ESDO’s Initiatives in phasing out Persistent Organic Pollutant (POPs) 

ESDO prepared a study paper to document the present status of POPs (DDT, PCB and Dioxin) usage in Bangladesh. All the tasks that are done for preparing this document are under a partnership agreement between Just Environment Charitable Trust, Toxics Link and ESDO. Anthropogenic activities have invented and released a significant quantity of toxic and hazardous metals, organic and inorganic chemicals into the land, sea and air. Among all of those pollutants, Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) can be categorized as the most hazardous. In recent decades, vast numbers of POPs have been produced and used worldwide. Many are still in production and used in everyday products, especially in agrochemicals. These chemicals have become widespread environmental pollutants. As Bangladesh is a developing country, contamination from these pollutants has the potential to do more harm for our environment and population. Bangladesh lacks the newer technologies to limit pollution levels, so therefore prevention is required to reduce the production and usage, as well as the source, of the pollutants.

ESDO Initiative on POPs Awareness 

Considering the limited initiatives of government regarding the POPs issue, ESDO took the

initiative to mobilize a country-wide awareness campaign and created a network namely BPEN (Bangladesh POP Elimination Network). ESDO is focused on raising awareness about environmental anthropocentric hazards such as:

  • The use of lead in decorative paints
  • Mercury usage in medical and non-medical products
  • Waste hazards from electronic products

ESDO has conducted initiatives for creating awareness in the general public and influencing

the policy makers of government on POPs issue. A round-table was organized with government, non-government key personnel and the media who work on POPs to make an

outline of proposed activities that should be carried out to benefit the natural environment of Bangladesh. On the 20 December, 2010 ESDO organized a stakeholder meeting with various government, non-government and media personalities to share their knowledge on POPs and find suggestions for suitable and reasonable steps for a POPs free environment in Bangladesh and the world. ESDO has also organized stakeholder meetings in rural areas to bring awareness to those outside the capital to POPs hazards. ESDO conducted the meeting at Natore and Munshiganj with the farmers, retailers, dealers and distributors of POPs pesticides. Also present were teachers, chairman, local people, area representatives of DoAE (Department of Agricultural Extension) were also present and shared their knowledge and suggestions. A rally was also organized with the help of the students of Chor Hogla Primary School, Munshiganj. ESDO has a program on “Environmental Education” where there is particular emphasis provided on knowledge sharing about industrial pollutions caused by anthropogenic activities (where a particular importance is given to POPs issue). We also published leaflet to raise public awareness.

Apart from that-

  • ESDO has been raising awareness about the harmful impacts of POPs on human health in international forums.
  • When BT Brinjal was being yielded and sold in the markets of Bangladesh ESDO took a active role in effusively organizing media campaign against it. ESDO made fact sheets on the harmful impact of BT Brinjal on human health and nature.
  • ESDO under the umbrella of Eco-village program took on the project of organic agriculture in order to protect human health and nature.

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