Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has written back to US President Joe Biden. Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud handed over a copy of the letter to Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South Asia, US National Security Council (NSC), Eileen Laubacher on Sunday. It is a response to the letter sent by the US President to the Bangladesh Prime Minister. Bangladesh Ambassador to USA, Muhammad Imran, will hand over the original copy of the letter to White House. The Foreign Minister has said that they want a new chapter of relations with Bangladesh. “We want to begin a new chapter of relations with them,” he said, adding that the nations will benefit through strengthening the relations. Eileen Laubacher led an inter-agency US delegation during her meeting with Foreign Minister Hasan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday. Read: PM's daughter Putul thanks Joe Biden for 'warm hospitality' The USAID’s Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia Michael Schiffer, the US Department of States Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) Afreen Akhter, and CDA of the US Embassy in Dhaka Helen LaFave were present at the meeting. Besides, Bangladesh Ambassador to the US Muhammad Imran and Director General of Foreign Ministry’s North America Wing Khandker Masudul Alam and other officials from the ministry were present. The discussions centred around exploring new avenues to deepening the existing relationship. Economic cooperation, trade and investment, Rohingya humanitarian response, climate change, and energy were in focus during the meeting. The Foreign Minister reiterated Bangladesh’s steadfast position in favour of peace and against any form of war. He asked for US to use its leverage to achieve a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Read: PM Hasina greets new US President Joe Biden Hasan also hoped for the Russia-Ukraine war to end. The extradition of Bangabandhu’s self-confessed killer Rashed Chowdhury from the US was also discussed. He also asked for the withdrawal of the US sanction on RAB. Earlier, US President Joe Biden wrote to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressing his willingness to work together to achieve Bangladesh’s economic goals. He also expressed willingness to partnering with Bangladesh on the shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. As the two countries embark on the next chapter of the US-Bangladesh partnership, Biden said he wants to convey the sincere desire of his administration to continue their work together on regional and global security, economic development, climate change and energy, global health, humanitarian support, especially for Rohingya refugees, and more. Read more: Fakhrul showers praises on Joe Biden, Kamala Harris “We have a long and successful history of working together to solve problems, and our strong people-to-people ties are the foundation of this relationship,” the US President wrote to PM Sheikh Hasina.
Bangladesh's Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Saber Hossain Chowdhury on Saturday (February 24, 2024) said that the government would introduce incentive packages to promote the production of environmentally-friendly block bricks. Saber came up with the announcement during a media interaction following a meeting with officials from the Forest Department and the Department of Environment at Feni Circuit House on Saturday. Brick kiln owners can be benefited from these incentives as part of the government's efforts to transition away from air-polluting and land-damaging brick kilns, he said, emphasising the need for the designation of specific areas for waste recycling by municipalities. The minister urged officials to take proactive measures to combat environmental pollution, including the prohibition of polythene use. Read more: Govt working to promote climate-resilient crops: Saber Hossain He stressed prompt actions in cases where environmental clearance is lacking and urged against delays in issuing such clearances. Moreover, Minister Saber underscored the need for the daily clearance of medical and municipal waste and instructed divisional forest officials to reclaim encroached forest land and initiate afforestation projects in urban and coastal regions. Chaired by Feni District Magistrate Shahina Akter, various officials including BRTA Chairman Nur Mohammad, Additional Superintendent of Police Din Mohammad, Additional District Magistrate Abishek Das, Divisional Forest Officer Ruhul Amin, and Feni Department of Environment Deputy Director Showkat Ara Kali, among others were present on the occasion. Following the meeting, Feni Awami League General Secretary and local MP Nizam Uddin Hazari and Feni sadar municipality Mayor Nazrul Islam Swapon Miaji exchanged greetings with the environment minister with floral tributes. Read more: Is There Any Alternative to Brick Kilns?
