September 19, 2021, 5:23 pm

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Government is implementing effective measures to prevent drought and desertification.  – Environment Minister

Staff Reporter: The Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change said various effective steps are being implemented to reduce land degradation to zero by 2030 as a signatory to the UN Convention on Combat Desertification. To conserve fertile land, to build a green economy and a sustainable future, the government is working to prevent the forest degradation, the unavailability of water, land erosion and unplanned interventions on environment. He said that in order to prevent land degradation, initiatives have been taken to use modern methods instead of traditional methods in brick kilns. After 2025, clay made bricks cannot be used in government work. The minister said the government planted eight and a half crore trees last year and will plant eight crore more this year. If one tree is cut down for any purpose, the policy of planting 5 trees will be implemented. These measures will help to prevent land erosion and desertification.

Environment Minister said this while delivering his speech as the chief guest joining virtually in a Seminar held today  (June 17th) in the Department of Environment on the occasion of celebrating “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought 2021 with the theme “Turning Degraded Land Into Healthy Land”.

The Environment Minister said Bangladesh is one of the important partners in implementing a land degradation-neutral world achievement program in line with sustainable development goals. Increasing agricultural production by preventing desertification and soil erosion will increase food security and rural employment opportunities; as a result, the means of increasing the income of the farmer will be expanded. These activities are also helpful in restoring biodiversity and mitigating the effects of climate change. The Minister stressed on afforestation and reforestation to prevent drought and emphasized the irrigation in the drought prone area. He expressed his opinion about the arrangement of enhancing production and technology of salt-tolerant crops in southern part of the country. He also stressed upon the regional and international level of cooperation in order to keep normal flow of water in the upstream of the rivers in Bangladesh.

As a Special Guest of the seminar the Secretary of the Ministry Environment, Forest and Climate Change said that the government is implementing “National Action Progamme for Combating Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought 2015-2024” to prevent land degradation, desertification and drought. Bangladesh has set specific Target 15.3 of the UN SDG 15 Neutrality of the land degradation for achieving by 2030. National roadmap is being formulated to prevent land degradation. The measures are being taken and implemented to reduce the risk of climate change and various projects under the climate Trust Fund have been taken to prevent drought and desertification.

As the Chairperson of the seminar, Director General of the Department of Environment said that at least 1% of the arable land of the country is being used as non-agricultural land per year. He said consolidated efforts are very important to prevent any natural disasters .

Director General of the Department of Environment, Md Ashraf Uddin chaired the seminar. Deputy Minister Habibun Nahar and Secretary of the ministry Ziaul Hasan NDC were present as the special guest. Former secretary Professor Dr. Zahurul Karim, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Soil Science Department Professor Dr. Alok Kumar Pal, Additional Director Genearal of Director of Environment Md Humayun Kabir, Direxctor Dr. Md. Sohrab Ali, the coordinator of SLM project Md. Shoaib spoke among others in the seminar. Representatives and experts from different ministries and filed administrations as well as NGOs also spoke in the occasion.

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