Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin has said it is difficult to protect the environment and biodiversity of St Martin's Island – the only coral island in the country – without the sincere cooperation of the people.
"Therefore, I urge for the sincere cooperation of all concerned in complying with the government's restrictions in protecting this unique island of the country," said the minister at a special view-exchange meeting at the St Martin's Marine Park Centre on Friday.
The minister also said the government was doing everything possible to protect the island including creating awareness among the people through the regular publications of mass notices in newspapers.
At the call of the minister, all those present at the meeting expressed their firm commitment to work from their respective positions to protect the island. Public representatives suggested taking disciplinary action against violators of government restrictions through a mobile court to protect the island.
Md Shahab Uddin inspected various activities being implemented by the Department of Environment to protect the biodiversity of St Martin's Island.
He also released turtle cubs on the island and planted a coconut sapling.
Ziaul Hasan NDC, secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change; AKM Rafiq Ahmed, director general, Department of Environment; Solaiman Haider, project director of Development, Management and Conservation of Biodiversity through Environmental Management on St Martin's Island Project; Md Mamunur Rashid, deputy commissioner of Cox's Bazar; Parvez Ahmed Chowdhury, upazila nirbahi officer of Teknaf; and representatives of various law enforcement agencies including Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Coast Guard, Bangladesh Police, Tourist Police were present on the occasion.