IGBP, Bangladesh

IGBP, Bangladesh an international, multidisciplinary scientific organisation supported by International Council for Science, the European Commission, and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). IGBP or the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme was instituted by ICSU in 1986, recognizing and realizing the importance of global environmental degradation and ecological imbalance. The IGBP secretariat was established at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, in 1987. The Bangladesh Chapter of IGBP was established under the aegeis of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS), the highest learned body in the sciences of the country consisting of eminent scientists, in January 1989 with Saifud-Din Chaudhury as the Chairman. Within the framework of the charter of BAS, a 22-member National Committee was constituted to undertake the activities of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme.

The objective of IGBP is to describe and understand the interactive physical, chemical and biological processes that regulate the total earth system, the unique environment that it provides for life, the changes that are occurring in this system, and the manner in which they are influenced by human actions.

Seventy-seven countries now have National IGBP or Global Change Committees, assisting in the national coordination of relevant studies and ensuring that appropriate links are made to international research efforts. The national committees contribute to the funding of the central activities.

The Bangladesh National Committee was expanded by coopting a few more persons in 1990s. The following working/expert groups were formed: marine ecosystem and atmospheric interactions; biogeochemical dynamics and ecological system dynamics; dynamics of vegetation and climate changes; and human impact on ecosystems. The framework prescribed by IGBP for the conduct of global change science is widely used in national science programmes worldwide to set priorities in the scientific problems approached, to establish consistency in the methods used to approach them, and to achieve compatibility of the resulting data. The programme provides a means for coordinating activities in various scientific disciplines, and for fostering the integration of results towards the development of a holistic picture of global processes and how changes affect them. IGBP takes neither a political nor a policy stance on issues related to global change, but aims to provide the best possible scientific information for input to the policy process.

The physiography, morphology, and other natural conditions of Bangladesh have made her vulnerable to disasters and environmental hazards. As such, IGBP, Bangladesh gives priority to understanding the complex atmospheric, geophysical, geomorphological, and biological aspects of the country, so that the ultimate findings can help in mitigating disasters like floods, droughts, cyclones etc. In addition, the study and analysis of environmental parameters add to understanding phenomena associated with disasters in the Bangladesh area. The national committee has also identified some specific studies such as effects of groundwater withdrawal, water conservation, protection of biodiversity, human impact on ecosystems, regional changes in climatic conditions, tectonic disturbances etc.

IGBP, Bangladesh intends to establish a Geosphere-Biosphere Observatory (GBC) and a Regional Research Centre (RRC) to promote and instigate research on a regional basis in IGBP. These centres will focus on interdisciplinary aspects of global change research.

IGBP deals primarily with challenges, gaps, and issues of basic sciences having immediate and relevant application value. The creation of awareness through mass media is a prerequisite for successful implementation of such activities. Environmental degradation and ecological imbalance need wide publicity at all levels, so that precautionary measures can be undertaken for development activities and their possible consequences. The issues of global warming, greenhouse effects, ozone layer depletion, sea level change etc need careful study and analysis to prevent further deterioration of the environment. [SM Humayun Kabir]

See also bangladesh academy of sciences.