The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is lobbying with other ministries for a green strategy in the 9th Five Year Plan to provide guidance for the next infrastructural development activities.
Given the mandate of ensuring the country's development for poverty reduction, the green strategy will guide development project planning, approval, implementation and evaluation process on the basis of biodiversity conservation, MoEFCC Additional Secretary Iqbal Abdullah Harun said on Tuesday.
The senior bureaucrat, while addressing a workshop in Dhaka, emphasised on continuous monitoring of the changing ecology amid rapid infrastructural development in the country.
The forest department and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) jointly organised the event to present the Methodological Framework for Ecological Monitoring of the Sundarbans funded by German development agency GIZ.
The ecological monitoring has been initiated following a requirement set in the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee. The UNESCO declared the Sundarbans as a world heritage site in 1997.
Jahangirnagar University's zoology teachers Professor M Monirul H Khan and Professor MA Aziz briefed the participants about the key features of the ecological survey.
Abundance of tiger, spotted deer, wild boar, oriental small-clawed otter, the Irrawaddy and Ganges river dolphin, 12 bird species, some amphibians, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, butterflies, flowering plants and lichens will be surveyed under the project.
Meanwhile, soil and water from 65 sampling units will be examined to evaluate the health of the mangrove forest.
Including the two professors, seven other experts and IUCN staff will conduct the survey.
Chief guest of the event and MoEFCC Deputy Ministry Habibun Nahar in her speech reminded that congenial environment for the Sundarbans wildlife and the conservation of the world's largest mangrove forest are interlinked.
"Uncontrolled exploitation of forest resources and irresponsible tourism are causing damage to the Sundarbans," Habinun Nahar said, adding that a revised forest management policy will be adopted after completion of the ecological monitoring.
Chief Conservator of Forest Amir Hosain Chowdhury, IUCN Country Representative Raquibul Amin, GIZ Bangladesh's Principal Advisor Stefan Alfred Groenewold and Sundarbans West Forest Divisional Officer Abu Naser Mohsin Hossain, also addressed the inauguration of the workshop.