Protection and Development
winter has been an interesting one in the UK. Two unconnected
events have really given us reason to think about the environment.
It is usual that in my part of Europe "The Environment" is mentioned
everywhere - in newspapers, on television, in the political
arena, in company reports and so on - but in the developed world
we are usually removed from the realities of the consequences
of pollution and environmental degradation. We have clean drinking
water coming out of the taps, air quality in our cities is improving
every year, our waste is taken away and disposed of in a hygienic
manner and our food is safe.
things I didn't mention in that list are that we have cheap,
plentiful fuel for our cars (the current statistic is that there
is one car per 2.2 people in the UK and 82% of road traffic
consists of cars) and we do not have extremes of weather. It
is events related to these two things that I want to describe.
The first event was a mass protest - not uncommon in Bangladesh,
but nowadays rare in the UK. A disparate group of people, mainly
comprising of lorry drivers and farmers, started to protest
about the amount of tax on fuel for road vehicles. The protest
soon escalated and fuel distribution tankers were prevented
from leaving refineries and depots. As soon as this was announced,
there was panic and within a matter of hours it was not possible
to buy fuel for private vehicles. For several days the country
was disabled; people could not get to work, shops could not
get deliveries, children could not get to school. The situation
was temporarily resolved, when the government promised to "look
into it" and the protestors gave them 60 days to sort it out.
The second event was the weather - Britain had its wettest winter
since records began. Rivers rose, large areas of the country,
including some larger cities and towns (eg York, Shrewsbury,
Gloucester) were flooded. Many people were made temporarily
homeless. One or two people were killed. Some businesses were
bankrupted. Historic buildings and documents were damaged or
The public response to the first event was to support the protest;
after all we all want to pay less tax and have more money to
spend on other things. We all need our cars to get around, to
work and at weekends. The response to the second was typically
British - "they should do something about it". The "something"
in this case was to build more flood defences, to improve early
warning systems and to introduce stricter planning controls,
preventing houses being built on flood plains.
So what relevance do these events have to Bangladesh? I certainly
think that some lessons can be learned.
Firstly, we in the developed world must realise that protection
of the environment is a global problem and we have a responsibility
to everybody on the planet. We in the west are often removed
from the consequences of our actions, unlike the typical Bangladeshi:
in the cities you are faced everyday with air pollution and
the problems of waste disposal; and in the country, contamination
of drinking water and the ever present dangers of flooding.
A good illustration of this was the flooding; undoubtedly the
UK suffered some real hardship, but in comparison to the human
suffering and damage caused every year by flooding in Bangladesh,
it really was trivial.
Secondly, it brought home how the developing world will suffer
most from climate change. If sea levels do rise as predicted,
it will be the people of Asia and Africa who will be affected
in a far greater way than us in the west.
So the approach to long term environmental protection in Bangladesh
relies partially on the industrialised countries bearing responsibility
for their actions with a global perspective. The recent failure
to reach an agreement at the World climate change talks in The
Hague may have set this back somewhat, and serves to illustrate
that not all countries are willing to make changes to address
But developing countries have an opportunity to avoid some of
the mistakes that have been elsewhere as they develop more of
an industrial base. The principle that should be applied to
environmental protection should be one of prevention rather
than cure. Companies must learn to assess and understand their
environmental impacts in a systematic way, and then they should
be able to act to prevent pollution. This not only benefits
the environment, but should actually help companies to cut costs
and lower risks without compromising quality. The overall result
should then be to help ensure environmental protection whilst
encouraging growth and development.
*(Please note that the views expressed
in this article are the personal views of Derek Miles and not
of WS Atkins).
WS Atkins Environment
on Achieving ISO 14001 Certification
is the first company in Bangladesh to get ISO-9001 Certificate
for Quality Management System in the year 1995. Since then we
were preparing ourselves to improve the environment in the campus
as well as surrounding as per guideline of ISO-14000 series
of Environmental Management System. Although everybody agrees
that "environment is important, but likely many other important
things in our lives we do not pay it attention as it deserves."
Many would argue that people in business are especially prone
to know always remembering to give the environment a seat at
the table. But our Management was committed to implement ISO-14000
in our Plant at Narayanganj by 2000. In order to achieve that
for last 5 years we are working day and night to bring ourselves
in that direction.
