Environment and National Security of Bangladesh



1. Environmental degradation is among the most critical global issues in front of us today. The issue is well pondered by the people all over the world. Activities responsible for such degradation have been taking place in and around Bangladesh for decades. But this core issue was never addressed with due importance by the authority. Due to the political unrest, civil strife, insurgency and above all poverty in Bangladesh and around, concerned authorities were never in a position to handle the matter with required effort. It was always kept aside as “to be dealt later”. However, the material damages, loss of lives and social dislocations from frequent natural disasters have tossed the issue onto the centre stage of the government repeatedly. Today, its link with domestic and regional security is well understood by the authority. Indeed, this understanding developed only when security issue like mass displacement of population leading to stealing, robbery, clashes between groups etc. appeared to be directly or indirectly connected with the environmental degradation.

2. Bangladesh is subjected to environmental degradation on the national, regional and global levels. At the national level, in one hand, poverty and decreasing land-man ratio are causing the environment to degrade at a faster rate. On the other hand, natural disasters like floods, cyclones, tornadoes, storm surges etc. are directly contributing to the environmental degradation. At the regional level, the country is encountering environmental degradation due to diversion of river flow and deforestation at the Himalaya. Finally, at the global level, the country is facing environmental degradation for activities related to global warming and sea level rise.

3. One important aspect is that the region around Bangladesh is significantly influenced by the Himalayan mountain ranges. Rivers...