Illegal occupants to be evicted from forests

Says minister

22 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin on Sunday said illegal occupants will be evicted from the country’s forests at any cost.

“Legal actions would be taken against both the forest grabbers and the people, who assisted in grabbing forest land,” he told at a discussion at Ban Bhaban in the capital.

The Forest Department arranged the discussion with the theme ‘Forest Restoration: A path to Recovery and Wellbeing’, marking the International Forest Day-2021, reports BSS.

Deputy Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Begum Habibun Nahar, Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Environment, Forests and Climate Change Ministry Saber Hossain Chowdhury and Additional Secretary of the ministry Ahmed Shamim Al Razi also spoke at the meeting with Chief Conservator of Forest Md Amir Hossain Chowdhury in the chair.

Speaking as the chief guest, Shahab Uddin said the forest officials, who would be injured in protecting or restoring forests, would be rewarded, while those who would help grabbers to occupy forest would be given exemplary punishment.

He hoped that the government would be successful in restoring the forests with cooperation of all concerned. The minister said about 138,613 acres of reserved forest, which were grabbed earlier, has already been recovered. He said the amount of tree resources in the Sundarbans has increased as a result of various effective measures taken by the present government.

According to the National Forest Survey published in 2019, Shahab Uddin said, the total carbon reserves in the Sundarbans are 139 million tonnes, while it was 107 million tonnes in 2009. He said the present government has strengthened the existing forest conservation and afforestation progarmmes in the country with an aim to build a prosperous Bangladesh through people’s participation, following the tree plantation initiative taken by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.