We set up our minds how to proceed as a part of programme. We
identified that while implementing management system we need
to do certain actions i.e. Continual Improvement in overall
Environmental Performance in line with Organisation's Environmental
Policy, surrounding in which our organisation operates including
air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, humans and
Environmental Aspects and Impacts were identified, Legislative
requirements were addressed; Environmental Audit Team was set
up, Environmental Systems along with Environmental Objectives,
Performance, Target and also interested parties concerned were
Having done so, in early 1998 we appointed Mr M Anwarul Islam
as External Consultant to review our Environmental Management
Plan (EMP). He submitted his report in December 1998 and subsequently
on the basis of the recommendations, Corrective Measures were
taken which is a continuous process. The consultant again examined
our actions taken on the basis of his recommendations and finally
submitted a report in March 1999.
On 21st July 1999 we applied to Department of Environment, Dhaka,
Bangladesh for Environmental Clearance which was obtained on
1st September 1999.
We appointed Mr S Subrahmanyan, Environmental Consultant of
India to review our documents on 23rd October 1999. Mr Subrahmanyan
worked with us for more than 6 months and submitted his initial
report on 9th March 2000. In his report he made several recommendations
before appointing Accreditation Body for final assessment prior
On 9th July 2000, we appointed British Standard Institution
(BSI) of India to carry out initial and final assessment for
certification of ISO-14001. Dr. Vinod K. Jain, Managing Director
and Mr Anil K. Agrawal, Associate Director of BSI, India assessed
our activities on ISO-14001 and submitted their report along
with recommendations for Corrective Actions. We involved all
the employees at Plant level and also taken assistance from
the local people around the Plant for implementation of the
Mr N N Murthy and Mr Anil K. Agrawal, Associate Directors of
BSI, India assessed from 25th to 27th September 2000 and finally
recommended us for certification of ISO-14001.
Undoubtedly I would emphasised that without high commitment
from the higher management and team spirit at all levels at
the Plant and day and night work in addition to normal duties,
it would have not possible to achieve ISO-14001 certification.
ISO-14000 implementation and upgrading of our Environmental
Management System effectively we need to work in a planned manner
and it's a continuous improvement and to do so continuous commitment
at all levels is essential.
Operations & Management Representative(ISO 14001 & ISO
Management System (EMS):
A Tool for Environmental Protection
can be defined as the surroundings in which an organization
operates. Surroundings in this context extend from within an
organization to the global system. The key elements of environment
are air, water and land. Maintenance of natural environment
is essential for the existence of human beings as well as other
lives in the world. In the course of development, it is thought
that in nature's cycle of matter and energy, there is an endless
flow of solar heat, renewal of soil fertility and infinite reserves
of organic substances, free oxygen from photosynthesis and fresh
water from precipitation. And the nature could simultaneously
purify itself from natural and man made wastes. Thus, there
was a common assumption that natural environment and its resources
were inexhaustible. Moreover, in order to get quick benefits,
while utilizing natural resources, man violated the matter and
energy cycle to such an extent that the consequences have become
irreversible. Since Bangladesh is one of the Least Developing
Countries (LDC), its industrialization is a must for its development.
To keep pace with development we are going for rapid industrialization
without considering their consequences on environment and also
with uncontrollable use of natural resources ignoring the environmental
impact. At present the key environmental issues that are of
great concern are:
# Ozone Layer Depletion;
# Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming;
# Acid Rain;
# Resource Depletion;
# Solid Waste;
# Pollution of Water and Land and;
Except the above three, which are mostly of global concern,
we the inhabitants of Bangladesh are responsible for creating
other local issues from our development activities. As a result,
a situation has already created where none of the elements of
environment (air, water & land) can naturally recover itself
from the pollution generated from different sources. Since,
industrialisation for the sake of development of the country
can not be halted so management of industrial activities that
are related to the environment is essential in this critical
Environmental Management System (EMS) is a process through which
an industry/organisation could think of minimising usage of
raw materials and subsequent waste generation. Waste is a sign
of inefficiency and lower operating costs are a direct consequence
of waste minimisation or energy efficiency programmes. This
will make a direct positive contribution to a company's profit.
EMS is also a tool, which enables the organisation to achieve
and systematically control the level of environmental performance
that it sets by itself. Key elements of an EMS are:
Initial review of environmental aspects (an organizations
activities, products or services that can interact with the
Identification of legal requirements (relevant environmental
legislation & regulations);
Establishment of and commitment towards environmental
Training to the appropriate personnel;
Implementation (acting according to the objectives and
Checking and corrective action (recording of information
to track performance, relevant operational controls and conformance
with the preset objectives and targets);
System audits (for ensuring correct operation);
Management review (to assess the performance and effectiveness
of the system).
