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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Saturday, September 23, 2017


Cancellation of coal-based power plant demand: International conference held in Berlin

Berlin Decleration: Save Sundarbans Stopp Rampal

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Photo L to R: Elizabeth Staude, Climate and Development Forum, Professor Hartmut Baerwolff, of HU, Professor Wilfred Endlicher, HU Berlin, Professor Anu Muhammad news

The Participants of the Sundarbans Solidarity Action Networking and the Alternative Energy  Solutions for Bangladesh organized by National Committee to Protect oil, gas and mineral resources power and ports in Bangladesh (NCBD) and European Action Group under the framework of “Sundarbans Solidarity Action Networking and An Alternative Energy Solutions for Bangladesh” have accepted the decleration on 19-20 August 2017 in Berlin.
Speakers at an international conference in Berlin demanded cancelation of an anti-environmental project, coal-based power plant taken by the Bangladesh government to save the world´s largest mangrove forest Sundarbans.
They also demanded formulation of a supportive policy and to take necessary steps for alternative energy solution in order to save lives and nature from coal pollution and to produce cheap and affordable electricity in future, said a press release.
The two-day European conference titled Sundarbans Solidarity Action Networking and Green Energy Solutions for Bangladesh concluded in Berlin on Sunday.
Bangladesh Government took a 1320 MW coal-fired power plant that will be operational by 2020 at Rampal, a close to the Sundarbans mangrove forest, South-West town of Bangladesh. The project is owned jointly by Bangladesh Power Development Board and India's state-owned energy utilities NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd), which each have 15% equity, while the remaining 70% of the total funding of bank loans.
The International Conference was organised by the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports in Bangladesh (NCBD), European Network, the conference was held at Democracy and Human Rights Centre in Berlin with the participation of distinguished experts from Universities und GreenPeace organization with various international environmental organisation’s representative and also specialists from Bangladesh.
Among the participants there were also Bangladeshi researchers, students and professionals from European Countries.
During the last session on Sunday Berlin Declaration 2017 was announced in order to save Sundarbans and urging to promote renewable energy in Bangladesh.
More than one hundred- environment, nature and biodiversity based organisations such as Green Peace, Friends of the Earth,, World Wild Foundation (WWF), Women Engage for the Common Future, Bank Truck etc. have expressed their solidarity with the Berlin declarations.
The declaration has announced the demands for cancellation of the current project of Rampal Coal based power plant and made a call to Bangladeshi Government to learn from the example of China, India and other Asian and European countries that have already started to shift their power production from coal and other fossil fuel to cheap and environmental friendly renewable energy. 
Professor Anu Muhammad from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh, Kerstin Doerenbruch from Greenpeace Berlin’s spokesperson, Professor Wilfried Endlicher from Humboldt University, Germany and Professor Hartmuth Baerwolff, and environment activists, researchers, writers, journalists participated in the conference.
Berlin Declaration was read out by Debasish Sarker, which was unanimously accepted by the attended experts, scientists, activists and others.
A photo exhibition was held and during the cultural program session the documentary film ‘Deception of Development’ was shown.
Rampal is situated very close to sensitive ecological zone/ biosphere of Sundarbans which is the ultimate home of hundreds of species and the Royal Bengal Tiger. Unfortunately, the forest adjacent area has already become a hub of industries because of this mega scale power plant.
The participants appeal Bangladesh government to listen to the demand of the clean energy movement and protect people's interest rather than the corporates interest.



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