Environmental sustainability is central to development

March 2, 2010

March 02, Dhaka: Environment sustainability has always remained crucial for socio-economic development. It has now become even more important globally and in particular for Bangladesh with climate change having a serious threat to reverse development gains. In addition, urbanization is having a major impact in developing countries, with more than half the world’s population now living in cities and 90% of urban growth taking place in developing countries.

In order to better plan and manage World Banks’ development assistance to the client countries, the World Bank Group has embarked on the preparation of a new Global Environment Strategy. The new Strategy aims to identify the best approaches that the World Bank Group should pursue to effectively address the country’s environmental priorities for sustainable development. The Strategy will build on Making Sustainable Commitments: An Environment Strategy for the World Bank, the World Bank’s first environmental strategy produced in 2001. That Strategy outlined how the World Bank would work with client countries to address their environmental challenges and to ensure that projects and programs integrated principles of environmental sustainability.

'The World Bank is updating its global Environmental Strategy to better reflect today's worldwide concerns, including climate change mitigation and adaptation and rapid urbanization' said Ellen Goldstein, Country Director of the World Bank in Bangladesh 'It also tries to reflect and build on regional environmental experiences, and outlines how the World Bank can support capacity development and institutional strengthening for environmental sustainability. It is particularly important that our global consultations include voices from countries such as Bangladesh, which are most affected by climate change.'

Today the World Bank group held consultation with stakeholders on the new environment strategy, which is expected to be finalized by December 2010. Feedback from the stakeholders will guide the World Bank Group in ensuring the environmental sustainability of its operations in the countries where it operates.

Dr Hasan Mahmud, MP, Honorable State Minister for Environment and Forest was present as the Chief Guest in the inaugural session. Two technical sessions were widely attended by government, development partners, civil societies, Private Sector, academia, research institutions and media. The discussions focused on the role of the World Bank Group in helping Bangladesh to achieve environmentally sustainability and for which what kind of strategy the World Bank should pursue.

The final objectives of the Environment Strategy will be incorporated by a combination of the results that emerged from these consultations globally and findings of analytical work that are being undertaken to prepare the Strategy.

Media Contacts
In Dhaka
Mehrin A. Mahbub
Tel : (880-2) 8159001
In Washington
Erik Nora
Tel : (202) 458 4735