February 14 (Wednesday) is going to be observed as 'The Sundarbans Day' in the country. The day was declared as 'Sundarbans Day' in 2001 to support the conservation of the important ecosystem. Ahead of the 'The Sundarbans Day', Change Initiative, a leading NGO, in a study titled: “Rising Tides, Roaring Futures: The Sundarbans' Quest for Survival”, found that Sundarbans has been witnessing a decline in forest density and an increase in poisonous substances in water bodies due to the climate change. This has been causing habitat fragmentation and biodiversity loss. The Change Initiative said that Bangladesh must take immediate steps for conservation of the ecosystem, through national and international efforts; this must include joint management of protected areas, and actions against those contributing to degradation of the ecosystem. Environment minister urges developed world to honour climate commitments The Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world, located in the delta region of the Bay of Bengal. Its intricate network of tidal waterways, mudflats, and diverse flora and fauna play a crucial role in maintaining coastal ecosystems and play a significant role in the ecosystem of Bangladesh. According to the Change Initiative’s study, the changes in land cover of the Sundarbans from 1973 to 2024, show a loss of dense forest and an increase of water bodies, indicating habitat loss and fragmentation. As per the analysis, from constituting forest cover of 94.2% of the area, there was a decline to 91.5%. This indicates that there is a considerable decrease in critical ecological strongholds that provide vital natural services, ranging from carbon sequestration to coastal protection and biodiversity sustenance. Researchers estimate that there has been a loss of USD 3.3 billion in ecosystem services of the Sundarban Biosphere Reserve during the last 30 years, over 80% of which is provided by mangroves. Dhaka’s air 3rd most polluted in the world this morning Collected data further shows an increase in water body coverage from 4.8% to 7.6%, causing environmental concerns due to habitat fragmentation and biodiversity loss. The less dense forest shows a slight decrease from 1.0% to 0.9%, indicating declining forest robustness and potential degradation due to anthropogenic pressures or natural forest dynamics. Despite the increasing waterbody coverage, the 210 species of fish, shrimp, crabs, Mollusca, and lobster, native to the region; is facing depletion due to the widespread use of poisonous substances for fish baits. According to the study, the current threats and challenges faced by the Sundarbans must also be considered, such as tiger population decline, Sundari tree disappearance, Geographical Indication (GI) rights for 'Sundarbans honey', and establishment of thermal coal plant and risky infrastructure. M Zakir Hossain Khan, Chief Executive of Change Initiative and International Climate and Environmental Policy Expert, said, “Conservation of the Sundarbans is crucial and requires a multifaceted approach. This issue must be included in Loss and Damage Funding, as it is a transboundary concern”. Nearly half of the world’s migratory species are in decline, UN report says Additionally, to locally address issues of pollution, alternative sources of income must be offered to local businesses and plants who damage the local ecosystem and those who continue to contribute to pollutants in the area must face consequences, such as loss of government benefits, he said. The Sundarbans, a region in India and Bangladesh, face numerous threats. The way forward in addressing the issues requires a multi-dimensional approach. Bangladesh and India need to strengthen transboundary cooperation in the Sundarbans region, including joint management of protected areas, coordinated conservation efforts, and shared research initiatives, he said. Digital monitoring systems, such as drones, can be used to track illegal activities and wildlife movements. Sensor-based technologies can monitor salinity levels, and methods to combat illegal fishing should be introduced. Expanding protected areas and wildlife sanctuaries is crucial. Historical administrative models should be revived, and regional and international agreements should be promoted to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030. These solutions will help protect the Sundarbans from development pressures and human encroachment, ensure critical habitats are safeguarded, and promote regional and international agreements, said the Change Initiative.
