Over and above rapid climate change has put the very existence of the wildlife and living species are at stake as a whole and Bangladesh is the worst sufferer of it. Seawater level rise, low-flow and salinity ingress, cyclone and storm surge, flood and water logging, drought etc are the major impact of climate change which make vulnerable all development and economic activities, sector- wise, crop production, aquaculture, coastal shrimp culture, livestock, forest and vegetation, human health, settlement, infrastructure and peoples livelihood. And most disastrous is the agriculture sector.
Already frequency and sereneness of natural calamities are increasing and causing drastic destruction of resources and climate variation which changed drastically bio-diversity and life cycle of flora-fauna and agronomical practice, yield reduction, seasonal variation and cropping pattern and jeopardizes the normal development strategy and reflect on lowering GDP percentage of growth as expected.
Environmental Attribute Advantages of Jute and Jute Products
World situation of fibrous materials
Jute is a natural agricultural fibre and raw material for industrial and consumer goods. Jute fibre is second to cotton in production and uses. Now 70 million tons of fibres are used in textiles of which cotton is 25-30 million tones and JAF is 3 million tones and rest 40 million tones are synthetic and man-made which are non-degradable and non-destructive and are a major source of environmental pollution and climate change. After 2015 it is expected that demand for natural fibre will be more than 60 million tones as people demand green products are increasing. Now more than 12 million farmers, 1 million Industrial workers, 0.6 million artesian are involved in these sectors are mostly poor and marginal.
Comparative Environmental Status of Jute/cotton and Synthetics are Given Below
Jute is a photo-reactive with high photosynthetic efficiency rapid growing crop plant and only 120 days are required from sowing to harvesting while cotton needs more than 200 days. Per day per hector biomass production of jute is 98 kg while for any other wood plant is only 28 kg. Which indicates relative advantages of jute and jute based natural products.
1. Production of one tone of jute requires only 7% of the energy required for the production of one tone of polypropylene and 5 times more wastes are produced by polypropylene than Jute. 2. Jute production needs more water but jute retting water does not contain any heavy metals while it can be utilized as fertilizer after retting; 3. 15 tones CO2 is absorbed and 11 tons of O2 is released from jute plants of one hector of land. High carbon-fixation with a short period of plantation is the most prominent contribution of jute to mitigate climate change. Moreover after biodegradation jute and jute products increase soil micro-nutrients and improved soil fertility and texture. 4. Green soft jute leaves are very nutritious vegetables have minerals, salts and proteins with antioxidant property. From time immemorial, jute leaves were used as medicine and vegetables.
5. After harvesting jute leftover jute roots increase soil organic contents moreover after degradation ?, ?, Crosine is produced and form metal chelate with salt-containing various metals such as Ca, Mg, Fe, etc. And, these help to improve soil texture. Even it helps land reclamation and acceleration of Island formation. 6. Jute seed is a source of various fats and oils and which can be used as a raw material for the production of soap and detergent. Moreover, it contains Stephenthriden extracted from bitter seed has medicinal value as a stimulant of heart.
7. Normally no/limited fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides are used in jute cultivation while maximum chemical fertilizers and insecticides/pesticides/ weedicides are used in cotton cultivation. Recent studies in CIS countries showed cotton cultivation has desertification effect on land. 8. Disposal of jute and jute product has no negative effect on the environment instead it enhances soil organic contain synthetics pollute the environment.
Attributes of Jute and Jute Products to Environment
Life cycle assessment
Life cycle assessments of Jute production systems reflecting the emissions and extractions of nutrients to the soil and water as well as biogas to the air considering inputs and output to and from the production system to the environment are determined and performance in Bangladesh and Indiaare shown below in figure-3.
Again total CO2 fixation in life cycle of jute production system are 5768.7 and 6409 kg/ha for Bangladesh and India respectively.
Again total energy inputs of Jute
a) Cultivation 1.27 - 2.01
b) Product Manufacturing 2.29 - 5.74
c) Transport 0.19 - 0.27
3.75 - 8.02 GJ/MT Fibre
In a study in 2006 in India and Bangladesh about different indicators such as Sustainability Indicators (Renewable percent, Emergy yield ratio, Environmental loading ratio, and Emergy sustainability index) and Return on Invested Emergy (Emergy investment ratio, Emergy exchange ratio, Return on investment emergy) revealed that Emergy sustainability is in between 1-2 and return to investment (0.10 to 0.114) reflect that the jute production system isemergetically efficient and does not impose any extra load to environment and ecology.
Life cycle assessment and emergency analysis from cradle to grave showed, jute and jute products are ecologically compatible, environment-friendly and economically sustainable. With increasing emphasis of using natural resources in engineering and other development sectors for reduction of carbon-footprint and water-footprint and thrust on adopting more bioengineering measures to tackled and solve development-related problems, jute and diversified jute products have great potential to mitigate, protect and adapt the problems related to 21st century challenge of climate change and harmonized economic development.
Bangladesh and Jute Economy
The Climate of Bangladesh is very conducive for the growth of JAF. Now more than ninety lakhsbales of jute are produced in 15-20 lakhs of acres of land. Farmers of Bangladesh are very experienced in jute cultivation. Through in jute production, Bangladesh position is second to India; still Bangladesh is the highest exporter of raw jute and jute products. Almost one-fourth of Bangladeshi people are involved in various activities of jute from agriculture industry, and trades and commerce both nationally and internationally. Now more than 250 jute mills both in private and public sector are producing mostly traditional products. Farmers of Bangladesh are very poor and marginal. And produce 20kg to 200 kg jute and they have no storing and bargaining capacity.
So they have to sell their products after just harvesting and never get an appropriate price for their produce. More than 2 lakhs industrial labor and huge agriculture labor are involved in jute activities. Bangladesh is exporting jute and jute goods to more than 100 countries and occupy the fourth position in earning foreign exchange. Though it fluctuates year to year. It indicates Jutes contribution in GDP. Thus jute plays an important role in employment generation and poverty reduction in rural Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is one of the ideal land and climatic conditions where jute products can be applied in different development activities as mentioned above. A sustainable development strategy establishes harmony between growth processes and protects nature by striking off a balance between socio-economic and environmental need for present and future generation. This means fulfillment of twin objective of accelerated growth of income coupled with enhancing employment opportunity, reduce poverty and increase the livelihood of poor people by utilizing maximum local renewable resources by adapting modern appropriate technology to achieve the highest productivity that is to undertake inclusive development strategy.
In Bangladesh jute and jute products are God gifted renewable resource which is ecologically compatible, environmentally acceptable and socio-economically sustainable. Applications of jute and jute products are not only to protect environmental degradation but also reduce ecological imbalance created by climate change. Thus jute and jute products are green technology. Jute based development is an inclusive development strategy and jute economy also sustainable green economy. Application of jute geo-textiles in the construction of the Great Padma-Bridge Project will help exemplary evidence for worldwide propagation of diversification of jute use.
Human Rights and Climate Change
Climate change is the most critical issue we all face for the future of our planet. The adverse effects of climate change are already evident. It is the global nature of the climate change that "Call for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation is effective and appropriate international response in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities, capabilities and their socioeconomic conditions" (UNICEF).
Again nations and states of world will have to come on an agreement to sustainability for determining their development strategy as climate change is the greatest threats to human rights and civilization. Most of the developed and developing countries are responsible for this evil climate change. It has already violated human rights especially for those who are vulnerable states and are duly bound to protect the right of their own people. A mechanism is needed to redress past injustice and realize their right to development.
Research and Development
Compare to cotton textile the research and development in jute sector is very limited and poor. There are some innovations in the agriculture sector with new varietal development and the most important one is the innovation of genomic sequence of Jute by Late Professor Dr.MuksudulAlam and Jute polyfrom jute cellulose (MCC) by Dr.Mobarok Hossain Khan a renowned atomic scientist of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission.
In jute sector very little innovations in mechanical conversion particularly for producing finer count of jute yarn only some adaptation innovations in wet processing technologies are practiced in the diversification of jute uses. No or minimum efforts are taken in this field both nationally and internationally. If long, uniform diameter, soft, flexible and extensible jute fibres can be developed then wide a range of cost-effective traditional and diversified Jute products can be manufactured.
Jute and International Situation
Jute is an international commodity. There is no international body for jute similar to other commodities. Though after a long struggle in 1984 International Jute Organization (IJO) was established, subsequently it was degraded to International Jute Study Group (IJSG) in 2002 and finally closed in 2014. As the international community is no longer interested in Jute sector development though it is second to cotton in production and uses of natural fibre and from cradle to grave Jute and Jute products are eco-friendly. But in some form some international institutional body is highly needed for the development of these commodities.
Natural fibres particularly jute and allied fibres are agricultural plant crops and can be used as raw material for industrial and consumers goods. Jute and Jute products fit in the ecosystem as SINK not as SOURCE of pollution. Jute is a renewable resource of biomass. It needs only 120 days from sowing to harvesting. Jute based products and technologies are green technology, their wide-scale applications can help mitigation, protection and adaptation of 21st-century challenge of climate change effects on the ecosystem.
Life cycle assessment and emergy analysis also reflect their eco-computability and economic sustainability. Thus sustainable and eco-friendly development strategy with inclusive economic growth utilizing indigenous renewable resources by the application green technology is a must to meet the challenge of 21st-century and avert climate change effects and uphold human rights.
Dr ABM Abdullah and Dr MMM Rahman are professors at Department of Textile Engineering, School of Engineering, Primeasia University, Dhaka. Md Bokhtiar Rahman is in the Department of of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Dinajpur
----Dr ABM Abdullah, Dr MMM Rahman and Md Bokhtiar Rahman
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