NGO News Report :: The importance of nature, environment and people are too often ignored due to a wrong-minded focus on so-called economic development by conservative economists and their followers. The use of GDP to measure progress allows for corporate or globalized development wherein the rich grow richer and the poor, nature, the environment, education, and health all suffer.
This negative concept of development in which only money counts occurs in the name of economic growth. The focus on corporate economics is destructive of human values, health, natural resources, nature, and the environment.
Professor Anu Muhammad explained the above in a publication ceremony of the economics book Beyond Apologies written by Ms. Debra Efroymson, Regional Director of HealthBridge. The book focuses on defining and achieving an economics of wellbeing.
Professor Anu Muhammad said that people naturally understand the importance of education and health.
Everyone wants their children to receive a good education and to save their relatives by health treatment. They sell their assets for their children’s education or for healthcare. While people buy education and health care, or destroy rivers or forests, it may help with growth of GDP, but people and the environment are harmed.
A power station in the Sundarbans is good for GDP but is destructive of a vital natural resource.
Debra Efroymson discussed the ways in which economists make economics a difficult subject in order to prevent non-economists from having a say in major decisions. Those working for health, the environment, education, and for the poor need to have a grasp of economics in order to challenge those who say that economic growth must precede concern for people and nature.
She said that by learning about economics, people can achieve vastly more in terms of supporting health, education, and the environment.
Saifuddin Ahmed said that economics is not a difficult subject. Economics is part of daily life. He explained that the Institute of Wellbeing plans a series of videos and seminars on the subject of economics in order to share the ideas in Beyond Apologies with a wider audience.
He also said that there is a plan to translate the book or at least parts of it into Bengali for the mass people of Bangladesh to be able to access the ideas and information.
In this publication ceremony, Saifuddin Ahmed, Executive Director of the Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust presided. Environmentalist Abu Naser Khan, Chairman of Poribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA), women organizer Farida Akhter, Executive Director of UBINIG (Development for Alternative Policy Research), Professor Dr. M R Kabir, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Asia Pacific University, ex-secretaries of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) Professor A K M Abul Kalam and Professor Khandaker M Anser Hossain, Professor M Akhter Mahmud, current general secretary of BIP, Architect Salma A Shafi, Trasarur of Center for Urban Studies (CUS), Mohidul Haq Khan, EC member of BAPA and Nasima Akhter Joly, Secretary of National Girl Child Advocacy Forum were present.