Thursday, November 22, 2007

Bangladesh delta key buffer against global warming

The Bay of Bengal is an unexpected weapon against global warming as it helps store vast quantities of terrestrial carbon brought down by the Ganges-Brahmaputra river systems, a study says.

Rivers bring down to the sea carbon in the form of soil and vegetal debris, washed down from slopes, fields and banks. But little is known about what happens to this carbon-rich sediment once it reaches the river's mouth.

Some research -- conducted in the churning waters of the Amazon basin -- has suggested that 70 percent of this river-borne organic carbon returns to the atmosphere as gas, thus adding to the greenhouse effect from fossil fuels.

But research published on Thursday in the British science journal Nature says the picture is more complex.

A team led by Valier Galy of France's Nancy University estimates that around 70-85 percent of the terrestrial carbon that sweeps down the Ganges-Brahmaputra systems from the Himalayas settles to the sea floor rather than escapes to the atmosphere.

The reason: high rates of erosion in the Himalayas cause high rates of sedimentation in the so-called Bengal Fan in the Bay of Bengal. Between a billion and two billion tonnes of sediment are transported each year from the Himalayas to the Bengal coast.

As a result -- unlike at the mouths of the Amazon -- the thick, fast-growing sediments are not exposed to much oxygen, and this starves microbes of the fuel they need to biodegrade the organic matter.

Eventually, powerful currents transfer the sediments to deeper water, where they settle on the ocean bed, safely storing the carbon for potentially millions of years.

The finding sheds light on a previously unknown "sink," the term for a natural phenomenon that stores greenhouse gas rather than let it be released into the atmosphere. Sinks thus help cool Earth's surface.

By some estimates, around a third of the carbon that falls to the ocean floor is of terrestrial origin (the bulk of the remainder comes from dead plankton).

According to Galy's estimates, the Bengal basin is such an efficient burier of carbon that it could account for between 10 and 20 percent of the total terrestrial carbon stored on the ocean bed.

In two separate studies, released online by Nature on Wednesday, researchers in the Netherlands and New Zealand say they have identified two hardy species of methane-gobbling bacteria that could also play the role of a "sink."

The bugs, which live in the roasting-hot environment of mud volcanoes, were identified at a fumarole near Naples and at Tikitere, or Hell's Gate, in New Zealand.

The specialised "methanotrophic" germs, named Acidimethylosilex fumarolicum and Methylokorus infernorum respectively, could play a useful role in mopping up some of the methane burped from Earth's crust, say the authors.

Methane is the second biggest greenhouse gas by volume after CO2 but is many times more efficient than CO2 in trapping solar heat.
( Daily Star: 15 Nov 2007)

Professor from Bangladesh wins prestigious award in USA

Daily Star reports in its 21 st Nov 2007 issue:

Dr Ahrar Ahmad of Black Hills State University (BHSU), professor of political science, was named South Dakota Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, says a press release.

Professor Ahmad, who is currently doing research as a senior Fulbright Scholar in Bangladesh, was given the prestigious award on November 15. Ahmad has been a member of the faculty at BHSU since 1992.

The 'US Professors of the Year' Programme salutes the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students. Sponsored by CASE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, it is the only national programme to recognise excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. The awards focus attention on excellence in undergraduate teaching and provide models to which others can aspire.

Professor Ahmad is an outstanding example of this teaching award as evidenced by his strong support from students, alumni and fellow professors. Ahmad was chosen last year by his peers to receive the annual BHSU Distinguished Faculty Award.

Dr Kay Schallenkamp, president of Black Hill State University (BHSU), expressed her gratitude and appreciation of Ahmad's accomplishment and this most recent recognition. "Dr Ahrar Ahmad is well deserving of this prestigious award," said Schallenkamp. "We are fortunate to have Dr Ahrar Ahmad on our faculty."

Dr Ahmad did his BA (Hons) and MA in political science from Dhaka University, where he taught for several years in mid seventies. As a student, he was well known for his scholarship and activism in literary and cultural fields. Dr Ahmad joined the liberation war and was active in Mukti Bahini. Currently he is on Fulbright Scholarship and engaged in teaching and research at the Independent University of Bangladesh.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bangladesh is linking with Trans-Asian railway

Bangladesh signed the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian railway network. It is 28th signatory to the deal. It will connect the country’s rail system to a 81000 km network stretching from Europe to East and South East Asia.

A similar Asian Highway network is yet to be signed even though the council of Advisers has given its approval backing April 07.

The cross border network also identifies Bangladesh as the route between China and India, the world fastest growing economies.

Bangladesh permanent representative Ismat Jahan signed the agreement at UN headquarter recently.

The idea was first mooted by UN back in 1960 along the ancient trade route and also dubbed as Iron Silk Road. The UN backed agreement was signed by 10 countries in Jakarta last year. The TAR enters Bangladesh from 3 directions from Indian State of West Bengal and exits through a single gateway in the East at Gundhum, Myanmar.


