Waste Concern

Separate policy stressed for promoting green tourism

DHAKA, Dec 9, 2015 (BSS) – Environment, energy and waste management experts at a workshop here today laid emphasis on formulating a separate policy for promoting green products and creating green jobs to flourish environment friendly eco-tourism in the country.

“Tax holiday should be imposed on energy efficient activities and tourism related equipment while access to easy financing needed for sustainable eco-tourism,” A H Md Maqsood Sinha of Waste Concern, said in a presentation.

International Labor Organization (ILO) and Waste Concern jointly organized the workshop titled “Scoping of enterprises and greening supply chain of the Tourism and Hospitality and Agro-food Processing Sectors” at Spectra convention center in Gulshan here.

In his presentation along with Iftekhar Enaytullah of Waste Concern, Sinha said policies regarding green or eco-tourism are not updated in Bangladesh compared to world tourism. Inter-ministerial coordination and harmonization of policies are needed, he said.

Sinha, one of the leading waste management experts of the country, said incentive of marketing of green products are required for both tourism and agro-food processing sector.

He also underlined the need to introduce capacity building training and massive awareness programme on greening of tourism sector. “Entrepreneurship training on waste to resource project, energy efficient, climate change adaptability for green operations in tourism is also needed,” he said.

Today, he said there is a growing acknowledgement that business as usual based on the strategy – grow fast clean up later – is not sustainable, neither economically nor socially and environmentally.

Sinha said green tourism will increase resource productivity, bring down production costs, improve competitiveness, open up new markets and develop new business.

“The green tourism will create new jobs and make existing job more secure and greener, reduce poverty, improve occupational health and safety conditions, reduce environmental pollution, prevent degradation of ecosystems, mitigation climate change and combat water security,” he said.

In a presentation, ILO’s Geneva based economist Marek Harsdorff gave examples of some hotels and motels of Phuket in Thailand which are able to save more than 30 percent of their production cost by introducing green products, jobs and recycling.

CEO of Bangladesh Tourism Board Akhtaruzzaman Khan Kabir, North South University Professor Dr ATM Nurul Amin, Managing Director of Bengal Tours Masud Hossain, Chairman of TAFA Travel Consultant AKM Bari, founder of Ajiyer Community based Tourism Shahid Hussain Shamim also spoke as panel discussants, among others.