Rizwana Hasan

Rizwana Hasan

The Rana Plaza factory collapse has brought attention to the low-cost formula that has made Bangladesh the world’s second-leading clothing exporter. Jim Yardley quotes ELAW partner Rizwana Hasan in this report in the New York Times:

Bangladesh Pollution, Told in Colors and Smells

“All of the natural resources have been severely degraded and depleted,” says Rizwana, a Goldman Prize winner and Chief Executive of the Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA).

Amidst the doom and gloom, ELAW is inspired by Rizwana and her organization’s fortitude challenging polluting factories and protecting wetlands. ELAW has worked with BELA for 15 years.

The Daily Star reports on BELA’s latest victory, protecting the Savar wetlands on the outskirts of Dhaka. A developer had filled the wetlands to make way for a luxury housing development. The Supreme Court ordered the wetlands restored within six months.

ELAW Staff Scientist Mark Chernaik submitted an affidavit describing how filling these wetlands would exacerbate flooding in Dhaka and runs counter to international best practices put forward by the United Nations Inter-Agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction.

Congratulations Rizwana, and everyone at BELA, for your hard work and perseverance under extremely challenging conditions.

Maggie Keenan
Communications Director &
Fellows Program Coordinator