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UN team starts visit in Sundarbans

  • Published at 12:27 am December 12th, 2019
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A delegation of the United Nations accompanied by high officials of the Forest Department visits Sundarbans on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The four-member team began the visit from Mongla in Bagerhat on Wednesday

A delegation of the United Nations has started their four-day visit in the world's largest mangrove forest Sundarbans to assess its present biodiversity condition.

The four-member team, accompanied by high officials of the Forest Department, began the visit from Mongla in Bagerhat, boarding a vessel named "Ban Bilash" on Wednesday afternoon.

The high-powered team consists of two experts each from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  

They are -- Guy Broucke, program specialist and chief of section - Natural Sciences at the Unesco's New Delhi office; Akane Nakamura of Unesco World Heritage Centre; and IUCN's Elena Osipova and Andrew Wyatt.

Alongside the visit, the team will also evaluate the impact caused by the various industries established surrounding the World Heritage Site, particularly the under-construction coal-based power plants at Rampal in Bagerhat, Taltoli in Barguna, and Kalapara in Patuakhali.

Based on the data collected by the team, The World Heritage Committee of Unesco will reveal a detailed report concerning environmental threat on the biodiversity of Sundarbans.

Meanwhile, the Forest Department cancelled the leave of all the officials and employees of different stations and patrol outposts in the Sundarbans centring the visit.

In June 2019, the IUCN, the official adviser on natural World Heritage, recommended that Unesco should list Sundarbans as a World Heritage Site in Danger.

However in July, the World Heritage Committee of Unesco decided not to keep the Sundarbans on the list of World Heritage in Danger.