According to United Nations, ecosystem degradation impacts 3.2 billion people worldwide
Speakers at a webinar on Sunday urged the people to actively work from their own position to protect the environment instead of waiting for others to start.
They made the urge while addressing a webinar “Role of youths in ecosystem restoration” organized by BRAC climate change program to mark World Environment Day, said a press release.
Like every year, World Environment Day was observed in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world on June 5 under this year’s theme “Ecosystem restoration.”
An ecosystem is a geographic area where plants, animals, and other organisms like biotic or abiotic factors work together to form a bubble of life.
As chief guest, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) Director Saleemul Huq said: “There are laws for environment or ecosystem protection in Bangladesh, but those are rarely followed. The country is incurring different losses only because of the interest of a handful of people.
“The youths must bring every issue related to environmental destruction in their neighborhood into attention and notify the concerned authorities about the activities.”
Half of the global GDP is dependent on nature and already at least 3.2 billion people are affected because of lost ecosystem services, the statement said.
Department of Environment Director (Climate Change & International Convention) Mirza Shawkat Ali said: “Swedish youth Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg, an idol in the climate change movement, has already proved that youths can bring changes, if they want. Many like Greta Thunberg will emerge in Bangladesh if we support the youths in Bangladesh.”
Presiding over the webinar, Dr Md Liakath Ali, director of the climate change programat BRAC and BRAC International, and the urban development program at BRAC, said benefits of protecting the environment is bigger than what we think.
“Half of the global GDP is dependent on nature. An investment of $100,000 to ecosystem restoration can bring benefits of $30,000. Implementation of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including no poverty and zero hunger can make an important contribution to ecosystem restoration,” he opined.
Arannyak Executive Director Rakibul Hasan Mukul said: “It will not be logical if we only think about ecosystem protection, because we also have to think about the needs of people who are dependent on the ecosystem. If we can unite everyone involved in the process, only then we can make success in ecological restoration.”
Young researcher Anusree Ghosh said the ecosystem of Chalan Beel faced massive loss when the highway was constructed upon it. She demanded a proper survey on environmental loss before taking any development project in future.
According to the United Nations, ecosystem degradation impacts 3.2 billion people worldwide. Loss to the economy will be $10 trillion by 2050 if loss to nature continues. The agricultural production will drop by 12% and food prices will hike by 30% by 2040 if the ecosystem destruction continues, the statement said.