This study aimed to develop environmental guidelines for some of the BRAC programme/projects to minimize the negative environmental impacts and ensure environmental sustainability. The objectives of the study were to (i) revisit different BRAC programme to assess how environmental component is incorporated and implemented in relevant field activities and (ii) set up environmental guidelines for different BRAC programme/projects. The study was conducted in March 2005 by using a variety of qualitative techniques like observation, interview and FGD. Structured check- lists were used for each programmes.
Programmes that were taken under this study were seed production centre, seed farm and seed processing centre, social forestry and nursery, flour mill, TB testing laboratory, Shushasto, feed mill, poultry farm, napkin producing center, chalk factory, shoe making factory, sericulture center, Ayesha Abed foundation, hand-made paper mill and different VO operated programmes of Dinajpur, Nilfamari, Rangpur, Bogra, Jamalpur, Mymensingh, Gajipur and Manikganj. It was evident from field investigation and assessment that, most of the programmes have different kind of environmental and occupational health problems. Study also recognized that almost all old programmes are following most of the recommendations made by the Environment Group before. There are several programmes established which have not been evaluated before and those programme also found environmentally sound in most cases. Nevertheless, considering all the environmental factors those are usually used for environmental guideline, showed that there is still lot to do to meet the environment, health and safety requirements. Based on findings and previous study there has been an environmental guideline recommended for both the BRAC operated programme support enterprises/factory and VO level income generating programme. The guideline is outlined by considering the following categories: (i) habitat and wildlife (landscape, drainage, rare/endangered species and condition of native species was considered), (ii) raw material use (use of chemicals, natural alternatives, least harmful, storage and transport, quality and standard), (iii) natural resource use (minimal inputs, alternative energy sources, re-use and recycling and use of ground/surface water, (iv) waste (minimal waste, alternative uses, treatment, disposal, storage) and (v) health and safety (training, use of safety protector, management concern, adaptation, monitoring, awareness). It is also recommended that, a few environmental variables should be incorporated in to the existing monitoring routine in the programme based on environmental guideline to follow up the programme activities and make necessary correction and improvements whenever needed. Previously developed environmental training and awareness programmes should be resume to make the programme people more aware (to follow the guideline) regarding different environment friendly activities and for their health and safety.