Environment minister asks DCs to take action against those involved in  hills cutting, forest grabbing

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Dhaka, Jan 19: Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin today asked the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to take necessary steps to stop deforestation and evict forest grabbers to protect the environment.

He came up with the call while speaking at the first session of the second day of the Deputy Commissioners’ (DC) Conference at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital.

At the end of the session, Shahab Uddin told this to the journalists.

Deputy Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Habibun Nahar, Environment Secretary Md Mostafa Kamal, Director General of Environment Department Md Ashraf Uddin and Chief Conservator of Forests Md Amir Hossain Chowdhury were present on the occasion.

Shahab Uddin said a lot of cooperation from the Deputy Commissioners is needed to protect the forest lands, environment and biodiversity and protect it from adverse effects of climate change.

“We have given them guidance in this regard,” he said, adding that the deputy commissioners will take necessary steps to stop the cutting of hills, cutting down of trees, cutting down trees for the protection of environment.

“We have sought their cooperation in closing down the illegal brickfields and so that no illegal occupants can occupy the forest,” he said.

The environment minister said an official letter has already been issued to the deputy commissioners to recover the occupied forest land.

“There is full information about the amount of land occupied in any area.

The target is to use 100% blocks instead of bricks in government installations by 2025. I also told them about animal conservation and biodiversity. DCs cooperation is needed in all cases. So we have sought their overall cooperation,” he said.

About the directives given to DCs to save the forest land, Shahab Uddin said, “Our target is to build 16 percent forest land by 2030.”

“To achieve SDG, we have to show 16 percent forest coverage. We have sought the cooperation of DCs for 16 percent afforestation. At present 14.1 percent is forest. In the case of social forestry, we are above 22 percent,” he said.