Bapa condemns leasing out forestland in Cox’s Bazar

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, (Bapa), condemned the decision of the land ministry to lease 700 acres of protected forest in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh to Bangladesh Civil Service Administration Academy.

In a statement to the media, Bapa asked authorities to cancel the lease. Bapa President Sultana Kamal, and Sharif Jamil, General Secretary, signed the statement.

In June, the land ministry granted the lease in the Suknachari region of Cox's Bazar's Jhilwanja Union, near Marine Drive. This sparked outrage among greens as 15 organizations based in Cox's Bazar began a fierce campaign to have the lease terminated.

The land is being used as a training area by the Bangladesh Civil Service Administration Academy. According to the statement, the decision is a threat to biodiversity, forest ecology, and endangered species, such as the Asian elephant.

In 1935, the forest was designated "protected" and has been under the Forest Department's care and supervision. It is home of 58 endangered species.

Asian elephants, Burmese Pythons, birds, and deer are all protected. It stated that the lease was granted against the national forest policy, forest laws, and the government's commitments to the international community to preserve forest land.

One quarter of the government wants to take over forest land. According to the statement, this practice had wreaked havoc on forest land that was already reduced.

This is unacceptable. For building structures, forest land is being leased. The statement warned that this will affect the environment at Cox's Bazar.


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