Page 1

The world’s climate has always been changing between hotter and cooler periods due to various factors.

PREFACE In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful. This Research Monograph is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Laws. have chosen this topic for research due to keen interest and strong curiosity regarding this topic. Is a student having no practical experience as to the matter but which have earned from my honorable faculty members? So, do not have minimum quality to comment on anything about this matter. For the study have gone through and predominantly depended on the book on this subject. Very few comments that have made are based on the commentaries of jurists and author of the books. Throughout the whole study it was earnest desire not to make any comment as such. If fail, in that effort, beg pardon to everybody concern with the research Monograph and to Almighty Allah. In writing this research paper has taken help from many books. Have freely used these books on an introduction to Environmental law by Dr. Md. Abdul Karim Khan, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective by Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective by Md. Iqbal Hossain,


and Principles of International Environmental Law by Philippe Sands. Grateful to the learned authors and to the editors of these books. Being aware of my limitations, timidly broached this subject with faculty members and especially with the course Supervisor. Grateful to all of my learned faculty members to discuss the complicated issues with me and give valuable suggestions and advice. To what extent I am successful in that effort is left to everybody concerned.

Chapter One Introductory Part 1.1 Introduction: Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge facing the world today. The world’s climate has always been changing between hotter and cooler periods due to various factors. However, for the first time in the earth’s history it has now been firmly established that its human inhabitants are altering the climate through global warming as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. Although the basic science is now clear, the full range of effects due to human influenced climate change is still not fully understood. Food production will be particularly sensitive to climate change, because crop yields depend directly on climatic conditions (temperature and rainfall patterns) and could lead to food yields being reduced by as much as a third in the tropics and subtropics. Meanwhile future tropical cyclones will become stronger, with faster wind speeds increasing the amount of damage they cause; floods will become more common due to changing rainfall patterns and glacier melt in the summer; sea-level rise could inundate large areas of low lying countries; and the changing climate may indirectly cause misery by increasing the incidence of disease and conflict. Furthermore biological diversity the source of enormous environmental, economic, and cultural value will be threatened by climate change. „Climate change Mitigation which refers to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or to capture greenhouse gases through certain kinds of land use, such as tree plantation is the main response that must be made to prevent future impacts of climate change. Greenhouse gases have mainly been emitted by developed Western countries and it is these countries that must act to prevent climate change becoming more


serious. However, there are many measures that may be taken in developing countries that include reducing domestic emissions and deforestation, as well as advocating for mitigation in the developed world. In terms of the impact of climate change few places in the world will experience the range of effects and the severity of changes that will occur in Bangladesh, which will include: Average weather temperatures rising; more extreme hot and cold spells; rainfall being less when it is most needed for agriculture, yet more in the monsoon when it already causes floods; melting of glaciers in the source areas of Bangladesh’s rivers altering the hydrological cycle; more powerful tornados and cyclones; and sea level rise displacing communities, turning freshwater saline and facilitating more powerful storm surges. The impact will be intensified by the fact that Bangladesh is both one of the most populated and one of the poorest nations on earth. Bishop Michael S. Baroi, former Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh (2007), speaking of his fears about climate change says: “It would be a serious catastrophe for my country and for the whole region if much of the land in Bangladesh disappears under the sea. I become frightened to think that my grandchildren will have no place to live on this planet earth. I really want to be sure that they, and their children after them, will be able to enjoy the beauty of my country that have enjoyed, and be able to have enough land to live and enough land for food�. Climate change is a global issue that demands a global response. All countries must be part of the solution. Climate Change Adaptation which is the process through which people reduce the negative effects of climate on their health and well-being and adjust their lifestyles to the new situation around them is an essential and often overlooked part of the response to climate change.

1.2 Aims & Objectives of the Study: It is very important to identify the aims and objectives of any research. shall describe all the goal of this research on "The law of climate change and Bangladesh". My Aims and Objectives of the study are as follows; 1. To define the climate change, global warming etc. 2. To explore the present situation of climate change in Bangladesh. 3. To explore the law of climate change in Bangladesh.


4. To find out the causes of climate change. 5. To find out the effect of climate change. 6. To find out the procedure how we can mitigate the climate change.

1.3 Methodology: Methodology is very important for any research. Without adopting any methods, it is difficult to contribution. As a necessary to optimum methods to create anything. The optimum outcome of the research depends largely on the adopting of the proper methods related to the topics in the field of the proper investigation and sufficient care. When prepared this research followed the some methods i.e. the Imperial Methods, sufficient care method etc. respectively where it is applicable. The techniques of data collection followed in this research are interviewing, questionnaire, uses of documents sources. also helped in my teachers, friends and different website collecting the topic related information and statistic. All over the world and in Bangladesh, there are enough laws, ordinance and legal provision to deal with the environmental problems, from which have tried to find out science and law by updating the international environmental law to control global climate change. For complication of this study, had been also following the historical, analytical and imperial method.

1.4 Limitation of the Study: Every research study has some limitations in true sense. So this research monograph is not the exception of this limitation and limitations reduced the scope of the study in some changes. The main limitation of the study is the time binding’s work. The time is not enough for the study. To create any good research on any topics and subject, that time prerequisites sufficient instrument and enhance more books in university library but our


library is not sufficient for making this research on "The law of climate change and Bangladesh."

1.5 Importance of the Study: The study is the great importance; the study will help to know about the climate change in Bangladesh and the law relating to climate change. No study on this topic has ever been done before, so a lot of new ideas have come in front of my eyes. I have got good knowledge about the climate change in Bangladesh, which will help us in different ways. I have seen that many times debates arise to mitigate the climate change. This study will help to solve the reason of debate by some new ideas.

1.6 Scope of the Study: The scope of this study includes the area of information required to collect and analyze regarding, the determination of the Law of Climate Change and Bangladesh. The entire study will focus on the information of the climate change in Bangladesh and the law relating to climate change. The title of the study denotes the subject matter of the study. As the title of the Research Monograph is The Law of Climate Change and Bangladesh, it has to be read the matters relating to the Law of climate change which is necessary for discussion of the topic maintaining the sequence of the discussion and come to conclusion. Chapter One deals with introductory part of this Research. Chapter two deals with basic concept of climate change as for example, what is climate change? Its causes and effects and what steps should be taken to combat climate change. In Chapter three the principles of Environmental law such as responsibility not to cause environmental damages, the polluter pays principles, the precautionary principle etc. are included, in this chapter the liabilities for the environmental changes and convention have been upheld in international perspective. Chapter four deals with climate change in Bangladesh perspective as for example, the impacts of climate change in Bangladesh and global warming, here some recent environmental degradation and mitigation to climate change in Bangladesh have been mentioned. In Chapter five an attempt has been made to uphold


some different Laws and Policies concerning various environmental issues in national perspective of Bangladesh which are related to the environment and climate change of Bangladesh. It is shown that the observance and implementation of the laws are essential to solve this problem in the national perspective and Chapter six deals with some recommendations for reduce climate change and maintaining proper environment and finally a conclusion has been made in this chapter.

Chapter Two Concept and Status of Climate Change 2.1 Definition of climate change: Climate change is a long-term shift in the climate of a specific location, region or planet. The shift is measured by changes in features associated with average weather, such as temperature, wind patterns and precipitation. What most people don’t know is that a change in the variability of climate is also considered climate change, even if average weather conditions remain the same. Climate change occurs when the climate of a specific area or planet is altered between two different periods of time. This usually occurs when something changes the total amount of the sun's energy absorbed by the earth's atmosphere and surface. It also happens when something changes the amount of heat energy from the earth's surface and atmosphere that escapes to space over an extended period of time. Such changes can involve both changes in average weather conditions and changes in how much the weather varies around these averages. The changes can be caused by natural processes like volcanic eruptions, variations in the sun's intensity, or very slow changes in ocean circulation or land surfaces which occur on time scales of decades, centuries or longer. But… humans also cause climates to change by releasing greenhouse gases and aerosols into the atmosphere, by changing land surfaces, and by depleting the stratospheric ozone layer. Both natural and human factors that can cause climate change are called ‘climate forcing', since they push, or ‘force' the climate to shift to new values.1

1

Please visit, http://www.thegreatwarming.com/pdf/ClimateChangeFactSheet.pdf, last accessed on 8.10.10.


The earth maintains its equilibrium temperature through a delicate balance between the incoming solar energy (short wave radiation) it absorbs and the outgoing infra-red energy (long wave radiation) that its emits and some of which escapes into space. Scientific evidence suggests that continued increases in atmospheric concentration of certain green houses gases is the cause of enhanced green house effects and global climate change. The emission of carbon dioxide from the combustions of fossil fuels, Deforestation, changes in land use, cement production and agriculture practices are some important factors that significantly contribute to green house effect and climate change problems.2

2.2 Causes of climate change: Climate change is caused by several factors, including: i. Increased levels of greenhouse gases ii. Human activities iii. Solar and orbital variations iv. Oceanic circulation v. Volcanic eruptions i. Increased levels of greenhouse gases Natural greenhouse gases include atmospheric water vapor and carbon dioxide. These gases act as an insular blanket by retaining heat from the sun, which keeps the earth warm. Without these gases, the earth would be much colder than it is. However, increased concentrations of these gases, especially carbon dioxide can cause global warming. There is significant scientific evidence that point to human activities, such as burning of fossil fuels, as being mainly responsible for the current increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.3 ii. Human activities 2

Md.Iqbal Hossain International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective, Second Edition 2008, Published by Ain

Prokashan ,P-225. 3

Pleased visit, http://www.environmentlaw.org.uk/rte.asp?id=192, last accessed on 10.11.10.


Here are some key human activities that contribute to climate change. Burning of Fossil (Mineral) Fuels This tops the list of human activities that contribute to increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Mineral fuels such as petroleum, natural gas and coal constitute major energy sources for industries, transport and heating in our homes. It is estimated that burning of fuels (world wide) produces around 21.3 billion tons (21.3 gigatons) of carbon dioxide every year. Part of the carbon dioxide released from fossil fuels is absorbed naturally but the remainder gets caught up in the atmosphere and contributes to global greenhouse gas warming.4 Poor use of land Poor land use is directly linked to climate change partly because when soil and vegetation is lost, more carbon dioxide is released into atmosphere which results in further global warming. Examples of poor use of land include urban sprawl (uncontrolled urban development), destruction of forests and excessive farming.5 Waste disposal If waste is not properly treated or disposed of, it produces greenhouse gas emissions such as methane and carbon dioxide. These gases contribute to global warming. Landfill disposal of waste is a key source of man-made methane emissions in the atmosphere. This is why it is so important to reduce waste or recycle it.6 Cooling units Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) previously used as coolants in fridges, freezers and air conditioners are a major source of ozone layer depletion. However regulatory measures have been taken to phase out the use of such coolants in cooling appliances and aerosol sprays. They have now been replaced with substitutes hydroflurocarbons (HFCs).7 4

Pleased visit, http://www.environmentlaw.org.uk/rte.asp?id=192, last accessed on 10.11.10.

5

Ibid

6

Please visit, http://www.environmentlaw.org.uk/rte.asp?id=192, last accessed on 10.11.10.

7

Ibid


iii. Solar and orbital variations Changes in solar energy can affect global temperature. Thousands of years ago, global temperature changes were driven by solar and orbital variations. The Royal Society, the National Academy of Science in the UK and the Commonwealth confirms that solar activity contributed to changes in global temperature in the early 20th century. However, satellite measurements show that there has been little change to solar activity in the last 30 years to warrant recent global warming. Rather, the evidence points to manmade greenhouse gas emissions as the primary driver of the current changes in temperature. However, many in the scientific community agree that it is important to note the role that the sun and orbital variations play in our climate.8 iv. Oceanic circulation The current climate change debate also explores the impact that oceans and seas may have on climate change. For example, the jury is out on whether abrupt future changes in ocean currents can cause fundamental changes to the climate like what happened in the past, when ice sheets melted over North America and Europe in the ice age. These questions are important as oceans and seas are key elements in the world's climate system. They have the capacity to carry a large amount of heat that can radically affect global climatic conditions. On the other hand, the increase in greenhouse gases especially carbon dioxide also has an impact on seas and oceans. Recent studies show that the increased levels in atmospheric carbon dioxide are "causing the world's oceans to become more acidic."9

v. Volcanic eruptions Volcanic activity may last a couple of days, but its effect may affect the climate for a longer period of time. This is due to the large amount of gas (mainly sulphur dioxide) and ash that are released when a volcanic eruption occurs. These emissions can linger in the atmosphere for several years and affect the amount of solar energy reaching the earth. Scientific studies show that an individual volcanic eruption can lower temperatures and 8

Ibid

9

Please visit, http://www.environmentlaw.org.uk/rte.asp?id=195, last accessed on 10.11.10.


Cause

global

cooling

with

its

effects

lasting

for

years. 10

2.3 Effects of climate change: Climate change is real. Its effects include:

Rising temperatures Futures studies show that global temperatures may rise by the end of the 21st century to between 1.1 and 6.4 degree Celsius above the mid 1990 levels, if concrete steps are not taken to tackle increased levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.11 Extreme weather conditions Climate change can increase the frequency of heat waves, floods and drought conditions around the world. In various reports, Nature, the international weekly journal of science notes that recent summers in Europe have become increasingly hotter. It attributes the changes in weather conditions to high levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It forecasts that Europe may experience even hotter summers in the future.12

Altered habitats Climate change also affects animals temperatures continue to raise rapidly. Climate change if not checked will also have a negative impact on plants, insect species and on parts of the worlds rain forests.13 Water and Food scarcity Climate change is also likely to affect global water availability in the future. Hotter temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns will have impact on global water supplies. This will have an effect on global food supplies, as there may be less water available for

10

Ibid

11

Please visit, http://www.environmentlaw.org.uk/rte.asp?id=189, last accessed on 10.11.10.

