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Demand to add walking and bicycling under SDG 11.2

After the end of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for 2000-2015, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is going to be approved for 2016-2030. A special summit is going to take place on 2-27 September at New York with the member states of United Nations. The number 11 goal of SDGs among 17 focuses on safe, sustainable and livable cities. Under 11.2 SDG has mentioned about public transit and that deserves appreciation. But walking and cycling are absent in this regard. At present fuel scarcity and environment degradation is a problem worldwide. Walking and cycling can be a solution. It is important to add walking and cycling in SDGs. So government should take initiative. On 1st September 2015, Poribesh Bacjhao Andolon (POBA) and Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust jointly organized a program on demand of including walking and cycling in SDGs. 

Maruf Hossain, Program Manager, LC, NCD, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, said that, including walking and cycling in SDG is very important in the context of our country. Walking and cycling will play an important role in saving fuel and reducing pollution. It will also help to develop public health. 32 million people die worldwide because of less physical activity. It is hard to have time for exercise in urban life. Walking and cycling is helpful to reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart diseases.

Naznin Kabir, Deputy Program Manager, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, said that, SDG aims to bring equity in the society. Not everyone in the society uses car but everybody walks. Ensuring walking environment for all will help to ensure equity. Ziaur Rahman Litu said that, 25% deaths of the world are caused by vehicle fumes. So we demand to ensure walking and cycling in SDG to reduce pollution.

Md Nazrul Islam, Executive Director, Grameen Unnoyon Shongstha Homna, said that, walking and cycling is environment friendly. So they should be included in SDG 11.2. Mahbubul Jaque, BCHRD, said that, we urge to government to take steps to include walking and cycling in SDG.

Atiq Morshed, program coordinator, Poribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA) said that, every discussion about public transit ignores walking and cycling. It is not possible to achieve SDG target without walking and cycling. An environment friendly transportation system will help to build a safe, sustainable and livable city. 

Helal Khan, General Secretary, Protyasha Anti-Drug Club, said that, SDG has called for opinion for indicators till 7th September 2015 from both government and non-government sector. We hope everyone will contribute in this matter.

Sharmin Akter Rini, Atiqur Rahman, Fahmida Islam, Project Officer; Tanzila Hoque and Naima Akter, Assistant Advocacy Officer from WBB Trust were also present in the program.