Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Md Shahab Uddin said that the Strategic Environmental Management Plan (SEMP) has been formulated to ensure the conservation of the Sundarbans during the implementation of policies, plans and programmes related to the country's development process.
“The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) report and the Strategic Environmental Management Plan provide clear guidelines for the conservation of the Sundarbans. We will be able to ensure the conservation of the Sundarbans by implementing development programmes in the south-western part of the country as per SEMP through awareness and coordination among the ministries and departments,” he said.
The environment minister made the remarks while speaking as the chief guest at a meeting with national level stakeholders on the draft SEA report and SEMP prepared for the South-West and Sundarbans of Bangladesh at Bangabandhu International Conference Center on Thursday.
The environment minister further said that the implementation of the development plan in the south-west would be further accelerated after the launch of the Padma Bridge.
“A part of the Sundarbans is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the entire Sundarbans is a Ramsar site. The draft SEA report and SEMP have already been prepared and uploaded on the website. The two reports will be finalized based on the views of all concerned for the conservation of the Sundarbans,” he added.
Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and climate change Md Mostafa Kamal presided over the meeting.
Deputy Minister Begum Habibun Nahar, Additional Secretary (Development) Ahmed Shamim Al Razi and Chief Conservator of Forests Md Amir Hosain Chowdhury addressed the meeting as special guests.
PD of SEA project Md Zaheer Iqbal and Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) Executive Director Malik Fida A Khan also spoke on the occasion.
Representatives of various ministries, departments, consultants and focal points engaged in SEA formulation, representatives of development partners were also present during this time.