Lawachara in danger

Get tough on grabbers

Published : 23 Apr 2022 08:52 PM

The Lawachara National Park in Kamalganj upazlia of Moulvibazar district is in danger as a section of influential people continued grabbing the reserved woodland under the very nose of the forest department authorities. These influential people and musclemen have built resorts and factories on the grabbed lands destroying the ecosystem of the reserved forest.  

As this reserved forest has become popular these days because of its natural beauty, people from different parts of the country and abroad visit the place. Therefore, exploiting new business opportunities , the vested quarters have established luxurious resorts grabbing the forest lands illegally.  

Legal action must be taken against both 

the forest grabbers and the people who 

assisted them in grabbing

The government declared approximately a 1,250-hectare area in Kamalganj upazlia as a national park on July 7, 1996 under the Wildlife Act, 1974.Wildlife at the Lawachara National Park includes 460 species -- 167 species plants, four amphibian species, six reptile species, 246 bird species, 20 mammal species, and 17 insect species, according to sources at the national park. Though Lawachara has been given the status of national park, but wild animals are still unsafe there. 

The country’s total forest area has shrunk by 65,000 hectors in the last 25 years. A total of 13,000 hectors of forest disappeared in the last five years, says a study.To protect environmental balance, a country needs 25 per cent forest land of its total area while Bangladesh has only 14.1 per cent including the leased out forest land. It needs to be mentioned that more than 65.8 per cent of the country’s forest is at risk of high destruction.

Bangladesh has a total forest area of 6,368,859 acres of which 4,652,249 acres are under Forest Department. The government must take necessary steps to stop deforestation and evict forest grabbers to protect the environment and save wild lives immediately. The deputy commissioners must come forward to protect the forest lands, environment and biodiversity and protect it from adverse effects of climate change alongside forest department.   

The authorities will also have to take necessary steps to stop the cutting of hills, and trees. To achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, Bangladesh will have to show 16 percent forest coverage. But, currently the country has only 14.1 percent forest coverage. So, there is no alternative to oust the grabbers and illegal occupants from the country’s Lawachara National Park at any cost. Besides, legal action must be taken against both the forest grabbers and the people who assisted them in grabbing. We hope that the government would be successful in ousting the grabbers from Lawachara and restoring the other forests with cooperation of all concerned.