Views

World Habitat Day: Habitats not just for humanity, but for life

Through the choppy waters of the Bay of Bengal, our speedboat twisted and turned trying to reach Sonadia Island.

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.

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

October 7, 2019
October 7, 2019

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.

September 23, 2019
September 23, 2019

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.

September 16, 2019
September 16, 2019

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.

September 6, 2019
September 6, 2019

Saving Dhanmondi Lake

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

September 3, 2019
September 3, 2019

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.

August 27, 2019
August 27, 2019

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.

August 23, 2019
August 23, 2019

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,

August 11, 2019
August 11, 2019

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.

August 10, 2019
August 10, 2019

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.

August 8, 2019
August 8, 2019

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.