Saturday, December 7, 2019 | ePaper

Destruction of ecology by Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar

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PRIME Minister Sheikh Hasina said the environmental balance of Cox's Bazar was under threat as hills and forests were being cleared to establish settlements for Rohingyas. The PM was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the "Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation" at Hotel Inter-Continental Dhaka. Mentioning that Bangladesh has given shelter to a large number of Myanmar nationals on humanitarian ground, she said the country was stepping forward with a big burden on its shoulder. Hasina said Bangladesh wants the Rohingyas to return to their homeland as soon as possible.
Bangladesh is expecting to take advantage of the best adaptation practices, most cost-effective solutions and risk reduction with the help of the Global Commission on Adaptation. Climate change poses the greatest threat to the present and future generations. Evidence suggests that Bangladesh has already 6 million climate migrants, a number that could more than double by 2050. Changes in temperature, increased frequency and severity of floods, droughts, heat waves, cyclones and storm surges, sea-level rise and salinity intrusion are affecting a vast tract of land in Bangladesh also creating negative impact on agriculture, crops, livestock and fisheries, and threatening the food security of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has been engaged in creating resilient forests in offshore areas to protect forest-dependent communities and habitats of important forest biodiversity. But we must change the nature of the threat posed by the Rohingyas to the environment where they live or else it will be irrevocably destroyed for at least one generation. But the only way to do so would be to ensure effective repatriation of the Rohingyas. Considering the Myanmar government is slippery as an eel this is very difficult. The Rohingyas are unsure of being treated properly in their own country as they are deprived of their rights. Thus the only true solution to the ecological destruction seems to be a political solution which is also nonexistent in reality.
The government can shift the Rohingyas to some remote char where there will be a lesser chance of ecological destruction but the main problem of repatriation will still be unsolved. Myanmar should take full responsibility for the ecological destruction of the areas where the Rohingyas live.


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