Although February 14 is celebrated as Valentine's Day, the people of the coastal areas of the Sundarbans celebrate the day as 'Sundarbans Day' with a call to come forward for protecting the forest and mitigating the impacts of climate change on the Unesco World Heritage Site. Sundarbans, the land of mangrove and Royal Bengal Tiger, is facing the impacts climate change which is affecting nature-dependent livelihoods, health, and nutrition of nearby communities. The day has been celebrated for two decades in the coastal southwestern region including Khulna to raise awareness among people about the need of conserving the Sundarbans. On February 14, 2001, under the Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan, Khulna University and 70 other environmental organizations of the country declared February 14 as 'Sundarbans Day' and celebrate it every year. Read more: Wood collectors losing interest in Golpata collection in Sundarbans amid falling demand Taking to UNB, Professor Rafiqul Islam, a resident of Paikgachha upazila adjacent to the Sundarbans, said, "The Sundarbans is vital for our survival. The Sundarbans is the lungs of South Asia. If we do not take proper initiatives to protect it, our country will face a great disaster. So first of all you have to love the Sundarbans. February 14 is the Sundarbans Day for us. “ Bidesh Ranjan Mridha, president of Koyra Unnayan Sangram Coordination Committee, said, "On February 14, we want to inspire the coastal people to love the Sundarbans. Many people do not understand what damages are being done to the Sundarbans. Nature in the forest is changing due to the rise in the salinity level.” “Sundari tree, one of the most extensively found mangrove species in the Sundarbans, is disappearing fast. Goran, Gewa, Keora are growing there. The nature of water and soil of the Sundarbans has changed. If there was no Sundarbans, Koyra upazila would have been vanished by the cyclones, “ he added. Keramat Mawla, a former member of Mahisharipur union adjacent to the Sundarbans, said, "Now fish are not found in the river next to our Sundarbans. Profit mongers are killing animals with poison to destroy the Sundarbans. The number of deer is also shrinking. Golpata collectors cut thousands of maunds of leaves with a permit of 500 maunds. We want to make local residents aware of these issues on Sundarbans Day.” Read: Jashore flower growers eye Tk 70 cr sale in the month of language, Falgun, Valentine’s Day
US President Joe Biden has written to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressing his willingness to work together to achieve Bangladesh's economic goals. He also expressed willingness to partnering with Bangladesh on their shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific. "The United States is committed to supporting Bangladesh's ambitious economic goals and partnering with Bangladesh on our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific," President Biden said in his letter seen by UNB. Entire world willing to work with Bangladesh as PM Hasina placed it in dignified position: FM Hasan As the two countries embark on the next chapter of the U.S.-Bangladesh partnership, the US President said he wants to convey the sincere desire of his Administration to continue their work together on regional and global security, economic development, climate change and energy, global health, humanitarian support, especially for Rohingya refugees, and more. "We have a long and successful history of working together to solve problems, and our strong people-to-people ties are the foundation of this relationship," the US President wrote to PM Sheikh Hasina. Hungary, Kyrgyzstan greet PM Sheikh Hasina on her re-election The Embassy of the United States of America shared the letter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently.
In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with UNB, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Saber Hossain Chowdhury (SHC) shares insights on the priorities and challenges with which he steps into his new role. The interview took place in the minister’s office at the Secretariat earlier this week: UNB: What do you see as challenges facing the ministry? SHC: I think coordinating with all the ministries to protect the environment, or to control water, air and noise pollution, is the biggest challenge. Because, the Department of Environment only sets the standards. As a ministry, we identify problems. But enforcement is not solely our responsibility. Various ministries and departments of the government need to work collaboratively on this matter. When it comes to dealing with climate change, many other departments of the government, and a number of ministries such as food, water resources, commerce, local government, industry, are involved. So the government has to take that overall responsibility. We work on the coordination efforts. UNB: What will be your first priority? SHC: First of all, we are emphasising on identifying how much capacity we have to work on the issues. Does the ministry and agencies under it have the requisite capacity for certain tasks? The name of our ministry is the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Biodiversity is a big issue that needs focus, but it's not in the ministry structure. Therefore, the capacity of the ministry is important to identify. UNB: Bangladesh is one of the most affected countries due to climate change. What plans do you have in this field? SHC: Climate change is one of the three issues of the ministry. It's global, we have no hand in it. But we are the most affected. Our strategy is to do as much as we can to reduce the effects of