Let forests thrive to protect biodiversity

08 December 2019

AS settlers continue clearing forest areas for fruit cultivation and fish farming, the biodiversity in Moulvibazar's Lathitila has been facing a serious threat. According to newspaper reports, the vegetation at 5631.4 acres of land covered with hillocks is under continuous danger. Though only 30 landless families were allowed to settle inside the forest to take care the reserve forest, the number of families increased to 500 in span of about 60 years. A section of people cut off the roots of forest trees, making them unable to take nutrients from soil. As the trees gradually die, various fruit trees are planted there to occupy the land.
As the Forest Department files case if the live trees are felled directly, the settlers in connivance with vested quarters cut the bottom part of a big tree to cause its eventual death. Later, the people occupy the land after deforestation. It is no more secret that the fence eating the grass instead of protecting it in the forest where forest rangers are involved with the deforestation and illegal occupation. The deforestation causes of loss of habitat and food crisis for wild animals resulted in their searching of new shelter to the human locality. Owls were seen in Champatila even two or three years ago. Now they are hardly visible as trees are not that available. There are occasional incidents of deer hunting in the forest.
However, environmentalists said the forest is gradually shrinking and its biodiversity faces threat due to human settlement and increase in commercial fruit cultivation. Like the Moulvibazar reserve forest, the government should tighten their steps to stop deforestation at all forests across the country as the forests are the oxygen factories. We must say that people living in the area have to be rehabilitated elsewhere to save the forest. The authority should increase monitoring to the forest resource for conservation of the natural biodiversity and protecting habitat of birds and animals.

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