12

Ibid

13

Please visit, http://www.environmentlaw.org.uk/rte.asp?id=189, last accessed on 10.11.10.


agricultural purposes. This scenario is already being played out in water stressed parts of the world like Africa and Asia.14 Health issues Climate change also has impacts on our health. For example, increased flooding events may cause water borne infectious diseases while a rise in heat waves can cause deaths among the old and very young. The recent heat wave in 2003 is estimated to have caused over 2,000 extra deaths in England and Wales and 35,000 deaths in other parts of Europe like Italy, Spain and France. And plants as the world experiences further changes in rainfall and temperature. 15

2.4 Global warming: The climate change: Global Warming is defined as the increase of the average temperature on Earth. As the Earth is getting hotter, disasters like hurricanes, droughts and floods are getting more frequent.16 The environment is the new stuff of diplomacy. At one time, environment ministers and their officials stared at home and worried about dirty rivers and smoky air. Today, the jet from city to city for the purpose of formulating international environmental standards to save the threat posed by global warming. It is by for the most dramatic environmental issue to have received worldwide attention, as human activities pose unprecedented threats to the planet’s environment. If uncontrolled, climatologists estimate, global warming would wipe out civilization within 500 years. In the race between life and death shall prevail. It would result in hotter summers and colder winters rise in sea levels, change in monsoon patterns, droughts, extinction of animal life and devastating floods. It is ironic that we are ourselves responsible for the climatic dilemma with which we are now threatened. Humanity is conducting an enormous, unintended, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to nuclear war. The “test tube” that humanity is using in this global experiment is the atmosphere. Into this “test 14

Ibid

15

Ibid

16

Please visit,

absorhttp://knowledge.allianz.com/en/globalissues/climate_change/global_warming_basics/global_warming_definition .htmlbs, last accessed on 2.11.10.


tube” we are spewing a variety of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons all of which have a warming influence on the world’s climate. These gases are emitted from millions of industrial smokestacks, motor vehicles, waste dumps and other sources.17 Over the last 100 years, the average air temperature near the Earth’s surface has risen by a little less than 1 degree Celsius or 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Doesn't seem that much, does it? Yet it is responsible for the conspicuous increase in storms, floods and raging forest fires we have seen in recent years, say scientists.18 Their data show that an increase of one degree Celsius makes the Earth warmer now than it has been for at least a thousand years. The top 11 warmest years on record have all been in the last 13 years, said NASA in 2007, and the first half of 2010 has already gone down in history as the hottest ever recorded. 19 The world is heating up. The average temperature of the earth’s surface increased by an estimated 0.6 degree Celsius in the 20th century and according to the most resent projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, could rise 1.4 to 5.8 degree Celsius above the 1990 average by 2100. much of this predicted increase is attributed by scientists to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.20 The effects of such a temperature increase might include:21 •

More frequent extreme high maximum temperature and less frequent extreme low minimum temperatures;

17

,Dr. Md. Abdul Karim Khan, An introduction to Environmental law, Published in 2004, Published by Isamoti

Prokashoni, p-20. 18

Please visit,

absorhttp://knowledge.allianz.com/en/globalissues/climate_change/global_warming_basics/global_warming_definition .htmlbs, last accessed on 2.11.10. 19

20

Ibid Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-137. 21

Ibid


A decrease in snow cover: satellite observations suggest that the area of the planet covered by snow has already declined by 10 per cent since the 1960s;

An increase in the variability of climate, with changes in both the frequency and severity of extreme weather events;

Alterations to the distribution of certain infectious diseases;

Rising sea levels

Today the world’s industrialized nations, such as the United States, England, West Germany, and Japan, are enjoying a quality of life unsurpassed in human history. Regrettably, however, that life style is being brought at enormous environmental cost. And one of these costs is global warming caused by the greenhouse effect. The less developed nations of South America, Africa and Asia are also contributing to the greenhouse problem, but on a much smaller scale. Our inadvertent tempering with the global climate must be controlled.22

2.5 Greenhouse effect and depletion of ozone layer: The Greenhouse effect What is greenhouse effect? Lets give a familiar example. You know what happens if you park your car in the parking lot on a hot summer day and forget to open the windows. When you get back inside your car, it is hot as an oven. This rapid warm up is due to a greenhouse effect. The sun’s radiant energy is then converted into heat or infrared radiation. Since this radiation cannot readily escape back through the windows, it is trapped inside, and the car becomes warm. The greenhouse effect refers to the gradual warming of the earth’s atmosphere. Molecules of greenhouse gases behave very much like the glass in car windows or in a greenhouse. In a sense, greenhouse gases from a glass window over the earth. They trap heat that otherwise would escape from the earth’s surface into outer space. The greenhouse gases have always been present in the atmosphere but in total they have increasing during the last century. Carbon dioxide has increased 25 percent since the industrial revolution. The current rate of increase in carbon dioxide plus other greenhouse 22

Dr. Md. Abdul Karim Khan, An introduction to Environmental law, Published in2004, Published by Isamoti

Prokashoni, p-21.


gases is about one percent in a year. Assuming these rate countries, the amount of greenhouse gases will double in this century. At the current rate of increase, it is estimated that the greenhouse effect will hike up the global thermostat about 4 degree C. Carbon dioxide, the single most important greenhouse gas, accounts for about half of the warming that has been experienced as a result of past emissions and also for half of the projected future warming. 23 Depletion of ozone layer The greenhouse effect is intensified with the growing depletion of ozone layer. The ozone layer, which exists in the earth’s stratosphere at an altitude between 12 and 50 kilometers, is a concentration or layer of the ozone molecule. The primary function of ozone layer is to absorb incoming ultraviolet rays from the sun, thus protecting the earth. The formation of ozone atoms is a relatively simple process; it requires only the interaction of ordinary oxygen and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Through natural chemical reaction dependent upon variation is sun strength and the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, stratospheric ozone is continually produced and destroyed.24 Scientists formerly presumed that there was constant level of ozone in the upper levels of the atmosphere, where oxygen is abundant. But as early as 1979, speculation occurred that the “ozone layer” a relatively thin layer of gas in the stratosphere was subject to depletion. Only eleven years later, researchers reported a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. A natural filter, ozone screens out much of the increased incidence of skin cancer, crop reductions and even harm to the body’s immune system. Although the size of the hole in the ozone layer varies seasonally and with weather pattern, recently released data has sparked fears of wider depletion the originally postulated.25 The prime suspect in the ozone layer’s destruction appears to be chlorine. Chlorine destroys stratospheric ozone by stealing ozone’s third oxygen atom. The result is a free oxygen atom and a highly reactive radical, chlorine monoxide, a compound just as 23

Ibid, p-22.

24

Ibid, p-23.

25

ibid


destructive as the chlorine element itself. High levels of chlorine are in turn thought to be the by-products of chlorofluorocarbons, industrially produced synthetic compounds of varying types and numerous applications. Commercial production of CFC’s as refrigerants began in 1931 and by the end of World War II, scientists had discovered CFC’s remarkable propellant properties. 26

2.6 Measures to combating climate change: The strategy and policies will promote measures to mitigate and adapt to the forecast effects of climate change and should be implemented through application of local planning policy and other mechanisms. Behavioral change will be essential in implementing this policy and the measures identified. Mitigation, through reducing greenhouse gas emissions, will primarily be addressed through greater resource efficiency including: 27 •

Improving efficiency performance new and existing buildings and influencing behavior of occupants

Reducing the need to travel and ensuring good accessibility to public and other sustainable modes of transport

Promoting land use that acts as carbon sinks

Encouraging development and use of renewable energy

Reducing the amount of biodegradable wasteland filled.

In addition, and in respect of carbon dioxide emissions, regional and local authorities, agencies and others shall include policies and proposals in their plans, strategies and investment programmes to help reduce the region’s carbon dioxide emissions by at least 20% below 1990 levels by 2010 and by at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2015. A target

26

Ibid

27

Please visit, http://www.espace-project.org/publications/library/climate_change_implementation_plan-

exec_summary-300306-v2.PDF, last accessed on 5.11.10.


for 2026 will be developed and incorporated in the first review of the Plan (and no later than 2011). 28 Adaptation to risks and opportunities will be achieved through: 29 i. Guiding strategic development to locations offering greater protection from impacts such as flooding, erosion, storms, water shortages and subsidence ii. Ensuring new and existing building stock are more resilient to climate change impacts iii. Incorporating sustainable drainage measures and high standards of water efficiency in new and existing building stock iv. Increasing flood storage capacity and developing sustainable new water resources v. Ensuring that opportunities and options for sustainable flood management and migration of habitats and species are not foreclosed. To address climate change, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was established at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It was followed in 1997 by the more powerful and legally binding Kyoto Protocol. The protocol recognizes that developed countries share the main responsibility for the current high levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, and places a heavier burden on them under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.” Under this protocol industrialized countries are allowed to meet part of their emission reduction targets abroad through so-called”market-based mechanisms,” such as the Clean Development Mechanism.30 The climate change is the big problem in our environment. So, the people should be aware about climate change because climate change threatens the survival of human race.

28

Ibid

29

Ibid

30

Please visit, http://www.espace-project.org/publications/library/climate_change_implementation_plan-

exec_summary-300306-v2.PDF, last accessed on 5.11.10.


Chapter Three International responses and policies towards climate change 3.1 Principles of international Environmental law: In an unceasing process of formulation over the last few decades, the international community has adopted a significant number of principles of international environmental law and policy, which are reflected in various international legal and non-legal binding instruments addressing major global environmental issues. The principles of international environmental law are an expression of the ideals of the international community. They are considered to be general or common in character because they are potentially applicable to all members of the international community across the range of activities which they catty out or authorize and in respect of the protection of all aspects of the environment. The importance of these principles lies in the fact that they have played a pivotal role in the recent development of international environmental law particularly in formulation of successful treaty regimes in environmental arena.31 Some important principles are addressed below: i. Responsibility not to cause environmental damage: Foremost among these norms is Principle 21 of the 1972 Stockholm Declaration of the Human Environment. Principle 21 maintains that “States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental law and development policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.�32

31

Md. Iqbal Hossain, International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective, Second edition 2008, Published by

Ain Prokashan, P-133.


In the Palmas Case 2 HCR (1928) 84 at 93, it was held that, the responsibility of the States not to cause environmental damage in areas outside their jurisdiction.33 ii. The polluter pays principle: In Environmental law, the polluter pays principle is the principle that the party responsible for producing pollution should also be responsible for paying for the damage done to the natural environment. 34 The practical implication of the polluter pays principle lies in its allocation of economic obligations in relation to environmentally damaging activities. 35 iii. The Precautionary Principle: Precautionary principle is considered to be evolving one in international environmental law. It generally denotes that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage. Lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost effective measures to prevent environmental degradation. Very few considers that Precautionary principle provides guidance in the development and application of international environmental law where there is scientific uncertainty. Yet it has not generally been accepted.36 iv. Principle of good neighborliness or co-operation: This principle is enunciated in Article 74 of the UN Charter in relation to social, economic, and commercial matters. Principle 24 of the Stockholm Declaration reflects a general political commitment to the international co-operation in matters concerning the 32

Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-11. 33 34

Ibid Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-12. 35

Md. Iqbal Hossain, International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective, Second edition 2008, Published by

Ain Prokashan, P-156. 36

Ibid, P-152.


protection of the environment. Article 27 of the Rio Declaration states clearly that ‘States clearly that States and people shall co-operate in good faith and in a spirit of partnership in fulfillment of the principles embodied in the Declaration and in the further development of environmental law in the field of sustainable development.’37 v. Principle of sustainable development: The guiding principle of sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development recognizes the interdependence of environmental, social and economic systems and promotes equality and justice through people empowerment and a sense of global citizenship. Whilst we cannot be sure what the future may bring, a preferable future is a more sustainable one. Sustainable development involves maintaining our current rate of development whilst leaving suitable resources behind for later generations to continue to develop. In this context then, environmental problems must be tackled by considering their relationship with the state of the economy and the well-being of society. In fact, the environment, the economy and society taken together, include everything that we need to consider for a healthy, prosperous and stable life. The aim of sustainable development is to balance our economic, environmental and social needs, allowing prosperity for now and future generations. Sustainable development consists of a long-term, integrated approach to developing and achieving a healthy community by jointly addressing economic, environmental, and social issues, whilst avoiding the over consumption of key natural resources.38 vi. The Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities: The principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibility’ evolved from the notion of the ‘common heritage of mankind’ and is a manifestation of general principles of equity in international law. The principle recognizes historical differences in the contributions of 37

Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-16. 38

Please visit, http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/esd/principles/Objectives.html, last accessed on 12.11.10.


developed and developing States to global environmental problems, and differences in their respective economic and technical capacity to tackle these problems. Despite their common responsibilities, important differences exist between the stated responsibilities of developed and developing countries. The Rio Declaration states: “In view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities. The developed countries acknowledge the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technologies and financial resources they command.” Similar language exists in the Framework Convention on Climate Change; parties should act to protect the climate system “on the basis of equality and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.”39 The principle of common but differentiated responsibility includes two fundamental elements. The first concerns the common responsibility of States for the protection of the environment, or parts of it, at the national, regional and global levels. The second concerns the need to take into account the different circumstances, particularly each State’s contribution to the evolution of a particular problem and its ability to prevent, reduce and control the threat.40

3.2 International liability for global Environment: Global environmental change entails international responsibility. It is trans-boundary problem and knows no jurisdictional boundaries. The transboundary pollution refers to disturbances that originate in one country, are transmitted through a shared natural resource and take effect in another. The terms ‘transboundary’ transforntier’ and transnational are used inter-changeably in the study. The transfrontier pollution arising out of single accidence in one state that harms the environment of other states is not the main cause of global environmental change. Global environmental change mainly results from continuous emissions of acidic, greenhouse and ozone depleting gaseous emissions. 39

Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-22. 40

Ibid .


