SRO No. 53/Law/2023 dated 5 March 2023 issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on “Environmental Conservation Rules 2023”March 31, 2023
To reduce environmental pollution, the Bangladesh government has issued the Environmental Conservation Rules 2023 and repealed the prior ones that were enacted in 1997, with immediate effect. Like the previous rules, industrial units and projects are classified into four categories—green, yellow, orange, and red—based on their activities and level of environmental pollution.
The green category denotes a lower impact on the environment; yellow denotes a medium impact on the environment; orange denotes those that have a harmful effect on the environment and human health, and the effect must be reduced to maintain a healthy environment; and red denotes those in industries that have a severe impact on the environment and human health, which must be reduced to maintain a healthy environment.
Changes of note are specified below.
- To establish a new industrial unit or project that is categorized as yellow, orange, or red, the owner must obtain both a location clearance certificate and an environmental clearance certificate from the Department of Environment. For green-categorized industrial units and projects, owners only need to obtain an environmental clearance certificate.
- An exception applies for industrial units and projects set up in government and private export processing zones, economic zones, and industrial cities of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation—regardless of how they are categorized, only an environmental clearance certificate is required; they do not need to obtain a location clearance certificate.
- No one is allowed to establish infrastructure without having a location clearance certificate from the Department of Environment.
- Gas, electricity, water, and other essential services cannot be provided to new industrial units or projects categorized as yellow, orange, or red unless they have obtained a location clearance certificate.
- If there is no Department of Environment office where the industrial unit or project is located, then location clearance certificates and environmental clearance certificates must be obtained from the district office or metropolitan office, as applicable.