Environment | The Daily Star
  • Providing permanent support to the people of Tanguar Haor

    I always wanted to take two photographs of the same spot of Tanguar Haor—one in the driest month of the year and one in the wettest.

  • Solving the climate change problem

    The temperature in a small town in Eastern Russia, Verkhoyansk, located 10 kilometres above the Arctic circle, recently pushed to an astonishing 38 degrees Celsius—hotter than the annual average of Dhaka, Toronto, New York, or Los Angeles, during the same time of the year.

  • Desertification And Drought Day: The threat of parched land

    Barsha-Kaal, or the rainy season, has officially arrived this week. If we were not shackled by Covid-19, we would have been welcoming monsoon with singing and dancing at public gatherings, arranging tree fairs, and planting hundreds and thousands of saplings all over the country. A perfect time to make our country greener!

  • Conservation delayed is conservation missed

    In the middle of the devastating coronavirus crisis, we have come across some good news about the environment.

  • Why should you care about the air you breathe?

    If you live in Dhaka, a city that is perennially drowned in a sea of polluted air, you may think that a scarlet sunrise or sunset blazing across the horizon is a sight to behold.

  • A breath of not so fresh air

    We all know that the air quality in Dhaka is bad. Anyone living in the city only has to clean a surface at home in the morning and see the visible layer of dust magically reappear by the time you return from work, or spend a little time outdoors and just feel the air in your throat to know there is a real problem. But how bad is it truly? And are there insights that the data can reveal to us?

  • Save the environment, not posters

    With the Dhaka City Corporation election ready to roll out next month, the capital is brimming with a palpable air of electoral mood.

  • Why count birds?

    On a half-wooden, half-iron boat, a team of men and women in heavy winter gear and heavy-duty binoculars set sail on a very, very cold winter morning on January 5. Their destination was the sandbars and shallow water lagoons of the mighty Padma River.

  • Is it a new concept for Bangladesh?

    Bangladesh’s forests tell us many stories. Let me share three of them.

  • Arguments for using AI to combat climate change

    According to a report published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in 2018 the average global temperature was recorded to be the fourth highest on record.

  • Why saving the Sundarbans is so urgent

    The severe cyclonic storm Bulbul originated from the Bay of Bengal advancing with a speed of 140 kph and started dwindling when the mouth of the storm crossed the Sundarbans and hit the mangrove forest at a speed of 70-80 km per hour.

  • How our rivers fared in 2019

    The year 2019 saw both good and bad developments for our rivers. On the good side, the first thing to be mentioned is the High Court’s judgement of February 3, declaring rivers as a “legal entity,” having rights similar to a living person.

  • COP25: Another round of active inaction

    The UN’s longest-ever climate negotiations, continuing non-stop for almost two extra days, drew to a close on December 15 with not much to celebrate. Nations on both sides—developed and developing—held hardline positions resulting in utter disappointment, so expressed grudgingly by the UN Secretary General himself. Countries failed to agree on many of the sought-after outcomes, including rules to set up a global carbon market, steps to mobilise dedicated funding for loss and damage (L&D) and mobilisation of long term finance (LTF) for the most vulnerable.

  • Perils of climate change: Time for action

    The 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known as the UN Climate Change

  • Where has all the green gone?

    As I pass the planning commission office in Agargaon on a rickshaw, on a jam-packed road in the evening, I cannot help noticing the big advertisements

  • Cyclone Bulbul: Views from the ground

    At least a dozen people died and many more were injured due to the impact of the cyclonic storm Bulbul in Bangladesh.

  • Realigning our climate change goals

    In climate change jargon, the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate change and its effects seeking to moderate or avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities is defined as adaptation.

  • Battling climate induced displacement

    Disaster and climate induced displacement has become an important issue in the global disaster risk reduction (DRR) conversation.

  • The silent killer lurking in the air

    Surprising as it may seem to some, non-smokers in Bangladesh can die of lung cancer, and we are not talking about passive smoking here.

  • When the garbage piles up

    The near absence of an environment-friendly urban waste management system in Bangladesh is a major concern for the citizens.

  • Building capacity to implement the Paris Agreement

    The Asia-Pacific Climate Week was held at the UN Conference Centre, Bangkok from September 2 to 6, 2019. The objective was to have a regional dialogue on how to rachet up ambition in mitigation and speed up adaptation actions.

  • Climate change: Is solar radiation management a feasible idea?

    In an op-ed piece published in this newspaper on August 27, 2019, I discussed a number of methods within the context of Solar Radiation Management (SRM) as a way of mitigating some of the impacts of climate change. They are whitening low-level clouds, thinning the Cirrus clouds, injecting sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere, or putting sunshades (mirrors and/or reflectors) in outer space.

  • Saving Dhanmondi Lake

    The Dhanmondi lake deserves some serious attention by the relevant authorities to save it from pollution.

  • Proforestation: A better climate action than tree plantation

    The “Global Warming of 1.5 degree C” report determined “afforestation” (planting new forests) and “reforestation” (replacing forests on deforested or recently harvested lands) as essential strategies to remove greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere. Likewise, the role of trees in addressing the climate change problem has received much attention in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on “Climate Change and Land”. However, planting trees is not a silver bullet against climate change and it should be a part of an inclusive action plan to address the climate crisis.

  • Solar radiation management can help combat climate change

    In the Environmental Physics course that I teach from time to time, a student once remarked that we really do not have to worry about the deleterious effects of climate change because technology would be able to solve all the problems we are facing.

  • Solving the climate crisis is beyond governments

    Throughout my 10 years working in international development and climate policy, I’ve mostly heard colleagues talk about the private sector as if it was this intangible,

  • Transboundary cooperation key to enforcing rivers’ legal rights in Bangladesh

    In June 2019, the Bangladesh High Court granted its rivers the status and rights of a living entity, becoming the fourth country after New Zealand, India and Colombia to do so, and the first to extend the declaration to every river within its territory. The decision was welcomed by river rights groups, environmentalists, experts and the National River Conservation Commission of Bangladesh as an important move against the widespread encroachment and pollution, choking hundreds of rivers crisscrossing Bangladesh.

  • Plastic Pollution on Bay of Bengal

    Alarming plastic pollution in the Bay of Bengal

    Plastics play a vital role in our daily life. However, plastic debris in the marine environment has serious negative impacts on marine resources, fisheries as well as on the use of coastal areas for tourism. It is also a threat to our precious Blue Economy.

  • Despite global climate extremes, why is climate action so slow?

    Over a hundred people have died and hundreds of thousands have been displaced in the first few weeks of the South Asian monsoon this year.

  • The inextricable link between water scarcity and poverty

    When I was visiting a museum in Athens last year, one of my Greek friends was explaining to me about an ancient water supply canal that went through underneath the museum. It was amazing to see that the authorities in Athens realised the importance of providing clean water for its newly urbanised citizens, even thousands of years ago.