Industries near Sunderbans affecting ecosystem: greens

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:18, May 19,2018 | Updated: 00:24, May 19,2018


Sundarban Rakkha Jatiya Committee and several other organisations hold a news conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on Friday to disseminate information on how the largest mangrove forest was being destructed. — New Age photo

Greens campaigning for conservation of the Sunderbans claimed on Friday that intensive industrialisation surrounding the world’s largest mangrove forest was affecting its ecosystem and biodiversity by polluting water, air and soil.
Addressing a news conference at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity Auditorium in the capital, they said that the food cycle of the forest’s flora and fauna had already been affected even at the initial stage of industrialisation near the Sunderbans, denying greens’ appeal to protect the forest from pollution.
They demanded full implementation of the World Heritage Committee’s recommendations that included completion of strategic environmental assessment at southern Bangladesh before implementing any industrial project, said a news release.
The National Committee for Saving the Sunderbans, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolan and Waterkeepers Bangladesh jointly arranged the conference.
Referring to a recent study completed by environmental science researchers of Khulna University, BAPA joint secretary Sharif Jamil said that the occurrence of plant and animal species dwindled significantly surrounding the industrial plots the government distributed among 200 projects, including the controversial Rampal Coal-Fired Power Plant.
Citing the study, he said that the presence of phytoplankton and zooplankton, the primary producers of wildlife’s food chain, also decreased at the industrial plots.
He said that the study found water, soil and air of the Sunderbans polluted.
NCSS convener and rights activist Sultana Kamal said that the people of the country were worried as the government had been implementing hazardous industrialisation near the Sunderbans, turning a deaf ear to scientific warnings and worldwide concerns.
She urged the government to stop all the ongoing hazardous activities as the means of conserving the world heritage site.
BAPA general secretary Mohammad Abdul Matin said that the government’s demand for compensation as climate fund to giant carbon emitters was contrasting its negligence in protecting the Sunderbans that shielded the coastal people against climate disasters.
Chaired by BAPA vice-president Syed Abul Maksud, the conference was also addressed by Shamsul Huda and Ruhin Hossain Prince, the release said.

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