Collective effort is needed to save the country's environment as the government, in the name of development, has legitimised “anti-environment” activities of various “aid” organisations, said Dhaka University teacher Dr Tanzimuddin Khan at a solo lecture yesterday.
Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Foundation arranged the lecture on “Bangladesh-e Bon Sangrakkhaner Rajnoitik Protibesh: Nishorgo Prokolpo-er Prashongikota” at RC Majumdar auditorium of DU, said a press release.
It was part of the foundation's lecture series on unpublished PhD thesis.
Dr Tanzimuddin submitted a thesis on “The Project in Bangladesh: Gas, Forest and Livelihood” to the University of New England in Australia in 2014, which helped him earn his doctoral degree from the university. Yesterday's lecture was based on the thesis. In his lecture, the associate professor of International Relations said the USAID-funded forest conservation project, “Nishorgo”, was initiated in Bangladesh in 2000.
The project continued as “Integrated Protected Areas Conservation” between 2008 and 2012. From 2013 to 2018, it continued as “Climate-Resilient Ecosystem and Livelihood” for the conservation of 25 out of the country's 35 forests and wetlands, he said.
Evidence of “Nishorgo” project turning “anti-human” and “anti-nature” could be found through analysing official documents, publications, and emails related to it, he alleged.
He also alleged that while undertaking projects for forest conservation, authorities concerned make various promises but in the end, business interests of local and international groups involved in the projects gets priority.