The number of different species of trees like Sundari, Gewya and Garan is on the rise in the Sundarbans following a ban on cutting trees in the world's largest mangrove forest, Environment and Forest Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud told parliament yesterday.
In reply to lawmakers’ queries, the minister said felling trees remains banned in all reserved forests including the Sundarbans since 2016. That’s why the number of trees is increasing and it is playing an important role in protecting the environment.
Aiming to protect the country's biodiversity, felling trees in the reserved forests remains banned from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2022, Anisul said in a scripted answer.
About the government’s special measures to prevent air pollution in the divisional cities, Anisul informed the House that so far the government carried out drives in 113 industrial and commercial factories and fined Tk 2.19 crore on charge of air pollution.
The minister also said the government has so far distributed 230 Sound Level Meter to the Environment Directorate, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority and Bangladesh Police to take immediate actions against air pollution.
In reply to another question from ruling Awami League MP Pinu Khan, the minister said the Forest Department created block gardens on 33,889 hectares of land, while strip gardens on 5,433 hectares in the last four years.
Besides, some 1.20 crore saplings were planted in other places in the last four years, Anisul said, adding that the total amount of cost for gardens was Tk 290.14 crore.
Responding to another question from AL MP Ummey Razia Kajol, the minister said the government did not get any climate fund from abroad in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
He, however, said the government has allocated Tk 100 crore for the Climate Change Trust Fund from its revenue budget in the last fiscal year.