The context and prospects for environmental education and environmental careers in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has the highest density of population among all countries of the world and is the worst victim of environmental degradation. Poor people are dying of arsenic contamination in Bangladesh's villages and poor urban dwellers are most exposed to the poisonous air. Protection of the environment is therefore necessary even from the view of social justice. In particular, as Bangladesh proceeds towards industrialization it needs to be careful about environmental impacts. There are several reasons why Bangladesh needs to be extra careful and gain more knowledge of the environment. The country now relies greatly on foreign capital, which is more likely to be guided by immediate profit concerns and lead to many environmentally risky and damaging decisions. Environmental education (EE) can help people become aware of the consequences of their actions, provide information to help solve environmental problems, and build the human capacity necessary to solve and prevent environmental problems. In this sense, Bangladesh can save itself from environmental disasters by having a strong, broad-based, and united environment movement through educating its population environmentally and developing career paths in fields related to sustainable development. A balance between environmental stewardship and economic development can guarantee this sustainable future, which in turn needs sound environmental knowledge among both experts and the population at large. The paper discusses the present environmental situation in Bangladesh; EE needs, practices and future potentialities for sustainable development; and a job market of EE graduates in Bangladesh and around the world. Finally, the paper recommends a sustainable policy framework of EE and its future in Bangladesh to the national policy makers for sustainability of this country.