climate change and stand on the side of people. Although we do not have control over carbon emissions, we are not getting the amount of money we are supposed to get. Developed countries or donors do not keep the promises they made in terms of funding. Proper use of the limited money given to them has to be ensured. We have to implement the action plans that we have in the field of climate change with transparency and cost-effectiveness. Though Bangladesh is not responsible for climate change, it is one of the worst sufferers of the adverse impacts of climate change. We will work to build global public opinion against climate change. True sustainable development is not possible without the development of the environment. Therefore, the policies and ideals of Bangladesh will have to be implemented to protect the environment. Despite various global economic and environmental problems, we will work under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to provide a livable environment and a better life to the people of Bangladesh. Read more: Macron says France will sign agreement with Bangladesh to finance climate-change adaptation, loss and damage in first half of 2024 UNB: What plans do you have to protect the environment? SHC: We're facing a lot of challenges in the environment. Every year many people die prematurely due to air pollution. Years are being lost from our lives, productivity is being destroyed. There is nothing new to say about it. So when we talk about sustainable development, the issue of the environment comes into the mainstream. River pollution is a major challenge. Hills are being destroyed. How do we take effective action there? Everyone says it has to stop. But how? ETP plans have been installed in various places. In reality, we have seen that in many cases ETP plans are not maintained. It is launched just before the inspector’s visit. And even if they find violations, the penalty is not punitive enough. It needs to be updated. I will say though, that the environment and forests are completely under our control. We can't blame anyone else for that. If there is any pollution in these two cases, we are solely responsible for it. Deforestation occurs on a greater scale in Bangladesh than in the rest of the world. So one of the focus points is the conservation of the forest. Another is the restoration of encroached forests. If the forested area can be expanded, that's also a big deal. The forest is not just a tree, it is also about biodiversity. The whole ecosystem is related. While doing development work, many people say that if 5,000 trees are cut, we will plant 50,000 trees. But that can never actually compensate for what is lost. Because it's not just a tree, it's biodiversity. UNB: How do you plan to ensure proper use and transparency of climate funds? SHC: We will ensure that the allocated money actually reaches the affected people. Maximum efforts will be made to bring allocation from the International Loss and Damage Fund at the earliest, followed by its maximum utilisation, and we will ensure transparency in the use of climate fund money. UNB: Brick kilns are responsible for the majority of air pollution in the capital, which regularly features near the top of the world’s most polluted cities. Do you have any specific plan to address this, as well as the damage they cause to the environment? SHC: Effective measures will be taken against air pollution to protect public health. To this end, legal action will be taken against the air polluting brick kilns. Work will be done in coordination with the concerned ministries and agencies to control air pollution in Dhaka city. Other factors responsible for air pollution will also be controlled on a scientific basis. ‘Brick Kiln Tracker’ will be used to help identify environmental pollutants and illegal brick kilns and take appropriate legal actions against them. As a result, it will be easy to stop illegal activities by identifying the harmful brick kilns on priority basis. As a result, it will be possible to reduce air pollution caused by brick kilns. The Department of Environment and National University of Singapore (NUS) have jointly developed the Brick Kiln Tracker based on IT and remote sensing technology. With the help of this latest technology using Artificial Intelligence, the monitoring and enforcement activities of the Department of Environment will be strengthened and successful. UNB: What initiatives will you take to ease the process of obtaining environmental clearance, that has become a cumbersome process for citizens? SHC: All necessary initiatives will be taken so that people can get services in time. We plan to simplify the process of obtaining environmental clearance certificates to reduce public suffering. At the same time no irregularities will be tolerated in the issuance of clearance. UNB: What can we expect in the upcoming 100-day work plan? SHC: The 100-day action plan will be announced next week. A 100-day work plan will be implemented incorporating various priority activities of the ministry. In particular, necessary steps will be taken to solve the problems of air pollution, noise pollution, water pollution, plastic-polythene pollution and hill cutting. Bangladesh Awami League's election manifesto and Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan will be implemented on priority basis. The law will be properly implemented for sustainable development and prevention of forest encroachment. International funding will be attempted. We will work to take the Ministry of Environment, Forest, Climate Change to number 1 (among all the ministries) in terms of performance. Transparency and accountability will be established in the activities of the ministry. Besides, active participation of the concerned ministries and departments is needed to prevent environmental pollution, so we will work in coordination with other ministries. Read more: Hasina’s return to power will be welcomed in Global South: Policy analyst Kugelman
