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Call for Action

Bangladesh has made significant social and economic progress in recent decades. This growth, however, has come at the expense of increasing environmental impacts. Bangladesh is ranked 169 of 180 countries for environmental performance indicators, reflecting significant environmental and ecological degradation. Poor environmental performance impacts societal wellbeing, public health, and productivity putting pressure on Bangladesh’s human, physical, and natural capital vulnerabilities; and posing a severe threat to its development and economic goals. Moreover, Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

The current COVID-19 pandemic threatens decades of hard-won development gains, further highlights existing issues that affect growth and quality of life. Amid lingering impacts from the pandemic on domestic activity and persisting disruptions in major export markets, a mild recovery is forecast for this year. The Government of Bangladesh is responding to the COVID crisis and recovery needs with significant stimulus packages and associated policy and institutional action. In this context, Bangladesh clearly has the potential to champion greener solutions in its COVID recovery, to ensure future sustainability while securing natural capital and a fast-growing GDP.

 

The PRI is Bangladesh’s premier think tank that specializes in evidence-based policy research on a range of topics that are important for development. As an integral part of this endeavour, PRI has developed the Green Growth Website (GGW) to provide a shared platform on issues that relate to Bangladesh environmental management and the sustainability of development. Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in increasing incomes and reducing poverty over the 50 years since independence.  It now aspires to achieve upper middle-income status and eliminate extreme poverty by FY2031and attain high-income status by FY2041. These are ambitious targets and will require rapid progress with a large number of policy and institutional reforms.  At the same time, it is well known that Bangladesh faces serious risks from natural hazards that tend to be compounded by ongoing global climate change and weak environmental management. There is now a growing awareness of these risks and the challenges they present to the sustainability of development progress.  As a reflection of this, the government has incorporated the idea of pursuing a green growth strategy for Bangladesh in the Perspective Plan 2041 (PP2041) and the 8th Five Year Plan (8FYP).  There is however a huge policy gap that is partly related to the political economy of reforms but also related to the absence of evidence-based knowledge on actions and programs that would help Bangladesh move forward with a green growth strategy.  Accordingly, the PRI along with Bangladesh’s leading development partners like the World Bank Group (WBG) are helping the government to develop the Green Growth Strategy and associated Action Plan by bringing good practice local and global knowledge to inform the strategy and policy agenda. The GGW puts that knowledge into an open access platform for both the government and other stakeholders.