Vol. 5 Num 215 Fri. December 31, 2004  
Letters to Editor

An environmentalist's concern

As a political environmentalist in the UK, I have often cited the nation-wide ban on plastic bags in Bangladesh as an example of what enlightened political will can achieve. Yet it is with dismay that I learn about the advanced stages of plans to build a gas pipeline through the Lawachhara National Park (Gas fires and living forests just don't mix, December 27).

In an otherwise compelling report, and contrary to an assertion about what is "vital to the nation's development", natural gas does not offer the most viable long term energy strategy.

Bangladesh has the opportunity to lead the way in zero energy developments. Solar cells should be routinely fitted to power conventional household appliances in new buildings, to name just one initiative. Moreover, the threat to bio-diversity and rare species if this pipeline went ahead is incalculable not just to the national heritage but to the legacy of humankind. The Department of Environment must learn from the environmental destruction of 1997 by realising its own power to obstruct these plans forthwith.