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5 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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Private sector must come forward to save tiger, Sundarbans, say experts

UNB

Experts at dialogue stressed the need for engaging the private sector in the conservation of tigers, their natural habitat and the Sundarbans mangrove forest, reports UNB.
 The US Agency for International Development (USAID) organised the public-private partnership dialogue titled ‘Greater Dialogue for a Greater Cause’ at a hotel in the capital yesterday.
 They also called upon businesses to come up with a commitment to give all-out support to this noble cause, saying that raising funds from the private sector is critical to making investments in conservation to turn the country's national animal, the Royal Bengal Tiger, from an 'umbrella species' into a 'flagship species'.
 As part of USAID's Bagh Activity, being implemented by WildTeam, the event was arranged to create an enabling platform for the private sector to integrate environmental protection goals into their business models, and help raise awareness and funds for conserving tigers, their natural habitat and the Sundarbans.
 Addressing the dialogue, Environment and Forests Minister Anwar Hossain Manju said it is “a challenging job” to save the tigers in the Subdarbans.
 However people living around the Sundarbans now understand that protection of tigers in the forest is very important for their livelihood,
he said.
 Manju said the government is trying to create alternative livelihood options for the people surrounding the mangrove forest and imposed a ban on fishing inside the Sundarbans aiming to save the forest.
 About the poaching of wildlife in the Sundarbans, he claimed that the government shows zero tolerance to encroachment and poaching of wildlife in the forest.
 Noting that local political people are behind the encroachment in Sundarbans, he said they are very powerful and influential.
 About wildlife smuggling, the environment minister said "Business of tigers is a global issue. You know that every part of tiger is very expensive."
 Environment and Forests Secretary Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed said Sundarbans have universal value and that is why they are trying to protect it.
 He hoped that the private sector will come forward to save Sundarbans and tigers as well.
 "If the private sector helps people generate alternative livelihoods, it would be possible to stop poaching and save the Sundarbans," he said.
 Kamal said as per their corporate social responsibility, the private sector has scope to support saving Sundarbans.
 WildTeam Chairman Enayetullah Khan said as a human being he is “inspired to save the ecosystem for a better future.”
 He said he is quite hopeful that the private sector and business community will come forward to save the environment and ecosystem as a whole.
 Highlighting Bangladesh's marked progress in many socioeconomic indices, he said conservation is the key to happiness.
 Khan suggested incorporating the conservation issue into the textbooks at primary level. “If conservation is included in textbooks, Bangladesh will be number one in happiness index.”
 Environment & Global Climate Change Team Leader of USAID Bangladesh Nathan Sage voiced concern over the poaching of wildlife saying that the loss of tigers is a great loss for all.
 About private sector engagement in wildlife conservation he said, "Of course I am hopeful that the private sector will come forward for protection of wildlife. Mr Khan is a big example here."
 Chief Conservator of Forests Md Yunus Ali stressed the need for strengthening international collaboration for checking wildlife smuggling.
 He said it is quite impossible to check wildlife poaching and smuggling unless the market demand of wildlife parts falls significantly.
 Besides, Executive Director of Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies (BCAS) Dr A Atiq Rahman and WildTeam Chief Executive Officer Dr Md Anwarul Islam addressed the dialogue moderated by noted environmentalist Prof Dr Ainun Nishat.
 Director General (Admin) of Prime Minister's Office Kabir Bin Anwar attended the event.
 Under the leadership of Bangladesh Forest Department, USAID's Bagh Activity is implemented by WildTeam with support from Smithsonian Institution and BCAS.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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