Protect people from biodiversity threat

AS settlers continue clearing forest land for fruit cultivation and fish farming in Moulvibazar’s Lathitila area, biodiversity of that locality 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 of vested quarters conducted the “ringing”, cut the bottom part of a big tree to cause its eventual death. Later, the people occupy the lands 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.
As per environmentalists, the forest is gradually shrinking and its biodiversity faces threat due to human settlement and increase in commercial fruit cultivation. We strongly urged that people living in the area have to be rehabilitated elsewhere to save the forest. The government monitoring to the forest resource for conservation of the natural biodiversity should be increased. We have to protect the habitat of birds and animals. Not only the Moulvibazar reserve forest, the government should tighten its grip to stop deforestation at all forests across the country. We must not forget that forests are our oxygen factories.

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