He said if the population depended on the Sundarbans are themselves not aware, then this forest cannot be protected
Declaring the Sundarbans as our pride that became part of the world’s heritage in 1997, Khulna City Corporation mayor Talukdar Abdul Khalek has said people are however not conscious of its conservation.
He made the statement in his speech as the chief guest in the inauguration of the 15-day long Khulna’s Porpoise Fair, in occasion of World Dolphin Day 2018, which will begin from November 4 at Khulna’s Shaheed Hadis Park on Sunday morning.
The theme of the day was “shushok dolphin thakey jodi, bhalo thakbe moder nodi” which roughly translates to “the well-being of our river depends on whether there are porpoises and dolphins in the rivers.”
In the inauguration ceremony, the mayor said people whose lives and livelihood are associated with the Sundarbans, they catch fish using poison, illegally taking away Sundarban’s heritage sundari tree, Nipa Palm (Golpata) and other forest resources, leaving the Sundarbans on the verge of destruction.
“If the population who are depended on the Sundarbans are not aware themselves, then this forest cannot be protected with lawsuits only. I believe this fair will raise awareness among the people.”
It was said in the fair that, the Irrawaddy and Ganges river dolphins or porpoises were mainly found in the Sundarbans. Another 10 species of porpoises were found in the forest area.
The existence of these mammals proves that these regions are suitable for the habitation of aquatic animals.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Country Representative Rakibul Amin and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Programme Specialist Arif M Faisal were the chief guests in the meeting presided by Forest Conservator Zahidul Kabir of Bangladesh Forest Department.
The welcome speech was addressed by Khulna Divisional forest official Md Modinul Ahsan. Project Program Coordinator ABM Sarwar Alam, for the expansion of reserved area for important aquatic ecosystem management, discussed on the theme of the program.
Earlier, a procession, led by the mayor, was brought out from Khulna’s Circuit House, that went around many roads of Khulna and finally ended at the Shaheed Hadis Park.
People of different occupations joined the procession. UNDP Bangladesh, Global Environment Facility, IUCN and Center for Natural Resource Studies (CNRS) cooperated in organizing the event.