An environmental organisation in Cox's Bazar today submitted a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, calling upon the authorities concerned of the government to take prompt measure to save Saint Martin's island from pollution originating from tourism.
Environment People, a voluntary organisation for environmental awareness, handed over the memorandum to Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kamal Hossen, reports our local correspondent.
Fast growth in tourism and widespread use of plastic packets and other non-biodegradable products such as nylon ropes, one-time use cups and plates, PET bottles, etc are harming the environment and bio-diversity of the island, an Ecologically Critical Area (ECA), the organisation said in the memorandum.
It also made a 9-point recommendation and demand to the authorities concerned regarding taking steps to conserve the environment and bio-diversity of Saint Martin's, a coral island and popular tourist attraction.
The 9-point demand and recommendation are:
-- Enforce legal actions complying with the Environmental Control Act against restricted activities at Ecologically Critical Area (ECA). Saint ---- Martin's island is an ECA.
-- Ban use of plastic in the island.
-- Ensure proper disposal and management of other non-biodegradable wastes in the island.
-- Restrict tourists against behaviours and activities that are detrimental to the environment and bio-diversity.
-- Ban tourism in Chhera Dwip.
-- Stop construction of hotels and resorts in the island without environmental clearance certificate.
-- Ensure safe water source in the island.
-- Formulate an action plan for conservation of environment, bio-diversity in the island and livelihood of the residents.
-- Implement the verdict on a writ petition (writ case no. 6848/2009) filed by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association (Bela).
Earlier on January 27-28, a 45-member team of volunteers of the organisation carried out a clean-up drive in the island and collected around 200 kilogrammes of plastic and non-biodegradable wastes littered by tourists in the island.