However the use of armed force by multinational forces against Iraq to force it to withdraw from Kuwait has intensified global environmental change. There were enormous dangerous gaseous emissions resulting from burning of oil refiners in the gulf for months together. The emissions contained huge quantities of carbon oxides and sulfur oxides, which result in acid rain and greenhouse effect.41 Efforts to develop international liability regime for causing trans-boundary air pollution are in progress. International law commission of the united Nations, a group of 34 international experts entrusted with the task of codification and progressive development of international law, is already seaside of the matter and has produced various reports to the this effect.

3.3 State liability and Civil liability for Environmental Damage under International Law: State liability: It is a well-established principle of international law, recognized in Article 1 of the ILC’S Draft Articles on State Responsibility, that every international wrongful act of a state entails its international responsibility. The same principle applies to other international persons, including international organizations. Breach of an international legal obligation creates a further obligation, or a liability, to make reparation. As the PCIJ sated in the Chorzow factory Case, It is a principle of international law, and even a general conception of law, that any breach of an engagement involves an obligation to make reparation. In judgment No. 8 (1927) (PC1J, ser A No 9,21) ... the court had already said that reparation was the indispensable complement of a failure to apply a convention, and there is no necessity for this to be stated in the convention itself. 42

41

Dr. Md. Abdul Karim Khan, An introduction to Environmental law, Published in 2004,Published by Isamoti

Prokashoni, p-21. 42

Philippe Sands, Principles of International Environmental Law, Published in 1995, published by Manchester

University Press, p- 631.


The operation of the these principles referees to rules of state responsibility and liability, although the term is misleading as it emerged at a time when states alone were considered as subjects of international law. To the extent that international organizations and other legal and natural persons may also be subjects of international law, use of the words ‘state liability’ should be understood to include the liability of all international persons under the rules of public international law. No single instrument sets forth generally applicable international rules governing state liability for environmental damage, although the International Law Commission and some regional organizations have prepared draft instruments to establish rules of general application. The rules concerning the liability of states for environmental damage, such as they exist, must be considered by reference to treaties, under customary international law, or by operation of general principles of law. 43 A number of non-binding instruments have addressed state liability; principle 12 of the 1978 UNEP Draft principles is neutral. It recognizes that states are responsible for the fulfillment of their international environmental obligation relating to utilization of shared natural resources, and that they are subject to liability in accordance with applicable international law for environmental damage resulting from violations of these obligations caused to areas beyond their jurisdiction. The WCED legal principles group states thatIf one or more activities create a significant risk of substantial harm as a result of a Tran boundary environmental interferences and if the overall technical and socio-economic cost or loss of benefits involved in preventing or reducing such risks far exceeds in the long run the advantage which such prevention or reduction would entail, the state which carried out or permitted the activities shall ensure that compensation is provided should substantial harm occur in an area under national jurisdiction of another state or in an area beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. 44

Civil liability for environmental damage under international law: 43

Ibid

44

Ibid, p-632.


Several treaties establish rules on civil liability for environmental or related damages. These civil liability regimes have usually developed in relation to specific activities which are considered to be ultra hazardous, and rules are in force for damage caused by nuclear activities and as a result of oil spills. International rules are being developed for damage caused by waste (including its international trade) and for environmental damage resulting from certain dangerous activities. The current trend is towards developing general rules of civil liability for damage arising from unspecified activities: the Council of Europe has recently adopted a convention which takes this approach, and rules which would be of generalized application to hazardous activities are being considered by the EC and the ECE.45 The civil liability regime follows a similar approach, establishing rules which. The civil liability regime follows a similar approach, establishing rules which:46 (a) define activates or substances covered. (b) define damage (persons, property, the environment); (c) channel liability; (d) establish a standard of care (usually strict liability); (e) provide for liability amounts; (f) allow exonerations; (g) require the maintenance of adequate insurance or other financial security; (h) identify a court or tribunal to receive claims; and (i) provide for recognition and enforcement of judgments.

3.4 United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change: The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was the first international environmental agreement negotiated by the whole international community indeed and is potentially unique in the scope of its direct and indirect consequences. The Convention was a great breakthrough in an attempt to reconcile the clashing interests between nations seeking specific target and timetables for emission 45

Ibid, p- 652.

46

Ibid


reductions and those demanding only a “bare-bone” skeleton convention that would be an yardstick for future binding treaty in the form of protocol. it also tried to reflect a comprehensive approach to integrating environmental considerations into economic development affecting the vital economic interests of almost all nations and defined in legal terms the rights and obligations of different members of the international community in the quest for “sustainable development” and the preservation of the global climate system.47

Preamble, definition, objective and principles: The Convention’s Preamble reflects a wide range of interests. It includes matters jettisoned from the ‘principles’, and expressly recognizes, inter alia, ‘the principle of sovereignty’, that the largest share of historical and current global emissions has originated in developed countries, and includes (for the first time in a treaty) . Principle 2 of the Rio de Janeiro Declaration on Environment and Development (rather than principle 21 of the Stockholm Declaration) . The Preamble also refers to the concepts of ‘per capita emissions’ and ‘energy efficiency, matters which did not obtain sufficient support to be included in the operational part of the Convention.48 The ultimate objective of the Climate Change Convention is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere ‘at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’; emphasizing that prevention of climate change is the primary objective. However the Convention implicitly recognizes that some climate change is inevitable, since the objective is to be achieved in such a way as to allow ‘ ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable. manner’. Moreover, the Convention includes numerous references to the effects’ and ‘adverse effects’ of climatic change (twenty-two times),and to ‘vulnerability’ and ‘impacts’ (seven 47

Md.Iqbal Hossain second edition 2008, International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective, Published by Ain

Prokashan ,P-230. 48

Philippe Sands, Principles of International Environmental Law, Published in 1995, published by Manchester

University Press, p- 274.


times), suggesting that it also has the additional, but unstated, objective of establishing an instrument to address the adverse effects of. Climate Change and ensure that countries, particularly those most vulnerable, are able to prepare adequately for adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change.49 Article 3 of the Convention sets out a number of ‘principles’ to guide the parties in achieving the objective and implementing the provisions. the obligation of parties to protect the climate system is ‘on the basis of equity’ and ‘in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’, in accordance with which developed country parties should take the lead. Parties should adopt measures and policies which are ‘precautionary’, ‘cost-effective’, ‘comprehensive’, and which take into account different ‘socio-economic contexts.’ Climate change policies should also be integrated with national development programmes, and measures to combat climate change ‘should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade. Finally, throughout the principles section, and elsewhere the Convention, reference is made to the need to ensure ‘sustainable economic growth’ in order to address the problems of climate change.50 General commitments of this Convention To achieve the objectives of the Convention all parties are committed under Article 4(1) to take certain measures, taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and priorities, objectives and circumstances. These general commit-ments include the development of national inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal protocol, and the formulation and implementation of national and, where appropriate, regional programmes containing measures to mitigate climate change by addressing emissions and removals of these gases and by facilitation of adequate adaptation to climate change. All parties are required to promote and co-operate in the diffusion of technologies, practices and processes that control, reduce or prevent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal protocol; promote sustainable management, conservation and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of these greenhouse gases; and co49 50

Ibid Ibid, P- 274.


operate in preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change. All parties are also required to take climate change into account, to the extent feasible, in their social, economic and environmental policies; to promote and co-operate in research, systematic observation and development of data archives to the further, understanding of climate change and response strategies; to promote and co-operate in full, open, and prompt exchange of relevant relevant information, and to promote and co-operate in education, training and public awareness.51 Reporting The Convention establishes broad reporting requirements for the communication of certain information, with specific provision for financial resources to be made avail-able to developed-country parties. All parties are required to communicate, to the conference of the parties, information on implementation; a national inventory of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal protocol’ a general description of steps taken or envisaged to implement the Convention; and any other relevant information including that relevant for calculating global emission trends. The effective implementation by developing-country parties of their communication commitments is linked to the effective implementation by developed-country parties of their financial commitments, including the need for adequacy and predictability in the flow of funds. Annex

1 parties are to include

information relating to measures and policies to fulfill commitments under Article 4(2)(a) and (b), and a specific estimate of the effects those policies and measures will have on emissions and removals by the year 2000. Annex II parties must include details of measures taken in accordance with Articles 4(3),(4) and(5).52

3.5 The 1997 Kyoto Protocol and Kyoto flexible mechanism: The 1997 Kyoto protocol 51

Ibid, p- 275.

52

Ibid, p- 276.


The 1997 Kyoto protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted at the Third Conference of Parties (COP-3) held in Kyoto, Japan on 11 December 1997 and was open for signature from 16 March 1998 to 15 March 1999 at the UN headquarter. By that date the protocol had received 84 signatures. Those parties that have not yet signed the Kyoto Protocol may accede to it at a time. 53 The Kyoto protocol is a step ahead in the world’s resolve to arrest the problem of human-induced climate change, which could wreck havoc on millions of people worldwide. The Kyoto protocol mandates developed (Annex 1) countries (DCs) to take the lead in arresting green house gas emissions.54 Article 2(1) of the Kyoto protocol sets out the objective which requires that “each developed country party (included in Annex I to UNFCCC) in achieving its quantified emission limitation and reduction (QELAT) commitments under Article 3, in order to promote sustainable development most implement and/or further elaborate policies and measures.” Thus, the main objectives of Kyoto protocol remain the same as that of the Convention, reduce green house gases in the atmosphere and promote sustainable development.55 The Kyoto protocol is the first substantive and real promise to implement United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change collectively. It establishes quantified, legally binding commitments to limit or reduce green house gas emissions. Article 3(1) of the protocol commits developed country parties listed in Annex B (that are parties in Annex I of the UNFCCC) to reducing their overall emissions of green house gases (GHG) by at least 5 percent below 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008 to 2012. Thus, the Kyoto protocol establishes a “Five percent Club” by committing all developed collectively. The Kyoto protocol also requires that this Annex B listed developed country parties, as a group, be 5.2 percent below 1990 levels in 2010. It requires that the OECD 53

Md.Iqbal Hossain second edition 2008, International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective, Published by Ain

Prokashan ,p-241. 54

Ibid, p-243.

55

Ibid, p-244.


group parties (when their individual allocations are taken into account) be 6.6 percent below 1990 levels in 2010.56 The targets are considered inadequate in terms of their existing emissions growth to substantially affect climate change. Nevertheless, these are considered a star, and unless these are met, the task in the future will be even harder. Articles 3(3) of the protocol also states that the net changes in green house gas emissions by biological sources and sinks shall be used to meet the commitments of the developed country parties in the commitment period (2008-2012), but these sources and sinks are limited to such “a forestation, reforestation and deformation� that took place since 1990. Article 3(4) provides that the developed country particles may use additional land use, land use changes and forestry (LUCF) and agricultural soil and other activities to meet their emission reduction target for carbon absorbed by them, for the first commitment period.57 Finally, ‘the protocol in Articles 5,7 and 8 states that the developed country parties (listed in Annex1) must have a national systems for the estimation of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removal by sinks of all green house gases, subject to the guidelines made in this regard by the Conference of the parties serving as the Meeting of the parties to the protocol. The protocol also adds that such parties must incorporate in their annual inventory of anthropogenic emissions of green house gases, the necessary supplementary information to meet their commitments under the protocol.58

Kyoto flexible mechanisms

56

Ibid

57

Ibid, p-245.

58

Ibid, p-246.


The Kyoto protocol establishes three market-based mechanisms resulting from the intense negotiations and debates amongst essentially developed (Annex 1) country parties at the Kyoto Conference and COP-3 held on December 1997 to meet a reduction of green house gases. They are: (i) Emission Trading (the buying and selling of emissions credits among developed country parties listed in Annex 1 to UNFCCC, that are parties in Annex B to the protocol, which have binding emission targets); (ii) Joint Implementation (allowing one country with a target to receive emissions credit for a specific project undertaken in another country with a target); and (iii) the Clean Development Mechanism or CDM (allowing developing countries listed in Annex1 to receive emissions credit for financing projects that reduce emissions in developing counters or non-Annex 1 parties.)59 (i) International emission trading Under an international emission-trading regime, the developed countries may transfer or acquire, among themselves, any excess reduction of GHGs beyond their respective quantified emission limitation and reduction (QELAR) targets. This market-based mechanism allows developed countries to buy and sell emissions credit among themselves. Article 17stipulates that the developed country parties (listed un Annex B to the protocol) may participate in emissions reduction commitments under the protocol. Such trading will be supplemental to their domestic actions with a view to meeting the above-mentioned acquires any emission reduction units from another party through such trading it is to be added to the assigned amount for the acquiring party).60

(ii) Joint implementation Like the emissions trading, the joint implementation (JI) is a market-based mechanism that has the potential of achieving low cost emission reductions while promoting 59

Ibid, p-247.

