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Various initiatives got adopted to expand the forest cover of Bangladesh

Various initiatives got adopted to expand the forest cover of Bangladesh


Shahab Uddin, the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (Bangladesh), said, “The Sustainable Forests & Livelihoods (SUFAL) Project would enhance the development of government forest resource management and increase the participation of local people in forest conservation and restoration. Local communities will involve in preventing deforestation, including reducing direct dependence on forests.”

“This will increase the forest cover, creating a conducive environment for tree cover outside the forest. As a result, it will be easy to increase the amount of tree cover in the country from 22.37 percent to 24 percent,” he added.

The minister remarks while addressing a final meeting of the ‘Community Operations Manual’ under the Sustainable Forest and Livelihood (SUFAL) project at the ministry’s conference room on October 12. 2021.

The Environment Minister said, “Under the SUFAL project, thirty-two types of afforestation programs got implemented in three types of landscapes by the divisional forest offices located in 28 Upazilas of 26 districts of 6 divisions of the country.

Through the introduction of collaborative forest management, forest covers increased in the landscape of 52,720 hectares of degraded and treeless hilly and flat forest lands.”

A mangrove garden of 24,060 hectares is developing in the coastal landscape to create a coastal green belt. Work is underway to develop 2,500 hectares of wildlife habitat and 1,330 hectares of corridors in 20 protected areas by planting animal feed and fruit trees to build wildlife habitats.

Shahab Uddin said that “to make this initiative of increasing forest cover through all this afforestation successful, a total of 40,000 forest-dependent families involved in cooperative forest management will get taka 42,000 as revolving livelihood development fund under SUFAL project.”

Besides, Tk. 0.4 million 20 thousand will provide under a community development fund in each forest conservation village to implement community-based development activities.

The four-part Community Operations Manual, which may be subject to further amendments, will guide the forest-based village and family selection, committees/sub-committees of cooperative forest management, organizations forming.

It will also navigate providing training, conducting livelihood development activities, and proper guidance on the socio-economic development of forest-dependent communities.

Habibun Nahar, Deputy Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (Bangladesh), Mostafa Kamal, Secretary of the ministry, Ahmed Shamim Al Razi, Additional Secretary (Development), Zakia Afroz, Joint-Secretary Secretary (Development), Amir Hossain Chowdhury, Chief Conservator of Forests, and Govinda Roy, Project Director, Sustainable Forest, and Livelihood (SUFAL) Project, were present.

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