Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin on Sunday said the government has given priority to develop ecotourism and protect the marine environment biodiversity of the country.
“In this regard, a total of 1,738 sq km of the Swatch of No Ground in the South Bay of Bengal has already been declared as a Marine Protected Area to help in the conservation and breeding of endangered marine dolphins, whales and sharks,” he said.The environment, forest and climate change minister made the remarks while addressing, as the chief guest, at a webinar titled “Underwater Nature Exhibition and Discussion” organised by Save Our Sea, a non-government organisation, in observance of the World Tourism Day-2020.
Shahab Uddin said the government has declared St Martin's Island, the area adjacent to Cox's Bazar-Teknaf beach and the Sundarbans as Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) to protect the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
Various programs are being carried out in these areas for protecting the environment. It will be possible to conserve the biodiversity of these areas through proper implementation of the ECA announced by the government, he said.
The minister said, besides, 52 coastal pollution hotspots have been identified, where work is being done to prevent pollution. Projects have also been taken up for sea biodiversity assessment. The present Awami League government has been implementing a groundbreaking 100-year delta plan to build a developed and prosperous Bangladesh in future.
Cox's Bazar Development Authority Chairman Lt Col (Retd) Forkan Ahmed presided over the online exhibition and webinar while Chittagong University’s oceanography Professor Dr Mohammad Muslem Uddin, Prof Dr Kazi Ahsan Habib of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Prof Raquib Ahmed of University of Rajshahi, Prof Dr Syed Rashidul Hasan of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University, Associate Prof Dr Dinesh Chandra Shaha of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University and blue economy researcher Dr Dilruba Chowdhury, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Secretary of Save Our Sea Muhammad Anowarul Hoque moderated the programme.Save Our Sea arranged online exhibition showcases along with still and video images of the underwater beauty of Bangladeshi divers.