Source: Daily Star 11 November 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

Stock exchange is formed in Sierra leone by a Bangladeshi

The Stock Exchange is formed in Sierra Leone by a Bagladeshi . He is Waliur Rahman Maruf Matin who worked as CEO in Chittagong Stock Exchange in Bangladesh. He has played a very important role in the economy of Sierra Leone .

He Went to Sierra Leone in the October 2005 as an expert of the World Bank. He established the Stock Exchange there as the residential Adviser to the World Bank. Mr. Maruf Matin formed the controlling body for the capital market, established the stock exchange, set broker and dealer for the share market, prepares rules and regulation and prepares licenses etc.

He had to give lecture twice in the parliament of Sierra Leone. In the first lecture, he discussed the importance of the stock exchange market and in the second lecture he discussed the rules and regulations of the share market to the parliament members.

When the bill for Stock Exchange was placed in the Parliament, he was present there. The bill was passed unanimously .

The then President of the country Ahmed Tezan Kabba showed special interest in the opening of Share market in his country. He loving calls Maruf as Bangladeshi boy.

Mr. Maruf after passing in Economics (Hons) from Dhaka University obtained Masters degree in Accountancy and Management from South Hantaon University.Then he joined as CEO of Stock Exchane, Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Aftr coming back from Sierre Leone to his own country he is trying to establish a commodity share market here where the price of the commodities will be fixed.

badrud_ doza

Ref: Daly Prothom Alo 9 November 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A bamboo-clay house earns prestigious Aga Khan award

The house was made by the indigenous materials- bamboo, clay, straw and rope The workers are mainly the village people and the school children. The creative potential of the children was utilized in the design and construction of the two –storied eye-catching building It is located in the remote village of Rudrapur of Barail Upazilla in Dinajpur.

The name of the school is Modern Education and Training Institute (METI) and it was supported by a Bangladeshi NGO, Dipshikha.

This building has been given the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture for 2007.

The building was constructed in 2005 and took only four months. Local craftsman, traditional methods and material were used with innovative twist with pupils, parents and people taking part. The building cost Taka 17000 lac.

Anna Hearing from Australi and Eike Roswag from Germany were the architects. They engaged skill local craftsmen and helped them refine the processes and taught them new techniques.

About 15 students from BUET led by a lecturer from Brac University also worked there to be acquainted with the method.

Stefen Neumann, a civil engineer from Germany arrived at the site after hearing the prize to study the building.

The building is weather friendly as the moister and the heat inside the building are controlled by the clay, straw and bamboo. .

Prodip Tigga, head teacher of METI, received the award last September in Malaysia on behalf of Dipshikha. The Triennial Aga Khan prize for architecture is worth of $500,000.

We congratulate all who were involved in design and construction of the project for getting this prestigious award..


Saturday, November 3, 2007

'Amader Gram'- an IT based NGO is trying to change the faces of villages in Bangladesh

When I heard the name, I was not impressed. ‘Amader Gram’ (Our Village)-so simple a name. I guess that it could be an NGO. Then I was listening to an interview given by the Program Coordinator of Amader Gram to a TV Channel and I am impressed.

Amader Gram is working in the villages based on ICT. One of the main focus of their work is to bring ICT to the villages. They installed computers in simple village homes, trained the village children, collect different data from the villages, form an extensive database of the villages. This data base could be use for multiple purposes- from identifying the resources and problems of the village to registration of birth and death in the villages, extending micro credit facilities to selecting potential areas of investment.

One special project they are working on is the determination of the breast cancer patient in the villages. Women folks are coming to their lady doctors, they are examined and identified and recoded. They are given treatment, data is transferred through internet and the patients are consulted with the foreign experts. All this compilation is done by school educated village children and youths.

Amader Gram is working from 1996. They are working in 20 villages under Bangerhat and Khulna in Bangladesh.

Amader Gram showed us that ICT can be used in the remote villages, can be operated by village children, can connect the village with the distant developing world and can change the face of the village people in an unthinkable way.

This database concept can be taken up by the Government and can be implemented nationwide, if not at a time then phase by phase.

badrud doza

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

7.5% growth can make Bangladesh mid-income country by 2016

Bangladesh is becoming a middle-income country (MIC) by 2016, provided it can attain and sustained economic growth of 7.5 percent yearly throughout the period” said Sandeep Mahajan, a World Bank economist.

The opinion is based on a study conducted by the World Bank.

He was speaking on the topic-Can Bangladesh become a middle income country by 2016- at the Independent University, Bangladesh Dhaka (IUB) on Sunday. Mahajan suggested manufacture led growth for Bangladesh urging that despite maximum inputs agricultural production can attain about 4 percent to 5 percent growth, while the growth in manufacturing sector can reach as high as 14 percent to 15 percent if necessary support through reforms are available and agricultural productivity is sustained.

He pointed that the sustainable growth is not easy and is depend on

management efficiency

technology transfer

good governance

employment generation

infrastructure development

supportive legal framework

If we review the conditions, we are lagging behind in fulfilling different criteria to achieve the level of MIC. We should strive hard to attain the goal and fulfill the dream.

badrud doza

Ref: Daily Star 31/10/07