Updated: Mar 27
With the climate crisis at the forefront of the international agenda, communities in P4D’s project districts are organising at the grassroots level to mitigate climate change at home. Multi-Actor Partnership (MAP) groups, working in association with P4D at the Upazila level, have been implementing Social Action Projects (SAPs) since 2018 throughout our 21 project districts. These SAPs have varied in focus, however, they have always centred around human rights, access to justice, and important local issues including climate change.
In Bangladesh, global warming and deforestation are major concerns that are already affecting communities across the country. Rising sea levels, intensifying storms, and ecological resilience are critical local issues that need to be addressed. Until larger climate policies are implemented, communities including our MAP groups are doing the necessary work to do their part. Currently, MAPs in 10 P4D project districts are implementing SAPs to reduce deforestation and improve the environment through tree plantations. These MAPs are distributing saplings to community members, and they have already planted over 1,000 trees between August and October of this year. Not only is their work beginning to reduce deforestation levels, but it is also raising awareness of the issue and bringing a great sense of pride to community members.
Nannu Sikder, a MAP member from Marichbunia Union, Patuakhali District received a mango sapling from his MAP and planted it on his property. He said, “trees are important for the environment since they improve air quality through the process of photosynthesis. We know that trees are the most important source for producing oxygen in the environment and help reduce carbon dioxide levels, so, I have planted the tree. This is giving me a feeling that I am doing something to better the environment.”
Mozammel Hossain, the SAP leader from Polash Union, Bishwamvarpur, Sunamganj, stated that “like all over Bangladesh, we also observe deforestation in my home district, Sunamganj. We are cutting trees only for our benefit. We hardly consider that this massive deforestation is creating harm for our environment and as well as for our lives in the future. That’s why I became involved with the SAP and distributed saplings among our community.” Hossain also launched a Facebook campaign to promote the SAP, which has received positive feedback from community members in his union.
Another MAP member from Polash Union, Bishwamvarpur, Sunamganj, Mst. Amina Khatun, stated that “since childhood, we have been taught that trees give us fruit, wood, and oxygen. But nowadays, we are beginning to forget this lesson which is ultimately negatively impacting our lives. Thanks to this SAP, we have distributed over 100 saplings among the community. Though it is just a small amount, I hope this will create a positive result on the environment as well as on our lives.”
This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Platforms for Dialogue and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.