Bangladesh has sustained a GDP growth rate of more than 6 percent for over a decade. The impending graduation out of the least developed countries category is a remarkable achievement for the country of 160 million people, in its fifth decade as an independent nation. This growth trajectory has brought in its wake several key challenges on the environment front: unchecked extraction of scarce natural resources, environmental degradation, population pressure, climate-related vulnerabilities, to name a few. Bangladesh is one of the lowest ranked countries in the global Environmental Performance Index prepared by the Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy. The 2018 report ranks Bangladesh 179th out of 180 countries. Studies have shown that Bangladesh loses about 1 percent of its GDP due to the harmful effects of air pollution alone. This has, in turn, put pressure on policymakers to ensure that growth strategies followed by the country are sustainable. A key element of sustainability is a green growth path, which is not only expected to limit the damage to the environment but also to enhance the productivity of the natural capital stock. In a country where the poor remain heavily reliant on natural resources, an equitable or inclusive growth… Read full this story
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