Control 10 rivers including Ganges to keep oceans free from plastic: Dr Yunus


Desk Report:

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has called upon all to feel the urgency of controlling 10 rivers in the world, including the Ganges, which are shockingly contributing 80 to 90 percent of plastic pollution to the world’s oceans.

“Solution is very simple. Why don’t we take control of these 10 rivers? Make sure plastic doesn’t float around,” he said while wrapping up the two-day Social Business Academia Conference.

The main Summit began here on Thursday morning with around 800 participants from 55 countries.

Mentioning the Ganges as one of the 10 rivers, the founder of Grameen Bank said, “You’ve to focus on where the problem is and how we can address it.”

Prof Yunus said these rivers must see clean-up efforts though it is not the end to it as somebody is sending more plastic wastes.

“So, keep up cleaning,” he said emphasising the need for stopping the flow of plastic into the rivers through creating awareness among all.

Prof Yunus said everybody is polluting the rivers, “I’m polluting, you’re polluting thinking that one more bottle will make no difference as there’re millions of bottles.”

Mentioning plastic as one of the serious issue, Prof Yunus said this is going to kill all — fish are eating plastic and we’re eating fish. “So, the plastic itself will be the killer.”

Seeking a role from the people concerned to find a solution, he said it is a small group of people who make the difference. “You don’t wait for the whole world to do it.”

Prof Yunus also said the point here is urgency and they have to feel the urgency as a limited time is given to make the change happen.

Highlighting the crisis the world is facing today, he said, “We need to get out of the ship which is burning and get into the ship which is going to take us to shore to have a better life.”

Prof Yunus said their job, being academicians, is to keep eyes on the front so that they do not hit the disaster path making sure that they can notice it and avoid that disaster path to have an alternative and better life.

Encouraging the Social Business around the world, he said they need to encourage the textbook writers to discuss Social Business in school textbooks to help students build their ideas.

“So, don’t keep the primary schools, high schools and colleges outside your Social Business vision. Keep them very much in your vision,” Prof Yunus said.

He also shared ideas how positively the governments and other actors can be encouraged on how some priorities are made over inclusion of social business though insertion of few lines on social business in company acts and other areas.

Head of Global Social Business Summit and co-founder of the Grameen Creative Lab Hans Reitz, Yunus Centre Executive Director Lamiya Morshed and Pro Vice Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University and Yunus Chair in Social Business & Health, Glasgow Caledonian University Prof Cam Donaldson, among others, spoke at the two-day Social Business Academia Conference.

The conference was a platform for networking of the growing network of Yunus Social Business Centres at universities around the world to share their experiences and future plans, she said.

There are currently 64 Yunus Social Business Centres (YSBCs) in 28 countries.

The countries include Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan Malaysia, Nepal, Palestine, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Germany, Turkey, Poland, France, Spain, Switzerland, UK, Italy, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Bolivia, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

At this conference,  37 papers were selected from among 52 papers submitted covering SDGs, health, education and training, technology, marketing, financing social business, wealth concentration and other issues.

There were also special plenaries on the topics of development of the academic research that are of a more practical nature.

Prof Yunus said plastic is pushing the very existence of human civilisation to the path of destruction and the danger of plastic is well known and even those who are doing business are also thinking about it.


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