Forest resources must be protected: Shahab

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DHAKA, Mar 21, 2020 (BSS) – The government is working sincerely to increase the forest resources through social forestry by involving rural people.

The Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister, Md Shahab Uddin, today said this while speaking as chief guest at a discussion meeting on the occasion of the International Forest Day-2021 at the Forest Department in Agargaon, said a press release.

This year, the theme of the day is ‘Forest and Biodiversity: Too Precious to Loss.’

The minister said the government during it’s current tenure distributed Taka three hundred fifty six crore 82 lakh 34 thousand five hundred twenty two among 1 lakh 67 thousand 5 hundred 64 poor beneficiaries.

He added that 2,000 square kilometers of newly raised coastal forests have been created so far in the country.

Referring to Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s visionary initiative for tree plantation and forest conservation, along with the creation of coastal areas, the Forest Minister said, his ministry would plant 100 million trees in the ongoing birth centenary of the father of the nation.

He also said due to the various activities taken by the government under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the spontaneous participation of people, the amount of land covered by the tree has now increased to 22.37 percent of the total area of the country. There are plans to raise more than 24 percent by 2025.

The main objective of the forest sector is to create a `Forest Investment Plan ‘ on the basis of sustainable forest management, Shahab said.

He also said forty eight areas have been declared ’protected areas’ giving greater importance to forest and wildlife management of Bangladesh.

Shahab urged all forest department officials to work sincerely to protect the forest.

On the occasion, the forest minister distributed cheques for Taka 20 lakh among the seven beneficiaries of social forestry.

Among others, Deputy Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Habibun Nahar, Secretary Ziaul Hasan, NDC and Additional Secretary Dr.Md. Billal Hossain and Emeritus Professor of BRAC University, Ainun Nishat and Professor of Development Studies Department of Dhaka University NIaz Ahmed Khan delivered speeches on the occasion with Chief Conservator of Forest of Forest Department Mohammad Saiful Alam howdhury in the chair.