The government is also implementing extensive forestry activities
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government has taken all necessary steps to conserve the biodiversity of the Sundarbans, and protect the Royal Bengal Tiger which inhabits the mangrove forest.
She said most of the rivers around the mangrove forest had dried up due to the establishment of shrimp hatcheries over the years since 1975. However, most of these rivers have been excavated, reviving them once more, and the dredging of other rivers is ongoing, reports BSS.
The prime minister made the comments while inaugurating World Environment Day programs and the Environment Fair-2018 at a function at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC).
Simultaneously, the premier inaugurated the National Tree Plantation Campaign and Tree Fair-2018, as well as an ambitious plan to plant three million saplings in the memory of three million martyrs who gave their lives for their country in 1971.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken steps to prevent forest crime and create alternative employment opportunities for local people dependent on the Sundarbans, as well as to protect wetlands.
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She added that the government is implementing extensive forestry activities for the development of coastal green fountains in 19 newly surfaced chars in coastal areas. About 210,000 hectares of coastal gardens were created to protect people from natural disasters.
Wildlife habitat and fish breeding fields were also created, while about 1,600 sq-km of land in the Bay of Bengal was connected with main land of the country through forestation, she added.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Environment and Forest Dr Hasan Mahmud, Deputy Minister Abdullah Al Islam Jacob, and Secretary of the Ministry Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury also spoke on the occasion, with Environment Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud in chair.
At the event, the prime minister handed over the National Environment Award-2018, Bangabandhu Award for Wildlife Conservation-2018, Prime Minister’s National Award for Tree Plantation-2017 and distributed cheques among the beneficiaries of the Social Forestation Program.
The prime minister said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had taken many steps for protection of the environment after Bangladesh’s liberation.