Forest areas in Bangladesh much too low

Step up efforts to reduce deforestation rate

Published : 02 Aug 2022 08:28 PM

It is alarming to note that the annual deforestation rate in Bangladesh is almost double the global average, 2.6 percent. Reportedly, in the last seventeen years, about 66 square kilometer of tropical rain forests have been destroyed in Bangladesh, which is a matter of concern. According to the forest department, 2, 87,453 acres of forest land have been occupied all over the country. Of this, 1 lakh 38 thousand acres are reserved forest land.

Population and unplanned economic growth has endangered the forests in the country. The total coverage of forests in Bangladesh is less than 11 percent of the total land mass. This is alarming as each country should have at least 25 per cent forest coverage to meet the ecological balance. 

We need to ensure transparency, accountability and effective 

supervision in forest conservation and management

Forests are critical to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, preserving soil and countering climate change effects. With deforestation taking place steadily in the country, we are at a critical stage and action must be taken now to increase and preserve the forest areas.

Forestry remains a crucial sector for the country’s economy through the provisioning of ecosystem services such as timber, bamboo, honey, fruits, and other primary forest products. It also provides other ecosystem services such as fuel wood, recreation, water and protection. Forests play a big role in protecting the land in times of natural disasters as well. 

Protecting our nation’s forests will not only be beneficial to the environment and the economy, it will also go a long way to protecting the country’s biodiversity and endangered animals such as the Bengal tiger. 

We need to ensure transparency, accountability and effective supervision in forest conservation and management. The government must devise schemes to encourage afforestation activities, both by the private and the public sector. Corporate organizations should also do their part in expanding forests as their reach is far beyond small institutions. 

Schools, colleges and universities must regularly promote and encourage their students to plant more trees in both rural and urban areas. Protecting our invaluable natural resources is our duty and should be the top priority for each and every individual. If everyone pledges to do their part in protecting our forests, we will be able to reduce our carbon footprint and fight the adverse impacts of climate change.