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Demand of including walking and bicycling in SDGs

To ensure development and equity in health, environment and economic sector, walking and cycling play an important role. Walking and cycling demand less space, less cost and no fuel. Both of them are good for health and need less money for infrastructural development. So it is important to include walking and bicycling in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On 3rd September 2015, Bangladesh Urban Forum, Bangladesh Proibesh Andolon (BAPA), Poibesh Bachao Andolon (POBA) and Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust jointly organized a discussion meeting at Bangladesh Urban Forum’s meeting room on demand of including walking and bicycling in SDGs. 

Mostafa Qaium Khan, Adviser, Bangladesh Urban Forum was the moderator of the program. He said SDG is being adopted after the time period of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). SDGs will be approved with the consent of all United Nations member states. He urged to the government to take initiative to add walking and bicycling in SDGs and also to the country’s policy.

Maruf Hossain, Program Manager, LC, NCD, said that, indicators are being set to measure the success of SDGs. UN Inter Agency Expert team is working to finalize the indicators. Opinions can be given till 7th September in the following links: 

http://unstats.un.org/sdgs/iaeg-sdgd/open-consultation-stakeholders.html http://unstats.un.org/sdgs/iaeg-sdgd/open-consultation-iaeg-sdgs.html

Abu Naser khan, Chairman, Poribesh Bachao Andolon, said that, walking and bicycling will be helpful to reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke and heart attack. It is important to include walking and cycling in the success indicators of SDGs.

Md. Aktaruzzaman, UN Habitat-Bangladesh said that, it is important to prioritize walking and cycling for the well being of future generation. Professor Golam Rahman, General Secretary, Bangladesh Institute of Planners said that, to ensure equity is one of the aims of SDGs. Not everyone in the society possess car, but everybody walks. So we can ensure equity by promoting walking and cycling. Md. Atiqur Rahman, Project Officer, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, said, walking and cycling will help to decrease the risk of non-communicable diseases.

Mihir Biswas, Joint Secretary, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) said that, walking and cycling will reduce pollution. Dr Nurul Islam Nazem, Director, Urban research Center, said that, most of the people in our country walks. Policies should be taken considering all people. So government must take steps to ensure walking and cycling oriented transportation system.

Fatima Jahan Seema, Impact and Evaluation Coordinator, Care Bangladesh; Limia Dewan, Brac; Shormina Jahan, Bangladesh Association for Social Advancement; Md. Nazrul Islam, Executive Director, Grameen Unnayan Shangstha, Homna; Atique Morshed, Program Coordinator, POBA; Md. Ali Hajari, Chief Executive Officer, United Peoples Trust; Naznin Kabir, Deputy Program Manager, Ziaur Rahman Litu, Senior Project Officer, Naima Akter, Assistant Advocacy Officer, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust and many others were present in the program.