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Bangladesh can’t teach us

Published 18/02/2009

I cannot share the guilt and Kevin Boyd's mortification (Write Back, February 13) with regard to problems which concern Bangladesh.

The population of Bangladesh has approximately doubled since 1981, keeping pace with the extra nutrition provided by genetically modified rice.

The forests have been reduced (as a result of burning) by over 20%. Fishing still provides a good diet, especially for those living in what must be a very transient manner at the estuary of the Ganges where currents are variable.

The Bangladesh government has now acquiesced in the most hideous decision to site a petrochemical cluster about the island of Nayachar, 10 kilometres from Sunderbans, a biodiversity hotspot containing a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Noxious effluents will spread

into the vast network of rivers and creeks and affect a vast range of marine, coastal and estuarine life forms — a very reckless decision.

Incidentally, there are 15 TV stations in Bangladesh, but it is not clear whether radio signals can penetrate the mangrove swamps where the people who have been given radios could have some advantage.

Those who may take umbrage at the idea of Sammy Wilson feeling that expensive ads advocating that people turn off pilot lights are trivial and unnecessary must concede that his demeanour is small beer compared with the ineffectiveness of the Bangladeshi Minister of the Environment encountered by Kevin.

Malachy McAnespie


Belfast Telegraph

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