A world of limited resources

01 Jul 2015

By 2050, if the current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with the rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our way of life.
Are we conscious about the trend of natural resource consumption to meet the needs of our current generation? Are we leaving behind enough resources for the future? The gas we burn for cooking, electricity generation, running vehicles and industries will be exhausted in a couple of decades. Our agricultural land is shrinking by one percent every year, our clean wate, air and soil are getting polluted at an alarming rate over time. Globally, each individual uses 16 kilos of resources extracted from earth every day - metal, fossil energy, and minerals. If you live in the western world, this number is much higher - up to 57 kilos of newly-mined minerals per day. On the biodiversity front, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has identified a frightening figure of over 200 animals including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals to be threatened in Bangladesh. Many of the Earth's ecosystems are nearing critical levels of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if the current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with the rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our way of life. As key … Read more

A Formula to Secure Bangladesh’s Forests

09 Jun 2015

Photo by UNDP Bangladesh
That the environment is under pressure is not a new story, but a fact that has been witnessed with concern in all parts of the world. What is often forgotten is that humans are deeply dependent on the environment. It supports our very existence. Food, water and the air that we breathe are ‘services’ crucial to our survival - yet the environment continues to be destroyed. In the face of a changing climate and growing natural hazards it is unsurprising that the global community marked the recently passed World Environment Day – 5 June - with a renewed sense of urgency. This year’s theme, “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care”, is timely and as Bangladesh celebrates the day we must look to both establish strong natural resource management practices and engage people as guardians of the environment. One example of this can be found in our own Chittagong Hill Tracts where communities draw on traditional knowledge to sustainably manage natural resources through Village Common Forests (VCFs).  Regrettably, Bangladesh has been experiencing severe deforestation and forest degradation over the past 30 years. A 2011 paper co-authored by Center for International Forestry cited data suggesting 90 percent of Bangladesh’s forest have … Read more

Switch on to turn off: Your role in energy access.

05 Apr 2015

Put your hand up if you’ve experienced a black out in Bangladesh? What’s that, everyone has? It is no surprise to anyone living in Bangladesh that power shortages are a part of life. As the temperature rises, power outages will begin to occur more frequently. Air conditioning units start running, fridges have to work a little harder, fans are on almost 24 hours a day, and water for agricultural irrigation kicks into gear. As much as black outs are frustrating for those with electricity connections, life without energy access is much more challenging. Current energy demand (8,500 MW) far outstrips existing production (peak 7500 MW), with this gap showing no clear sign of decreasing, as the country grows and more people connect to the grid. Outside of the inconvenience, why is this important? It is important for a number of reasons. Access to energy across Bangladesh is limited. With an unstable national supply and over 10.2 million households living in rural areas with no access at all, energy inequality represents a significant issue. Energy plays an important role in human development. UNDP believes that access to energy can open windows for everyone to enjoy the fruits of development and their fundamental human rights. … Read more

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