An EMS provides a mechanism for continuous monitoring of compliance
with environmental regulations and other requirements such as
customer requirements, local environmental issues, group policy
etc. and a single point of reference to demonstrate compliance
to regulators. Directors can be subjected to criminal proceedings
on an individual basis for company breaches of environmental
law. An effective EMS will allow management to monitor legal
compliance with confidence and allow for the rapid correction
of variations from regulatory requirements. EMS are of increasing
interest to environmental regulators who appreciate that such
systems incorporate a commitment to legal compliance and a systematic
approach to maintain awareness of regulatory requirements and
ensuring that they are met.
Operational control procedures and contingency/emergency plans
are an integral part of an effective EMS and lead to reduced
environmental liabilities through improved risk management at
the site. This has the obvious benefits of reduced risk of fines
for non-compliance with environmental legislation and retaining
the site asset value through reduced risk of land contamination.
ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is
a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member
bodies). The International Standards in the ISO 9000 series
are intended to provide a generic core of quality system standards
applicable to a broad range of industry and economic sector.
In common with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 is a truly international
standard for environmental management system for different organizations,
certifiable by third party assessors. While quality management
systems deal with customer needs, environmental management systems
address the need of a broad range of interested parties and
evolving needs of society for environmental protection. Environment
could be protected through adoption of pollution prevention
techniques by the use of processes, practices, materials or
products that avoid, reduce or control pollution, which may
include recycling, treatment, process changes, control mechanisms,
efficient uses of resources and material substitution. So, ISO
14001 can be defined as an international specification for an
Environmental Management System which:
Helps to ensure legal compliance;
Manages environmental impacts;
Improves performance and control;
Ensures continual improvement and ;
Mostly it is certifiable by a third party.
Therefore, different industries/organizations in a developing
country like Bangladesh should be encouraged for acquisition
of ISO 14001 certification in order to satisfy the customers'
requirement, strengthen their market competitiveness locally
as well internationally and mostly to save the vulnerable environment
for them and for their future generation. Actually, a time will
come in a very near future when export oriented industry will
have to acquire ISO 14001 certification for selling their products
to outside the country. To face this situation, from now onwards
the export oriented industries should adopt the development
of EMS in their premises so that, when situation demands they
could acquire ISO 14001. In the same way, other industries/organizations
could go for implementing EMS in their premises and thus save
Dr. Shawkat Osman
Prof. Civil Engineering Dept.
Bangladesh Institute of Technology Dhaka, Gazipur
Pollution is one of the current issue now. In Bangladesh air
pollution is burning issue. Smoke from motor vehicle is seriously
harmful for Lungs, Eyes, Infants, Children and many more. City
area is more pollutes than rural area, because of motor vehicles.
Motor vehicles are highly responsible for air pollution, in
3rd world country vehicles are maximum reconditioned and obsolete
from 1st world. Moreover lots of vehicles running in the road
with a critical condition they break down any time, they make
black smoke, and they use bad/worst lubricant oil (which contain
Where are we?
Our main natural resource is natural Gas, and this is highly
pure (95-98% CH4 ). Every year we import a huge amount of petroleum
products, its around 1400 crore of Taka. If we use CNG on our
transport sector we can save half of this amount and which can
make another Jamuna bridge within 5 years.
Condensed Natural Gas, which made of compressing gas in -1630
C. Our finest gas is more useful for making CNG. By special
process at -1630 C temperature gas is passing through the Liquifier,
Heat Exchanger and Expansion Turbine etc. and its become liquid.
In this process 20% of gas is become liquid rest of the gas
is again go to the pipeline and the process is recycling. In
Dhaka city there is 4 CNG station in service. Among the established
station one or two is maximum time out of service. It is one
of the reason of less use of CNG.
Low cost: Here is a comparison of pricing(in Taka per Liter
and cubic meter) Petrol Diesel CNG 23 15 7.45
Low maintenance: CNG is burn fully and has no residue, so its
protect engine from destruction
Pollution Free: No smoke is come out from CNG driven Vehicle,
so there is no pollution.
Save foreign currency: Every year we have to buy about many
thousand MT of Petroleum which is cost of 1400 crores Taka.
If we use CNG against petroleum we can save this money and use
it for another developing works.
Its not stolable: Every private vehicles owner and Govt. is
anxious about fuel stolen from his vehicle, but if they use
CNG it can't happen. Because CNG is condensed gas when it come
out, it is vanish.
