July 14, 2024, 8:33 pm

Mangrove reforestation to be initiated along 52 rivers, canals near Sundarbans

  • Update Time : Wednesday, July 3, 2024
  • 16 Time View
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  • Project funded by French Development Agency
  • Aims to combat impacts of climate change by planting native Sundarbans vegetation along these waterways

UNB:

The Forest Department has undertaken a major initiative to restore mangrove forests along the banks of 52 rivers and canals near the Sundarbans in Khulna.

This effort, inspired by the successful mangrove reforestation at Sheikh Russel Eco Park, aims to combat the impacts of climate change by planting native Sundarbans vegetation along these waterways.

In a model project at Sheikh Russel Eco Park in Batiaghata, mangrove reforestation was carried out on five acres of land along a lake, using saline water from the Rupsha River.

This reforestation involved planting 4,000 mangrove saplings, setting a precedent for similar efforts in Khulna, Bagerhat, and Satkhira districts.

The project, funded by the French Development Agency and implemented by IUCN Bangladesh and the Forest Department, will focus on restoring mangrove forests along 52 rivers and canals that flow through rural areas of Shyamnagar, Mongla, Dakop, Koyra, and Morelganj, eventually entering the Sundarbans.

According to the Sundarbans West Division, this initiative is part of the “Upper Sundarbans Restoration Program,” designed to enhance climate resilience in the region.

The rivers and canals, once teeming with freshwater and vital to the Sundarbans’ mangrove ecosystem, have seen diminished water flow due to human activities such as deforestation, construction of embankments, and installation of sluice gates. These activities have led to the decline of mangrove forests along these waterways.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Bangladesh in September last year highlighted the French government’s commitment to supporting climate-affected countries.

Following his visit, the French Development Agency, with IUCN Bangladesh’s support, launched the “Upper Sundarbans Restoration Program” to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the Sundarbans and surrounding rural areas.

Dr Abu Naser Mohsin Hossain, divisional officer of the Sundarbans West Forest Division, said that from Saturday to Monday, officials from the Forest Department, French Development Agency, and IUCN Bangladesh will jointly visit the cyclone-affected settlements in the upper Sundarbans and the mangrove model at Sheikh Russel Eco Park.

This visit will lead to the launch of a pilot project aimed at restoring the mangrove forests along the banks of the region’s rivers and canals.

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