent desertification and land degradation.
Professor Rezaur Rahman of Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM), BUET suggested that a section on land conservation to be included in the Bangladesh National Environment Conservation Act 1995.
He said that the policies and acts of Bangladesh should be amended and clauses on land conservation and watershed should be included.
Ahmed Ekzayez, Programme Specialist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) highlighted FAO’s contribution to land degradation neutrality (LDN) based on its comparative advantage and expertise in policy development on sustainable land management and addressing land degradation.
He opined that joint work of FAO and IUCN on watershed management would contribute in this area.
Outcome of the discussion will be shared to the government to take forward the recommendation into concrete implementation action.
The World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, designated by the United Nations, is observed every year on 17 June, to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.
The day is a unique moment to remind everyone that land degradation neutrality is achievable through problem-solving, strong community involvement and co-operation at all levels.
The theme of this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was, “Food, Feed, Fibre - the links between consumption and land”.
This year’s observance was focused on changing public attitudes to the leading driver of desertification and land degradation: humanity’s relentless production and consumption.