Disadvantage of CNG is rare, though some of the disadvantage
is Still now its not available. Setup of CNG pump is costly.
To convert a vehicle into CNG is cost about 15000-25000 Taka.
Vehicles driven with both CNG/General fuel is not imported.
Drivers are discourage vehicles owner to buy or convert vehicles
We have to campaign about using CNG. Concerning people about
Air Pollution and try to protect it by our own. We can buy or
impress the buyer to buy that fuel which is free from lead (
Some of the Fuel pump of Dhaka city serve lead free fuel it
Abdullah Al Mamun
Graphic Professional, Intent
Joint Secretary, BEMF
Surrounding Dhaka are "An environmental nightmare"
and mushroom growth of Brick kilns around the city a mass used
tyres, fuel wood and coal to light their furnaces in the most
rudementary way from Sonargaon and Kanchpur to Kamrangirchar,
and from Hazaribagh, Mohammadpur and Keraniganj to Savar, Konabari
and Gazipur, about 5000 of this kilns will be burning millions
of tons of these highly toxic 'fuels' round-the-clock until
the rainy season sets in. Ar in previous years, exhausts from
these kilns will blanket the city and its peripheral area with
a thin cloud of toxic gas for the next few months. Millions
of people, livestock and arable lands, trees and waterbodies
in these areas will be exposed to a high level of air pollution,
giving rise to serious health hazards.
There is a clear directive from DOE (Department of Environment)
that brick field can be setup on the banks of river or canal
or beside any large waterbody. Earth should be in the field
which may be collected from that river, canal or waterbody.
Besides to release smoke them should be a 120 feet high chimney
with filter installation. But almost all the chimney used in
the brickfields are found found to 40-50 feet high.Over 99 percent
of there brick fields run without any Envionmental clearance
what so ever. The brickfield owners not only brush aside the
legal requirement of installing filters in the chimneys, but
also openly defy the government ban on burning wood and toxic
substance such as used tyros . they also do not care about the
legal requirement of having exhaust chimneys high enough to
disperse the waste beyond human contact.
Neither the district administrators nor the Department of Environment
(DOE) has any programme in hand to look at this environmental
nightmare. The DOE is already struggling with a handful number
of inspectors to look in to thousands of other cases related
to insurance of environmental clearance to industrial units
. The DOE officials say as per law of the land the police can
also clamp down on such practices but due to lack of initiative
the law-enforcing authorities are completely indifferent to
In Bangladesh the owner of the brickfields somehow managed the
license and environment clearance from the DOE and after that
they do not follow it .brickfield owners make money, land owner
and contractors erect buildings government officials make money
bribes by allowing to continue the bad practice, but they are
about to spoil the health of the next generation . But who cares?
with the city expending at a rate of 1.5 kilometers a year in
all direction, demand for bricks and other construction materials
is rising. In the absence of any sincere effort to tackle the
environmental problem, brick fields have mushroomed everywhere
around the cities without any respect for the law of the land
or environment. So, handle this environmental nightmare carefully
for our future generation.
Vice President, BEMF
think everybody is concern about Jaundice. One of its result
is hepatitis B. Still now which is non curable disease. In our
country lots of people are suffering from Hbs Ag which is disqualify
them from foreign Visa, or other and most of them are astonished,
because they never fall in such kind of disease or even never
suffering of Jaundice, so how do they get it?
'STD' (Sex Transmitted Disease), it's known to us that how it's
happen. A lot deadly and dangerous disease like AIDS, Hepatitis,
Syphilis, Ghonoreyah etc. is it's result. When Blood is responsible
for these they may called BTD (Blood Transmitted Disease). Injection
needle, blood donate or taking, sex etc. is the source of BTD.
Today I want to tell about a common source of blood transmitting.
Let's come to the point, everyone of us have to go Saloon or
Barber shop for Shave or hair cut. In the Saloon BLADE is used
for your shave or clearing the short or unwanted hair from Julphi,
Neck, upper side of the ear etc. You see the barber is used
one blade for many people he does not know even you does not
know who is effected by any of the deadly disease. So when a
Blade is used by one of the effected person the next person
who again use the same blade is also effected by that disease.
In our country content you can't do anything by aware the Barber.
So my suggestion is Please buy a Blade by your own and give
it to the Barber at the time of your shave or Hair cutting and
be safe from BTD, if you are still not effected. If you are
effected you also have to do so, because of other peoples safety.
See only 1 Tk can save you from deadly disease.
