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Stakeholder Consultative Workshop for Promotion of Resource Efficient Brick and Textile Manufacture in Bangladesh

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Date(s) - 25/02/2016
9:00 am - 2:00 pm



A Stakeholder consultative workshop for ‘Promotion of resource efficient brick and textile manufacture in Bangladesh’ was organised on 25th February, 2016 in Dhaka. The workshop was organised under a project that is being supported by the Department of Environment (DoE) and aims at promoting resource conservation in two key industry sectors of Bangladesh viz. Textile and Brick, by facilitating transfer and uptake of best practices, policies and technologies through knowledge sharing. The initiative has helped in bringing together a critical mass of important stakeholders and was able to identify some innovative approaches to not only save valuable natural resources, but also lead to improved working conditions, reduced negative health impacts and significant improvements in local as well as global pollution.

The project is being implemented in partnership with Institute for Industrial Productivity (IIP) and supported by UK Department for International Development (DFID) under their Knowledge Partnership Program (KPP). The project has now reached a critical stage where substantial scope for scale-up of project activities have emerged. The workshop was organised with the aim to bring together all the relevant stakeholders on a common platform to assess the challenges and opportunities and to work out an action plan to take the initiative forward.

The Chief Guest at the inaugural event of the workshop was Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests and the workshop was Chaired by Mr Md. Raisul Alam Mondal, Director General, Department of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Forests. The workshop started with the welcome address by Dr. Sultan Ahmed, Joint Secretary and Director, Department of Environment. While welcoming the Chief Guest, resource persons and the participants, he mentioned that this initiative was very timely and relevant to the current context in Bangladesh. While discussing the environmental issues and challenges due to activities in the brick and textile sector, he mentioned that while polluting our rivers is unacceptable, a much bigger problem is air pollution. We cannot avoid breathing and, therefore, it is important that we maintain the quality of our ambient air by adopting cleaner production methods in brick clusters around human settlements so as to make our cities and villages liveable in the future.

Mr. Somnath Bhattacharjee, Director, Institute for Industrial Productivity (IIP), provided the background & an overview to the participants. In his presentation, he mentioned that resource conservation is not an end in itself but an essential means of achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development. There is a need to understand the multiple benefits of promoting resource use efficiency which goes much beyond resource savings and environmental benefits. He explained to the participants that a pragmatic and practical approach to solving some of the critical environmental issues in the Bangladesh textile and brick sector is to look around and identify successful interventions in the region and customize it for local adoption and mainstreaming-an approach that was followed under the project. For the Brick sector, he mentioned that the project recommended promotion of FaL-G (Flyash lime gypsum) bricks, which has been invented and successfully adopted in India. The technology completely eliminates the use of top soil and fossil fuel for brick making and is quite relevant for Bangladesh. For the textile sector, the recommended action plan of the project is to share and exchange policy learning’s from India in the area of Zero Liquid Discharge and promotion of energy efficiency based on learning’s from Energy Conservation Act 2001 and Perform achieve and Trade Scheme being implemented in India.

Panellists at the Inaugural Session: (From Right to left): Dr. Sultan Ahmed, Mr. Somnath Bhattacharjee, Mr. Miran Ali, Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed (Chief Guest), Mr Md. Raisul Alam Mondal (Chairman), Mr Mizanur Rahman, Ms. Ritu Bharadwaj

The panelist at the inaugural session also included representatives from Brick and textile Industry Association, who are also pro-active partners in this initiative. Speaking at the Inaugural event, Mr Mizanur Rahman, President, Bangladesh Brick Manufacturers Owners Association (BBMOA), mentioned that they realise that Bangladesh has limited resources to serve its population, but the country is also facing huge demands for the construction material and housing development, so there is a need to identify cost effective products, techniques and technologies for brick making where resource efficient options like FAL-G bricks could offer a very good solution. Mr. Miran Ali, Director, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, while speaking on behalf of the textile industry mentioned that Bangladesh Textile industry is aware of the environmental impacts due to its operations and is making efforts to adopt cleaner technologies and are committed to adopting Zero Liquid Discharge practices.

Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, while giving his inaugural address mentioned that Bangladesh can’t just look at promoting ‘economic growth’ alone and there is a need to prioritise ‘economic development’ in order to have sustainable growth that will ensure liveable habitat for our future generations. Speaking about the Brick sector, he mentioned that, Bangladesh is now trying to shift to new technologies. Fixed Chimney Kiln (FCK) technology is now being phased out with zigzag, hybrid hoffman technology. While these technological changes will help in reducing air pollution but the concern regarding the top soil loss would still remain unaddressed. Bangladesh is one of the most fertile countries in the world and has wonderful top soil which is getting depleted fast because of pressure from fired brick sector. He said: “We must realize that it takes about 5000 years for the top soil to form and we definitely cannot afford to plunder it and escalate our food security concerns. To sustain the infrastructure growth in the country the brick industry presently manufactures 17 billion bricks per year consuming 45 million tons of top soil in the process. The soil that is lost is fertile agricultural soil and is a permanent loss to the country.” He mentioned that Brick technology options like FaL-G definitely provides an alternative to this problem.

