Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | ePaper


Take steps against deforestation

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THE Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has revealed that different organisations and individuals have occupied 279,096 acres of forest land in last 50�60 years though the Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation has no record on total areas grabbed. Forest Department had allocated a total of 43,095 acres of land against the BFIDC but at present, the total land area is not under the possession of the authority. The Forest Department allocated 160,032 acres of land to different organisations while 279,096 acres of forest land were occupied by various organisations and individuals. The government must realise the forest land from the individual and organizations' possessions to overcome the climate change effects.
Even the state-owned Karnaphuli Paper Mills situated on 99 acres of forest land failed to accomplish bamboo harvesting and did not ensure proper management of land in the last few years which is a violation of the conditions outlined in the lease. The JS body recommended the ministries and department concerned to stop allowing unauthorised forest activities as part of livelihoods in forest areas to prevent people from occupying the land. Bangladesh had already lost forest resources of about Tk 1,800 crore for hosting the Rohingyas at Ukhiya and Teknaf upazilas in Cox's Bazar. It is estimated around Tk 456.08 crore lost for the disappearance of trees in 6,163.5 acres of hilly land area used to accommodate 30 makeshift camps and a total of Tk 1,400 crore in ecological damages.
The vegetation in Sundarbans, Shal forest of Gazipur, national reserve forests across the country has also been hampered. Influential people backed by the ruling party men and some businessmen in coherence with government officials have been grabbing the land. In some cases, we see the government's wrong policy is mainly responsible for present situation. The authorities concerned must realise that the forest is our national property and we must save it for the sake of maintaining the ecological balance.

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