Friday, January 27, 2012

The Vaol-Modhupur Shal forest of Bangladesh is going to extinct.

Occupied forest land, photo: Samakal

The Forests of Vaoal, Modhupur, locally called Vaoal-Modhupur “sal” forest, very near from Dhaka, Bangladesh; are declining for the aggression of Industries & Capitalists. Many industries have been constructed and functioned in the forest. A lot of people are working there and polluting the forests. Already tigers, bears, deer and other animals have been extinct from the forest.
Traditionally “sal” forests used to cover vast areas in the centre and east of Bangladesh. In addtion to the “sal” trees (Shorea robusta) which constitue 70 to 75% of the forest composition, this type of forest includes several valuable tree and herbaceous species like the sungrass. Biological diversity in the “sal” forests is unique. Nevertheless, the Asian Development Bank has actively promoted the destruction of the “sal” forests by considering them of low productivity, thus financing projects for tree monoculture plantations using eucalyptus and rubber among other species. Nowadays the only big patch of “sal” forest standing is that of Modhupur. Most of the forest land has been denuded, degraded, and occupied by forestry companies or displaced people.
Most of the forest is now occupied by the leaders of Awami Leage and BNP, the 2 major devastating political parties of Bangladesh. In the last 2 decades, 2000 acres forest land have been destroyed by the leaders. The forest department of Bangladesh says that 60,000 acres area is “sal” forest land. But now only 6,900 acres area exists as forest land. All the influential powerful leaders destroyed the rest 53,000 acres forest in the last half century. A long report of the daily Samakal in 2 March, 2012 presents the critically endangered position of the forest.
But the policy of Bangladesh government is anti-forest. The local leaders intrude in the forest, grab lands, cut trees and kill animals. A report of a Bengali Daily the Kaler Kanthapresented in 2008 that 93 illegal land holder established industries in the forest. A lot of illegal saw-mills are functioning in the forest and cutting trees. Roads and highways are also a tremendous threat to the forest and its wild species. To save the Vaoal-Modhupur “sal” forest, it is necessary to take actions against the intruder and destroyer of the forest.

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