60

Md.Iqbal Hossain, International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective, Second Edition 2008, Published by

Ain Prokashan ,P-248.


sustainable development. It is first introduced in the Convention on Climate Change in Article 4(2), which stipulates that developed countries may implement policies to limit green house as emissions jointly with other parties and assist them in contributing to the achievement of the objective of the Convention.61

(iii) Clean development mechanism The Kyoto protocol allows the developed countries that are unable to meet their entire green house gas emissions targets domestically to purchase such reductions from other countries (including developing countries.) The mechanism under which such trading of green house gds emission reductions can take place is called the clean development mechanism or CDM, which enables developing countries to take advantage of the fact that their emissions are relatively low and trade emission reductions to the developed countries.62 Article 12 of the Kyoto protocol defines CDM, which has been identified by the protocol as a mechanism for the North-South cooperation. It states that the purpose of CDM is to assist developing countries on achieving sustainable development and allow them to assist developed country parties, which are wiling to finance emissions –avoiding projects, in achieving compliance with their quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments.63 The purpose of the protocol is to set a strategy that would ultimately help all countries to combat climate change in a way that would benefit both current and future generations and the basis of equity, which are the two guiding principles identified in Article 3 of the UNFCCC. Therefore, the Kyoto protocol strategy should be one, which helps all countries to combat climate change taking their “common but differentiated responsibilities” into account.273 Thus, the developed countries are authorized by Article 12 to use credits accruing from projects in developing countries to contribute to compliance with their emission reduction targets. In addition, the CDM can also be considered as a funding mechanism; developing countries that are “particularly 61

Ibid

62

Ibid, p-250.

63

Ibid


vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate changes� will receive a share of the proceeds to assist them in meeting their adaptation costs.64

3.6 Stockholm Conference: On 5 June 1972, the United Nations Conference on Human Environment opened its first plenary session at the royal opera house at Stockholm. The conference marked watershed in international relations and placed the issue of the protection of biosphere on the official agenda of international policy and law. The states tore apart the narrow notions of sovereignty and jurisdiction to collectively resolve complex issues of environment and development. The initial stages of the conference saw the emergence of two conflicting approaches. The first approach insisted that the primary concern of the conference was the human impact on the biophysical environment with emphasis on control of pollution and conservation for resources. The second approach laid emphasis on social and economic development as the real issue. The two seemingly opposite approaches were bridged by the evolution of social and economic development. Environment protection and development were conceptualized as two sides of the coin, inseparable from each other. The conference was remarkable accomplishment as 114 participating nations agreed generally on a declaration of principles and an action plan. However, the agreement was facilitated by the voluntary absence of the Soviet Union and its East European allies in protest over the failure of the German Democratic Republic to be accepted as a conference participant. The East German exclusion was primarily a consequence of the formula adopted by the United Nations regarding attendance at the United Nations Conference.65 The Conference agenda at Stockholm was divided into six main areas.66 (I) Planning and Management of Human Settlements for Environmental Quality: (II) Environmental Aspects of Natural Resources Management:

64

Ibid, p-251.

65

Dr. Md. Abdul Karim Khan, An introduction to Environmental law, Published in2004, Published by Isamoti

Prokashoni, p-120. 66

Ibid


(III) Identification and Control of Pollutants and Nuisances of Broad International Significance; (IV) Educational, Informational, Social and Cultural Aspects of Environmental Issues. (V) Development and Environment. (VI) International Organizational Implications of Action Proposals. In addition to educational and organizational matters, the Conference was focused mainly on four issues, namely, human settlements, natural resources, pollution, the conflict or balance between development and environment. Furthermore, need for research into environmental problems was emphasized. However, the responsibility for finding was to pay the costs of research was left to the governments and international agencies.67

Chapter Four Climate Change and Its Impact on Bangladesh 4.1 Climatic Characteristics of Bangladesh: Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated and disaster prone countries having about 140.5 million people (but population was 123.9 million as per Census Report of 2001) and with an area of only 147,570 sq. km. Of the total population, 76.6 percent lives in the rural area and rest is in the urban area. According to 2001 population census, the whole coastal area of the country has about 46 million people ( but population was 35.1 million as per Census Report of 2001). Bangladesh has a subtropical monsoon climate characterized by wide seasonal variations in rainfall, moderately warm temperatures, and high humidity. Regional climatic differences in this flat country are minor. Three seasons are generally recognized: a hot, humid summer from March to June; a cool, rainy monsoon season from June to October; and a cool, dry winter from October to March. In general, maximum summer temperatures range between 32째C and 38째C. April is the warmest month in most parts of the country. January is the coldest month, when the average temperature for most of the country is 10째C. Winds are mostly from the north and northwest in the winter, blowing gently at one to three kilometers per hour in northern and central areas and three to six kilometers per hour near the coast. From 67

Ibid, p-121.


March to May, violent thunderstorms, called northwesters by local English speakers, produce winds of up to sixty kilometers per hour. During the intense storms of the early summer and late monsoon season, southerly winds of more than 160 kilometers per hour cause waves to crest as high as 6 meters in the Bay of Bengal, which brings disastrous flooding to coastal areas. Heavy rainfall is characteristic of Bangladesh. With the exception of the relatively dry western region of Rajshahi, where the annual rainfall is about 160 centimeters, most parts of the country receive at least 200 centimeters of rainfall per year.68

4.2 The impacts of climate change in Bangladesh: In terms of the impact of climate change few places in the world will experience the range of effects and the severity of changes that will occur in Bangladesh, which will include: Average weather temperatures rising; more extreme hot and cold spells; rainfall being less when it is most needed for agriculture, yet more in the monsoon when it already causes floods; Droughts in the source areas of Bangladesh’s rivers altering the hydrological cycle; more powerful tornados and cyclones; and sea level rise. As Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries on the planet at about 142.9 million people at a density of around 994 persons per km², any climate induced change or disaster inevitably affects millions of people. Bangladesh is already one of the poorest places on earth with around half the population below the poverty line.69 These discussed below:

Temperature According to IPCCs Fourth Assessment Report all of Asia is likely to warm this century and warming in South Asia is likely to be above the global average at around 3.3ºC. 68

Please

visit,

http://www.rsis.edu.sg/nts/Events/climate_change/session4/Concept%20paper-Tasneem.pdf,

accessed on 14.11.10. 69

Please visit, http://www.kirkensnodhjelp.no/Documents/Kirkens%20N

%C3%B8dhjelp/Publikasjoner/Temahefter/FINAL%20Draft%20WHAT%20IS%20CLIMATE%20CHANGE %20AND%20HOW%20IT%20MAY%20AFFECT%20BANGLADESH.pdf, last accessed on 12.10.10.

last


However, many more people could be affected by climate changes impact on disease, and a number of diseases in South Asia may become more common due to hotter weather and changing rainfall patterns. In Bangladesh a study of the Chittagong Hill Tracts has indicated that increased temperatures due to climate change in this already high rainfall area will increase the number of cases of malaria. This pattern is likely to be repeated in other areas of Bangladesh in the north and east. In 2002; 598 people died from malaria in Bangladesh, but yearly deaths will become much higher due to temperature rise as a result of climate change.70 Human health The combination of higher temperatures and potential increases in summer precipitation could create the conditions for greater intensity or spread of many infectious diseases. However, risk in the human health sector is low relative to climate change induced risks in other sectors (such as water resources) mainly because of the higher uncertainty about many of the health outcomes. Increased risk to human health from increased flooding and cyclones seems most likely. Changes in infectious disease are less certain. The causes of outbreaks of infectious disease are quite complex and often do not have a simple relationship with increasing temperature or change in precipitation. It is not clear if the magnitude of the change in health risks resulting from climate change will be significant compared to current risks. It is also not clear if increased health risk will be apparent in the next few decades. On the whole climate change is expected to present increased risks to human health in Bangladesh, especially in light of the poor state of the country’s public health infrastructure.71 Rainfall Over South Asia, the summer is dominated by the southwest monsoon, which occurs from June to September and influences the seasonal cycles. However, according to the IPCCs Fourth Assessment Report, climate change is likely to weaken the monsoon flows and the large scale tropical circulation; this could affect rainfall patterns, such as the time it occurs each year. Furthermore a warmer, moister atmosphere is also likely to lead to 70

Ibid

71

Please visit, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/46/55/21055658.pdf, last accessed on 8.10.10.


heavier rainfall during the monsoon. According to the IPCC Distribution Center rainfall in South Asia is predicted to increase by 5-7 per cent in the 2020s, 10-13 per cent in the 2050s and 15-26 per cent in the 2080s. A variety of different studies all point to average rainfall increasing in Bangladesh during the summer monsoon by around 1-4% by the 2020s, and 2-7% by the 2050s. As can be seen from the range of estimated percentage increases predicted, experts are not sure on the amount of extra rainfall expected but all agree that a wetter Bangladesh is likely in the monsoon due to more rain.72 Flooding Bangladesh is situated on a low-lying flood plain made up of the lower reaches of the Ganges (known in Bangladesh as the Padma), the Brahmaputra (known in Bangladesh as the Jamuna) and the Megna rivers. As about 60% of the country is lower than 6 metres above sea level with an average river gradient of only 6cm/km in the delta Bangladesh is very vulnerable to large volumes of water flowing down these rivers and other types of flooding. Annually around 20% of the country is temporarily flooded but in extreme cases this may rise to as high as 70% of the country. In the past the seasonal floods were seen as a blessing bringing fertility in the form of deposited silt onto farmland, but due to population pressure the poorest-of-the-poor have been pushed onto flood prone land and environmental damage is making floods more severe.73 There are four main types of floods in Bangladesh: flash floods, river floods, rain floods and coastal storm-surge floods. Flash floods occur in the eastern and northern rivers, along the borders of Bangladesh. They are identified by a quick rise in water level and high speed of water flow, as a result of exceptionally heavy rainfall occurring over neighboring hills and mountains in India , and tend to occur between April-May and between September-November (NAPA, 2005). One result of increased rainfall in the monsoon due to climate change is likely to be more flash flooding in the Sylhet and Chittagong Divisions as heavy rainfall leads to a rapid rise and fall in river levels as it flows quickly down from the hills.74 72

Ibid

73

Please visit, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/46/55/21055658.pdf, last accessed on 8.10.10.

74

Ibid


Storm surge floods occur in the coastal area of Bangladesh, which consists of large estuaries, extensive tidal flats, and low-lying islands. Storm surges generated by tropical cyclones cause widespread damage to property and the loss of life in coastal area. They are not the result of rainfall but of seawater being pushed inland by the strong winds of a cyclone.75 Extensive floods particularly affect the poorest-of-the-poor in the country who lose whatever assets they have and suffer from lack of work and wages. In fact people who live in areas that regularly flood have low levels of health, nutrition and education. Floods also contribute to the concentration of landownership due to distress sale by the poor in the post-flood situation to the richer people in the community. Therefore increasing floods due to climate change are likely to increase the poverty of those already poor as well as threaten that so-called middle poor or those working class people just above the poverty line with becoming ultra-poor.76 Food supply will be problem caused by river floods; for the 1998 flood reduced agricultural production by 45%. It will also affect on rural incomes, where agriculture still employs 70% of the population. Floods very easily destroy high-yielding aman rice varieties as they are unable to grow fast enough to keep up with the increasing depth of floodwater and if the flood water rises faster than 4-5cm deep per day other rice varieties will also be lost. Monsoon vegetables also die when under water.77 Flooding increases the risk of diseases by extending the range of vectors such as mosquitoes, bacteria and other pathogens as well as by washing agricultural pesticides into drinking water. Leading to water-borne diseases including cholera and the diarrhoeal diseases caused by organisms such as Giardia, Salellamon and Cryptosporidium , as well as chemical poisoning. A recent study found that extreme climatic conditions enable the water living cholera bacteria Vibrio cholerae to rapidly multiply and spread more easily. Floods caused by heavy monsoon rain can contaminate drinking water with the cholera 75

Ibid

76

Please visit, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/46/55/21055658.pdf, last accessed on 8.10.10.

