Around 6,000 champions of nature from around the globe, including Bangladesh, are going to take part in the 10-day congress, beginning tomorrow.
A delegation of WildTeam, Bangladesh, including its Chairman Enayetullah Khan and chief executive Prof Md Anwarul Islam, and IUCN Bangladesh country representative Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed will attend the Congress.
Ahead of the Congress, Prof Md Anwarul Islam said the natural forests, which support safe haven to the wildlife, are getting fragmented in the country day by day, putting the wildlife at risk.
So, he said, the issues of rapid disappearance of natural forests and wildlife in Bangladesh will be highlighted in the global conservation meet.
WildTeam, a conservation organisation in Bangladesh, will make two presentations at the conference, highlighting the present status of Bangladesh’s natural forests and wildlife. It will also highlight the USAID’s tiger conservation activities, being implemented by WildTeam.
Experts in Bangladesh said the country’s natural forests are declining at an alarming rate in the absence of effective conservation efforts, leading to the destruction of habitats of many rare plants and wild animals.
WildTeam Chairman Enayetullah Khan said any natural forest in a territory not only supports the wildlife and biodiversity, but also provides ecosystem services to forest dwellers and local people, which has a high economic value.
“If the natural system of a forest is destroyed, the enabling lives, wildlife and biodiversity will disappear,” he added.
“Natural forest coverage is rapidly declining in Bangladesh, contributing to extinction of species of wildlife,” country representative of IUCN Bangladesh Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed said.
The Congress is going to be held at a time when the ecosystems across the world are collapsing and species are becoming extinct at an unprecedented rate in many countries, including Bangladesh.
The conservation meet will bring together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.
A number of issues related to Asian flora and fauna are expected to be taken up in the sessions for discussion during the Congress being hosted by the State of Hawaii with support from the US State Department.
Issues such as climate change, habitat losses and conservation efforts to endangered species are also expected to come up at the Congress.
The Congress theme - planet at the crossroads - frames the debate between meeting the immediate needs of human civilisation and the long-term impacts doing so may have on the planet’s capacity to support life.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a high-profile parliament of nature lovers. Though essentially a recommendatory body, the IUCN wields formidable influence on the wild-related law-making machinery of 166 member nations of the Convention on International Trading in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora.