Plant more trees to save environment, ensure food security: PM


DHAKA, June 15, 2020 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged all including party leaders and workers to plant more trees to protect the country’s environment and ensure food security of the people.

“Let’s plant trees in a massive way to save the country, its environment and ensure food security of the people,” she said while inaugurating a tree plantation campaign through a videoconference from her official Ganabhaban residence here this afternoon.

Bangladesh Krishak League (BKL), the peasants wing of Bangladesh Awami League, has undertaken the three-month long tree plantation drive-1427.

The prime minister said massive programmes were supposed to be staged on the occasion of the Mujib Borsho, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“But we could not celebrate those programmes due to the outbreak of coronavirus,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said: “In the Mujib Year, a programme has been drawn up to plant one crore trees across the country. (But) this programme will go on.”

“We’ll plant at least one crore trees and if we can plant three species of trees each , the number will stand at three crore,” she added.

Keeping this in mind, the prime minister asked every leader and worker of the party to plant a tree on the first day of Bengali Ashar month to protect the country’s environment and for their own profit.

“Your family will immensely be benefited from the money to be earned by selling the trees,” she said.

AL Presidium Member Begum Matia Chowdhury addressed the function from Ganabhaban, while Agriculture Minister and AL Presidium Member Dr Abdur Razzaque spoke from AL’s central office at Bangabandhu Avenue.

BKL President Krishibid Samir Chanda presided over the function, while General Secretary Advocate Umme Kulsum Smiriti delivered the welcome address from the AL central office.

BKL has been arranging the tree plantation campaign since 1984 at the directives of Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina to encourage the people in planting trees alongside protecting environment.

The three-month-long drive begins on the first day of Bengali month Ashar.

The prime minister put emphasis on erecting green belt in the coastal region to protect the country and its people from natural disasters like cyclone, tidal surge and storm.

“Bangladesh is a Deltaic region and there are huge Sundarbans. So we’ve to plant trees massively to save the delta and the Sundarbans,” she said.

Stressing the need for planting at least three trees – wood, fruit and herbal – by every person of the country, Sheikh Hasina also urged the people to plant palm trees to protect themselves from the lightning.

“A huge number of people die every year in the country due to thunderbolts. So, we’ll have to give special attention to this end,” she said.

Referring to the theme “Time for Nature” announced by the United Nations on the occasion of this year’s World Environment Day, the prime minister said the theme is very important in the current situation arising out of coronavirus pandemic.

“The entire world and life and livelihood of the people have stalled due to the pandemic and it’s unfortunate that many deaths take place across the globe for it,” she said.

The prime minister prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls of those who died of coronavirus. “I also pray so that the entire world gets rid of the pandemic,” she said.

“It’s right that the coronavirus is affecting the countries’ economy, trade and commerce, work of the people. But I’m seeing a good side of the bad that the nature becomes vibrant in the world due to lockdown for 3/4 months over the pandemic,” she said.

“The world is now witnessing greenery, while flowers and fruits are filled up everywhere … it’s also a strange game of the nature,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the oceans, sky and rivers became clearer as those were freed from pollution. “We’re getting a good signal alongside a bad situation and it’s a reality. Then we don’t want the people to die or affected by the virus,” she said.

Spelling out her government’s measures to offset the COVID-19 impact in the country, the prime minister said the government has announced 19 stimulus packages to this end.

“We’ve declared a separate Taka 5,000 crore incentive package for the agriculture sector from which the farmers could take loan at only four percent interest,” she said.

“Besides, we’re giving Tk 9500 crore subsidy in the sector … we’ve taken many programmes so that the country doesn’t experience any food crisis due to coronavirus pandemic,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina also elaborated her government’s various steps for development of the sector.

The prime minister thanked the leaders and workers of Awami League,Krishak League, Jubo League, Chhatra League, Secchasevak League and other associate bodies of the party to help the farmers harvest Boro paddy as per her instructions.

AL’s Treasurer HN Ashiqur Rahman and Publicity Secretray Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap and secretaries concerned to the premier were present at Ganabhaban on the occasion.

Later, Sheikh Hasina planted a sapling on the Ganabhaban premises.