06 May 2024, 20:33

Necessary efforts, strict management can save Sundarbans-Experts

KHULNA, May 6, 2024(BSS): Strengthening vigilance of the forest workers, awareness of Mowal, Baowali, Fishermen and other users and responsible efforts of local villagers and tourists can save the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world.
Different environment experts especially those who have been working with the environment, climate change and the Sundarbans said today while talking to the BSS following the recent devastating fire at Ambunia under Chandpai range of the Sundarbans East Forest recently.
“It is necessary to strengthen vigilance of both the forest workers and the users specially Mouali, Baoali, tourists, fishermen and villagers, adjacent to the Sundarbans,” said Professor Anwarul Kadir, Director of the Sundarban Academy, a non-government organization based in Khulna.
“Most of the time, men created fire broke out in the forest for their own interest. It’s not possible to break out fire due to friction among the trees as the Sundarbans is the mangrove forest,” he said.
He said separate forest management is necessary to protect the Sundarbans, adding that establishing of the Sundarbans Ministry can save the mangrove forest like the West Bengal of India.
Mahfuzur Rahman Mukul, Khulna Divisional Coordinator of BELA, an NGO, told BSS today that men created fire incidents in the Sundarbans during last several years.

Negligence of the Forest Department, not to take action against criminals who were involved in the fire incidents in the past probe report in the Sundarbans, he said.
Meanwhile, the Chief Conservator of Forest Amir Hossain Chowdhury said here in a press briefing last night that although the fire was completely under control but the officials are still staying for observation.
The area remains dry throughout the year except rainy season. In the rainy season, organic materials are generated by the leaves falling in the dry season. As a result, fire breaks out easily in this area of the Sundarbans, he said, adding that although the fire is under control, fire-fighting activities will continue there for the next few days, he said.

In reply to a question, there is no evidence of fire in the area where the fire broke out and even, a team of experts will be formed within a short time and they will submit their findings within 10 working days and we will work on the findings accordingly.

He, however, said at least fire had been broke out 25 times during last 22 years in the mangrove forest Sundarbans.
The Sundarbans is the world's largest uninterrupted tidal mangrove forest, covering 10,000 square kilometres. Approximately 6,017 square kilometres are located in Bangladesh with around 69 per cent being land and 31 per cent submerged.
This unique forest is characterized by its diversity of wildlife and the upstream watershed, which is affected by saline ocean currents and muddy sediments. The Sundari tree is the main plant found in these mangroves, and many believe that the name of 'Sundarban' derives from it.
The significance and role of the Sundarbans in this region are unparalleled, as the vast majority of this forest land covers the territory of Bangladesh.


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