Bay of Bengal Festival
Oceans, being the planet’s largest biosphere and the giant carbon sink, are a vital buffer against the impacts of climate change. The Bay of Bengal connects four countries – Bangladesh, Myanmar, India, and Sri Lanka. The bay and its coastal area are also the lifelines that significantly contribute to the blue economic development in this region by promoting seafood, tourism, oil and gas, and shipping sectors. The most substantial talks on the climate crisis, the G7 Summit, and COP26 highlighted the importance of the young generation coming together and raising awareness of the ocean and climate crisis.
Organizing Bangabandhu Bay of Bengal Festival-2023 is imperative to drive this movement, build incredible momentum and initiate necessary change to protect life below water and ensure the sustainable use of oceans (UN Sustainable Development Goal 14), and produce the ‘science we need for the ocean we want’ (UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030).
As a part of The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (“Ocean Decade”), the Maritime Affairs Unit (MAU), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, and SAFE will jointly organize a three-day-long Bangabandhu Bay of Bengal Festival-2023 that will inspire young people to take action for our oceans and help build a more sustainable future.
• Educational events: Blue Economy Conference
• Creative events: Bay of Bengal Cultural Program, Bay in Bengal in Focus Photo Exhibition/Film Show, Sand Sculpture Competition
• Sports events: Walkathon (Marine Drive Road, 10 km), Cycling (Marine Drive – Teknaf, 40 km), Surfing (Kolatoli Beach), Parasailing in Himchory Beach
• Ocean conservation events: Beach and underwater clean-up at Cox’s Bazar and St Martin Island
Clean Up Events
SAFE is a pioneer in organizing clean up programs in Bangladesh. For more than two decades, SAFE has been working to make the country cleaner and greener by mobilizing volunteers, raising awareness, and collaborating with local authorities and communities. SAFE’s clean up programs are not only limited to urban areas, but also extend to coastal areas, where marine pollution and natural disasters pose serious threats to the environment and livelihoods.
Our mission is to create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Bangladesh by engaging and educating individuals, businesses, and government officials on the importance of responsible waste management practices. The organization works on various initiatives, such as community clean-up events, recycling programs, and advocacy campaigns.
SAFE’s clean up programs have not only improved the aesthetic and sanitary conditions of the country, but also contributed to its social and economic development. By involving people from different backgrounds and sectors, SAFE has fostered a sense of civic responsibility and community spirit among the participants. By reducing waste and pollution, SAFE has also helped to protect the natural resources and biodiversity of Bangladesh, which are vital for its food security and tourism industry.
Global Handwashing Day
As part of their corporate social responsibility, SAFE and Reckitt Benckiser, one of the multinational companies for the well-known Dettol brand, successfully completed the “Dettol Safe School Handwashing Campaign 2006-7 and 2008-09” to educate the students of thirty prestigious schools in Dhaka City about the value of hand washing.
The Public-Private Partnership started Global Handwashing Day on October 15 in 2008 with the sole purpose of promoting safe handwashing techniques among schoolchildren. In an event sponsored by National Handwashing Campaign partners and organized at various locations in 87,00 schools across Bangladesh on October 15, 2009, 52,970 people participated in breaking the Guinness World Record for the most people washing their hands.