Air pollution is a critical issue for Bangladesh. In a country with a long list of social, economic, and environmental issues, air pollution adds to the inequalities faced by many Bangladeshi communities. On 9 February, Dhaka’s air was ranked as the second most polluted in the world. On 15 February 2022, the High Court of Bangladesh issued a rule as to why the failure of the disputants to control air pollution and protection of public health should not be declared illegal, out of the jurisdiction, and against public interest. A bench of the High Court Division issued the said rules and orders at the end of the preliminary hearing of a public interest litigation filed by the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA).
This year Syeda Rizwana Hasan, the Chief Executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, was awarded the International Women of Courage Award 2022 and an award from Prothom Alo on International Women’s Day for her fight for the environmental rights of the people of Bangladesh. One of her goals throughout her legal battle was to ensure clean air for the people.
Cover photo credit: Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune