Environment | The Daily Star
  • Rivers need more than a legal status

    Rivers are no longer just rivers bound only by the laws of nature. The High Court has recently given a verdict awarding the status of “living entities” to the country's rivers in a bid to protect them and raise awareness of their importance.

  • Haor development: From trade-offs to eco-friendly solutions

    The ecosystem of the haors and wetlands in the northeast region of Bangladesh—including the districts of Sunamganj, Sylhet, Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Netrokona, Kishoreganj

  • Welcome to the age of climate change

    Our planet is under tremendous stress. During the last week of January, major cities in the US Midwest and Northeast were colder than some regions in Antarctica.

  • Can the historic High Court judgement save our rivers?

    The High Court in Bangladesh delivered a historic judgement on February 3, declaring rivers as legal entity and assigning the National

  • Conserving wetlands to tackle climate change

    Every year on February 2, nations have been celebrating the World Wetlands Day since 1997. But unfortunately, despite national and international efforts, wetlands are still treated as revenue-generating machines or wastelands in many countries including Bangladesh.

  • Conserve haor to combat climate change impacts

    Each year, the second day of February is commemorated worldwide as the World Wetlands Day, marking the day when the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance was adopted by UN member-states in 1971,

  • Toxic air is harming our children with every breath that they take

    We need to see cleaner, renewable sources of energy and we need better waste management to prevent open burning of harmful chemicals...We cannot let children breath toxic air. Speaking up for one's children is a first step.

  • The #10YearChallenge and our environment

    Of course, we have people with polarising opinions sharing their annoyance, their neutrality, and their satisfaction with the new trend:

  • How COP24 rulebook will affect the future

    The 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded on December 15, 2018 at Katowice, Poland. After a busy two weeks, the nearly 14,000 delegates from 195 countries managed to agree on a rulebook for achieving their Paris Agreement promises. It began with a stark warning by Sir David Attenborough who urged world leaders to tackle “our greatest threat in thousands of years.” He also warned that “the collapse of our civilisation” is “on the horizon” if we don't take concrete action now.

  • The mixed results of COP24

    Amid deep frustration of scientists and activists, the political economy of climate change has taken a new turn at the ever-widening gulf between science and politics as a depleted number of official delegates from around 200 countries struggled to reach a common ground at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP24, in Katowice, Poland.

  • Confronting climate refugee issues in Bangladesh

    Bangladesh is viewed globally as the “epic centre” for climate disasters. The country, due to its unique location, is battered regularly by extreme weather events such as high floods and tropical cyclone disasters displacing hundreds and thousands of people annually.

  • COP24: A quick post-mortem

    The Conference of the Parties 24 (COP24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has ended on December 15, with the usual extension of more than a day to complete the deliberations.

  • Killing the planet

    Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, we have pumped nearly 2,000 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Moreover, in April of this year, the average concentration of carbon dioxide reached a dubious milestone—410 parts per million—according to data recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Carbon dioxide hasn't been this high in millions of years.

  • Moving from fossil fuels to renewables at a funeral pace

    Almost half a century ago, on December 7, 1972, the crew of the Apollo 17 satellite took the very first image of the Earth in its entirety. Famously known as “The Blue Marble,” the extraordinary picture compelled humanity to question our place on this planet, the only home that we have ever known.

  • Discoveries that can clean up carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concedes that limiting the rise in global temperature under two degrees Celsius before the end of this century is impossible without reducing emission of carbon dioxide to zero by 2050.

  • Earth's biodiversity: A pivotal meeting at a pivotal time

    The quality of the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water we drink depend directly on the state of our biodiversity, which is now in severe jeopardy.

  • COP24: Will the major polluters pay?

    The 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is going to be held in Katowice, Poland from December 2 to December 14, 2018.

  • Is the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius a big deal?

    Today, we are witnessing a lively, sometimes acrimonious, debate over global warming. Science, economics and politics are all mixed up in this debate.

  • Global warming is impacting how Earth spins on its axis

    Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions might be affecting more than just the climate. For the first time, scientists at NASA presented evidence that the orientation of the Earth's spin axis is changing because of global warming.

  • Disaster preparedness: A shift in paradigm

    Since the late-20th-century, a shift in paradigm has happened in the intellectual arena of architecture, art, literature, philosophy, history, economics, fiction, etc. It happened mostly in the industrialised countries and emerged as Postmodernism, a critique of “modernism”.

  • What can we learn from the Indonesia earthquake?

    The island of Sulawesi in Indonesia was struck by a 7.5-magnitude earthquake on September 28, 2018 followed by 10-ft high tsunami waves. The death toll climbed to 1,424 as of Thursday.

  • Killing the environment

    A recent World Bank report—an environmental analysis of Bangladesh—should erase any remaining doubts about the critical level that environmental pollution has reached in the country.

  • Clean and Green Bangladesh: A goal that can be achieved

    Think before you do, not after you're done,” says a Bengali proverb that applies to an urgent threat today for Bangladesh—major environmental problems spawned by rapid urbanisation and industrialisation.

  • Beat Plastic Pollution

    In 2014, the United Nations Secretary General said: “There is no Plan B because we do not have a Planet B.” Since its inception in 1974, World Environment Day has grown to become a global platform for public outreach and it is now celebrated in more than 100 countries. The call to action for the World Environment Day 2018 is “Beat Plastic Pollution”. Plastic pollution is a pressing environmental concern that requires our collective action.

  • Turning Dhaka into a resilient city

    I recently attended a public seminar, titled “Resilient Cities: An Integrated Economic Approach to Natural Hazard Risk Mitigation,” held in Vancouver, Canada.

  • Ecological havoc in Dhaka

    Dhaka is faced with many direct threats to biodiversity with accelerating economic development, growing population, land grabbing, congested housing, tree felling, and vehicles emitting toxic fumes leading to extreme pollution and poor quality of life.

  • Combating climate change

    Just as the United States is in the process of pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, US government data revealed that the need for action to stem global warming is as urgent as ever.

  • The superior choice

    Last week, Bangladesh's Power Development Board (PDB) and India's National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) announced that they will form a committee to decide whether to build a large coal plant or solar farm in India for additional power import into Bangladesh.

  • How natural disasters undermine schooling

    In 2010, heavy monsoons led to devastating floods in Pakistan that destroyed 11,000 schools. Thousands of additional schools had to be used as community shelters, preventing them from operating as classrooms.

  • Water pollution: Solutions that actually work

    As the incumbent Awami League government gears up for crucial parliamentary elections to test its popularity, it continues to face numerous questions about its administrative successes and failures.