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PM: Govt to create artificial forest to expand the Sundarbans

  • Published at 02:51 pm June 4th, 2017
  • Last updated at 02:37 am June 5th, 2017
PM: Govt to create artificial forest to expand the Sundarbans

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced to create an artificial mangrove forest to expand the Sundarbans, a Unesco World Heritage Site, where her government is currently constructing a 1,320MW coal-based power plant.

Speaking at an event titled “World Environment Day, Tree Fair and Campaign for Tree Plantation,” she said: “We have taken all our development projects by paying special attention to the Sundarbans so it does not get affected in any way.”

The event was held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka, reports UNB.

World Environment Day is being observed around the world today. The theme this year is “Connecting to the Nature”.

The prime minister said on Sunday: “The Sundarbans is not only a heritage site for Bangladesh; it is also important for the country’s existence… Bangladesh survives because of the Sundarbans. To expand the Sundarbans, we have already taken an initiative to create artificial mangrove forest.”

[caption id="attachment_67239" align="aligncenter" width="900"]04-06-17-PM_World-Environment-Day-17 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hands over three environmental awards at the “World Environment Day, Tree Fair and Campaign for Tree Plantation” event held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Sunday Focus Bangla[/caption]

She said she had given directives to the authorities concerned for the expansion of the mangrove forest in the southwest region of the country.

“We are working on preserving the biodiversity of the Sundarbans and have introduced smart patrolling in the forests to combat crime,” said the premier.

Also Read- Is Rampal worth the political cost?

She also mentioned that her government has taken initiatives to create alternative employment opportunities for the local people who are dependent on the Sundarbans for their livelihood to put an end to “unnecessary logging”.

Stressing the importance of effective waste management in industrial zones, the prime minister said she had already directed the officials concerned to ensure central effluent treatment plants.

Terming Bangladesh the biggest delta in the world, Hasina said hills, seas, rivers and canals, and plants and animals have made it full of biodiversity, and this biodiversity provides all necessary life resources for people.

Also Read- Activists: Ash from Rampal will destroy Sundarbans

She said the country’s biodiversity is now facing a challenge due to over population, indiscriminate felling of trees and extraction of natural resources, hill-cutting, filling of water bodies, reduction of navigability, misuse of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture and, above all, unplanned urbanisation and industrialisation.

Mentioning a two-way measure to protect the environment, the prime minister said her government had taken very effective steps to reduce the environmental pollution as well as to face adverse impact of the climate change through tree plantation and afforestation.

Also Read- Norway excludes India’s BHEL over Rampal power plant
She said the government had recently enacted the Bangladesh Biodiversity Act, 2016 to preserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable extraction of the resources. Hasina urged the people of the country to plant at least one fruit, one timber and one herbal plant to maintain the country’s natural and ecological balance and make it a green-economy country. At the event, the prime minister also handed over three awards: Bangabandhu Award for Wildlife Conservation, National Environment Award and Prime Minister’s National Award for Tree Plantation. She also gave cheques to the beneficiaries of the social afforestation programme. Later, she inaugurated the National Environment Fair and National Tree Fair 2017 at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar.
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