Government to frame policy on eco-tourism
The Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change has recommended that all the national parks across the country be remain closed for visitors for next three months.
The committee also recommended formation of a policy on eco-tourism to restrict tourism inside reserve forest areas throughout the year. It also recommended a cost-benefit analysis on tourism in the national park within three months.
Parliamentary Standing Committee Chairman and lawmaker Saber Hossain Chowdhury confirmed the recommendations to Dhaka Tribune.
“We want to give a long-term break to nature to restore its biodiversity. Government will frame a policy on eco-tourism, in which tourists won’t be allowed into forests and national parks all year round, as we recommended,” he said.
“We earned Tk10 crore as revenue from national parks. We know the economic benefit. But we have to know the consequences behind this benefit. We will come to know the amount of damage that tourism does to biodiversity when this cost-benefit analysis is completed,” he also added.
“We took the decision unanimously with the presence of environment minister in the meeting,” he added.
There are 18 national parks across the country, including most popular Lawachara National Park.
Recommendations for the amendment of Forest Act
Parliamentary committee also recommended an amendment of the existing Forest Act by adding sections of forest conservation and development.
“Existing Forest Act 1927 is an act from the British era. There is nothing about conservation in the act. So, we recommended inclusion of forest conservation and forest development in the act.”
“According to the Section 36, killing a tiger and an elephant is a non-bailable offense. But people are killing other animal brutally. We recommended considering killing of other wild animals as a non-bailable offense too."
"We discussed ways to recover forest lands, which are no more recorded, and lands which are still recorded as the property of forest department, but occupied by people, in the meeting," he added.
Source said some 89% of recommendations of the last 13 meetings of the standing committee have been implemented.