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News & Stories | News | 05 Jun, 2024

Shakti Foundation and USAID jointly organized

In honor of World Environment Day, Shakti Foundation and USAID jointly organized "Save Your Breath: Policy Dialogue on Clean Air Imperatives" at Hotel Sheraton, Banani. The U.S. Embassy Dhaka and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) contributed as strategic partners to the event, bringing together distinguished policymakers, esteemed researchers and implementing agencies, and other valuable stakeholders.

Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, Honorable Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Government of Bangladesh, graced the event as the Chief Guest. Other special guests for the sessions included Mr. Md. Atiqul Islam, Honorable Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), Ms. Änjali Kaur, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Asia Bureau, USAID and Mr. Nahim Razzaq, MP, Convener of Climate Parliament Bangladesh.

Chief guest Saber Hossain Chowdhury, MP, eloquently stated, “Air pollution is a silent killer. The ministry has now formulated rules to identify and tackle both indoor and outdoor air pollution. An all-government approach with active engagement of all stakeholders is the way forward.”

The first of this two-part dialogue, “Catalyzing Clean Air: Research to Actionable Insights,” was moderated by Shakti Foundation Deputy Executive Director Imran Ahmed. Mr Ahmed said “Air pollution claims nearly as many lives as smoking. It not only has long-term health implications, but it also has far-reaching negative consequences, particularly for the younger generation. The onus is on us to safeguard them as we build a prosperous nation.”

The second session, “Managing Air Quality: Solutions Across Sectors,” was moderated by Nahim Razzak, MP, Convener of Climate Parliament Bangladesh.

Honorable Mayor Md. Atiqul Islam made the following air quality improvement declarations: “Enforce canopies or covers are used at construction sites to prevent dust from contaminating the surrounding air; ensure appropriate covers on transport vehicles carrying materials that disseminate fine particles; ban unfit vehicles that generate black exhaust smoke; eliminate informal leaf and waste burning; and block illegal sewage lines to lakes and canals.

This daylong event was attended by prominent individuals from both domestic and foreign organizations, highlighting the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing air quality challenges. This policy dialogue marks a significant step towards developing actionable strategies to improve air quality in Bangladesh.

*Let’s be part of the solution, not air pollution!*

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