Bangladesh News

Mar 17th
Bangladesh to seek World Heritage aid for Sundarbans PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 December 2007

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh will seek emergency funds from the World Heritage Centre to restore the ecosystem and biodiversity of the Sundarbans mangrove forest, badly mauled by last month's killer cyclone, officials said on Wednesday.

Cyclone Sidr, which struck the Bangladesh coast on November 15 with winds of 250 kph (155 mph), killed around 3,500 people, made millions homeless and destroyed a large part of the Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.

Forest officials said they had found two dead tigers and several deer following the cyclone, the worst to hit Bangladesh since 1991, when a storm killed around 143,000 people.

Officials said better preparedness and an advance warning system had helped save many people this time, but the vast mangrove forest had also largely offset the impact of the cyclone, which triggered a 5-metre (16-ft) water surge from the Bay of Bengal.

According to the forest department's preliminary estimate, the financial loss caused by Sidr to the mangroves would top 10 billion taka ($145 million), and experts say it might be more.
"Bangladesh is preparing a letter asking emergency funding from the World Heritage Centre for immediate rehabilitation of infrastructure in the Sundarbans," said Shafayat Hossain, a senior official at the Environment and Forest Ministry. "After final assessment of total damage to the Sundarbans, we will formally seek assistance from the WHC," he said.

Bangladesh has banned logging, fishing, and breaking honey-hives in the entire Bangladesh part of the Sundarbans for a year, a spokesman for the environment and forest ministry said.
Fakhruddin Ahmed, head of Bangladesh's interim government, told donors that Dhaka would need around $150 million to restore damage to the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove area.

"In the backdrop of Sidr, we need to mobilize resources not only for a major forestation program in the coastal belts, but also to restore the flora and fauna of the Sundarbans," Fakhruddin said.

At least 60 percent of the 6,000 sq km (2,320 sq miles) mangrove swamps that lies within Bangladesh, home for more than 400 Royal Bengal tigers, was devastated, forest officials said. The Sundarbans stretch for another 4,000 sq km (1,545 sq miles) into India's eastern state of West Bengal.
Denmark on Wednesday backed Bangladesh's recent appeal to the international community for $1 billion assistance for rehabilitation and reconstruction following the cyclone.

"I am pleased to see that the people of Bangladesh have already started reconstruction," Ulla Tornaes, Denmark's minister for Development Cooperation, told a news conference in Dhaka after visiting cyclone affected areas in Bangladesh.

Denmark has pledged $4 million aid for emergency relief, long-term reconstruction and climate change adaptation in Bangladesh, she said.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Additional reporting Masud Karim and Nizam Ahmed; Editing by Alex Richardson)

Comments Add New
Write comment
  We don't publish your mail. See privacy policy.
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.
< Prev   Next >
Limon Secures Bail

The High Court has granted a six-month bail to Limon Hossain, who has been behind bars in a case filed by the Rapid Action Battalion.

The bench of justices Nazrul Islam and Anwarul Haque approved the ad-interim bail on Thursday upon plea from the legal aid organisation Ain O Shalish Kendra.

Nizami Being Quizzed at 'Safe Home'

The investigation panel of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) has started quizzing war crimes suspect Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami at its 'safe home'.

The questioning began at 10am on Thursday and it will continue until 5pm with a one-hour pause at noon, Abdur Razzak Khan, a member of the investigation committee told

Zawahri Most Likely To Succeed Laden

Egyptian-born doctor and surgeon Ayman al-Zawahri is al Qaeda's second-in-command expected to succeed Osama bin Laden following his killing in a firefight with U.S.forces in Pakistan.

Zawahri has been the brains behind bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, and at times its most public face, repeatedly denouncing the United States and its allies in video messages.

In the latest monitored by the SITE Intelligence Group last month, he urged Muslims to fight NATO and American forces in Libya.

Bangladesh Fund Floats

The Bangladesh Fund has begun pumping money into the sagging stock market with the purchase of a lot of 50 shares of government-run Titas Gas.

The open-ended mutual fund with Tk 5 billion in initial capital entered the market on Thursday, a day after the Securities and Exchange Commission approved its registered trust deed and certified its floating..

Man U Beat Schalke To Set Up Barca Final


Manchester United will face Barcelona in a mouthwatering Champions League final later this month after they fielded a second-string side and still handed Schalke 04 a 4-1 thrashing on Wednesday.

United reached their third European Cup final in four seasons thanks to a 6-1 aggregate demolition of the Germans with two second-half goals from Anderson after Antonio Valencia and Darron Gibson had already put the tie out of reach.

De-Worming Pill Takes 150 Kids ill

The government-distributed pills have done it again.

Around 150 students of a government primary school of Mirzapur Upazila in Tangail district have fallen sick after swallowing the pills distributed by the health directorate as part of nationwide school de-worming campaign.

They have been admitted to the Upazila Health Complex, Mirzapur Kumudini Hospital and Tangail General Hospital for treatment.

Restaurants Vandalised in City


Workers vandalised several open and serving restaurants on May Day—a holiday—in different parts of the capital.

Police said the vandalism started at 10am and lasted until noon in Karwanbazar, Gulistan and Hazaribagh areas.

Tejgaon police sub-inspector Mohammad Asad told that the labourers vandalised eight to nine shops in Karwanbazar alone.