The government has afforested over 25,000 hectares of land under different projects since fiscal year 2018, in an effort to raise the forestation areas to make a livable environment in the country.
The total afforestation areas include 10,934 hectares of land in the hilly areas, 3,424.50 hectares in the Shalban areas and 4,610 hectares in the coastal areas. These areas came under forestation in fiscal year 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Some 6,320 hectares of mangrove forest have been created in the coastal areas so far in the current fiscal year of 2020-2021, according to the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Md Shahab Uddin
Gobinda Roy, project director of the Sustainable Forest and Livelihood (SUFAL) a project under the Forest Department, disclosed the information at a meeting of the environment ministry on Wednesday.
Some 1,496 km of metre strip afforestation and 610 km of Golpata afforestation have been completed, he added.
A total of 5.1 million saplings, including 3.6 million on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, have been distributed in 175 upazilas of the country, the director of SUFAL project added.
Besides, nurseries have been set up in 10,109 hectares of land in hilly areas, 2,821 hectares in shalban areas and 940 hectares in coastal areas, 720 km of strip afforestation and 650 km of Golpata afforestation, the official mentioned.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin virtually attended and chaired the event to review the progress of implementation of the annual development programme for the fiscal year 2020-21.
“Various important projects are being implemented through the Department of Environment and Forest Department to give a livable environment to the people by maintaining the balance of the country’s environment, tackling the negative effects of climate change and overall environmental development,” he said.
He called upon the all the concerned bodies to implement these projects for the welfare of the people in a timely manner while maintaining quality standards.
Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Begum Habibun Nahar said that although some activities are hampered during the Covid-19 infection, all projects involving pond excavation and various types of construction work should be carried out in compliance with hygiene rules.
The deputy minister also urged the concerned to maintain the quality of the ongoing project funded by the Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund.
The SUFAL project direction said new levels of afforestation are also being added in the project including formulation of site-specific planning (SSP), creation of gardens with a combination of local species, development of wildlife habitats and corridors, afforestation of rare and endangered species, discouragement of exotic and invasive species and ensuring forest-dependent local participation in forest management.