The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council or ECNEC cleared The Sundarbans Conservation Project to protect the world’s largest mangrove forest in a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday.

The objectives of the project include skills development of forest officials, modernisation of communication system and creation of a suitable working atmosphere, said Zakir Hossain Akand, a member of the Planning Commission.

Programmes will be conducted to track all sorts of animals, their habitats and diseases, and strengthen patrols under the project.

“The authorities will implement the project to protect the Sundarbans in a sustainable manner throughout the modernisation of internal communication system with ICT,” Zakir said.

One of the main objectives of the project is to automate the conventional permit system and identity cards of about 30,000 collectors of the forest’s resources and other beneficiaries.

The project will be implemented in as many as 39 Upazilas of Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Pirojpur and Barguna districts.

The ECNEC meeting approved as many as six projects at a total estimated cost of Tk 95 billion, Planning Minister MA Mannan said.

Of these, the government will provide Tk 39.25 billion while the rest will come through project assistance.

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