Speaking about the issues and priorities in textile sector, Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed mentioned that in most manufacturing sectors, our attention has mostly been to increase production and gain competitive advantage, which while helping Bangladesh earn foreign exchange is working against resource conservation. He said: “As an example, every shirt that we export requires 2 liters of water for its production. Bangladesh is presently the second largest manufacturer and exporter of garments in the World and in all probability will become the leader in 2018. Just imagine what would happen if we continue to do business as usual by consuming so much of water and thereby depleting our ground water resources.” While concluding, Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed mentioned that “we generally talk of three ‘R’s for sustainability – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The time has come for us to seriously consider the fourth R, which stands for `return to the nature’. We have in this workshop, experts from India-a very friendly country to share their experience and I must thank Department of Environment to have taken this initiative to organize this event for disseminating new ideas to promote resource efficiency in the textile and brick sectors.”

Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, delivering his inaugural address

The Keynote address was delivered by Mr Md. Raisul Alam Mondal, Director General, Department of Environment, who was also the Chairman for the workshop. Speaking on the occasion, he mentioned that managing the environmental issues related to brick industry is a huge challenge for the Department of Environment (DoE). He said that “Although we have been trying to phase out FCK, there is hardly 65% compliance in this regard with the compliance rate as low as 22 % in some districts, which is very unfortunate. Even the zigzag bricks that are operating are not as per correct design guidelines and there is tremendous scope for improvement. A huge concern for us in the brick sector is also the loss of top soil. Even in improved kilns the main feed still remains the top soil and there is an urgent need to find solutions to this problem.” He also added that although DoE is not recommending any particular technology, but people in the brick business must understand the pros and cons of the various technological choices and make the right investment for the future without taking undue risk. He also said that “Bangladesh is slowly moving towards a scenario like in India in terms of dominance of coal based power generation. By 2018-19, the country will have power plants of up to 450 MW generating huge quantities of fly ash which would pose a big environmental challenge for us and options like FaL-G technology can help in managing it”. Speaking about the textile sector, he mentioned that “Management of solid waste by way of textile sludge is again a big problem and DoE is in the process of developing manuals for sludge disposal. The options are now being tested in field for their feasibility which DoE plans to disseminate later.” While concluding his address he mentioned that, “Let us all come together in building businesses that are sustainable by addressing environmental sustainability.” The inaugural session concluded with a Vote of Thanks by Ms. Ritu Bharadwaj, Senior Program Manager, Institute for Industrial Productivity.

Mr Md. Raisul Alam Mondal, Director General, Department of Environment delivering his key note address

The workshop was attended by more than 150 participants with representation from key Policy Makers & Regulators, opinion leaders in the Brick and the Textile Sectors, Industry Associations (BBMOA, BGMEA, BKMEA) and financial, research and technical institutions.

Participants during the inaugural Session

Promotion of Resource Efficient Brick and Textile Manufacture in Bangladesh
Inaugural Session
Welcome Address Dr. Sultan Ahmed, Director, (NRM and Research), Department of Environment
Initiative Background & Overview Mr. Somnath Bhattacharjee, Director, Institute for Industrial Productivity (IIP)
Special AddressMr. Mizanur Rahman, President, Bangladesh Brick Manufacturers Owners Association (BBMOA)
Special AddressMr. Faruque Hassan, Senior Vice President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Exporters Association (BGMEA)
Special AddressMs. Helen O’ Connor, Head Climate Change Team, DFID Bangladesh
Inaugural Address by the Chief GuestDr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests
Address by the Chairperson Mr. Md. Raisul Alam Mondal, Director General, Department of Environment.
Vote of Thanks Ms. Ritu Bharadwaj, Senior Program Manager, IIP
Tea Break (11.00 am to 11.30 am)
Technical Session 1 – Textile Sector, Venue: Balcony Hall
Session ChairMr. Amit Kumar Baul, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests
ModeratorMr. Q S I Hashmi, Additional Director General, Department of Environment
Experiences and Learnings from Policy Initiative of Promoting Zero Liquid Discharge Mandate in Textile Sector in India Dr. B. Sengupta, CPCB, India
Learning’s from India’s Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT) Scheme and creating a cadre of certified Energy Manager and Auditors through Certification System Mr. K.K. Chakarvarti, BEE, India
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Master Plan, 2030: Options for Promoting Energy Efficiency in Textile sectorMr. Raihan Uddin Ahmed, IDCOL, Bangladesh
Prospects and Challenges of Zero Discharge ETP in Bangladesh Dr. Syeda Sultana Razia, Professor, BUET
Zero Discharge Plan including 3R initiatives taken by DoE and its present status Mr. Syed Nazmul Ahsan, Director (Environmental Clearance), Department of Environment
Opportunities for Promoting Cleaner Production in Textile sector: Textile Industry PerspectiveAsif Ashraf, Managing Director, Urmi Group (BGMEA)
Technical Session-II – Brick Sector, Venue: Chitra Hall
Resource & Eco Efficiency in Sustainable Corporate Compliance Mr. Md. Shahjahan, Formerly Additional Director General, Department of Environment
Enabling Policy framework for Promoting Resource Efficient Brick ManufactureMr. Masud Iqbal Md. Shameem, Deputy Director, DoE
FaL-G- Brick Technology- A Viable Resource Efficient Option Mr. N. Kalidas, IFSWREB, India
Alternative Technology Options for driving green buildings Dr. Sabbir Ahmed, Professor, BUET
Fly Ash Management: Challenges and Opportunities for Bangladesh Dr. Ijaz Hossain, Professor, BUET
Scope for Promoting Resource Efficient Brick making: Brick Manufacturers Perspective Mr. Asadur Rahman Khan, BBMOA
Open Discussion
Remarks from the Chair

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