Dhaka, July 16: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the government has been working to raise the country’s forestland to 25 percent as forestation is very essential to protect the environment.
“So far, we’ve been able to raise the forestland to over 17 percent (of the country’s total land). Our goal is to raise it to 25 percent,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the plantation campaign of one crore saplings as part of the celebration of ‘Mujib Year’ marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
She opened the countrywide programme by planting three saplings –‘Tamarind,’ ‘Chhatian’ and ‘Chalta’ trees – on the premises of her official residence Ganobhaban in the morning.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken this programme aiming to raise forestation and create a ‘greenbelt’ across the country.
She said Bangabandhu inaugurated the tree plantation programme by planting saplings on his own after the independence of the country. “So, we’ve taken this step in his memory. We’re taking it (tree plantation programme) every year.”
The Prime Minister urged the people of the country to plant saplings anyhow in their lands, create rooftop gardens or plant saplings at pots on balconies.
“Let’s come forward all together to plant trees, protect our country, which is a delta, and thus develop it,” she said.
Following the inauguration, the tree plantation campaign formally started in every district and upazila with the plantation of one fruit bearing, one timber and one herbal sapling.
Some 20,325 saplings will be planted in each 492 upazila across the country by September 15, 2020 under the countrywide tree plantation programme.