Bangladesh panel calls for 'ecocide' law to protect environment

A parliamentary committee has urged the government to bring the act of environmental destruction under the purview of the law by treating 'ecocide' similarly to genocide.

Published : 20 June 2021, 05:09 PM
Updated : 20 June 2021, 05:09 PM

In a meeting on Sunday, the committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change recommended adding a provision to the Code of Criminal Procedure or drafting a new legal framework to codify ecocide.

Ecocide is generally defined as the destruction of the natural environment or ecosystems by deliberate or negligent human action.

After the meeting, the committee's chairman Saber Hossain Chowdhury said: "Just as genocide is treated as a crime, the destruction of an ecosystem also warrants the same treatment. This is because without an ecosystem, none of us can survive."

"Therefore, the main theme of ecocide is to bring the crimes against the environment under the purview of the law. We have spoken of making ecocide a crime under domestic law."

Meanwhile, the working paper of the meeting revealed that the Forest Department recovered over 2,468 acres of forcibly occupied land over the last eight months.

Addressing the matter, Saber said, “We have expressed satisfaction with the forest reclamation activities. This wouldn't have been possible in the past but it is underway now."

"Our recommendation is to speed up the process because it will take years and years to progress at this pace. We have asked for a roadmap on how to speed up the process at the next meeting.”

The committee also called for necessary measures to keep the deforestation rate in Bangladesh below the global average.