Environmental Education and Environmental Management in Bangladesh,sustainabilty

Author Topic: Environmental Education and Environmental Management in Bangladesh,sustainabilty  (Read 10639 times)

Offline kafi

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Sustainability is now one of the most widely used words in scientific communities and its associated education
systems, particularly in the field of Environmental Science (Filho, 2000). Knowledge, either traditional or institutionalised from formal education, is an essential prerequisite to attainment of sustainability in human society
and endeavor. The concern with sustainability itself is partly a product of the integration of ecology into the basic
science curriculum of schools in industrialised countries for the last 30 years. The existing information, education
and mobilisation processes have also an important role in the evolution of environmental management around the
world (Romero, 1995). Universities and other equivalent institutions play a leading role in promoting of
environmental ethics and the principles sustainable development (Delakowitz and Hoffmann, 2000). According to
Filho, “…universities must give future generations education and training that will teach them, and through them,
others to respect the great harmonies of their natural environment and of life itself (Filho et al., 1996)”. At a
practical level, environmental education (EE) can play a key role in creating awareness and motivation that change
people’s skills, values and behavior in society.

In Bangladesh, environmental education is a recent phenomenon particularly in the formal higher education sector
where few universities teach environmental studies. Recently popular environmental movements have heightened
awareness of environmental issues, as well as the need for education and skilled environmental management in
Bangladesh. Popular environmental movements have sprung up involving many sectors of society including
academics, various professional groups, the general public, many foreign Bangladeshis, government departments
and various non-government organisations (for example, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) or Bangladesh
Environment Campaign). Since 1995 they have provided a common platform of pro-environmental forces in Bangladesh. To date, this force has been very successful in drawing national attention to a range of environmental

Current environmental education and environmental management issues of Bangladesh. It also discusses need for environmental education, practices and future possibilities for employment for environmental graduates from Bangladesh. Finally the paper recommends a policy framework for sustainable environmental education and its deployment in sustainable environmental management in Bangladesh.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 10:32:12 PM by kafi »

Offline Shahrear

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Thank You
This is a great thinking regarding Environmental Education and Environmental Management in Bangladesh. We once hard that Bangladesh will soon go under water and later we hard from a newspaper that there is no such risk. But in this scientific era we should be capable enough to determine the actual situation by ourselves.

So, we should start environmental Education and Research.

Md. Hasan Shahrear 

Offline kafi

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you appropriately said we should start from Environmental education than we will asses the Environmental Impact.
keep eyes your clarification will be clear. I also read this article but that thought was made by global aspects . This is true we are in face of sever disaster situation and have made the climatic disorder that reflection is visible. 


Offline kafi

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Just for read

The State of the Bangladesh Environment

For a long time, Bangladesh had a primarily traditional, pre-industrial economy. Despite their low productivity, an important virtue of traditional methods of production is that they are less polluting and more environmentally sustainable. To achieve higher productivity and growth, Bangladesh has for two decades striven toward industrialisation. However existing industries tends to be environmentally damaging. The early industrialising countries (EIC), now in their post-industrial phase, are trying to repair the damage done to their environments and turning to environmental sustainability. Even newly industrialising countries (NIC) experience the polluting potential of industrialisation. Hence, as Bangladesh proceeds towards industrialisation, she needs to beware of the environmental impacts of industrial growth. There are several reasons why Bangladesh in particular needs to exercise particular care with industrialisation and why her citizens need greater knowledge of environment.

(a) Fragile ecology of Bangladesh: Bangladesh is primarily a delta. The entire country is inter-connected through river systems and underground aquifers. For a considerable part of the year the land remains wet. This aqueous environment makes it very easy for pollutants to disperse in Bangladesh. The flora and fauna of the country are delicate. It is very easy to damage and destroy Bangladesh’s ecological balance.

(b) Extreme Population Density: Of all countries of the world, Bangladesh has the highest density of population, some small city-states excepted. Bangladesh’s population density is already fifty times higher than that of the US and six times higher than that of China. With such extremely high density, any contagion arising in Bangladesh is sure to very rapidly affect millions of people. High population density also leaves very little open space and uninhabited terrain to cushion against environmental stress or shocks. Human induced pollution loads are already close to or exceed that assimilative capacity of the environment. The high and increasing population density is itself a direct cause of environmental degradation (Khalequzzaman, 1999).