77

Ibid


bacterium, while in droughts, the cholera bacteria can grow better in the stagnating water in ponds and rivers.78 Droughts Droughts are common in Bangladesh and affects water supplies and plant growth leading to loss of production, food shortage and for many people starvation. Droughts are relatively slow to manifest and are more pervasive. Typically uncertainty of rainfall during prekharif and prevalence of dry days and lack of soil moisture during the dry season reduce potential yields of aus, aman, and robi crops. Depending on the intensity of drought, estimated yield reduction of different crops varies from 10 to 70 percent.79 Cyclone The Bangladesh coast is often devastated by severe cyclonic storms and tidal surges that take heavy toll on human lives, infrastructure and livelihoods. The devastation caused by three major cyclones occurred in 1970, 1985, 1991 and 2007, 2009 are still vivid in the memory of the present generation. The November 1990 cyclone with a tidal surge of over nine meters was accountable for death of 500,000 plus people. The cyclone of April 1991 in the eastern coast caused a death toll 139,000 people with an estimated economic loss of US$ 1.78 billion. The most recent cyclone, Sidr, which struck the southwestern coast on November 15, 2007 with a wind velocity of up to 250 km per hour took a toll of 3,3363 people with another 871 missing. It affected 2.06 million households and 8.96 million people and destroyed crops in about 2.5 million ha of land. In 2006, four warning were issued in the space of two months. Every warning meant the fishermen lost valuable days at sea. When the last warning came, they could not afford to stay ashore and went to sea anyway. Officially 1,700 drowned, but many it is assumed that the real number may be closer to 10,000.80

78

Ibid

79

Please visit, http://www.rsis.edu.sg/nts/Events/climate_change/session4/Concept%20paper-Tasneem.pdf, last

accessed on 14.11.10. 80

Ibid


River Bank Erosion Higher volumes of water flowing down rivers due to climate related changes such as increased rainfall and summer glacier melt will also increase the erosion of land beside Bangladesh’s rivers. As most of the country is made up of soft silt soils riverbanks are very washed away by river currents and wave action. River bank erosion includes channel shifting, the creation of new channels during floods, bank slumping due to undercutting and local scour from turbulence caused by obstruction. 81 The Bangladesh Water Development Board estimated that 1,200 km of riverbank has been actively eroded and more than 500 km has been facing severe problems related to erosion, and every year despite some deposition of silt, a net area of 8,700 hectares of land was being lost. The Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh estimate that a million people are pushed off their land by river erosion each year and many of these ends up permanently displaced. Increased river erosion due to climate change is therefore expected to displace more and more people from their homes and farms.82 Sea Level Rise Due to various natural processes such as water flow between oceans, continental plate movement, and land surfaces rising or lowering sea level rise will vary geographically from place to place. Processes not related to global warming in Bangladesh that are actively causing sea level rise include: Tectonic subsidence which means that coastal Bangladesh is very gradually sinking due to the weight of the silt being deposited by its rivers and the continued rise of the Himalayas that is slightly tipping Bangladesh seawards; „compaction of peat layers which are soft layers of organic dead plant and animal material that are gradually being squeezed tightly together by the weight of the land above; and „human activities such as removal of water from the ground for irrigation which speeds up compaction and the building of dams, dykes, embankments and other measures to prevent floods, for these prevent new layers of silt raising the land level as older layers compact and sink .83 81

Please visit, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/46/55/21055658.pdf, last accessed on 8.10.10.

82

Ibid

83

Ibid


Predictions on sea level rise in Bangladesh therefore vary depending on how natural processes and sea level rise are examined. Some think that the silt and other material being carried by Bangladesh’s rivers and deposited as sediment will cancel out the effect of natural subsidence lowering the coastline, so that sea level rise will be more or less in line with global climate change caused sea level rise. So according to this view a net sea level rise would be between 18 cm and 59 cm by the year 2100.84 Ecosystems One of the likely adverse impacts of climate change is the loss of the Sundarbans which are the coastal mangroves that straddle the coasts of western Bangladesh and neighboring India. The Sundarbans were formed by the deposition of materials from the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers. If the Sundarbans are lost, the habitat for several valuable species would also be lost. A 45 cm sea level rise would inundate 75% of the Sundarbans, and 67 cm sea level rise could inundate all of the system. It is not certain whether there will be many adverse effects on the Sundarbans with a sea level rise of a few tens of centimeters, although salinity could increase substantially in many areas. Even if barriers to migration such as physical structures could be moved, it is unlikely that inland migration would make up for losses of mangroves from inundation.85 Agriculture It is predicted that climate change could have devastating impact on agriculture. Agriculture is a key economic driver in Bangladesh, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the GDP and 65 percent of the labor force. The performance of this sector has considerable influence on overall growth, the trade balance, and the level and structure of poverty and malnutrition.86

84

Ibid

85

Ibid

86

Please visit,

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/SOUTHASIAEXT/0,,contentMDK:21893554~menuP K:158937~pagePK:2865106~piPK:2865128~theSitePK:223547,00.html, last accessed on12.10.10.


Moreover, much of the rural population, especially the poor, is reliant on the agriculture as a critical source of livelihoods and employment. The impacts of climate change could affect agriculture in Bangladesh in many ways:87 - The predicted sea-level rise will threaten valuable coastal agricultural land, particularly in low-lying areas. - Biodiversity would be reduced in some of the most fragile environments, such as sunder bans and tropical forests. - Climate unpredictability will make planning of farm operations more difficult. The effects of these impacts will threaten food security for the most vulnerable people of Bangladesh. The country’s agriculture sector is already under stress from lack of productivity and population growth. Any further attempt to increase productivity will likely to add pressure to available land and water resources. Impact on Women In Bangladesh, women are more vulnerable than men generally to all kinds of disasters and climate related impacts due to gender inequalities in various social, economic and political institutions. Men tend to control income distribution, property, access to credit, decision-making processes, and sources of food. Women have limited access to and control over natural resources, or money and more importantly are less mobile and have limited access to information. When a cyclone and floods hit Bangladesh in 1991, the death rate for women was almost five times higher than for men. Men were able to warn each other as they met in public spaces, but they rarely communicated information to the rest of the family. Many women are not allowed to leave their homes without a male relative, and simply waited for their relatives to return home and take them to a safe place. Moreover, as in many Asian countries, most Bengali women have never learned to swim. In saline and drought prone areas where fresh water is in short supply further stress is put on women who have responsibility to supply it to their families; often being forced to walk long distances, risking their health and their safety in the process.88 87

Ibid

88

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%C3%B8dhjelp/Publikasjoner/Temahefter/FINAL%20Draft%20WHAT%20IS%20CLIMATE%20CHANGE


However, if people are to play a part in reducing the impact of climate change through climate change adaptation methods or through disaster mitigation measures, there must be a detailed up-to-date awareness of the predicted effects of climate change and where these will take place throughout the country.

4.3 Global warming and its impacts on Bangladesh: The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its various successive reports has enunciated the various powerful effects of the global warming problem (IPCC 1990, 1995and 2001). In general, global warming brings various changes such as, sea level rise, causing flooding, climate change, change in production pattern etc. each of which severe impact on Bangladesh-forests, deserts, range-lands and other unmanaged ecosystems could become wetter, drier, hotter or colder. As a result, many will decline or fragment and individual species will become extinct. It has been estimated that if current trends continue, the mean sea level is expected to rise some 15-95 cm. by 2100 and that with only one meter rise in sea level, 17.5 percent landmass of Bangladesh will go under water.89 It is anticipated that at least 24 million people of coastal areas of Bangladesh will be directly affected by the climate change. It has also been revealed that the world’s largest mangrove forest, located in the southeast region of the country is under depletion due to global warming.90 Apart from these, it has been projected that climate change in particular is likely to affect human health and well being through a variety of mechanism. For example, it can adversely affect the availability of fresh water, foods production and the distribution and seasonal transmission of vector-borne infectious diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and schistomiasis.91 %20AND%20HOW%20IT%20MAY%20AFFECT%20BANGLADESH.pdf, last accessed on 12.10.10. 89

Md.Iqbal Hossain International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective, second edition 2008, Published by Ain

Prokashan ,P-226. 90

ibid, p-227.

91

Ibid


4.4 Global warming and Wild life of Bangladesh: There is a wide variety of animal diversity to be found in the wilderness areas of Bangladesh, so nature lovers can really take their time to enjoy this side of the country. Even though Bangladesh is one of the most highly populated countries in the world, the majority of the population lives in or around large cities and this has helped to limit deforestation to some extent. However, the growth rate continues to increase at an alarming rate and this has placed large demands on the environment and lead to subsequent clearing of numerous natural habitats. Though areas are protected under law, a large portion of Bangladeshi wildlife is threatened by this growth.92 Global warming greatly upsets the ecosystems and habitat of population; humans occupy more of the landmass, leaving little space for wildlife. With increasing global warming, animals tend to move to higher levels and plants to new areas that are cooler as the existing environment gets too hot for growth. This includes species of mountain goat, and bighorn sheep.93 •

Global warming will affect all ecosystems and species that are unable to adapt and adjust will face extinction.

Wildlife around the Arctic is most likely to face the brunt of this warming. Species like the polar bear, emperor penguins.

Snowy owls and others that are suited for the cold climate will suffer.

The reducing permafrost will cause problems in water supply for wildlife in the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Northwest of America.

Considerable tracts of the tundra now resemble brush vegetation. Forests are now more prone to attacks by beetles and other pasts due to warmer conditions.

Sagebrush in parts of the US in disappearing and this bodes ill for species of sage grouse, mule deer and pronghorn that subsist on them.

92

Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-206. 93

Ibid


There will be frequent droughts and warm months that are not conducive to several species of flora and fauna. Heat waves will be frequent and droughts may be recurrent.

Warm temperatures around the poles means less ice and hence less food for these species that subsist on fish.

Fish like salmon, trout, and others that live in could waters will not survive in the warmer waters.

Melting ice leads to the formation of marshes that are conducive to new types of insects and pests.

Warmer temperatures imply less wetland for waterfowl that breed in winters.

Butterflies appear in Britain earlier in spring than they did a few decades ago. They have moved inward from their usual area of appearance in both Europe and North America.

Birds and frogs breed earlier than their usual breeding time due to the warm weather.

An unusual occurrence is the appearance of grass in Antractica.

More forest fires now occur than earlier and spread rapidly due to warmer, drier conditions. Forest fires help to clear forestland for agriculture. However, the problem arises when they spread to peat bogs and become unmanageable.

Rapid human habitation of forests puts greater pressure on existing resources and can lead to man animal conflicts.

Recent surveys in the US indicate that depleting forests and warmer weather results in loss of several species of mammals, butterflies, and birds.

Besides, several species of grass and shrubs have already disappeared due to the gradual warning of their habitat.

In the wake of this alarming situation, it is important to take steps to curb global warning to safeguard our natural heritage. It is necessary to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and to develop other renewable sources of energy to curb global warming. Hence citizens and governments across the globe must take steps to conserve precious wildlife to ensure our survival in the future.


4.5 Environmental degradation in Bangladesh and some recent issues: Though the government of Bangladesh has taken some steps to protect and preserve the biodiversity of different critical areas, it is not sufficient. The present condition of some of those critical areas and the way out of getting rid of it is given below: Loss of Bio Diversity in st. Martin’s Island and it’s conservation: St. Martin’s Island is the only island supporting coral reef in Bangladesh as well as coral associated flora and fauna, was declared as an ecologically critical area (ECA) in 1999. The Island has undergone dramatic changes in recent years particularly in the development of local tourism and sale of landed properties. Construction of building for the tourists is creating a bad impact on the environment or the biodiversity of the Island. Each tourist brings additional issues to be taken care of like: drinking water, sewage, solid wastes, food accommodation, sanitation etc. meaning the tourists are polluting the environment and Island’s Ecosystem, which is the part and parcel of the biodiversity of the Island.94 Biodiversity of Sunderbans under threat: The Sundabans is the largest mangrove forest in the world covering an area of about 1 million hectares of which about 60% lies within Bangladesh, with a rich biodiversity comprising the Bengal Tiger and Gangetic Dolphin both getting increasingly rare and in need of conservation, as well as 50% of all the bird species found in Bangladesh. The Sundabans is already tidal and saline but with increasing sea level allowing saline water to penetrate further with tidal and storm surges; higher evapotranspiration due to hotter weather; and a reduction of freshwater in the dry season flowing into its rivers due to changing rainfall patterns; it is expected to get more saline . This will result in that the most biodiverse areas in the Sundabans will reduce from 60% to 30% in the year 2100. The forest floor may be experiencing a natural uplift due to sedimentation, but whether natural uplift is strong enough to counterbalance sea level rise is very uncertain. In a worst case scenario 32 cm of sea level rise may flood 84% of the Sundarbans possibly by 94

Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-291.


