Nationwide campaign to save tigers starts on 11 Feb, only 106 tigers now in Sundarbans

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Dhaka, Feb 3: A two year long national tiger awareness campaign will be started from February 11 in this month to build mass awareness about the endangered tigers and the Sundarbans.

 As a part of the campaign, a Tiger Caravan will be launched which will visit 100 locations across the country in the next three months with 200 street theatre performances to make people aware of the conservation issues related to the tigers and the Sundarbans, the organisers said at press conference on Wednesday.

 The campaign will hold other awareness building programmes in phases including developing mobile apps on the current wildlife condition in the Sundarbans, posting tiger saving issues on social sites to bring young people under the project, encouraging alternative livelihood of the people whose lives solely depend on the mangrove forest, trying to minimise human-wild life conflict and turn the campaign into a holistic approach to raise the vital issue of tigers to rest of the world.

 Environment and Foreign Minister Anwar Hossain Manju will formally inaugurate the awareness campaign at Krishibid Institution on the scheduled day.

 A forum discussion entitled “Tiger Talk” will be hold after inaugural ceremony. A series of cultural events, including art competitions and exhibitions on tiger and the Sundarbans, folk music concert will be held at the Institute of Fine Arts of the University of Dhaka on the second day of two day launching programme.

 Currently the number of tigers in the world is 3,200 and among them Bangladesh has only 106 tigers left, said Md Yunus Ali, chief forest conservator.

 Answering to the question if Rampal project would affect the Sundarbans, chief forest conservator said UNESCO team will visit the project in the next month to measure the project’s effect on the wildlife of the forest.

 “This is not too late. Still there is much hope to save the Royal Bengals. But the government can not alone accomplish the work. Mass people must in the tiger saving process. This has become a constitutional duty as the Sundarnbans will not exist if tigers are not saved,” said Anwarul Islam, Chairman, Department of Zoology, DU.

 The campaign is a part of Bengal Tiger Conservation Activity (Bagh), a joint project of Bangladesh government and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that launched in September 2014. USAID) is financing the project.

 Conservation organization WildTeam will implement the project with the technical assistance from Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies and Washington-based Smithsonian Institution from the period of 2014 to 2018.

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