Environmental Code for Reducing Pollution


Environment on the whole in Bangladesh is worst affected. There is air pollution, noise pollution and smoke pollution emitted from vehicles causing health hazards. 

What we see today is total apathy to concern for a better environment. 

When we have a look at Sweden we perceive that Swedes are not only environmentally conscious to preserve nature but they have a much closer relationship with nature. 

In this regard, Swedes are fond of mentioning the night of common access, a right that was established way back in the 13th century, which makes it possible for everyone to have limited access to private land. As long as one shows consideration towards the owner of the land and avoid damaging or violating the landowner's rights by disturbing the peace of his home, there is nothing to prevent you from stopping a while at some nice spot or having a swim in a lake. 

This right has been regarded as unique in Sweden. Still the Swedes love for nature was not created by a decree – it was perhaps facilitated by it --- but from the privilege of having a vast country with less inhabitants and of having an easy access to nature, be it in central Stockholm or in a forest. 

It is learnt that even in Stockholm, no one is more than 20 minutes away from leafy parks or more than 10 minutes from water. The city’s waters are good for swimming because of the hard efforts to protect the water from pollution. But it is to the Stockholm archipelago that the Stockholm archipelago that the Stockholmers love to set out for when they want leisure and relaxation. There are some 25,000 islands in all, making Stockholm’s archipelago the largest in the world. 

The great concern for the nature and the environment is also reflected in Sweden’s political life. Sweden actually took the initiative for the first international environmental conference held in Stockholm in 1972. 

Today, it is well-known that environmental issues affect all aspects of society, from large production systems to the lifestyle of individuals. In Sweden the control of urban and industrial pollution has gone a long way. 

“We don’t own the earth—have borrowed it from our children” is the fundamental motto of  Swedish environmental policy. 

Its overall objectives are: Creating an environmentally oriented society that protect human health, preserving biological diversity, managing natural resources in a sustainable way and protecting valuable natural and cultural landscape. The next step is to move towards issues concerning products, for instance, recycling and waste minimisation as well as infrastructure and life style of the Swedes. 

The challenge is to reduce the pollution from products and the agricultural and transport sectors. With their love for their environment, the Swedish consumers have given impetus to the producers to meet their demands for more environmentally sound products so that an ecologically sustainable society is established. 

The Swedes also have support to their environmental concerns in the new Environmental Code that came into force on January 1,1999. 

It was enacted in order to make the environmental legislation easier to comprehend. Now all rules on how an operation harmful to the environment should be counteracted under only one statute. 

The new code also places some fundamental requirements on all kings of environmentally destructive operations, thus enlarging the scrutiny into areas that were not regulated before. 

In principle the code applies to all human activities that may harm the environment and applies to everything from major projects, such as building and operating hydro-electricity plants or motor ways, to small individual measures, such as washing a car with detergents or composting household waste. An all encompassing set of rules to protect the environment. 

Look at what we in Bangladesh are doing to protect our flora and fauna. Virtually we have done nothing. We are taking half hearted measures and indulging in high sounding rhetorics only to please environmentally concerned people. 

We are in the midst of all sorts of environmental pollution and there is no hope for any improvement. The growing slums, heaps of garbage dumped on road side, black poisonous smoke emitting from vehicles, overflowing drainage, welding shops on road sides and no less is noise pollution having adverse effects on health. 

We should learn from Swedish concern for the environment and try to study their Environmental Code. 

The gravity of the situation demands radical change in the environment policy to adapt to our prevailing situation. 

Environmental scientists must be taken into confidence to formulated a viable environmental policy need based in nature and content to tide over the urgent and serious environmental issues bedeviling the nation. 

Involvement of private sector in mitigating the sufferings of the people because of environmental pollution is very much desirable at this juncture, This is for the reason that the government with its own priorities have overlooked environmental problems. If private sector acts as a supplementary force and an effective partner then there is a glimmer of hope that we can tackle the chronic environmental issues in a much better and sustainable manner. 

In order to rid the country of environmental pollution, now taking a menacing term a consensus on short and long-term measures have become imperative. The ministry of environment must be made accountable and a team of seasoned environmental experts appointed to render technical advice to the ministry to make our environment free from all hazards. 

Source: The Financial Express, July 26,2001