Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Shahab Uddin today admitted that his ministry failed to protect elephants in the country.
"At least eight elephants have died in the last month. We can not avoid responsibility. It is our duty to protect elephants, but we failed to do so," the minister said while addressing a programme in Chattogram on Tuesday.
He called upon all employees of the forest department to create public awareness about elephant protection, reports Prothom Alo.
Shahab Uddin further said, "It is the responsibility of the forest department to protect biodiversity and all animals. If an animal is killed in your locality, the responsibility goes to everyone from the forest guard to DFO, CFO and others."
"It is the government who compensates for the damage elephants cause to crops. Why are the elephants being killed then?" the minister asked.
Referring to the fact that the percentage of forest land has to be increased to 25% to achieve the SDG goal, Shahab Uddin said, "The government is working towards the goal through social and coastal afforestation."