DHAKA: Bangladesh Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) officially launched the Textile Sustainability Platform (TSP) at a city hotel recently.
TSP is a national-level dialogue program, established to address resource use efficiency, and environmental sustainability of the textile sector in Bangladesh, said a press release on July 31.
The platform aims to establish the social capital for dialogue between the public and the private institutions, by convening stakeholders related to the textile sector to work collectively towards lowering sectoral barriers, and improving the policy and regulatory framework.
The TSP operates through Working Groups (WGs) that focus on policy and regulations, voluntary actions by industry, and access to finance.
Members of these WGs include textile factories, leading global brands, industry associations like the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), BKMEA, civil society, and government agencies.
Based on a series of deliberation of the WGs with support from Policy Research Institute (PRI) the platform, to date, has proposed several recommendations to the relevant government authorities for their consideration.
“That the government has developed a US$ 200 million worth Green Transformation Fund (GTF), lowered customs duty on a number of eco-friendly goods, and raised taxes on three hazardous chemicals (azo dyes, organotin compounds, and chlorophenols) are promising moves from their part in encouraging the use of environment-friendly goods and in recognizing the role of the TSP in promoting sustainable practices in the textile sector,” said Mohan Seneviratne, Program Manager, PaCT, in his welcome speech.
The textile sector is crucial to the economic development of Bangladesh, contributing approximately 80 percent of export earnings and employing over 4 million people.
However, it is also one of the most resource-hungry sectors, and a major contributor of wastewater pollution. Inefficient and environmentally unsustainable practices within and beyond the factory gates are severely impacting the lives of the inhabitants of Dhaka city and neighboring locations, who suffer from seasonal water shortages and harmful environmental conditions.
“The textile sector has great potential for diversification, development, and contribution. By regularizing this effective exercise of dialogue exchange, the Textile Sustainability Platform can contribute to the sector by becoming the voice for driving sustainable practices and strategies,” Dr Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), shared at the launching ceremony.
At the event, Dr Ahsan H. Mansur, Executive Director of PRI presented the terms of reference for the Textile Sustainability Platform, where the scope of work of the TSP and its progress to date, and the underlying issues and challenges ahead of the TSP were shared and identified, respectively.
Recognizing the strategic roles of BGMEA and BUILD in the Bangladesh textile sector, the TSP members collectively agreed on the decision for the TSP to be co-chaired by the two institutions, for the interim.
Members from textile factories, H&M, industry associations including BGMEA and BTMA, the Policy Research Institute (PRI), the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), UNIDO, GIZ, and banks were also present at the event.
“BGMEA has always been an active partner of Bangladesh PaCT. Through the Textile Sustainability Platform, together we can address the issues pertaining to the textile wet processing sector, and support the industry as a whole to develop policies that are sustainable, eco-friendly, and cost effective,” expressed Faruque Hassan, Senior Vice President, BGMEA.
As next steps, members of the working groups will evaluate a stock of suggested recommendations and reforms, and also select the focus areas for the TSP.
About Bangladesh PaCT: Bangladesh PaCT is working to provide advisory services to enhance the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the textile wet processing sector in Bangladesh.
Managed by IFC’s South Asia Advisory Services Department, the overall goal of the program is to reduce the environmental and social impacts of the textile wet processing sector by promoting best practices within and beyond the factory gates.
For more information on the program, visit www.textilepact.net.
BDST: 1928 HRS, JUL 31, 2016