Director of the South Asia Institute at Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. Michael Kugelman has said in South Asia and the broader Global South, Bangladesh Awami League President Sheikh Hasina's return will be welcomed. He cited her focus on economic growth, connectivity, nonalignment, climate change, global peacekeeping and hosting of Rohingyas. Also read: Bad blood will linger between Dhaka and the West but Hasina’s return will be viewed more positively in the region: South Asia policy analyst Kugelman "Easy to overlook this with so much focus on what the West thinks," he said. Within hours after Bangladesh’s election result was declared, the Indian, Russian, and Chinese envoys all extended their congratulations to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Kugelman said. Also read: ‘US wanted to act proactively to send tough message’: Kugelman "If anyone is surprised by this, there’s no reason to be. They all (not just India) have long viewed her as a key partner," he shared on X, formerly known as Twitter. "And guess what other country’s ambassador has now congratulated Hasina? Pakistan. Perhaps the only country in South Asia that might be a bit uncomfortable about her return. But still willing to accept the election result," Kugelman said in a separate message posted from his verified X account. Also read: AL retains significant level of support because of success stories, says South Asia policy analyst Michael Kugelman
Macron says France will sign agreement with Bangladesh to finance climate-change adaptation, loss and damage in first half of 2024
French President Emmanuel Macron has said his country will sign an agreement with Bangladesh to finance climate-change adaptation and loss and damage in the first half of 2024. The French Development Agency will be contributing €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in investment, and the IMF will be extending up to $1 billion worth of SDRs in new loans, Macron said. "This also implies identifying, on a global scale, governance mechanisms for the most crucial challenges we will have to face in the coming years, access to water being one of the most pressing. In this regard, France and Kazakhstan will convene a One Water Summit during the United Nations General Assembly in September 2024," wrote the French president in an article, titled "Pillars of Green Wisdom," published by the Project Syndicate. For the most vulnerable countries, he said, they must create conditions that enable them to finance their climate-change mitigation and adaptation efforts and access the green technologies that are the new engines of growth. Russia launches the biggest aerial barrage of the war and kills 30 civilians, Ukraine says "This implies going further than traditional ‘official development assistance’ and doing for vulnerable countries what rich countries did for themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic: pursue an unorthodox fiscal and monetary policy," wrote President Macron. "The results are already there: in two years, following the initiative we took in Paris in the spring of 2021, we have released over $100 billion in special drawing rights (SDRs, the International Monetary Fund’s reserve asset) for vulnerable countries," he wrote. By activating this “dormant asset,” Macron said they are extending 20-year loans at near-zero interest rates to finance climate action and pandemic preparedness in the poorest countries. "We have begun to change debt rules to suspend payments for such countries, should a climate shock occur. And we have changed the mandate of multilateral development banks, such as the World Bank, so that they take more risks and mobilize more private money," he said. Macron said they are going to continue working on this, including within the framework of the new loss and damage fund, where they must mobilize new private insurance mechanisms in the face of climate risk. "We will start from the specific needs of the hardest-hit countries." The French president said they will not succeed if they cannot reform the World Bank and the IMF, which play a prominent role in establishing the norms and financing the green transition on a global scale. Jaishankar meets Putin and Lavrov in Moscow, praises growing trade Eighty years after their creation, these institutions remain underfunded, relative to the size of the global economy and population, and emerging and developing countries continue to be shut out of their governance, he said. "But we will not be able to agree on goals and financing until every country negotiating is on an equal footing.To this end, we must review Bretton Woods governance, and ask emerging countries to assume their share of accountability in financing global public goods," said Macron. He said, “We must not allow the ongoing war in Ukraine and the fighting in Gaza to distract us from collective efforts to reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions, achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, save our biodiversity, and fight poverty and inequality.” The world’s most advanced economies, which have also been the main CO2 emitters since the industrial revolution, must move away from fossil fuels, he noted. He also wrote, “Science has set the trajectory: we must move away from coal by 2030, from oil by 2045, and from gas by 2050. While the G7 countries bear the greatest responsibility, China, which is now the second-largest emitter in history, must be fully committed, too.” “While it is the G7’s responsibility to move away from coal by 2030 (France will have done so in 2027), emerging economies are now the biggest coal consumers. In these countries, we need to speed up the financing of renewables, as well as nuclear power, which, as a manageable and a decarbonized energy source, must play a key role,” he wrote. Ukraine celebrates Christmas on Dec. 25 for the first time, distancing itself from Russia “We must also put private financing and trade at the service of the Paris agreement. The cost of investment must be higher for players in the fossil-fuel sector. We need a green interest rate and a brown interest rate. Similarly, we need a climate clause in our trade agreements, because we cannot simultaneously demand that our industries become greener while supporting the liberalization of international trade in polluting products. “Moreover, we must focus on building the basis of a ‘bio-economy’ that will pay for the services provided by nature. Nature is our best technology to sequester carbon on a large scale. The countries with the most important carbon and biodiversity reserves, especially in the three main tropical forest basins, must obtain much greater resources, determined on a country-by-country basis, in exchange for their stewardship of these vital reserves. France has already launched three contracts of this type at COP28, with Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Macron wrote. “But reform of the voluntary carbon market is essential. We need to create an international carbon and biodiversity exchange that will allow governmental and private actors to organize voluntary carbon credit swaps, based on sufficiently ambitious criteria to avoid greenwashing, and to remunerate local communities. “The ocean is our most important carbon sink, and we must protect it. France and Costa Rica will convene the third United Nations Ocean Conference in Nice in June 2025, with the aim of updating international law, including on the prohibition of plastic pollution and on protection of the deep sea and seabed. These reforms would also enable the development of national strategies for seaboard protection by countries with exclusive economic zones,” the French president wrote. ‘A lie’: French ambassador dismisses claim of journalists’ visa requests being denied.
Launch services beteween Barishal and other parts of Bangladesh resumed on Saturday (November 18, 2023) morning after 24 hours of suspension due to the cyclonic storm Midhili. Abdur Razzaque, river port official of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), said the operation of launches resumed at 7 am after the affect of cyclone Midhili ended. Barishal Engineering College students say BCL activists beat them up for not attending ‘political programme’ Earlier, BIWTA suspended operations of all types of river vessels from 10:00 am on Friday due to inclement weather caused by the cyclone. Meanwhile, the roads in different parts of Barishal city have been inundated due to the rainfall triggered by the cyclonic. JCD leader, another arrested in Barishal for ‘planning sabotage’ The residents of Battala, Srinath Chatarjee Lane and Bogura Road have been trapped in 2-feet of water since the cyclone hit the country’s coastal areas. Khokon Serniabat takes charge as Barishal mayor
Advanced green technologies needs to be shared with all the developing Muslim countries: Environment Minister
Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Md. Shahab Uddin said the Bangladesh, under the leadership of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is trying its best to make the country climate resilient. But to drive a wider structural shift and foster sustainable transition in particularly climate vulnerable countries like Bangladesh, public funds from multilateral sources have to be prioritized, he said. Bangladesh is pursuing low-carbon green development: Environment Minister “The benefit of clean, green, and advanced green technologies needs to be shared with all the developing Muslim countries,” the environment minister said at the First Scientific Session on "Green Transformation in the Islamic World: Challenges and Opportunities" of the 9th Conference of Environment Ministers in the Islamic World held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 19 October 2023. Environment minister Md. Shahab Uddin said, “We look forward to enhance our collaboration in the areas of environment, climate change and energy. We urge ICESCO members to consolidate our partnership to ensure environment-friendly green growth and make the world a safer and better place for our future generation.” Motorists to be trained to control noise pollution: Environment Minister He said Bangladesh Government strongly condemns atrocities by occupying Israel forces in Palestine, Indiscriminate Killing of civilian people, Large Scale destruction causing unprecedented sufferings of millions of Philistines in front of the Whole world. Abdulrahman Al-Fadley, minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Dr. Salim M. Almalik, director general of ICESCO were present in the occasion. Abrupt honking should be stopped: Environment minister Other members of Bangladesh Delegation present in the conference were Iqbal Abdullah Harun, additional secretary (Admin), Mohammad Abdul Wadud Chowdhury, (joint secretary-Environment), and Mr. Md. Akhteruzzaman, private secretary to Minister (Joint Secretary), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change.