2050 and with an 88 cm sea level rise possible by 2100 the whole of Sundarbans will be lost.95 Death of the Life –Streams of Dhaka City and An Imperiled Environment: There are four rivers around the Dhaka city, which is very necessary for the healthy living of the people of the capital. The natural flow of water and biodiversity of these rivers are already destroyed in course of time for the ruthless disposal of waste and filth and the unconsciousness and negligence of the government as well as the people who are the proud members of the Dhaka city. These rivers have become so filthy that their water has become unworthy of purification let alone the biodiversity and natural ecosystems existence. They can neither provide the living place of insects. It has become very difficult to tolerate the do our smelt from the rivers. It is the cause of much kind of diseases of the riverbank people. These rivers are like blood flow to the communication, business, industry, agriculture as well as a provider of fresh environment to the citizens of Dhaka and other nearer districts. The environment specialists opine that to save Dhaka it is the crying need of time to protect the rivers and to regenerate the lost biodiversity. The government is going to take some projects to revive these rivers. It is going to reestablished the link with river Jamuna which had been the mother river of Buriganga. They will have to dig a long way to materialize this project as well as save Dhaka city from threat of destruction.96 Loss of Biodiversity in the Kaptai Lake: In spite of getting diverse interests of commissioning power plant at Kaptai in Chittagong hill tracts, its ecological consequences were many folds. Firstly the population pressure increased in the vicinity of the Kaptai Lake for swallowing most of the valley-bottom land and there was an acute shortage of suitable cultivable land. Secondly, competition of jhum land increased so greatly that the follow cycle has been reduced and the natural 95

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%C3%B8dhjelp/Publikasjoner/Temahefter/FINAL%20Draft%20WHAT%20IS%20CLIMATE%20CHANGE %20AND%20HOW%20IT%20MAY%20AFFECT%20BANGLADESH.pdf, last accessed on 12.10.10. 96

Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-292.


system of soil conservation became fragile. Thirdly the destruction of the forest has exposed the ground surface to the rainwater and the traditional slash and burn techniques resulted incessant soil loss, depletion of plant nutrient, competition from weeds and yield decline. Such widespread land degradation manifests itself in a declining rural income, fuel word shortage and silting up of Kaptai reservoir. The changes have also greatly increased the fire hazard, environmental pollution, wildlife depletion, scarcity of safe drinking water. Therefore the long term sustainability of hill land agriculture in the watershed area of Kaptai Lake is obviously threatened in terms of productivity, ecology and biodiversity.97 Farakka Embankment and Ist Effect On The Bio Diversity of Bangladesh: In 1975 India completed the Farakka Barrage about 11 miles from the borders of Bangladesh to divert 40,000 cfs of the Ganges water in to the Bagirati-Hoogly River with the ostensible purpose of flushing the accumulated silts from the bed of the river and thereby improving the navigability at the Calcutta Port. Crisis: The massive withdrawal of dry season Ganges flow by India had a serious impact on every sphere of life in the GANGES DEPENDENT AREA of Bangladesh. This man made hazard inflicted a crippoling blow to the entire southwestern region of the country. It forced Bangladesh to incur massive losses in agriculture, fishers, forestry, industry, navigation, water supply, etc. Direct damage caused of Bangladesh in these sectors amounted to about $3 billion. If indirect losses are taken into account, the amount would increase significantly.98 Agriculture: It is the worst hit sector. The drastic fall in water level of the ganges during the post-Farakka years seriously impaired the operation of the pumping plants of the largest irrigation scheme in the area, the Ganges-Kobadak Irrigation Project (G-K Project) with more than 121,410 ha under its direct command. The pumps of this project were forced either to remain idle or operate with drastically reduced capacity. Severe

97

Ibid, p-293.

98

Ibid, p-297.


stress in soil moisture, soil salinity, and non-availability of fresh Groundwater affected agricultural productively of the entire southwestern region.99 Fisheries: Scarcity of water in the main Ganges and its distributaries disturbed the flow pattern, velocity turbidity, total dissolved solids (TDS) and salinity levels on which fisheries thrive. The Gang tic water system supports over 200 species of freshwater fish and 18 species of prawns in the area. Fish catches dwindled and thousands of fishermen were consequently left without jobs. 100 Tanneries of Hazaribagh and Their Impact on The Bio Diversity and Environment of Dhaka: Tanneries of Hazaribagh have become a focal point of concentration to the environmentalists and the conscious people, Nearly 200 tanneries, spread over 16 kilometers, and operate in the area. The factories produce 29000 millimeters of liquid waste and 12000 kgs of solid waste a day. The untreated wastes flow into the river Buriganga through lowlands. According to leather experts, the tannery wastes contain more than 300 harmful chemical compounds with a rate of up to 13 percent, whereas a rate of 6 percent can be fatal for humans. The wastes are also harmful for the fish and other marine resources.101 In the case of BEIA v, Government of Bangladesh and others (WP of 2003) (Tannery Case), It was submitted that operation of the tanneries in the Residential area of Hazaribagh and with no effective pollution fighting devices is continuing in flagrant violation of the legal provisions the Environment Conservation Act, 1995 (Act No.1 of 1995), environment Conservation Rules, 1997, Factories Act 1965 and Town Improvement Act, 1953. It was stated that the statutory duty of the respondents to protect environment and environmental recourses to maintain and restore the same in a manner favorable to the objectives of the law and policy. The cumulative, synergistic and consequential effects of the said failures 99

Ibid, p-298.

100

Ibid

101

Ibid, p-298.


of the respondents have resulted in the denial of the fundamental rights of the people guaranteed under Article 32 and 32 of the Constitution and in other law of the land.102 The court Issued a rule Nisi calling upon the respondents to show cause as to why they should not be directed to relocate, within a given time frame, the tannery units from the Hazaribagh area of the City to a suitable location/site as contemplated in the Master Plan prepared under the Town Improvement Act, 1953 and ensure that adequate pollution fighting devices are developed in the new location/site as required under the Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and the Factories Act, 1965 and the rules made there under.103 According to The Environment conservation Rules 1997, schedule 1 Tannery is the first industrial sector categorized in the red list. That means it is the highest hazardous sector for the environment. The waste of these tanneries falls into the Buriganga River and make its biodiversity morbid. Their bad and intolerable smell are making environmental pollution and creating the place impossible for living. In that area due to the chemical emission trees cannot grow up birds cannot breed and other livestock are in danger. So it is posing a serious threat to the biodiversity and environment of Bangladesh.104

4.6 Mitigation to climate change in Bangladesh: Mitigation refers to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Mitigation may also refer to efforts to capture greenhouse gases through certain kinds of land use, such as tree plantation. This will reduce global warming, as the greenhouse layer in the atmosphere will not be so thick and its warming, blanket-like effect will be lessened. Mitigation is the main response that must be made to prevent future impacts of climate change. It consists of measures such as switching from using coal, to petrol/oil, to natural gas, which are progressively better in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Natural gas is the least polluting fossil fuel. Better still is the use of renewable sources of energy. Advocacy to reduce Greenhouse Gases 102

Ibid, p-260.

103

Ibid

104

Ibid, p-299.


The population density of Bangladesh is probably the highest for any country in the world, now fast approaching 150 million, the per person emissions of greenhouse gasses are probably one of the lowest ratios in the world, at only 0.2 tons per year against an average of 6 tons per year in the industrial world. So Bangladesh’s carbon footprint per person is extremely low. Developed nations to reduce their emissions, as well as to assist through finance and technical resources, countries whose well being they have threatened.105 As global warming will affect Bangladeshi people seriously they must get involved in advocacy with the USA and European countries, as well as new big polluters such as India and China on behalf of their children and poorest neighbors who will be most affected. Bangladeshi organizations can work in partnership with International NGOs, overseas churches and donors to highlight the effect of global warming and to lobby for action in developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.106 Advocacy in this way is the most important way Bangladeshis can contribute to Climate change mitigation! It may do this through: Providing stories and photos to partner organisations abroad showing how global warming is hurting the poor; speaking directly on this issue when visiting developed countries, in churches, public meetings, to government representatives; organising petitions which can be sent by mail/through partners to overseas governments; by writing articles for websites and magazines circulated overseas so that the public there begins to put pressure on their governments and take action themselves on behalf of Bangladesh and other, severely at risk countries. It was earlier mentioned how advocacy to influence businesses and governments in Bangladesh and overseas could help to mitigate global warming. But individuals and organisations in Bangladesh also have a responsibility to reduce their contribution to greenhouse gas build up in the atmosphere.

105

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%C3%B8dhjelp/Publikasjoner/Temahefter/FINAL%20Draft%20WHAT%20IS%20CLIMATE%20CHANGE %20AND%20HOW%20IT%20MAY%20AFFECT%20BANGLADESH.pdf, last accessed on 12.10.10. 106

Ibid


Lifestyle changes A major way to have an impact is in the area of transport, which globally accounts for 14% of greenhouse gas emissions. Between 1986/7 and 1996/7 the amount of cars, trucks, and jeeps doubled in Bangladesh. Most taxis and auto-rickshaws now run on compressed natural gas which when used as fuel, produces far less greenhouse gases than petrol, diesel or octane fuelled vehicles. All organisations concerned about climate change should use gas-fuelled vehicles and individuals should seek to use buses, gas fuelled taxis or rickshaws that produce less greenhouse gases. Organisations and individuals should also seek to minimize air flights which result in huge emissions and to buy food and luxury items which have been made locally when out shopping, as less emissions will have been produced in the transport of locally made items than imported ones.107 Energy Use Energy use is another way greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced. Natural gas produces 24% of the countries fuel need and imported coal and mineral oil 19%. The latter is produces large quantities of greenhouse gases to produce electricity, while although very much less, gas still produces some carbon dioxide when burnt. Therefore every organisation should try and cut down on its use of electricity such as only using air conditioning on the very hottest days in offices, turning off lights, televisions, fans and computers when leaving rooms or at night.108 Agriculture Agriculture results in about 10-12% of total global human caused emissions of greenhouse gases including about 60% of nitrogen dioxide and 50% of methane, as well as significant amounts of carbon-dioxide. Emissions also increased by nearly 17% from 1990 to 2005. In contrast to industrial emissions of greenhouse gases emissions from agriculture are rising faster in developing countries than in developed ones.109 107

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Ibid

109

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Firstly organisations should all have family planning on their agenda, as an increasing population will require more intensive agriculture leading to more emissions from this source, as well as leading to increases from other sources of greenhouse gases such as transport. There are also ways to reduce greenhouse gases by the way land is farmed. One way to do this is to reduce the amount of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals used. Another way to reduce the reliance on chemical fertilizers as well as increasing fertility of the soil is by growing leguminous crops in rotation with other crops. They naturally absorb nitrogen from the air through their roots to add nutrients to the soil. Burning the stubble/stalks after rice or wheat harvesting contributes to climate change. In Bangladesh the rice stalks would be better collected and composted or ploughed back into the soil. This management would additionally improve the quality of the soil for agriculture.110 Trees and Forests Forests play an important role in the climate system. They are a major reservoir of carbon, containing some 80% of all the carbon stored in land vegetation, and about 40% of the carbon residing in soils. Large quantities of carbon are emitted into the atmosphere when forestland is cleared. But regeneration and growth reabsorbs it. Forests also directly affect climate on the local, regional, and continental scales by influencing ground temperature, evapo-transpiration, surface roughness, albedo (or reflectivity), cloud formation, and precipitation.111 Tropical and sub-tropical nations can play a major part in climate change mitigation by cutting emissions by preventing deforestation and planting more trees. Bangladeshi NGOs can make a huge difference in preventing climate change by campaigning and taking other practical steps to preserve forests. Society for Environment and Human Development (SEHD) has been campaigning for the protection of Modhupur Forest to help prevent the loss of this severely threatened Sal Forest, but also for the

%20AND%20HOW%20IT%20MAY%20AFFECT%20BANGLADESH.pdf, last accessed on 12.10.10. 110

Ibid

111

Ibid


benefit of the indigenous people such as Garos and Koch who depend on traditional medicine from it.112 When it comes to climate change, Bangladesh--with 140 million mostly poor residents and low-lying coastal geography--is among the most vulnerable nations on Earth. As part of the country's effort to prepare and adapt, Bangladesh government agencies are attempting to take global projections of climate change and turn them into highly local predictions.113

Chapter Five The Laws And Policies of Climate change in Bangladesh 5.1 Climate policies and national communications to international environmental agreements: Although Bangladesh is significantly impacted by current climate variability, and is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, there is no national policy in place yet to comprehensively address such risks. The need for a National Policy on Climate Change has been expressed time and again by the civil society of the country since early 1990s. In a recently held National Dialogue on Water and Climate Change, 112

Ibid

113

Ibid


the formulation of a Climate Change Policy for the country was highly recommended. Work is currently underway to develop the National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) for Bangladesh, although it is too early to assess whether the NAPA will lead to a comprehensive national policy that is endorsed and implemented by the government. Bangladesh is a party to various international environmental conventions, including the UNFCCC, UNCCD, UNCBD and the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands. Bangladesh submitted its first National Communications to the UNFCCC in late 2002. No copy was yet available for review. Bangladesh has also submitted two reports in 2001 and 2002 to the UNCCD which do not discuss climate change. With regard to UNCBD, Bangladesh has not yet submitted a national biodiversity strategy and action plan (NBSAP). A report on alien species does not touch upon climate related issues. Bangladesh has also produced a National Planning Tool for the implementation of the Ramsar Convention on wetlands that

draws linkages between Ramsar and biodiversity issues, but not with

climate change concerns in the context of coastal wetlands. Similarly, the country’s documentation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development only discusses climate change as a stand-alone air quality issue, rather than a cross-cutting concern affecting many aspects of sustainable development.114

5.2 National Environmental Policy 1992: The National Environment Policy is thought to be a authoritative statement of Bangladesh’s commitments to improving of environment and mitigation of other environment related problems through regional and global co-operation. It embraces 15 sectors including agriculture industry, health and sanitation, energy, water, land, forest and biodiversity, fisheries and livestock, food, coastal and marine environment, transport, housing, population, education, awareness, science, research and legal framework. It also emphasizes the need for amending the existing laws and regulations, formulating new laws and implementing the same for protection of environment, conservation of natural resources and control of environmental pollution and degradation. It also requires the 114

Pleases visit, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/46/55/21055658.pdf, last accessed on 8.10.10.


government of Bangladesh to ratify international conventions and protocols in view of its suitability. It assigns the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) with the responsibility of co-coordinating the activities concerning protection of environment. It also recommends for the establishment of high level National Environment Committee (NEC) with the head of the Government as its chairperson to give overall direction for implementation of the policy. 115

The National Environment Policy introduces a number of salient environmental principles like precautionary approach and Environmental Impact Assessment. But excepting the provisions for EIA, discouraging certain activities and inter ministerial coordination, the National Environment Policy does not clarify the measures needed for integrated efforts for environmental protection. It fails to address the need for policy guideline concerning bio-safety, intellectual property rights, watershed management and trans boundary movement of hazards and environmental problems.116 With some modifications, the National Environment Policy however is considered to be a good foundation for further consideration efforts in Bangladesh. I was a positive response to our national commitment to a clean environment and to be a guide to future action of the Government in the field of environment.117

5.3 The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and Rules 1997: Since there were no effective laws for regulating the conservation of environment and the control of environmental pollution in Bangladesh, the first environment pollution control ordinance [Act XIII of 1977) was passed in 1977. The ordinance required to provide for the control, prevention and abatement of pollution of the environment of Bangladesh. This ordinance was repealed in 1995 by the Bangladesh environment conservation Act 115

Md.Iqbal Hossain second edition 2008, International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective, Published by Ain

Prokashan ,P-424. 116

Ibid, p-425.

