The Forest Department has initiated a project to prepare a list of 1,000 endangered plant species of Bangladesh, said Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Shahab Uddin on Wednesday.
He also said the government has taken steps to develop a strategic management system to save the local plants, as well as the country's forest resources from the harmful effects of aggressive foreign trees.
"Implementing these projects will help us in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals," said the Minister.
He made the statement at a workshop titled "Preparation of National Red List of Plant Species in Bangladesh and Innovation of Aggressive Foreign Plants Management for the Designated Forests," where he was the chief guest.
The Bangladesh National Herbarium and International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Bangladesh is preparing the red list with financial assistance from the Forest Department's "Sustainable Forests and Livelihoods (SUFAL)" project.
An official of the project said the work to prepare the red list started on 28 July this year and it is scheduled to finish on 31 May, 2023.
Chief Conservator of Forests Amir Hosain Chowdhury said, "We have been urging all concerned to bring our forests under scientific management, as per a forest policy consistent with the Forest Act 1865. We now have to prepare a list of endangered plant species as many of the local species have become endangered."
He said, "We have a primary list of 332 endangered plants, but having a list is not enough. We have to work according to the list."
"It can be said that the work of the project [to prepare a red list] has officially started today. After getting the complete list, we will start working to recover the lost plant species," he added.
Sources said the project financed by the World Bank will also frame five management plans to identify aggressive foreign plant species and properly manage them.
The Forest Department has already declared more than 40 national parks as reserved forests.
Deputy Minister of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Habibun Nahar; its Secretary Ziaul Hasan, Additional Secretary, Ahmed Shamim Al Razi; Director of Bangladesh National Herbarium, Parimal Singha; Director of SUFAL Project, Md Rakibul Hasan Mukul; IUCN Bangladesh Country Representative Raquibul Amin, among others, participated in the workshop, which was presided over by Chief Conservator of Forests, Amir Hosain Chowdhury.
During the second portion of the event, two separate workshops titled ""Preparation of National Red List of Plant Species in Bangladesh" and "Preparation of Strategy for Management of Aggressive Foreign Plants," were organized, in which faculty of several public universities and specialists participated.