The government on Sunday declared the country free of the dangerous biochemical pesticide DDT after removal of the remaining 500 tonnes of the insecticide from the medical sub-depot of Chattogram.
Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), an insecticide used in agriculture, was banned by the US in 1972. Bangladesh joins the US as a new member. However, some countries still use DDT to control mosquitoes that spread malaria.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md. Shahab Uddin officially made the announcement at a press conference organised by the ministry at the secretariat.
The Ministry’s Deputy Minister Habibun Nahar, Secretary Dr. Farhina Ahmed and representatives of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) were present at the event.
The Department of Health had imported 500 tonnes of DDT pesticide in 1985 to implement the malaria control programme. The imported and unused dangerous organic chemical pesticide DDT, considered of low quality, is kept in stock at the medical sub-depot of the Health Department at Agrabad, Chattogram.
Recently, the environment ministry undertook a project titled Pesticide Risk Reduction in Bangladesh with the funding of the Global Environment Facility and technical support from the FAO. Under the initiative, the remaining DDT was completely exported to France on 10 December 2022.
An international commitment of Bangladesh has been fulfilled with the export of DDT, a product banned by the Stockholm Convention, the minister said.
The minister also briefed the ministry’s achievements in the World Biodiversity Conference held in Montreal, Canada from 7-19 December 2022.
He called on the developed world to increase the significant amount of support for the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework after 2020 and to spend at least 1.0 per cent of the world’s GDP on biodiversity conservation.
The vision of ‘Living Harmony with Nature’ by 2050 and the ‘Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework’ was adopted at the conference with the aim of preventing and protecting biodiversity and ecosystem damage by 2030.
The framework has set 23 targets under 4 objectives.
One of these goals is to conserve 30 per cent of the world’s terrestrial and aquatic environments and to secure at least US$200 billion in funding per year from all sources by 2030 for biodiversity conservation; Ensure financing of at least $20 billion per year from the developed world to the developing and underdeveloped world by 2025 and at least $30 billion per year by 2030.
Under the said framework, the country’s ‘National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan’ will be updated, the minister said.
The minister said that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has already pledged to provide 350 million dollars in financial assistance to developing countries for the implementation of GBF and conservation of biodiversity and environment.