Thursday, November 7, 2013

Special conference on Environment Movement and Organization4

Dhaka Declaration 2010 on Bangladesh environmental problems

3rd International Conference on Bangladesh Environment (ICBEN) adopted Dhaka Declaration 2010, which compiles the main points of analysis of almost all major environmental problems of Bangladesh and presents the recommended solutions that emerged from the conference. The Declaration is now available in both Bangla and English. Detailed discussion of this Declaration will be one of the main tasks of the special conference on Environment Movement and Organization, because a good understanding of this document is essential for successful and effective participation in the environment movement.

Main organizational principles of BAPA and BEN

Two main organizational principles of BAPA and BEN are “financial self-reliance” and “operational initiative.” Both BAPA and BEN rely on resources provided by their members and do not seek or receive any fund from either the government or foreign donor agencies. BAPA and BEN are therefore not NGOs. Both BAPA and BEN allow their branches and chapters to take initiatives while remaining faithful to the basic principles and philosophy of the organizations. It is necessary to have detailed discussion of these two principles so that all BAPA and BEN branches, chapters, and members can understand their rationale, method of implementation, and efficacy.

Environment  Movements’ Relationship with the government, state, and administration

The government and the civil administration have the most important role in protection of environment. The main goal of BAPA and BEN is to influence government’s policies concerning environment. However, experience shows that even good policies get scuttled, and in fact often generates contrary results, if there is lack of cooperation, inefficiency, and hostility on the part of administration. The recent experience regarding demarcation of river boundaries through installation of pillars following the High Court’s order is a good example of the above. Hence an important issue for the conference to discuss is how to convince and mobilize the civil administration to work in favor of environment.

Relationship with political parties and professional, social, cultural, and sports organizations

The environment movement cannot succeed without mass participation. Particularly important role is of political parties, which form governments that in turn formulate and implement environment related policies. BAPA and BEN therefore from the very beginning have been keen on enlisting the support of political parties, various professional, social, cultural, and sports organizations for the environment movement. An important task of the conference will be to evaluate this effort and invite the leaders of the parties and mass organizations to take part in this evaluation.

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