Plant trees to protect environment: PM

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Dhaka, June 15: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday urged the people to plant trees in the ‘Mujib Borsho’ for protecting the environment of the country.“I’d like to make this call to all that let’s come together to plant trees in this Mujib Borsho (Mujib Year) to protect our country, its environment and ensure food security of the people,” she said while inaugurating tree plantation campaign of Bangladesh Krishak League virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban in the afternoon, UNB reported.

She directed every leader and activist of Awami League and its associate bodies to plant trees massively in this year to protect environment.

Sheikh Hasina said everyone can plant at least three trees – one fruit bearing, one timber and one herbal sapling. “We can plant some 30 million saplings in this Mujib Year,” she added.

“You’ll have to plant saplings anyhow in your land or any other places or even on roadsides,” she told her party leaders and activists.

She said massive programmes were supposed to be staged on the occasion of the Mujib Borsho, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “But we couldn’t celebrate those programmes due to the outbreak of coronavirus,” she said.

Among the programmes, there was one to plant trees across the country in the Mujib Year. This programme will go on, she added.

The Prime Minister stressed the need for building the coastal greenbelt to protect the country and the people from the natural hazards like cyclone and tidal surges. There is no alternative to plant trees for protection of this delta, she said.

She also put emphasis on planning palm trees massively to protect the people from the thunderbolts. “A huge number of people die every year in the country due to thunderbolts. So, we’ll have to give special attention to this end,” she said.

Talking about COVID-19, she said the coronavirus causes huge deaths, which is very shocking. Nearly 1,000 Bangladeshis died of this virus in the foreign lands, she added.

Referring to the theme “Time for Nature” announced by the United Nations on the occasion of this year’s World Environment Day, the Prime Minister said the theme is very important in the current situation arising out of coronavirus pandemic.

It is right that the coronavirus is affecting the countries’ economy, trade and commerce, and work of the people. But there is a good side of the bad that the nature smiles and becomes vibrant in the world due to lockdown for three-four months over the pandemic, she said.

“The world is now witnessing greenery, while flowers and fruits are filled up everywhere … it’s also a strange game of nature,” she said.

She said the seas, sky and rivers became clearer as those were freed from pollution. “We’re getting a good signal alongside a bad side and it’s reality. Then we don’t want the people to die or affected by the virus,” she said.

Later, the Prime Minister planted saplings on the premises of Ganobhaban.

Krishak League, the peasants wing of Awami League, has undertaken the three-month long tree plantation campaign-1427.

Krishak League has been arranging the tree plantation campaign since 1984 at the directives of Prime Minister and AL President Sheikh Hasina to encourage the people to plant trees.

The three-month campaign begins on the first day of Bengali month Ashar.

AL Presidium Members Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque and former Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury also spoke at the inaugural function presided over by Krishak League President Samir Chandra Chanda.

Krishak League General Secretary Umme Kulsum Smriti delivered the welcome speech.

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