What is it about?

This paper examines the conflict between state and society which surrounds the potential social and environmental impacts of the coal-based Rampal Power Plant in Bangladesh. The project, if implemented, would create a risk of serious social and environmental damage in Bangladesh and would potentially displace impoverished communities. Near Rampal, the world’s largest mangrove forest and a world heritage site – the Sundarbans – is at risk. Rampal brings the inherent contradictions of the vague ‘sustainable development’ slogan into sharp contrast. The ‘environmentalism of the poor’ is offered as an alternative source for solutions to environmental problems.

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Why is it important?

This paper will ask whether the Bangladesh Government found the most sustainable kind of development which is realistically possible, in choosing the Rampal project. This paper attempts to understand the choices that have been made and the opposition to those choices. A solution to the Rampal mess, based on the ideology of ‘the environmentalism of the poor’, can make development for Bangladesh, in power-generation, as sustainable as it can be. That solution is for the Government to relocate the Plant to an alternative area, which the environmentalists have suggested, to protect both people and the environment including the Sundarbans. International organisations and States should exert political pressure on the Bangladesh and Indian Governments in that case.


We need both development and environment. How? Here is the solution proposed examining the case of the Rampal Power Plant in Bangladesh.

Dr. Md Nazrul Islam
Shahjalal University of Science and Technology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Rampal Power Plant, Ecological Disasters and Environmental Resistance in Bangladesh, International Journal of Environmental Studies, September 2019, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/00207233.2019.1662183.
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