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Nature organisations slam Forest Dept, place 8-point demand to save wildlife

Staff Correspondent
29 Nov 2021 10:23:38 | Update: 29 Nov 2021 11:26:53
Nature organisations slam Forest Dept, place 8-point demand to save wildlife
— UNB File Photo

The nature organisations have come down hard on the Forest Department for its dysfunctional role in stopping wildlife killing and placed an eight-point demand to save the forest and the wildlife.

They placed the demands from a daylong sit-in and cultural protest programme held in front of the Ban Bhaban (office of the Forest Department) at Agargaon in Dhaka on Sunday.

A total of 33 environmental organisations took part in the movement under the banner ‘Bangladesh Nature Conservation Alliance (BNCA)’. Many other individuals also expressed solidarity with the movement.

The united platform launched the movement protesting the failure of the authorities concerned as well as the Forest Department in stopping deforestation and killing of wildlife.

The demands are — formation of a probe body by experts to investigate the incidents of elephant killings and bring the perpetrators to book after identifying them; the elephant habitat must be brought back through evicting the occupants from the elephant corridor; formation of a neutral national commission with the people concerned to protect the country’s forests and wildlife; no more allotment of forest land for new development projects; all existing laws relating to forest and wildlife must be modified to incorporate the provisions for the responsibilities and duties of the Forest Department and ensure accountability of the forest officials; enactment of forest policy which will play vital role in stopping commercial establishments in the forest; every wildlife-related crime should be investigated neutrally and the role of the Forest Department should be made clear to all; and taking effective steps to implement SDG-14 and 15.

During the daylong programme, various events, including human chain, songs, recitation, acting and painting, were held to express no-confidence to the Forest Department and also to create public awareness on wildlife conservation.

A delegation of the BNCA submitted a no-confidence motion to the department during the programme.

Prof Dr Kamruzzaman Majumder, convener of the BNCA and joint secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), presided over the programme, while journalist Kefayet Shakil and Shams Sumon, founder president of Nongar Bangladesh, moderated it.