Executive Member, BEMF
of Paul J. Martin
Paul J. Martin
Occupation: Environment Specialist, World Bank, Dhaka Office,
Join the World Bank: Year 1992
Marital Status: Not Married
Staying in Bangladesh: 2 1/2 years
Academic Qualification: Quite mixed:
In under Graduation: 2 years in Geography, 1 year in Business
Administration, Masters in City Planning, major in Environmental
Legislation, Environmental Pollution and Development Economi
BEMF: How are you?
BEMF: Thanks for giving us the time although you have
a tight schedule.
Paul: You are always welcome.
BEMF: We know you are staying here for a long time, and
you are a Environmental Specialist, so I think you know better
about the environmental situation of Bangladesh. Please tell
something about our environmental problem ?
Paul: In Bangladesh Industrial growth and Urbanization rate
is very high. Like other big cities, here changing the urbanization
rate and industrialization quickly. Industrialization is better
for Bangladesh but at the same time, it's causes harm for the
environment. People need industry and it's necessary for a countries
development but over population is really bad for environment.
In Bangladesh we see that here population growing very fast
in urban area and rural area remain same. Here lot of industry
growing faster, problems arise for that kind of industries.
Problem arises there because of their EMS. In Bangladesh two
legal obligations for industries; one is Environmental Conservation
Act (ECA) 1995 and the other is Environmental Conservation Rules
(ECR) 1997. Department Of Environment (DOE) is also a quite
new organization and I think, still they are not able to take
any industry to court.
BEMF: What is the most important Environmental issue
Paul: I think human health is the single biggest problem
of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh 75% of population live in rural
area. For making meal or other household activities they are
burning wood and dung, this fume would cause for lungs infection
and other disease. And also industrial pollution is now going
to biggest issue for Bangladesh. Another important Environmental
issue is Arsenic Problem.
BEMF: Government and World Bank took any initiative on
Paul: We are now running a project name "Bangladesh Arsenic
Mitigation & Water Supply Project" with DPHE. It started two
Paul: They are screening tube well, marking them and testing
and monitoring parameters.
BEMF: Tell something about Dhaka city's Environment.
Paul: Dhaka is now the most polluted city in the World.
Air pollution is the main issue of Dhaka city. From air pollution
about 8,000 people are falling death every year. Especially
old people and children are affected by the air pollution. And
another problem is waste problem. Sanitary and sewerage system
are insufficient for a big city like Dhaka, and municipal waste
are not cleaned in due time.
BEMF: Recently World Bank operating a training program
on promotion of Environmental Management System(EMS) and implementation
of ISO 14001. Do you think it will fruitful for Bangladesh?
Paul: I hope so. I think most important side of the project
is, participant companies are the example for all industries
in Bangladesh, and give them some help to get the ISO 14001
in cheapest cost.
BEMF: What was the target for launching the EMS project?
Paul: Trying to create some example for EMS in Bangladesh
and build capacity for training on EMS.
BEMF: I think you know the activities of BEMF, Please
give some comments about us
Paul: I think BEMF is an organization that is very resourceful
and they started their journey at the very best time. They have
some young and energetic people with one year training on EMS,
that is the best part of them, and in Bangladesh most of the
organization working on the "GREEN" issue and BEMF will working
with the "BROWN" issues of the Environment that related with
the industrial pollution. I think they know what is EMS and
I wish they would implement their knowledge in this field.
BEMF: Give some tips for BEMF.
Paul: BEMF is a new group working hard to create awareness
& promote Environmental Management System for the first time
in Bangladesh. You have a strong team with a group of geographer,
Environmentalist, Engineer's, Lawers, etc. I hope if you people
work together for a pollution free world you must able to reach
BEMF: Tell something about the other Environmental organization
& NGO's who are active in this field?
Paul: In Bangladesh Environmental organizations & NGO's
are acting as an important part for build awareness and concerning
people about environment. But most of them are talking about
the "GREEN" problem. Hopefully BEMF will able to take steps
to create awareness and take initiative to work on BROWN issues.
BEMF: Do you like Cricket?
Paul: Actually I was not a fan of cricket before I came
Bangladesh. But as there is a tremendous popularity of Cricket
in Bangladesh now I become a fan of Bangladesh Cricket Team.
BEMF: Thank you again for this interview. BEMF family always
grateful to you for your continuous support and friendly helps
to run all the activities of BEMF.
Paul: I will feel proud to be with BEMF family with all
their positive initiatives.
Interview was taken by:
Md. Anisul Kabir
Info. & Publication Secretary, BEMF