Environmental Sector in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) (GoB 2009), sets out six pillars/themes and 64 projects, mainly in the adaptation area.

Market overview

The Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan BCCSAP (GoB 2009) notes that, since Bangladesh achieved Independence in 1971, GDP has more than tripled in real terms, food production has increased three-fold, the population growth rate has declined from around 2.9 percent per annum in 1974 to 1.4 percent in 2006 and the country is now largely food secure (mainly in rice). In four out of the last five years, the economy has grown at over 6 percent. Between 1991 and 2005, the percentage of people living in poverty declined from 59 percent to 40 percent and the country’s Human Development Index improved from 0.347 in 1975 to 0.547 in 2005. Child mortality has fallen substantially and gender parity in primary education has been achieved.

With recent economic growth averaging over 5 percent, Bangladesh has succeeded in reducing the incidence of poverty to 40 percent of its population of nearly 160 million and shows promise of meeting several of its Millennium Development Goals.

Over the last 35 years, the Government has invested over $10 billion to make the country less vulnerable to natural disasters. These investments (supported by development partners), include programs for flood management, construction of coastal polders, cyclone and flood shelters, raising roads above flood level and installing warning systems. However, addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation will require scaling up of investments and sound environmental management, including natural ecosystems management.

Key opportunities

Current and Proposed Programs by Multilateral Agencies:

Although USAID is a leading donor in natural resources management, several other donors are also important – WB in fisheries, coastal protection and, earlier, in forestry; ADB formerly in forestry; the UK and Germany in fisheries; and, UNDP/GEF, EU and Germany in protected areas. In other environmental areas, they are joined by Canada (capacity building); WB and ADB in municipal water and sanitation; Germany in air pollution and alternative energy; and UNDP and the ADB in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. In global climate change, the UK, the EU and Denmark are the first donors to the Multi-Donor Trust Fund but others are expected to join them.

Areas of opportunity for UK based firms:

  • Green Enterprise (promotion of Organic Farming; Agro-Labelling and manufacture of Herbal/Medicinal products from Medical Plants)

  • Waste Management (promotion of Effluent Treatment Plants using Green Technology; Promotion of green Export Process)

  • Water Treatment (demand for Water Treatment Plants, De-Salination Plants in Bangladesh)

  • Green Energy (demand for Solar Thermal Utilization, Photo Voltaic, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell, Wind Energy, Geothermal Energy, Biomass Utilization & Conversion, Small Hydro Power, Marine Energy, Heat Utilization & Energy Efficiency, Advanced Power System, Waste to Energy technology, Carbon Management, Environmental finance, Environment Conservation Products, Measurements, Analyses and Test Equipments)

  • Disaster Risk Management (demand for and promotion of Low Cost but Smart Green Technology based Floating Houses and Shelter)

  • Burmi- Culture (promotion of bio-fertilisers and bio pesticides)

  • Climate Resilient Crops

  • Green Building Technology (demand for Zero energy consumption, Low Energy Architecture – Green Construction, design and construction and materials, energy-efficient housing, Practices & Technologies, Green Products, Associations & Agencies and Sustainable Development)

  • Green Transportation (demand for Electric, Environment friendly vehicles (Hybrid, Sustainable Transport, CNG), Anti-pollution Industry and Automobile Emission Treatment).

Latest export opportunities – Environment & Water

Latest export opportunities – Bangladesh

Getting into the market

Environmental Policies:

  • The Environment Policy and Action Plan (1992) covers pollution, agro-chemical control, industrial pollution, maintaining wetlands, fuel efficiency, forest and biodiversity conservation, food quality, and other issues. The subsequent National Conservation

  • Strategy and National Environmental Management Action Plan (NEMAP) were more detailed and led to several projects.

  • The National Fisheries Strategy and Inland Capture Fisheries Strategy (2006) set out a framework for community management of inland fisheries based on leasing at nominal rates, widespread conservation measures, and precautionary development of aquaculture in floodplains.

  • The Jalmohal Management Policy (2009) allows for fisher organizations to lease water bodies without competitive bidding, and mentions sanctuaries and swamp forest

Environmental Laws:

There are approximately 185 laws having a bearing on the environment; only the key ones are listed here.

  • The Bangladesh Environmental Conservation Act (1995) established the Department of Environment (DoE) and signalled a move towards ecosystem approaches and regulation of developments harmful to those ecosystems, particularly pollution control and mitigation and requirements for Environmental Impact Assessments. Under it, the Environmental Protection Regulations (1998) cover regulations, compliance and enforcement. The Act includes provisions for declaring Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs) to restrict potentially harmful activities in these areas.

  • The Forest Act of 1927 sets the frame for forest management and vests considerable power in the hands of the Chief Conservator of Forests to determine the use of forest lands and to penalize illegal users. The Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) Order of 1973 (later amended and gazetted as the Bangladesh Wildlife Preservation (Amendment Act of 1974) is mainly concerned with regulating hunting but also sets out the scope for declaring protected areas as wildlife sanctuaries or national parks.

  • The Protection and Conservation of Fish Act, 1950, and related Protection and Conservation of Fish Rules, 1985, which cover not only fish but also amphibians and aquatic reptiles, prohibit fishing by harmful methods, pollution and other activities detrimental to fisheries, and enable declaration of closed seasons and other rules. More recently, the Conservation, Restoration and Filling Control Act of 2003 aims to address problems of siltation, encroachment and pollution of surface waters (rivers, canals, floodplains) as well as aquifers.

International Conventions:

  • Bangladesh has acceded to 27 international conventions and protocols related to environment and development. For global environmental concerns, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or Agenda 21, 1992) and the Kyoto Protocol (1997) are the most significant, along with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (1985). In terms of biodiversity, the most relevant are the Convention on Biological Diversity, which has increased attention to biodiversity issues in various sector policy and strategy documents. Bangladesh has ratified the 1971 Ramsar Convention (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) and designated two wetlands (Sundarbans and Tanguar Haor), which has strengthened conservation efforts there (and led to Tanguar being taken out of commercial leasing).

Principal Environmental Institutions:

  • The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), has taken initiatives for a wide range of related policy and strategy statements covering climate change and environmental issues. The Department of Environment (DoE) was established only in 1995 and has responsibilities for assessing environmental impacts of new developments, for ensuring compliance with the various international treaties and conventions, for mainstreaming climate change issues, and for environmental protection in ECAs. It also undertakes some projects directly and with NGO partners (such as in Tanguar Haor and Sustainable Environment Management Program (SEMP).

  • The Forest Department (FD) has direct control of all official forest lands through a substantial field staff. Its primary function and expertise is in production plantations, including mangrove aforestation, with wildlife conservation and protected areas.

  • Under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock (MoFL), the Department of Fisheries (DoF) is responsible for fisheries management, including maintaining natural fish stocks.

  • The Ministry of Land and District Administrations control water bodies (jalmohals) which are leased out as a way of generating government revenue.

More about doing business in Bangladesh


Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

Syeda Shahrazad Rahman, Trade and Investment Officer, UKTI, British High Commission, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Tel: +8802-8822705-09 x 2267 or email: Syeda.Rahman@fco.gov.uk

Contact your local international trade team

Major Events

GreenBuild Bangladesh 2013 (by ExpoNet Exhibition)

Date: 13 – 15 March 2013

Website address: www.buildtechbd.com/

SolarTech Bangladesh 2013

Date: 13-15 March 2013

Website address: www.solartechbd.com/

UKTI Events

UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.

Latest events – Environment & Water

Latest events – Bangladesh

Useful links

More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters

Sectors: Energy, Environment & Water
Countries: Bangladesh
Export Action Plan