Convener of the Zoology Olympiad and former president of Zoology Society of Bangladesh Professor Khan Habibur Rahman shares his observation on the country’s wildlife with New Age Staff Correspondent Sadiqur Rahman
The meaning of wildlife covers all the living beings or floral and faunal species of forest and wetlands. As the forest and wetlands are being converted to human habitation day by day, it can be stated that loss of country’s wildlife is taking place very fast.
Deforestation is eating up forest coverage while the wetlands are reducing due to land filling as well as siltation. Rampant tree felling is decreasing not only the amount of plants but also areas of forests, house to many wild animal and birds.
With the transformation of the forest areas, living beings like microbes and large animals have become endangered every day as they lost sources of food and other things they are dependent on.
There are some wildlife conservation projects in the country. But the projects are selective, specific for some endangered species. The rest ones facing extinction threats are still out of conservation initiatives.
The government has been implementing plantation projects to widen green coverage.
The projects prioritise only plantation of trees for the commercially valuable logs, medicine and fruits. Some of the plants are not suitable as resting or nesting point for the local wild animals. That is why habitats for wild animals do not increase despite slowly growing tree coverage.
The wildlife conservation law has come into force. But the authorities concerned and people still lack necessary awareness about the law. Hence, law enforcement is insufficient for curbing wildlife and forest related crimes.
Besides, people’s indifference to forest and wildlife conservation hampers effective forest management.
A lot of forestation and conservation projects have been implemented in the country. But the projects do not bring sustainable development for lack of monitoring and regular follow-up.
Sometimes, people living near forests are brought under community engagement projects. The government-initiated social forestry has been conducted in collaboration of the community people.
After a certain period, the project-related people cut the matured trees for wood without considering habitation loss of the dependent animals.
People are lured by instant monetary benefits. Despite awareness building programmes, initiated by both the government and non-government organisations, unscrupulous people poach animals and birds and often facilitate illegal wildlife trafficking for profit.
The irony is that protectors of the wildlife have turned to predators, leaving no congenial environment for the animals and birds.
Zoology Olympiad was launched in 2014 to create wildlife sensitivity among the young generation.
Currently the Olympiad organisers are working across the 10 regions including eight divisional districts so that students of educational institutions can learn about the floral and faunal diversity in Bangladesh.
Wildlife is the integral part of our ecosystem on which the humans are dependent. If the young generation becomes aware about the fact, they will protect the future world.
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