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Conserve the circle of life

  • Published at 06:18 pm June 23rd, 2016
Conserve the circle of life

We Bangladeshis must play our part in protecting wildlife and not disrupting the delicate ecosystem any further.

Our activities have already had a range of negative consequences on us, such as increased flooding, food shortage, water shortage, pollution, rising temperatues, etc.   

While the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Bangladesh have highlighted in the Red List this year that a total of 21 new wildlife species has been discovered, it is concerning that 31 species -- 11 mammals, 19 birds and a crocodile -- are now regionally extinct. 

Human intervention in the forests and corresponding habitat loss are one of the primary reasons for extinction

While the Red List, in 2000, assessed two bird species as extinct, the number has now increased to 19. 390 species are threatened, among which 56 are critically endangered, including  a national symbol -- the Royal Bengal tiger.

Human intervention in the forests and corresponding habitat loss are one of the primary reasons for extinction.        

The Red List data would help the government to formulate a wildlife policy and bring in appropriate changes to the Wildlife Act 2012. While preventing wildlife trafficking and illegal trade of wildlife should be key priorities, the policy would also help the government to make environment-related decisions when implementing projects across ministries.

For example, environmentalists have suggested to the government that the 25,000 trees along the Dhaka-Sylhet track in the Lawacchara rainforest should be trimmed and not cut down, in order to conserve habitat.

The policy would also encourage the Education Ministry to redesign curriculum to highlight environmental conservation to increase student awareness.

The Environment and Forest Ministry’s plan to create a think tank on nature conservation is welcome, and should be set up as soon as possible, otherwise, day by day, the alarming trend of extinction ensues and we run the risk of disrupting the circle of life and facing its negative consequences.