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Will We Care for the Soil Surrounding Us? An Analysis of Legal Framework for Soil Protection in Bangladesh

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-04-24, 11:05 authored by Zelina Sultana, Nasrin Akte

Soil as natural resources, is an amazing gift of nature and all living and non-living things are influenced by the soil in which it is imbibed. At present soil is highly polluted, contaminated and degraded mainly by different anthropogenic activities in Bangladesh. Until recently, the Government of Bangladesh had not enacted any law, policy or action plan to safeguard its soil in conformity with environmental conservation mandate detailed in its Constitution. Soil pollution has already crossed all borders and its protection is crucial to meet the contemporary global goals including achieving SDGs. Therefore, this article is an attempt to analyse present legal regime related to prevention of soil pollution, contamination and degradation (PCD) that results from different human activities such as industrialisation, unsustainable urbanisation, waste dumping, unsustainable soil use and management in Bangladesh. It finds that, soil PCD for such causes have already been addressed directly or indirectly in some legal instruments but those were insufficient, generic in nature and carried on along with lack of monitoring, accountability and implementation. However, if properly implemented, those measures might help to reduce soil PCD. Furthermore, soil PCD control is not possible without establishing accountability of the implementing authority, mass awareness and the enactment of legislation solely to protect the soil. Therefore, we argue that the implementation of existing law along with risk control policies and scientific guidelines are crucial to ensure soil management and protection. Finally we argue that impediments to the filing of suits in environmental courts should be lifted so as to ensure that common people have access to environmental justice in order to conserve the soil resources, achieve SDGs, and maintain a healthy natural world.

History

Refereed

  • Yes

Volume

19

Issue number

1

Page range

518-540

Publication title

Law, Environment and Development Journal

ISSN

1746-5893

Publisher

School of Oriental and African Studies

File version

  • Published version

Item sub-type

Article

Affiliated with

  • School of Management Outputs