Sunday, August 20th, 2017

Berlin Declaration 2017

We, the participants of the Sundarbans Solidarity Action Networking and An Alternative Energy Solutions for Bangladesh, organised by The National Committee to Protect oil, gas and mineral resources power and ports in Bangladesh, European Action Branch on 19-20 August, 2017 in Berlin have accepted the declaration as below:

The Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, is bestowed with magnificent scenic beauty and extraordinarily rich biodiversity with a unique eco-system. It is a habitat of some of the endangered species e.g. Bengal Tiger, Ganges dolphin. People living in adjacent areas are also dependent on this forest. Besides providing livelihood, it is also protecting millions of people living in the coastal belt from tidal surges and cyclones.

This forest is under severe threat from a Bangladesh-India joint venture project– Rampal Power Plant, a coal based power generating company. The plant is placed only 14 km from the forest. It is estimated that the plant will emit 7.9 million tons of CO2, and 0.94 million tons of ashes annually which will contaminate environment of the adjacent areas and will put the intricate ecosystem into perilous condition. Despite the grave concerns raised by the experts, scientists, environmentalists, local population, and international organisations, the Government of Bangladesh has been working to implement the project for the last seven years.

The project is scheduled to be completed within next one year or two. To justify the project the government is blatantly giving false assurances to protect the forest from all sorts of adverse impacts. The Government of India is also a major stakeholder in this joint-venture project and playing important roles as consultant, financier, and supplier of the equipment.

There is a growing demand for electricity in the country. To address the demand, the government has adopted a Power Sector Master Plan (PSMP) in 2016. The plan has proposed that the use of coal would increase from the current 0.3% to over 35%. The coal-fired power plants would produce electricity worth of 19,000 MW. It has also set the target to meet 10% of its electricity demand, by 2041, from its 7000 MW nuclear fleet, undermining the renewable energy potential. According to the PSMP 2016, the contribution of renewable energy would be only 3% of total electricity generation by 2041. This suggests that the government’s plan has failed to address environmental concerns and technical development in regards to renewable energy sources. Environment-friendly renewable energy solutions are sustainable and cost effective and because of this, many countries in Europe and Asia including India and China are moving away from coal and nuclear-based power generations. On the other hand, ignoring the current trend, the government of Bangladesh has taken a position in support of coal and nuclear-based power generations.

National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports (Bangladesh) has proposed an Alternative Power Sector Master Plan (APSMP) in July 2017. The APSMP 2017 has proposed to generate 55% of electricity from renewable energy sources including solar, wind, waste etc. by 2041. National committee also insists on building the national capability to attain 100% renewable energy usage to meet electricity demand by 2050. It has also categorically refuted the government’s arguments in regards to the nuclear and coal dependent energy policy.

We demand the government to listen to the clean energy movement and protect people’s interest rather than corporate interest. As renewable energy is cheaper and eco-friendly, we demand policy shift emphasizing renewable energy production rather than dirty coal energy generation. Renewable energy will protect ecology, life and livelihood of the people. The government must take appropriate steps to phase out coal and replace it with renewable energy sources. As a coal based power plant, Rampal Plant will irreversibly damage the Sundarbans. It will disrupt the link between humans and the environment by destroying ecology and species. This conference unequivocally demands the immediate halt of the plant. We urge everyone to raise their voice to save our Sundarbans, and to save our future.

