Monday 29 November 2021 ,
Monday 29 November 2021 ,
Latest News
29 April, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Print

Exotic trees take toll on eco system

Anisur Rahman Khan
Exotic trees take toll on eco system

The indiscriminate planting of foreign species of trees and plants was causing immense harm to the country’s bio-diversity and eco-system as well as native species, experts say. Many exotic plants, such as eucalyptus, acacia (akashmoni), ipil-ipil and pines, are being planted across the country, especially in the northern region, putting the environment to grave danger, they observe. The experts maintain that planting native species and throwing away the exotic plants would benefit the eco-system.

“The plantation of eucalyptus is banned at the government level, but there is no legal bar at the private level. So, such exotic trees are being planted indiscriminately across the country. Such foreign species of trees are even being planted on the boundaries of crop lands, posing a dire threat to the environment,” Abdus Sobhan, general secretary of Poribesh Bachao Andolan (POBA), told The Independent yesterday.

Sobhan, who is a former additional director of the Department of Environment (DoE), said exotic plants were not suitable for Bangladesh’s eco-system, adding that such foreign species should not be planted in the country because of the environmental consequences.

The green activist said the country’s northern parts normally suffered from drought due to lack of water. “A large number of eucalyptuses have been planted in these areas. They have absorbed huge quantity of water from underground,” he observed.

According to Sobhan, it is suicidal to plant exotic trees in the country. “Birds and animals don’t get any food from these trees. The authorities should conduct research on trees,” he said.

Prof. Shamim Shamsi from Dhaka University’s (DU) botany department said eucalyptus was harmful to the environment. She also said that trees such as eucalyptus and akashmoni had value as firewood, but they went deep down to extract much water from the aquifer.

“Such trees are harmful to croplands and also destroy the soil’s fertility. Even birds don’t nest in these trees as they give no fruits,” she added.

She further said that both crops and exotic trees compete for nutrients from underground water.

The botany professor recommended that the government should replace such trees with native species for the sake of the environment,.

“There are many exotic harmful trees, such as eucalyptus, in many parts of the country including Dinajpur and Rangpur. Even the DU campus has quite a few. The government should form an awareness committee to save the country's bio-diversity,”

the botanist suggested. She also criticised the trend of importing trees from abroad and destroying local species.

Prof. (Dr) SM Imamul Huq, former chairman of the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), pointed out that exotic trees made the soil less productive.

“These trees extract much water from the soil and are responsible for the native plants to eventually suffer from water deficit. Farmers would not get enough water for irrigation if plantation of such trees go unchecked,” he said.

Pointing out that trees like eucalyptus, acacia, pine and akashmoni are highland plants and not suitable for Bangladesh, Prof Huq, a soil scientist at DU, said: “We should plant environment and wildlife-friendly trees that would induce birds to nest on their branches and insects to tap food from them.”

However, forest department officials said that the claim by green activists regarding exotic trees was baseless and no tree was harmful to the environment.

“The growth rate of eucalyptus and akashmoni is good. Poor people could get benefits within 10 years after planting such trees. This is not possible when ti comes to native species,” Mohammad Shamsul Azam, deputy chief conservator of the forests department, told The Independent.

“Moreover, these exotic trees have adapted to Bangladesh’s climate and soil,” he said.

The forest official also said that 90 per cent birds consume insects, while 5 per cent consume fruits and 5 per cent are herbivores. Besides, the wood of eucalyptus and akashmoni are used in brick kilns, he added.

Comments

Most Viewed
Digital Edition
Archive
SunMonTueWedThuFri Sat
010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930

Copyright © All right reserved.

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.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting