The government rescued 2,951 different species of wild animals throughout 2020 and released those to nature under its campaign to control wildlife crime in the country.
Besides, 46 criminals have been imprisoned and fined in different terms for their involvement in the trafficking of wild animals, informed Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin.
The government has also declared 49 areas as ‘protected areas’, giving more importance to wildlife management in Bangladesh, the minister said while addressing a discussion meeting on the occasion of World Wildlife Day-2021 at the forest department on Wednesday with the theme ‘Saving People and the World: Forests and Livelihoods’.
The forest minister said Bangladesh is home to about 1,163 species of diverse animals whereas in the last century Bangladesh lost 31 species of wildlife.
Two safari parks have been set up at Cox's Bazar and Gazipur for the purpose of breeding and conservation of wildlife while measures have been taken to set up a new safari park in Juri upazila of Moulvibazar district, he added.
Meanwhile, the government provided Tk 30.71 million to those who were killed or injured in the attack of tigers, elephants and crocodiles, and the government is considering raising the amount of compensation, he assured.
The minister at the event also directed the chief forest conservator to take effective measures to prevent elephant poaching and stop fishing with pesticides in the Sundarbans areas.
Referring to various joint initiatives of Bangladesh and India in wildlife conservation, the minister said a protocol and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) were signed for the implementation of tiger conservation, tiger and poaching smuggling, skill enhancement, monitoring and other activities on both sides of Sundarbans in Bangladesh and India.
Besides, a feasibility study project has been undertaken to preserve the habitat of elephants and other wildlife and ensure the safe movement of wild elephants through corridors, and a protocol has been signed between India and Bangladesh to strengthen inter-country elephant conservation activities.
Chief Conservator of Forests Md Amir Hossain Chowdhury presided over the discussion. Deputy Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Begum Habibun Nahar, Secretary Ziaul Hasan, spoke as special guests.
The minister handed over the drones to the chief forest conservator at a function to conduct monitoring activities on forest and wildlife protection in the Sundarbans.