POST TIME: 10 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Tree plantation for balancing environment

Tree plantation for balancing environment

It is good to know, from the Environment and Forests Minister Anisul Islam Mahmood, that the government has made a plan for increasing country’s forests coverage to 20 per cent. In that direction it will plant trees on 64,000 hectares of land in the country. It is not to become an expert to realise that our environment is changing very negatively before our eyes and denuding of the forest covers over the past years greatly contributed to this unwelcome development. The government wants to do it under the Seventh Annual Plan 2016-21.

The ongoing environmental degradation that is going must now come to a stop. For balancing our environment, massive tree plantation in the country has become vital. The adverse impacts of climate change are now acutely felt all over the country. Climate change is wreaking havoc here with extremities of temperature in summer and winter. Also, frequency of super-cyclones that leave trails of devastation in the recent years. According to an estimate, one percent of Bangladesh’s total GDP is being lost due to climate change. When such a grim reality is facing Bangladesh in the face, it cannot remain idle or making fruitless efforts.

Every year there is an allocation in the budget for fighting climate change, but the ground reality is that the situation is getting from bad to worse and urgent actions need to be taken to protect our environment. In this regard, besides other efforts, a massive tree plantation programme all across the country can be of immense value and it is expected that the present plan of afforestation will be implemented properly. Trees are, like water, life. Planting trees, in other words, means nurturing life itself.

But any afforestation programme will not be able to bring the desired result if illegal logging, slash-and-burn agriculture, conversion of forest lands into non-forests settlements, farming, recreation and industrial purposes continue without check. Theft of roadside trees is also rampant in many places.

These felled trees mostly go to the brick-kilns of the country where use of woods for burning bricks has already been banned. So, it is important to keep vigilante against felling of forest trees and force the brick kilns owners follow the rule for burning bricks.

The programme of tree plantation as well as  checking further denuding of the existing forests and felling of trees even in the urban places have to be taken very seriously.