Mahmud for 20 pc forestation by 2020

 DHAKA, April 19, 2018 (BSS) – Environment and Forest Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud today underpinned the need for bringing 20 percent of the country’s total land area under forestation by 2020, saying Bangladesh is at higher risk than other countries due to its geographical position.

“Any country should have forest covering 20 percent of its total land area. But Bangladesh has only 11 to 12 percent forest. So, we have to work together attaching importance to forestation to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he said, addressing the inaugural function of a workshop at the Forest Department auditorium here.

Ministry of Environment and Forest organized the workshop titled ‘Sustainable Development Goal-15’ with its Secretary-in-Charge Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury in the chair.

Deputy Minister for Environment and Forest Abdullah Al Islam Jakob addressed the workshop as special guest while Forest Department’s Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests Zahir Uddin Ahmed presented a keynote paper.

Addressing the programme, the minister stressed on social and family forestation programmes, saying people should be encouraged for creating forest in every open space, including roads.

In his keynote paper, Zahir Uddin Ahmed said the existing 13 percent forest area will be expanded up to 20 percent by 2020 while the work of wetland protection would be increased by 15 percent.

An assessment of 1,600 species of wildlife has already been completed, he said, adding that more 1,000 species would come under the assessment by 2020.

Chief Conservator of Forests Mohammed Shafiul Alam Chowdhury and Director General of Department of Environment Dr Sultan Ahmed were present in the workshop, among others.