117

Ibid


1995. (Act No. 1 of 1995). The Bangladesh environment conservation Act is aimed at providing for conservation of the environment, improvement of the environmental standards, and the control and mitigation of environmental pollution. The Act also defines certain environmental offences and prescribes for their punishment. It also establishes institutional arrangements the department of environment under the authority of the director general who is vested with power to oversee the implementation of the Act. It was come into force by MOEF notification of 30 th May in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Khulna and Barisal Division on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th June respectively.118 However, to supplement and fulfill the objective of the Act, the Bangladesh Environment Conservation rules was adopted in 1997, in accordance with section 29 of environment conservation Act, 1995. The Act was again amended in 2000 and 2002 by Act Nos. 12 of 2000 and 9 of 2002 respectively by inserting inter alia, sections 2A, 4A, 6A, 15A and 15B. The conservation rules 1997 was also amended in 2002 by notification SRO 29 Law/2002 of 16 February 2002 by inserting inter alia, rules 7A and 7B.119

5.4 The Environment Court Act, 2000: Most of the legislative enactments are adopted with the objective of fulfilling a definite social or political goal. The object of an enactment is determined from its preamble. Like that, the Environment Court Act 2000 is aimed at establishing environment courts for the trail of certain offences relating to environmental pollution and matters connected thereto. Before passing this Act, there was no specific law dealing with for the establishment of separate environment courts. It was realized that since environmental offences are of special nature and the ordinary courts are burdened with heavy loads, they should be dealt with by separate and special courts or tribunals. The adoption of such Act

118

Md.Iqbal Hossain second edition 2008, International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective, Published by Ain

Prokashan ,P-447. 119

Ibid, p-448.


undoubtedly represents a milestone in the field of environmental laws in Bangladesh although few other countries do possess such types of courts or tribunals.120 However, the environment court Act 2000 has been amended in 2002 ( by amending Act NO. 10 of 2002) by inserting inter alia new sections e.g. 5A, 5B, 5 C, 7A 12A and 13A to cope with the post 2000 developments.121

5.5 Climate Change Trust Fund Act, 2010: The cabinet of Bangladesh approved the draft of ‘Climate Change Trust Fund Act, 2010’ to create a permanent fund for ‘protecting lives and property of the people from adverse effects of climate change’. The environment and forests ministry placed the draft in the weekly meeting of the cabinet at the secretariat with the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, in the chair. “The cabinet has given approval to the draft of Climate Change Trust Fund Act, 2010, which will help create a permanent fund with donation from home and abroad and ensure transparency and accountability in operation of funds under various projects of the government and the non-governmental organisations,” environment secretary Mihir Kanti Majumder told New Age after the meeting. He said that the law, once enacted, would also give a legal cover to the already-formed trustee board to operate the climate change funds.122 “The trustee board can allocate 66 per cent of the total climate change fund against the projects under the government and the NGOs while the rest 34 per cent will remain deposited,” the secretary said about the operation of the climate change fund.123

120

Ibid, P-521.

121

Ibid, p-522.

122

Pleases visit, http://voiceofsouth.org/blog/2010/02/23/climate-change-trust-fund/, last accessed on13.10.10.

123

Ibid


The 17-member trustee board headed by the minister/state minister in charge of the forests ministry includes, among others, finance minister, agriculture minister, shipping minister, women and children affairs minister, foreign affairs minister, food minister, water resources minister and cabinet secretary. The draft also proposes formation of a technical committee to be headed by environment secretary for maintaining accountability in release of funds and ensuring its proper utilization as well.124 “The government’s allocation or donations from international agencies for tackling climate change impacts will come under the trust fund,” the secretary mentioned adding that the government had already allocated Tk 700 crore for the purpose in the current fiscal.125 “The cabinet also approved in principle the drafts” Domestic Violence (Resistance and Protection) Act 2010, placed by the women and children affairs ministry and the Slaughtering of Cattle and Quality of Meat Control Act 2010 by fisheries and livestock ministry,” the prime minister’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters at the secretariat.126

5.6 SAARC Action Plan on Climate Change: Members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) have adopted a three-year action plan on climate change. The plan was adopted at the SAARC ministerial meeting on climate change, which was held in Dhaka on July 1-2. The delegates released a declaration - Dhaka Declaration - on climate change. The draft declaration urged the international community for partnership development in this regard by providing additional financial resources, as already agreed upon. The declaration saw

124

Ibid

125

Ibid

126

Ibid


it as the moral obligation of the developed countries,” said Raja Devasish Roy, special assistant to Bangladesh's Environment Ministry, on Thursday.127 SAARC members have committed themselves to promote programmes for advocacy and awareness of climate change and to inculcate habits towards a low-carbon society, including incorporation of science-based educational material in educational curricula. The action plan, covering 2009-2011, focuses on seven thematic areas - from adaptation of climate change to regional stance for international negotiations. It emphasises on policies and action for climate change mitigation, technology transfer, financing and investment mechanism, education, training and awareness, monitoring, assessment and management of impact and risks due to climate change. Dwelling on the issue of adverse effect on Bangladesh for sea-level rise, Atiq Rahman of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies said, ‘We have taken time to prepare ourselves, but we need to start acting now.128 A recent report of the US space agency NASA predicted that a sea-level rise of about 25 metres, associated with global warming and melting polar ice caps, could see Bangladesh disappear under the waves by the end of the century.129 Inaugurating the first-ever Saarc Ministerial meeting on climate change, the head of Bangladesh's caretaker government, Fakhruddin Ahmed, stressed the need for industrialised nations to provide climate adaptation funds for developing countries, the worst victims of climate change, ‘without any conditions'. He also called on richer nations to transfer better technology so that developing countries could progress toward climate resiliency. Saarc Secretary-General Sheel Kant Sharma told the meeting, ‘Saarc believes that the way forward must include, among others, binding greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments by developed countries with effective timeframes. 130 127

Pleases visit, http://www.nlsenlaw.org/copy_of_news/saarc-action-plan-on-climate-change, last accessed on

13.10.10. 128

Ibid

129

Ibid

130

Ibid


Ministers of Environment and experts all the eight Saarc nations including Bangladesh met in Dhaka from July 1, 2008 to deliberate on measures that may be undertaken to minimise the adverse impacts of climate change. The ministerial meeting took place on the 3rd July . Minister of State of India Namo Narain Meena, Minister of Sri Lanka Patali Cham pika Ranawaka MP, deputy minister of Maldives Abdullahi Majeed, deputy minister of Bhutan Dasho Nado Rinchhen, Afghanistan Ambassador Abdul Karim Nawabi, Bangladesh delegate Dr M Asaduzzaman, and Pakistan delegate Jawed Ali Khan made statements at the meeting saying climate change is a serious threat to the region in the form of more frequent floods, cyclones, droughts, sea-level rise, glacier melting, loss of agricultural productivity.131

5.7 Interim poverty reduction strategy paper (I-PRSP): Bangladesh’s I-PRSP recognizes the direct links between poverty and vulnerability to natural hazards: “Given the risk and vulnerability to natural hazards that are likely to continue as a serious threat to national development efforts, macro level policies for disaster risk reduction, mitigation and management must be adopted in view of alleviating disaster-induced poverty”. It notes that the incidence of disasters is likely to increase rather than decrease, particularly due to global climate change. The I-PRSP proposes a comprehensive and anticipatory approach to reduce Bangladesh’s vulnerability: “… to reduce vulnerability to natural, environmental and human induced hazards through community empowerment and integration of sustainable risk management initiatives in all development programs and projects. Many of the proposed measures to reduce current vulnerability will also contribute to improved adaptation to climate change. For instance, the medium-term agenda for water management includes many items that will reduce climate vulnerability, including the formulation of national policies for water management, forestry, agriculture, fisheries and environment, but also regional and local level activities, ranging from engineering solutions and a forestation to community-level natural resources management arrangements. Some of these items 131

Ibid


would benefit from an explicit consideration of climate change. Similarly, in the context of agriculture policy, the PRSP proposes specific attention for improved agricultural technologies and practices in flood- and drought-prone areas, but does not mention climate change considerations, which would need to be taken into account in planning and implementation of such measures.132

5.8 Other national policies of relevance to climate change: Bangladesh has put in place a number of sectoral policies and plans that bear upon its ability to cope with current climate risks, and to some extent the additional risks posed by climate change. Some of the most relevant policies discussed below: National Environmental Management Action Plan, 1995

Bangladesh’s National Environmental Management Action Plan (NEMAP), which was published in 1995 does not explicitly discuss climate change. NEMAP however does add a cautionary note on the environmental damages that may result from structural flood control measures – which might highlight some conflicts with structural adaptation responses such as the construction of barrages.133 National Land Use Policy, 2001 Similar to NEMAP, the National Land Use Policy (NLUP) does not make direct reference to climate change. NLUP however aims to bring 25% of the land under forest cover and highlights mangrove plantations in char lands, and coastal green belts more generally as a priority. It also advocates conservation of existing forest lands, including the Sundarbans.134 The Land use policy aims to ensure land use in harmony with the natural environment. The policy introduced a ‘zoning system in order to ensure the best use of land in different parts of the country according to the9ir local geological differences to logically control the unplanned expansion of residential, industrial and commercial constructions; The 132

Please visit, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/46/55/21055658.pdf, last accessed on 8.10.10.

133

Ibid

134

Ibid


main area soft land use in our country are agriculture, housing, forests, rivers, irrigation and sewerage canals, ponds, railways commercial and industrial establishments, tea estates, rubber fields, horticulture gardens, the coastal belt, sandy riverbeds and char areas.135

National Forest Policy, 1994 These priorities of NLUP are also echoed the National Forest Policy (NFoP) that was initially formulated in 1979 and revised in 1994 – although the goal of NFoP is to bring 20% (as opposed to 25% in NLUP) of the total land under forest cover. Forest conservation priorities in NFoP and NLUP could help reduce some of the other stresses on ecosystems such as the Sundarbans, thereby increasing their resilience to the impacts of climate change. Further, policies such as the development of coastal green belts would be a good “no-regrets” adaptation response to reduce the vulnerability of the coastline to cyclones and storm surges, both under current conditions as well as under climate change. NFoP however also advocates Eco-tourism as a forestry related activity – within the context of the Sundarbans this has the potential to add to the stresses on the fragile ecosystem and could therefore lower its resilience.136 The government of Bangladesh has promulgated the National Forest Policy, 1994 and approved the forestry sector master plan (1995-2015). Both the documents have emphasized the a forestation program in the country with 20% coverage and increase the protected areas by 0% of the reserve forest land targeted in the Master plan by 2015 through the co-ordinate efforts of GO-NGOs and active participation of the people. One of the key objectives of the policy is to conserve soil and water resources and strengthening agriculture sector with the expansion of agro-forestry. The Forestry Master Plan incorporates various programmes for enhancing the involvement of rural population

135

Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-196. 136

Please visit, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/46/55/21055658.pdf, last accessed on 8.10.10.


in forest sector activities. Its objectives include preserving existing values, conserving plants and animal variety and ensuring maximum benefits to local people.137

National water Policy, 1999

The promulgation of National Water Policy in 1999 was a response to the long felt needs for government directives and guidelines for the management, regulation and utilization of the water resources of the country. The key objectives of the policy are to ensure the availability of water to all elements of the society and to accelerate the development of sustainable public and private water systems. The policy states that activities should be initiated to improve efficiency of resource utilization through conjunctive use of all forms of surface water and groundwater for irrigation and urban water supply. The policy also put emphasis on full consideration to environmental protection, restoration and enhancement measures consistent with the National Environment Management Action Plan (NEMAP).138

National Agriculture Policy, 1999

In spite of some opportunities and constraints, the overall objective of National Agriculture Policy is to make the nation self-sufficient in food through increasing production of all crops including cereals and ensure a dependable food security system for all. It aims ensure inter-alia, sustainable agricultural production system, preservation and development of land productivity and preservation of crop diversity. The policy also aims to develop contingency management system to combat natural. The policy provides that soil erosion in Madhupur Tract, Barind Tract and the piedmont area is to be checked through thana wise programs.139

137

Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-195. 138

Ibid

139

Ibid, p-196.


