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18 June, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 18 June, 2019 02:27:46 AM

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Scrap Rampal, other risky projects to save Sundarbans

TIB urges govt
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) yesterday urged the government to stop all ‘controversial projects’, including the Rampal power plant project, that might pose a threat to the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest.

Expressing concern over the UNESCO’s recent proposal of listing the Sundarbans under the category of ‘World Heritage in Danger’, which will be placed at the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee at Baku in Azerbaijan, the TIB urged the government to implement UNESCO’s recommendation by immediately suspending controversial projects like the Rampal power plant.

In a statement, TIB executive director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said: “The UNESCO proposal proves that the Sundarbans are

under threat due to various projects, including Rampal power plant, and that our apprehension and concerns were not baseless.”

“We think, such a situation has emerged due to complete disregard for global and local concerns. Government initiatives to implement such risky projects near the Sundarbans without carrying out any strategic environmental assessment just proves that,” he also said.

“All activities for setting up coal-based power plants at Rampal, Taltoli and Kolapara should immediately be suspended before the upcoming meeting at Baku to reverse this situation.

Steps have to be taken to implement the proposals of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in this regard,” he added.

He said there was no scope to remain silent after such a move by UNESCO. “All possible steps should immediately be taken to protect the Sundarbans,” he added.

He urged the government to take immediate steps to prevent the Sundarbans from being placed on the list of World Heritage in danger.

Otherwise, the forest would be pushed to the brink of destruction, he added.

Earlier, the Official Advisory Organisation on Natural World Heritage had recommended putting the Sundarbans on a list of natural sites in danger as Bangladesh forged ahead to build a coal-fired power plant project near the forest. The World Heritage Committee of 21 governments is scheduled to decide on the recommendations by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in its annual meeting in Azerbaijan from June 30 to July 10.

In July, 2017, UNESCO had withdrawn a plan to place the Sundarbans on the list of heritage sites in danger by 2018, if the government failed to heed the mission’s recommendations. The government had been allowed until December 2018 at the time to report on the conservation of the Sundarbans to the World Heritage Centre.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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