Government working to reduce land degradation to zero: Shahab

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DHAKA, June 17, 2021 (BSS)- Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin today said that the government is implementing various measures to reduce land degradation to zero by 2030 to conserve fertile land as well as build a green economy and a sustainable future.

“As a signatory to the ‘UN Convention on Combat Desertification’, these activities are being implemented. The government is working relentlessly to prevent desertification and drought, water scarcity, deforestation, land degradation and unplanned human intervention in the environment,” Shahab said, said a release here.

The minister was addressing a virtual seminar organized by the Department of Environment on the occasion of “World Desertification and Drought Day 2021” with the theme “Turning Degraded Land into Healthy Land”.

The minister said that, “The government planted 8.5 crore trees last year and will plant 8 crore more this year. The policy of ‘planting 5 trees if one 1 is cut down’ will be implemented. All these initiatives will play an effective role in preventing land erosion.”

Bangladesh is an active partner in implementing a land degradation-neutral world achievement program in line with sustainable development, he said, added the release.

Hoping that these activities would help restore biodiversity and mitigate the effects of climate change, the minister said, “Increasing agricultural production by preventing desertification and soil erosion will increase food security and rural employment opportunities and will expand the way for farmers to increase their income.”

The minister emphasized on tree plantation and forestation in preventing drought and highlighted the need for regional and international cooperation in maintaining the upstream flow of river water in Bangladesh.

Deputy Minister Habibun Nahar and Secretary to the Ministry Ziaul Hasan were present as special guests at the seminar chaired by Director General of the Department of Environment Mohammad Ashraf Uddin.

Former Secretary Prof. Dr. Zahurul Karim and Dean of Post-Graduate Studies of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University spoke, among others at the seminar.

Dean of Post Graduate Studies and Professor of Soil Science of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University Prof Alok Kumar Paul, Additional Director General of the Department of Environment Humayun Kabir, Director Dr. Md Sohrab Ali, Coordinator of SLM Project of Department of Environment SM Shoaib, experts and senior officials from various ministries, departments and non-governmental organizations also spoke, among others.