Coastal Zone Policy, 2005 The coast of Bangladesh is known as a zone of vulnerabilities as well as enormous opportunities. It is prone to natural disasters. The natural and man-made hazards have adversely affected the lives and livelihoods in the zone and slowed down the pace of social and economic developments in this region. The Government has recently formulated the Coastal Zone Policy that would provide a general guidance to all concerned for the management and development of the coastal zone in a manner so that the coastal people are able to peruse their life and livelihood s within secure and conductive environment.140

5.9 Public interest litigation in the regime of environmental law In Bangladesh and Duties of Citizen Under The Constitution of Bangladesh related with the Environment: Public interest litigation in the regime of environmental law In Bangladesh:

The Constitution of Bangladesh does not explicitly provide for the right to healthy environment either in the directive principles or as a fundamental right. Article 3 1 states that ever’ citizen has the right to protection from ‘action detrimental to the life liberty. Body. Reputatio or property unless these are taken in accordance with law. It added that the citizens and the residents of Bangladesh have the inalienable right to be treated in accordance with law. If these rights are taken away compensation must he paid. Article 32 states: No person shall be deprived of life or personal liberty save in accordance with law”. These two articles together incorporate the fundamental ‘right to life’. The following discussion suggests that this right to life includes the right to a healthy environment capable of supporting the growth of meaningful ‘existence of life.141 In 1994. A public interest litigation was initiated before the Supreme Court dealing with air and noise pollution. The Supreme Court agreed with the argument presented by the 140

Ibid, p-197.

141

Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009,

Published by University Publication, p-274.


petitioner that the constitutional ‘right to life’ does extend to include right to a safe and healthy environment.° In a recent case, the Appellate Division and the High Court Division of the Supreme Court have dealt with the question in a position manner. The Appellate Division. In the case of Dr. M. Farooque v. Bangladesh (1997) 49DLR(AD), has reiterated Bangladesh’s commitment in the ‘context of engaging concern for the conservation of environment. Irrespective of the locality where it is threatened.’. This was a lull court consensus judgment and the court decided:142 “Articles 3 and 32 of our constitution protect right to life as a Fundamental right. It encompasses within its ambit. The protection and preservation of environment ecological balance free from pollution of air and water, sanitation without which life can hardly be enjoyed. Any act or omission contrary thereto will be violative of the said right to life.” The High Court Division in the same case expanded the fundamental ‘right to life’ to include anything that affects life, public health and safety. It includes -the enjoyment of pollution free water and air. Improvement of public health by creating and sustaining conditions congenial to good health and ensuring quality of life consistent with human dignity: The court added that, if right to life means the right to protect health and normal longevity of any ordinary human being, then it could be said that the fundamental right to life of a person has been threatened or endangered.143 These two cases show that the cowls are willing to establish the rig to a clean environment. Another case, Khushi Kabir and others v. Government of Bangladesh and others.[W.P.No.3091 of 2000] presently pending before the High Court deals with commercial shrimp cultivation and its adverse effect on the socio-economic development and on sustainable development. According to the petitioner, commercial shrimp cultivation involves the ‘usage of various chemicals and saline water ‘.... Which ‘eventually makes the soil infertile and unsuitable for soil cultivation.. .[1]t further damages the environment by causing stunted growth of the trees or their death. Reducing the grazing areas for cattle by increasing water logging, and adversely affecting the size 142

Ibid, p-275.

143

Ibid


of the open water fish catch as a result of the dumping of’ chemicals into the river.. .shrimp cultivation will cause irreparable ecological and environmental damage to the community and to the livelihoods of the inhabitants of the said area.’ The petitioners submitted that the government orders regarding commercial shrimp farming frustrated the spirit of Environmental Policy 1992 and breach of article 32of the Constitution.144 Duties of Citizen Under The Constitution of Bangladesh related with the Environment: The following are the Articles number of our constitution related with the environment:145 14.

It shall be a fundamental responsibility of the state to emancipate the toiling masses-the presents and workers and backward sections of the people from all forms of exploitation. 16. The state shall adopt effective measures to bring about the promotion of an agricultural revolution the provision of rural electrification, the developments of cottage and other industries and public health, in those areas. So as progressively to remove the disparity in the standards of living between the urban and the rural areas.

18.

(I) The state shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties, and in particular shall adopt effective measures to prevent the consumption, expect for medical purposes or for such other purposes as may be prescribed by law, of alcoholic and other intoxication drinks and of which are injurious to health.

(2)

The state shall adopt effective measures to prevent prostitution and gambling.

21.

(1) it is the duty of every citizen to observe the constitution and the laws, to maintain discipline, to perform public duties and protects public property. (2) Every person in the service of the republic has a duty to strive at all times to serve the people.

144

145

Ibid, p-276. Dr. Md. Abdul Karim Khan, An introduction to Environmental law, Published in2004, Published by Isamoti

Prokashoni, p-99.


(1)

The state shall base it international relations on the principles of for national sovereignty and equality non-interference in the internal affairs of the other countries, peaceful settlement of international disputes, and respect for international law and the principles enunciated in the United Nations Charter and on the basis of those principals shall-

(a)

Strive for the renunciation of the use force in international relations and for general and complete disarmament;

27.

All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.

28.

(1) The state shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, sex or place of birth. (2) Women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the state and of public life. (3) No citizen shall, no grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth be subjected to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to access to any place of public entertainment or resort, or admission to any educational institution. (4) Nothing in this article shall prevent the state from making special provision in favour of women or children or for the advacement of any backward section of citizens.

29.

(1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in respect of employment or office in the service of the republic. (2) No citizen shall on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, be ineligible for or discriminated against in respect of any employment or office in the service of the republic.

34.

(1) All forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.

59.

(1) Local Government in very administrative unit of the Republic shall be entrusted to bodies, composed of persons elected in accordance. (2) Everybody such as is referred to in clause (1) shall, subject to this constitution and any other law, perform within the appropriate administrative unit such


functions as shall be prescribed by Act of parliament, which may include functions relating to(a)

administration and the work of public officers

(b)

the maintenance of public order;

(c)

the preparation and implementation of planes relating to public services and economic development.

60.

For the purpose of giving full effect to the provisions of article 59 Parliament shall by law, confer power on the local government bodies referred to in that article, including power to impose taxes for local purposes, to prepare their budgets and to maintain funds.

63.

(1) War shall not be declared and the war. Republic shall not participate in any war except with the assent of parliament.

Chapter Six Concluding Part 6.1 Recommendations: i)

The government should take action on law enforcement against illegal acts that are harmful to the environment leading to global warming.

ii)

Most of the people cited illegal logging and dumping of hazardous waste into the rivers and land, and these actions should be punished and brought to justice and the government should take action against illegal logging and to stop logging and implement forest conservation to keep the country


green. The government should coordinate with people to plant more trees in the logging sites. iii)

The government to carefully implement the law about the side effects of climate change and ecosystem and the government should provide financial and technical support to any project supporting the combat against climate change.

iv)

The knowledge and interests should increase on climate change on media campaigns via radio, TV, and printed materials in order to engage the people into the activities to reduce the climate change particularly to the vulnerable people who are easily affected and need to learn how to adapt to the climate change.

v)

Awareness should build amongst political and financial leaders, including local and religious leaders, of the projected health impacts of climate variability.

vi)

Emission of the greenhouse gases caused by industrialist countries should be stopped. Suffering countries should be united to put pressure on rich countries.

vii)

We have to plant so many trees and have to take steps for saving trees from cut. Because trees are not only receiving carbon, but they are also saving lives during flood and cyclone.

viii)

Government should take initiative to inform people of the country about devastating affect of climate change. In order that the people can take preparation to save their life and livelihood from the crazy behaviors of weather.

ix)

Compel the industrialist countries to give compensation to the effected countries for their deliberate climate change.

x)

There have to buildup sufficient arrangement to rescue of possible suffering peoples from natural calamity. Government has to have initiative and buildup capacity to save life and people's properties before cyclone hit and high sea wave.


xi)

Government has to plan to rehabilitate people immediately to their own place after natural calamity. Government has to ensure compensation to suffering people to recover their damages.

xii)

The U.S. should immediately adopt nationwide goals for rapid and deep reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and develop effective economic drivers to achieve these goals. Options such as emission cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, or emissions taxes need to be devised, tested and implemented on a national basis. The U.S. should work closely with all major greenhouse gas emitter nations to secure their commitment to similar greenhouse gas emission reductions.

xiii)

The government should fund research on methods of adapting to climate change-induced conditions affecting infrastructure, agriculture, and the basic habitability of severely affected areas.

xiv)

Every individuals and organizations should adopt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation options available to regions, states and municipalities should be developed and utilized at all educational levels, from elementary school through college.

xv)

Healthy ecosystems are better able to adapt to climate change, so there needs to be increased effort to reduce the fragmentation and degradation of ecosystems.

xvi)

Natural resource management agencies – such as for fisheries, forestry, pastoralism, agriculture and water – need to incorporate projected changes in climate into planning and regulation of existing and potential primary industries.

xvii)

Strong international progress should ensure in global reductions of greenhouse gases by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and taking a leadership role in the setting of deep reduction targets.

xviii) How climate change, will affect the vulnerability of population, specific hazards, such as floods, marine risks, wild land fires, droughts, heat waves, melting of permafrost, landslides and storms on local and regional scale; should be identified at every level and should take proper steps.


xix)

There is a clear need to increase understanding of how ecosystems, social and economic systems, human health, and the built environment will be affected by climate change in the context of other stresses.

xx)

Plans and programmes that include the climate change adaptation perspective, should be implemented with priority. Innovative ways of adaptation, showing that multiple interests are served, should be broadly communicated.

xxi)

Different interests in climate change adaptation, such as safe living and working areas, water storage, agriculture, nature protection, infrastructure, and building resilience must be addressed and reconciled.

xxii)

Each country should work to reduce greenhouse gas emission and achieve this emissions goal by establishing its own ambitious national targets and programs.

xxiii) Laws are not-self executing, people and institutions must implement the laws to make them operational. Institutions and staff need resources to implement the laws. Strong commitment from all stakeholders, especially from government is important. xxiv) The government should promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to environment, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of climate change problems throughout the world. If we want to eliminate climate change problems that time we should work together. Because, only the government can’t solve or mitigate the entire problem related to the environment and climate change. But our country mostly affected by climate change for many reasons, which I mentioned already. For that reason we should prevent this climate change problems for developing our country. That time good and healthy environment will be ensured.

6.2 Conclusion: Climate change is not only an “environmental” concern but also really a “development” concern for Bangladesh. This means that climate change as an issue must come out of the


ghetto of “environmental problems� to take center stage as a major developmental problem. Bangladesh is frequently cited as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change because of its disadvantageous geographic location; flat and low-lying topography; high population density; high levels of poverty; reliance of many livelihoods on climate sensitive sectors, particularly agriculture and fisheries; and inefficient institutional aspects. Many of the anticipated adverse affects of climate change, such as sea level rise, higher temperatures, enhanced monsoon precipitation, and an increase in cyclone intensity, will aggravate the existing stresses that already impede development in Bangladesh, particularly by reducing water and food security and damaging essential infrastructure. These impacts could be extremely detrimental to the economy, the environment, national development, and the people of Bangladesh. Concluding that in all

these sectors, the country’s drive to development might be seriously restrained if no anticipatory actions are taken. Neither Bangladesh legislative measures no judicial responses contain specific measures to deal with the problem of global environmental change which has captured the attention of environmentalists. The urgent legal measures are required to control the environmental problems for stable steady coherent and consistent democratic rule along with legal and environment policy to attain a proper environment and social order in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh there is no lacking or shortcomings of laws. But do not have actual enforcement and observance of laws. The National Environmental Management Action Plan (NEMAP) should be made with the people in a participatory manner from grassroots level. Penal laws are required to punish the polluters. More mobile courts may be introduced to pin point the violation and apprehend the violators. The environmental tribunals could be established and an appeal from the environmental tribunals should lie to the Supreme Court. Bangladesh needs technological and economic support to survive the effects of a changing climate. Just as important is the proper handling of any foreign funds


Bangladesh may get, since we know that corruption is another large barrier to our prosperity. Bangladesh also needs to implement comprehensive adaptation and mitigation programs. For a country like Bangladesh, with low greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation, or finding ways to adjust to changing conditions by developing new technology and ideas, may be the most logical path to take. While mitigation focuses on reducing emissions, adaptation is a more reactive approach to combating climate change that can span all sectors and address the immediate effects of global warming. The appropriate judicial response and enforcement measures shall intensify the control efforts, Bangladesh being one of the developing countries must co-operate with the advanced nations in developing scientific and technological sophistication and using its legislative, judicial and executive organs to effectively curb the problem of global climate change.

. .

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INDEX A) BOOKS REFERENCE: 1. Dr. Md. Abdul Karim Khan, An introduction to Environmental law, Published in 2004, Published by Isamoti Prokashoni. 2. Md. Jahid Hossain Dolon, International Environmental Law with Bangladesh Perspective, Published in 2009, Published by University Publication. 3. Md. Iqbal Hossain, International Environmental Law Bangladesh perspective, Second Edition 2008, Published by Ain Prokashan.


4. Philippe Sands, Principles of International Environmental Law, Published in 1995, Published by Manchester University Press.

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project.org/publications/library/climate_change_implementation_plan-exec_summary300306-v2.PDF, last accessed on 5.11.10. 5. Please visit, http://www.ace.mmu.ac.uk/esd/principles/Objectives.html, last accessed on 12.11.10. 6.

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ntentMDK:21893554~menuPK:158937~pagePK:2865106~piPK:2865128~theSitePK:22 3547,00.html, last accessed on12.10.10. 12. Pleases visit, http://voiceofsouth.org/blog/2010/02/23/climate-change-trust-fund/, last accessed on13.10.10. 13. Pleases visit, http://www.nlsenlaw.org/copy_of_news/saarc-action-plan-on-climatechange, last accessed on 13.10.10. 14.Please visit, http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/46/55/21055658.pdf, last accessed on 8.10.10


The world’s climate has always been changing between hotter and cooler periods due to various factor  

In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful. This Research Monograph is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the...

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