August 12, 2022, 9:43 am

Staff Correspondent

2021-11-29 14:58:55 BdST

Environmentalists place 8-point demand to save wild animals

Environmental organisations have placed an eight-point demand to save the forest and wildlife animals, including elephants.

They blamed the Forest Department for its failure in stopping the killing of wild animals.

They placed the demands from a daylong sit-in and cultural protest programme held in front of the Bon Bhaban (office of the Forest Department) at Agargaon in Dhaka on Sunday (November 28).

A total of 33 environmental organisations took part in the movement under the banner ‘Bangladesh Nature Conservation Alliance (BNCA)’. Many other individuals also expressed solidarity with the movement. 

The united platform launched the movement protesting the failure of the authorities concerned as well as the Forest Department in stopping deforestation and killing of wild animals.

During the daylong programme, various events, including human chain, songs, recitation, acting and elephant painting were held in front of the office of the Forest Department to create public awareness in this regard.

However, a delegation of the BNCA submitted the no-confidence motion to the Forest Department during the programme. Beginning at about 9:00 am, the daylong programme ended at about 5:00 pm through painting exhibition.

Prof Dr Kamruzzaman Majumder, convener of the BNCA and joint secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan (BAPA), presided over the progrmame, while journalist Kefayet Shakil and Shams Sumon, founder president of Nongar Bangladesh, moderated it.

The eight-point demand of the Bangladesh Nature Conservation Alliance (BNCA) includes- formation of a probe body by experts to investigate the incidents of elephant killings and bring the culprits to book; bring elephant habitat back by evicting the occupants from the elephant corridor; form a neutral national commission with the people concerned to protect the country’s forests and wildlife animals; not to allocate forest land for new development projects; modify existing laws relating to forest and wildlife to specify responsibilities of forest department and forest officials; enact forest policy which will play vital role in stopping the commercial establishments in the forest; investigate crimes relating to wildlife neutrally and make role of the forest department clear to all; and take effective steps to implement SDG-14 and 15.

In his presidential speech, Dr Kamruzzaman Majumder said, “We are concerned over the recent incidents of wildlife killings and deforestation. We call upon the Forest Department to realise our demands in the interest of the country.”

Forest ranger (administration and finance) of the Forest Department Hossain Mohammad Nishad also expressed solidarity with the programme.

He said, “We will take necessary action. We will further increase our efforts in forest and wildlife conservation. We will work together for making awareness.”

Sharif Jamil, general secretary of BAPA, Mohammad Ejaj, chairman of River & Delta Research Centre, Prof Dr Kabirul Bashar of Jahangirnagar University, Yeasir Yeamin of Bangla Vision, Abdul Wahab, consultant of Asian Development Bank, Muhammad Anowarul Hoque, secretary general of Save Our Sea, Md Akhtarujjaman, executive director of Nature Loving People (NLP), Saidul Islam, founder of Youth Platform for Sustainable Development (YPSD), Ibnul Said Rana, chairman of Nirapad Development Foundation, Nabil Ahmed, president of  Green Fighting Movement, Noyon Sarker, Nilufar Yeasmin Rupa and Ashraful Alam Ujjal also spoke on the occasion.

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