Why environmental education in Bangladesh?

Bangladesh faces the constant challenges of rampant poverty, high population density, and increasing population rate. Poor people are arsenic contaminated and urban people are mostly exposed to the polluted air, recurring natural disasters and a dwindling natural resource base. It is one of the poorest countries of the developing world, with a low resource base, a very low land-man ratio, and is threatened by both natural hazards and overexploitation. However, this resource base is under see the threat and environmental planning is necessary to signal any hope for survival with dignity and sustainability.

Bangladesh proceeds towards industrialization, it needs to be careful of the environmental impacts of industrial growth. So, there are enough justifications of why the country like Bangladesh is in urgent needs to take a serious action about the impact of industrialization and why the peoples of the country require superior knowledge and awareness of environmental issues:

  • Bangladesh is most susceptible to environmental damage.
  • The diversity of fish species and fish catch has decreased, reducing the income of the very poor that depend on fish for livelihood.
  • Inadequate information on the status and functioning of the critical ecosystem has led to poor environmental policies.
  • Massive deforestation has also taken place, with negative consequences for both diversity and production of tropical forest resources.
  • Once natural resources are degraded, there is limited opportunity for alternative income activities.
  • Public awareness of environmental issues is limited.
  • A rapid expansion of dry season irrigation for rice cultivation has resulted in the loss of over 50% of the dry season perennial portions of the country. Seasonal draw-down of the water table is also a problem, causing some tube wells to run dry.
  • Reduction of forest biodiversity and production has negatively affected food, fodder, medicine and shelter for poor people.
  • The aquatic and floodplain ecosystem continue to be severely degraded. The (perennial) wetland habitats and ecosystem have lost larger water bodies (rivers and canals) due to siltation and landfilling for agriculture and homestead use.
  • The forest habitat is less than 6% of the total land area and is declining rapidly.
  • The only way Bangladesh can avoid environmental disaster is by through a strong and united, broad-based environment movement. This can only arise through mass environmental education and the emergence of local Bangladeshi expertise in appropriate and sustainable development.
  • There is a lack of skilled personnel trained in the sustainable management of the renewable natural resource.
  • There is lack of effective protection for environmentally critical areas contributing to a reduction in biodiversity.
  • There is limited or no participation by local communities in resource use decision making.
  • Water extraction upstream in Nepal, India, Bhutan and Tibet greatly reduces dry season water flows.

Environmental education is the most discussed subject in the present time. It becomes the central issue not only for Bangladesh context as well as in the international debate in the early part of the twenty-first century. The land, water, air, sea, ocean, hill, mountain, roads, transport, industry and its sound, human, animals, insects, trees etc. consisting of the whole environment. The development & survival of human fully depends on the peaceful and balanced coexistence of the environment. But most regretfully, the human society is destroying the equilibrium of nature by changing and mishandling the mineral resources. As a result, the human society is facing the natural disasters with certain intervals. Therefore it is essential to rethinking that a good-arranged structure for a historical study is significant in respect of environmental education in higher studies.

It is expected that the measures as stated before will bring necessary changes in promoting environmental studies at the tertiary level of education that will finally lead to sustainable development of Bangladesh.

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