(c) Importance of Foreign Capital: In it’s industrialisation efforts, Bangladesh relies heavily on foreign capital. Foreign companies, generally in footloose industries like garment and footwear manufacture, do not usually have a long-term stake in Bangladesh’s well being. They are more likely to be guided by short term profit goals. This increases the possibility of them making environmentally risky or damaging decisions. In 1997 an accident in a Magurchara1 gas exploration test well operated by an international oil company caused widespread damage when wildfire spread into surrounding forest (Feeroz and Islam, 2000). As Bangladesh prepares to set up export processing zones all around the country and to issue mining leases for further inland and offshore exploration by foreign oil and gas companies, potential risk to Bangladesh’s environment is likely to increase. For example, recently earth tremors have increased in the Chittagong-Rangamati region. It is alleged that large-scale mining exploration activities are contributing to geological instability in the area2.

(d) Mass Poverty and Illiteracy: Widespread poverty and illiteracy among the majority of people in Bangladesh increases the country’s susceptibility to environmental damage. The general populace of Bangladesh is overwhelmingly preoccupied with meeting their basic material needs. Therefore they have little time or energy for concern about environmental amenities. High levels of illiteracy aggravate this problem, because illiteracy reduces the communication of complex information and acts as a barrier for them accumulate knowledge to understand the absence of popular protest, parties who pollute or damage the environment virtually have an open field.
All these factors lead to these conclusions:

   â€¢ Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to environmental damage.
   â€¢ The only way Bangladesh can avoid environmental disaster is by through a strong and united, broad-based environment movement. This can only arise through mass environmental education and the emergence of local Bangladeshi expertise in appropriate and sustainable development.

How to build such a movement? First, the people of Bangladesh need to agree to the priority of environmental concerns and commence tackling them with the resources available, while also developing an effective, long term education and public awareness strategy.


Offline kafi

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3. Setting our priorities straight

If an opinion poll to identify the top priority issues for the 21st century were conducted among ordinary citizens of
Bangladesh, it is unlikely that the environment would top the list (Khalequzzaman, 1999). This is to be expected,
given the low level of environmental awareness and the minimal level of environmental education available to
people through schools and other institutions. I argue however that improvement of the state of the Bangladesh
environment through environmental education is a pre-requisite for prosperous economic development. See for
example the lack of educational policy in the Bangladesh Profile for the Johannesburg Summit, 2002 (United
Nations, 2002). Only a better balance between environmental stewardship and economic development can guarantee
a sustainable future and the well being of the country in the 21st century. The challenges of environmental issues in
Bangladesh and the urgent need for sustainable development options require the development of environmental
expertise capable of research, implementation and community education. This is only possible through effective
environmental education programs.

4. Importance of Environmental Education in Bangladesh

Environmental education is necessary not only to develop expertise which can contribute to policy making, but
also to create a civil society which demands environmental accountability of its government and works with
government in implementation. Government can easily draft and revise national plans for environment and
sustainable development, using local or imported expertise. The far greater challenge is to effectively integrate
communication and education both for the short and longer term outcomes. The general aim of environmental
education and communication is to encourage and empower the community to conserve the integrity and diversity of
nature, and to ensure that natural resources are used in an equitable and ecologically sustainable manner. Education
is commonly perceived as a one-way flow of information, usually in educational institutions, especially schools.
However, environmental education can be two-way communication with full participation and learning by people of
all ages. The educational process itself becomes sustainable when the participants take responsibility and lead the
process themselves. Environmental education should not be confined to schools, but is an important tool for
managers, civil servants, community groups and NGOs alike, enabling them to implement policies to protect the
environment (Van Hemert et al., 1995).

5. Existing Environmental Education Policies in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh government has several policy statements advocating widespread environmental education, but
there has never been a specific government policy for environmental education nor environmental professions in
Bangladesh. The Fourth Five Year Plan for Bangladesh (1996) states that “Environmental Education would be
imparted to the teachers and students at all levels of education and specific measures must be undertaken to ensure
participation of women at every level of education.” Furthermore, the Environment Policy, 1992 contains the
following specific statements on environmental education and public awareness:

• Eradicate illiteracy and create widespread mass awareness regarding protection of the environment and
utilisation of all national resources in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner.
• Ensure inclusion and dissemination of environmental knowledge and information in the formal and nonformal
systems of education and the media.
• Encourage spontaneous and active participation of people in all environmental activities.
• Incorporate environmental issues in all training programs for public and private sector officials and
employees including industrial and commercial workers.
• Encourage necessary research and evolve technology so as to ensure long term, sustainable and
environmentally sound utilisation of all resources.
• Ensure that environmental issues get due consideration in all research activities by research and
development institutions.
What is lacking in current government policy are clear goals and strategies for environmental education.

6. Present Status of Environmental Education in Bangladesh

Education services in Bangladesh fail to adequately service demand, due both to a growing population and limited
funding. Access to education has not increased relative to demand, even though levels of enrolment have increased
at the primary (Years 1-5), secondary (Years 6-10), college (Years 11-12) and university levels (Table 1). The
literacy rate in Bangladesh is 45.1% of the population (BBS, 1997). Literacy rates vary between urban centres
(57.7%) to rural areas (39.1%) and marked differences in are found between the sexes (Male 48.2% and female
39.6%) (BBS, 1997). Low levels of literacy impede dissemination and understanding of information on
environmental issues.


Offline kafi

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Formal Education: Currently environmental education is offered in primary schools. Primary education is compulsory for five years. To encourage education of girls in rural areas they pay no tuition fees up to grade. An integrated subject called Environmental Studies was been introduced into the primary and junior secondary syllabus in 1978.

The syllabus of Environmental Studies for grade 3, includes the causes and effects of degradation of the environment, the importance and methods of conservation, prevention of waste and pollution and conservation of water resources (Sharafuddin, 1990). The main principles for framing the Environmental Studies syllabus for Primary School are: ◊ The pupils will able to observe and know their immediate environment and develop a scientific attitude in solving their everyday problems; ◊ Study of separate subjects like biology, physics, chemistry, geography, geology, social studies, etc does not help young pupils understand the wholeness of the environment, so an integrated subject is very important; and ◊ Knowledge about proper use of environmental resources and of their conservation is essential for the maintenance of human life and civilisation. The topics included in the primary and a secondary curriculum indicate the coverage of environmental studies in the formal school system. Although the environment receives substantial coverage in primary education, the coverage at lower secondary school (grades 6-8) is rather sketchy. Worse still, activity-oriented methods of teaching are totally absent in the present school curriculum due to: ⇒ Insufficient adequately qualified teachers, ⇒ Lack of basic educational infrastructure such as suitable classrooms and work space, ⇒ Lack of educational equipment, audio-visual materials, etc, and ⇒ Teacher training which fails to provide knowledge of the environment and skills required for effective environmental education.

Offline jafar_bre

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sir .

its a great post.I have learnt a lot of things  .....

thanks sir

Department of Real Estate
1st Student
Department of Real Estate
Rupayan Group
Cell # 01787147157.

Offline kafi

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Thanks Jafor keep eyes new posting is coming very soon

Offline kafi

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Higher Education: Prior to1996, environmental education in the tertiary sector was rather disjointed and poorly developed. In 1996 Khulna University first offered a 4-year undergraduate degree in Environmental Science. It was the first public university to offer environmental education in Bangladesh.

Sylhet University (another public university) has offered a 4-year undergraduate degree Civil and Environmental Engineering since 1995. Some non-government universities have opened environmental education programs, such as Environmental Studies at North-South University (1995), and Environmental Science and Management at the Independent University (1996) and Environmental Science and Disaster management at Daffodil International University. Recently Dhaka University and Jahangir Nagar University (both public universities) opened undergraduate courses.

In the environment courses described here, student enrollment is very competitive and places available are limited (only 25-40 students in each course). Prospective students need to pay expensive enrollment fees in the non-government universities, so only richer guardians can afford this education. However, facilities for research and fieldwork are inadequate in all of these universities. In addition to these specialized courses all public universities in Bangladesh offer Ecology units in their B.Sc. and honors degrees with Botany or Zoology majors. At post-graduate level, there is a compulsory paper on Ecology in post-graduate Botany and Zoology programs. M.Sc courses in Environmental Management and Earth Science have been offered in Departments of Geography or Geology in some universities. Relatively better environment related units are offered in M.Sc. programs (some times undergraduate level also) in Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), Khulna University’s School of Life Sciences and the Civil Engineering Department of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). Environmental Engineering courses at both postgraduate and undergraduate levels are offered at BUET. The Bangladesh Institutes of Technology (BITs) also offer environmental engineering units within their undergraduate civil engineering courses. Polytechnic Institutes offer sanitary engineering units in the final year of three year civil engineering diploma courses. In addition, various institutes like the Public Health Training Institute, National Institute of Preventive and Social Medicine, Social Welfare Institute and Health Education Bureau also offer short-term sanitary engineering units for practitioner engineers, doctors, sanitary officers and social workers.


Offline papelrezwan

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Great post on Environment.....
Md. Rezwanur Rahman
Student Counselor,
Daffodil International University
Executive Member, DIUAA
Cell: 01713493051, 01717352538
E-mail: rezwan@daffodilvarsity.edu.bd