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JJS Workshop: Working Together for a Toxics-Free Future
IPEN Participating Organization Jagrata Juba Shangha (JJS) held a workshop on 19 October in Khulna, Bangladesh, to work towards and promote a toxics-free future. JJS is an environmental and social development non-governmental organization that has been working since 1985 in the southwest region of Bangladesh. JJS gives high priority and attention to food safety issues and plays a role for toxicity reduction from food and food items through project intervention, awareness raising, motivational work and issues-raising to governmental and non-governmental personnel and departments / organizations.
More than 30 people participated in the meeting, including representatives from government offices such as the Agriculture Extension Department, Upazila Fisheries Office and District Relief & Rehabilitation Office, academics from Khulna University, journalists, NGO representatives, and grassroots farmers and fishermen. Dr. Masudur Rahman, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University and ATM Zakir Hossain, Executive Director, JJS facilitated the workshop.
The program included presentation, discussion and experience sharing. ATM Zakir Hossain, who had recently attended IPEN's Global Toxics-Free Future Skillshare in Kunming, China, initiated the first session by giving an overview of the Kunming meeting. The meeting discussed and shared information on different issues related to IPEN’s global operation, including chemical treaty implementation activities, campaigning opportunities, operational updates, and others.
The key presentation on toxicity relative to Bangladesh was given by Masudur Rahman, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University. The presentation included aspects such as toxic substances and toxicity, major toxic substances and sources, toxics in natural waters and air, sources of poisons in agriculture, genetically modified crops and effects on human health.
The open discussion session allowed participants the opportunity to share their concerns about toxics issues. All participants expressed their happiness at being part of the workshop and getting updated information on toxics issues, and agreed to play a role in a toxics-free world.
Following the workshop, the Daily Purbanchol newspaper ran an article titled, "Bangladesh will be on High Risk of Cancer after 20 years."