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Review Roundtable: Environmental Issues in Rural and Urban Settings

On Feburary 14th 2016, a review roundtable on “Smart Ways to Deal with Environmental Issues in Rural and Urban Settings” brought together economists and sector experts to discuss preliminary findings of research, with the aim of getting inputs from sector experts as well as fellow economists in order to improve papers and their cost-benefits analysis.

The discussion was facilitated by Brad Wong, Chief Economist, Copenhagen Consensus Center and chaired by Prof. Abdul Bayes, Director, Research and Evaluation Division, BRAC. After a brief presentation on project background and present status, the researchers presented their initial research findings on Wetlands, Arsenic treatment, water access and sanitation, Household air pollution, Brick kilns in Dhaka city, Liveability issues of Dhaka city, Issues of river ecosystem and utility services for Dhaka city. 

From a Very interactive session, the most notable recommendation and suggestions came out regarding utilizing public wetlands in a more effective way through Community management, focusing more on implementation of appropriate procedures during leasing at the root level, doing political economy study for calculating co-benefits (Human, social, environmental and economic) of community management and consider the livelihoods of the surrounding people in the study, Focusing heavily arsenic concentrated area, following WHO arsenic standard, including iron and manganese along with arsenic study, economic value of the reduction of carbon, exploring the possibility of bio-gas from livestock, focusing more on drainage system, dragging, cleaning wetlands in Dhaka city. Attendees emphasized “Restore Buriganga River ecosystem” as first and “solid waste management” as second priority among seven interventions. However, all attendees stressed on the collaborative efforts from government, Private sector, NGOs (National and International) to work on in keeping environment clean and safe for people of Bangladesh. 

Prominent Attendees 

Nahim Razzaq, (member of parliament and convener of Climate Parliament), Dr. Asif Zaman from IWM (Institute of Water Modelling), Mohammad Mahabubur Rahman from Dhaka WASA (Water And Sewerage Authority) Dr. Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed from PKSF (Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation)  Mr. Abdul Motaleb from World Bank, Dr. M A Matin and Samir Kumar Sarker from RDA (Rural Development Academy), Arif Faisal from ADB, Dr. Nazrul Islam from Dhaka School of Economics, S. M. Abdul Mannan (ex consultant at FAO), Dr. Abdullah-al-Muyeed from WaterAid Bangladesh, Md. Emdad Hossain from WorldFish along with other experts.