Following organizations and individuals support the declaration

1. Sascha Gabizon, Women Engage for a Common Future
2. Celine Paramunda, Medical Mission Sisters,WMG
3. ACAKPO-ADDRA Essivi Sinmégnon, Women Environmental Programme Togo, Directrice
4. Iara Lee, Cultures of Resistance, Director
5. Stéphanie Ijeoma, GEFADEK, WMG
6. Yevgeniya Kozyreva, Feminist League
7. Augustin Yves MBOCK KEKED, CADIRE CAMEROON ASSOCIATION, sustainable development
8. Rostom Gamisonia,Rural Communities Development Agency (RCDA)
10. Helly Mehta, Brahma Kumaris
11. Sabitov Rauf, “Jabagly Manas” Mountain club
12. Ina Ranson, WECF
13. Anne Barre, WECF, Coordinator Gender and Climate
14. Gloria K. J. HSU , Mom Loves Taiwan, Association Director
15. Samuel Chancan, Global Peace and Development Organization, Youth Employment Decade in Africa, Africa CSO Working Group (AWG), Action 4 Sustainable Development, TAP-Network, Together2030, United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth, Inter-Action Agency , Civil20/G20, UN Habit III Working Group, GNDR, UNESCO Online Youth Community, Global Environment Facility
16. Daniela Colombo, Pari O Dispare
17. Sadig,Ecolife
18. Eva Quistorp, women for peace and ecology , former member of the European Parliament-Germany
19. Zobaen Sondhi, PEN-Zentrum Deutschland
20. Aßheuer, Tibor, Private,Lecturer
21. Mabel Bianco, FEIM – Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer, Presidenta
23. Prabha Khosla, Khosla Associates, Toronto, Canada, President
24. Lean Deleon, Women’s Major Group
25. Tessa Khan, Climate change lawyer
26. Sujit Chowdhury, 1 Vice President of BSDC , Bangladesh Study and Development Germany
27. Aashima, The Research Collective,
28. Luke Kapchanga Emonyo, Yefwe Internationa, CSO,
29. Moreira Véronique, Wecf france, Presidente,
30. Dr. Uzodinma Adirieje, Afrihealth Optonet Association, CEO/National Coordinator,
31. Diana Iskreva, Earth Forever Foundation, We support,
32. Hanna Gunnarsson, WECF,
33. Remi Kempers, Both ENDS,
34. Sreedhar, Environics Trust, Geoscientist,
35. Niloy Sutradhar Sumon, Charon Cultural Centre France, Coordinator,
36. Masuk Miah Mamun, SPB Supporters Forum, Coordinator,
37. Md Rakibul Islam, NCBD France Branch, Joint Convenor,
38. Camille Risler, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development,
39. Arif Fiyanto, Greenpeace Indonesia, Greenpeace Southeast Asia,
40. Sean Foley BSc (Hons) PhD FRGS, EcoAsia Limited, Director,
41. Peter Mason, East London Socialist Party,
42. Rieta Rahman, All for Sundarbans, No affiliation, rieta.rahman@
43. Amanda Tas, Protect the Forest,
44. Kenneth Nana Amoateng, Abibiman Foundation, Abibiman Foundation,
45. Ansar Ahmed Ullah, European Action Group on Climate Change in Bangaldesh,
46. Pranika Koyu, free lancer member of CHAUKATH,
47. Oksana Firsova, GLOBAL SYNERGY,
48. Anne Harris, Coal Action Network (UK),
49. Ermelinda Mahmutaj, EDEN center
50. Rr. “Bogdani”, Tirane, Albania
51. Kate DeAngelis, Friends of the Earth U.S, International Policy Analyst,
52. Aldi Cunaj, Eden Center Tirana,
53. Kamrul Islam, University of Bergen,
54. Simeon Gallu,
55. Mujtaba Chowdhury,
56. Amina Singh, Kathmandu University, Faculty,
57. Julie Sherman, Wildlife Impact, Executive Director,
58. Meena Bilgi, Self Employed,
59. Smita Magar, Jhumlawang Village Foundation, Nepal, Media,
60. Anohar John, TFINS,
61. Andrew Taylor, People & Planet,
62. Rasha Binte Mohiuddin, Greening Hohenheim, From the Greening Hohenheim,
63. Sara Lavenhar, Mangrove Action Project, Mangrove Action Project,
64. Liset Meddens, Fossielvrij NL,
65. Tanzia Islam, German Probashe, TU Berlin,
66. Main Chowdhury, Keine Organisation,
67. Ramadra Kumar Chanda, BANGLADESH JUBO UNION, FRANCE, President,
68. Kerstin Doerenbruch, Greenpeace Berlin, press spokeswoman,
69. Sohanur Rahman, Bangladesh Model Youth Parliament, Chief Executive,
70. COMTE née TSASA KHINI Nelly-Françoise, CERPAC, oui,
71. T M Reza, Sarl Francobangla Int, Bangladeshi Community Leader,
72. Momin Sharif, Media Telecommunication, Bangladeshi Community Leaders,
73. Natasa Crnkovic, Centar za životnu sredinu/ Friends of the Earth Bosnia and Herzegovina,
74. Semia, AEEFG, Chair,
75. GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences,
76. Nur Islam Haque, BCF, Founder,
77. Miriam Rose, Foil Vedanta,
78. Trusha Reddy, WoMin African Alliance, WoMin African Alliance,
79. Tapuwa O’bren Nhachi, Centre for Natural Resources Governance, Research Co-ordinator,
80. Ahemmed ali dulal, Udichi shilpigosthi France, General secretary,
81. Andrea Söderblom-Tay, Jordens Vänner/Friends of the Earth Sweden, Chair,
82. Dr. Roland B. Sookias, Museum fuer Naturkunde, Berlin, Museum fuer Naturkunde, Berlin,
83. Jewel Das Roy, EPS Bangla Community, France, Chief Coordinator,
84. Hadija Ernst, Save Lamu, Treasurer,
85. Kumud Rana, Chaukath Feminist Network, Nepal, Member,
86. Shahed Kayes, Subornogram Foundation,
87. Johan Frijns, BankTrack, Director,
88. Jubayer Hossain, University of Bergen, Norway, Researcher,
89. Kironmoy Mondal, Udichi France Sangsad, Presidant,
90. Rossy Mazumder, Udichi France Sangsad, Vice president,
91. Alan khan, EPS bangla, Other,
92. Shakwat hossain howlader, Tel-Gas-Khanij Sampad o Biddulph-Bandar rakkha jatiyo committee France shakha, Member secretary,
93. Dr Rumana Hashem, Phulbari Solidarity Group, Coordinator and Founder,
94. Regine Richter, urgewald,
95. Mir Monaz Haque, Asia Today Journal in Europe, Editor,
96. Adel Kazi, Entwicklungsforum Bangladesh, Protect the mangrove forest,
97. Soumya Dutta, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha / India-Climate-Justice,Convenor,
98. Mamun Ahsan Khan, Bengalisches Kulturforum, Berlin,
99.  Amirul Hoq Shanu, Bangladesh Badminton Club, Berlin (BBCB),
100. Khalid Noman Nomi, Kuckucksei, Bengalisches Kulturforum,BBCB,
101. Md. Abdullah AL Mamun, Bengalisches Kulturforum, BBCB, Südasienforum, Berlin,
102. Gautam Bhattacharja, Bengalisches Kulturforum , BBCB, Übersetzungsbüro, Berlin,
103.Lutful Khan, Bengalisches Kulturforum, Bangladesh Badminton Club, Berlin,
104. Muksodul Haque Khokon, Bengalisches Kulturforum, Berlin,
105. Andy Whitmore, London Mining Network,
106. Dr. Christane Averbeck, Climate Alliance Germany, Director,