Bangladesh Forest Department, UNDP and FAO jointly observed International Day of Forest
20 Mar 2017
Under the auspices of UN-REDD Bangladesh National Programme, the Bangladesh Forest Department, UNDP and FAO jointly organized a half-day workshop on 21 March 2017 at Forest Department, Dhaka to observe the ‘International Day of Forests’. The meeting was chaired by the Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. Mohammed Shafiul Alam Chowdhury. Mr. Anwar Hossain Manju, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) was present as the Chief Guest. Honorable Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Forests Mr. Abdullah Al Islam Jakob and Mr. Istiaque Ahmed, Secretary, MoEF were present as the Special Guests. Among others, Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee, Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh and Ms. Dr. Sue Lautze, FAO Representative in Bangladesh were present as the Guests of Honour.
This year the theme "Forests and Energy" highlights the role of forests in providing bioenergy to the poor people, contributing sustainable development and mitigating climate change. Mr. Sudipto in his speech advocated for investing in land use plan that considers proper use of agricultural land and scarce forests resources for cultivation of biomass plants to ensure both energy and food security.
Mr. Arif M. Faisal, Programme Specialist, UNDP Bangladesh, Dr. Zahidur Rahman Miah, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Forest Department and Dr. Niaz Ahmed Khan, Professor of the Dhaka University presented the key note papers on the theme of the day. Referring to this year's theme, the speakers of the meeting highlighted the challenges of conserving forests in Bangladesh considering the high population density and demand of land for other uses including production of fuelwood. Speakers emphasized to formulate appropriate bioenergy policy and legal framework for the country to promote bioenergy and make a balance between energy security and food security of the country. They put emphasis on promoting other sources of renewable energy to reduce pressure on scarce forest resources of the country. The speakers also mentioned the success of Bangladesh Forest Department in social forestry programme and newly adopted co-management governance system for the protected areas of the country.
The Chief Guest Mr. Anwar Hossain Manju in his speech mentioned that the Forest Department distributed benefits of plantation raised under the social forestry programme which is worth over BDT 300 crore so far to the poor forest dependent beneficiaries.