Environment and Social Development Organization- ESDO conducts consultations, workshops and meetings with government agencies, relevant stakeholders, project partners, industrial associations, health professionals, multi sector group of people about the adverse effects of lead in paints and mercury in consumer products, dental amalgam and other hazardous toxic metals.Dialogue with policy makers, press briefing, policy lobbing with Governmental body are regular activities of ESDO. Awareness raising and educational campaign are conducted among dental students, volunteers, researchers, green club members, practitioners for eliminating lead in paint and mercury in dentistry.
Base line study, field survey, direct interview, documentary, case study was conducted to estimate the level of awareness of general people about mercury in consumer products. Development of IEC materials and distributed both in print and electronic way as a part of educational program. ESDO developed two study reports on Reduction of mercury in mercury containing products in Bangladesh, Prepared ESDOs annual report-2014. New posters, stickers and new festoons have been developed under Mercury project in association with UNEP in order to spread the message of health hazard of mercury. ESDO and United Nations for Environment Program (UNEP) are jointly organized a workshop on ‘‘Reduction of Demand of Mercury, in Mercury containing products in Bangladesh” at 17th December 2015. The government personnel responded very positively on this issue. They expressed their eagerness on ratifying Minamata Convention. The recommendation and guideline ESDO provided on the study report the government personnel expressed interest in creating a model guideline on the basis of it. The national dailies paid ample heed on the workshop by reporting on the event.
ESDO has lead several discussion and consultation sessions with BPMA regarding the second lead paint test. Developed draft regulation for standard level of lead in paint upto 50 ppm and complete elimination of lead in the period of 2015-2016. ESDO submitted request letter jointly with BPMA for standard level and BSTI also approved the request of enacting permissible limit of lead in household paints. ESDO Published National Report-2015 on Lead during ESDOs’ 25th birthday celebration.
ESDO has effective social media campaign through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter on the projects like, Lead in Paint Elimination, Mercury Free Dentistry, Asian Center for Environmental Health, gender transport safety, WiSE Bangladesh, Eco-tourism, Zero-waste village. ESDO successfully caught huge attention on its awareness and study programs. Several TV and radio programs were aired which mentioned statistics disseminated by ESDO.
ESDO’s General Secretary Dr. Hossain Shahriar, Executive director Siddika Sultana and its Chairperson had a meeting with Ministry of Environment and Forest where the draft guidelines and petition submission on lead in paints were handed over to them.
A report on SAICM- Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management was done in 10th July 2015. Representatives from ESDO have been participating in International Chemical Management from time to time in order to contribute in reforming law in Bangladesh.
Under the guidance and direction of ESDO’s Secretary General, Hossain Shahriar, ESDO organized a nation-wide anti-polythene campaign in 1992, which involved the media and was supported by numerous organizations and public leaders. In 1999, the Ministry of Environment and Forest recognized the anti-polythene campaign as the most important national movement, while in 2000, the Ministry of Environment and Forest selected ESDO as the principle task force representative in pushing for a complete ban of polythene bags. ESDO received world-wide recognition for its commitment and for the success of the campaign – Australia, India, Pakistan, the United States of America, Japan, and European countries, have since either recognized or followed ESDO’s initiative. Every year in 3rd July anti polythene day is celebrated worldwide. Bangladesh is the first country where polythene bag has been banned. A major role behind it was played by ESDO. Like every year ESDO celebrated anti polythene day on 3rd July 2015. ESDO is still continuing its anti polythene campaign on a regular basis in a form of SMS campaign, social media and website content update.