In post-independence Bangladesh, we usually experienced quite a lot of sunshine during summer and many people in rural areas were seen sitting under the shade of big trees during this time. At that time sitting under a tree would provide plenty of air and both the body and mind would cool down. Even though the field was scorched by the scorching sun, the temperature never reached 42 degrees Celsius. We used to spend the whole day watching the wind howl in the numerous rows of trees. As the temperature of Bangladesh is increasing at present, it seems that its level will increase in the future. Now the question is why the nature of Bangladesh, which was fine in the distant past, is now so disturbed?
In fact, for a country to maintain its natural environment, it is necessary to have 20 percent of its total forest area protected, but Bangladesh has 10.8 percent. That too on paper. There is considerable doubt as to whether this actually exists. Because the way people are clearing forests and building settlements, our actual forest area is decreasing and not increasing. It is alleged that around 200 acres of forest area has been cut in Cox’s Bazar, Teknaf, Bandarban areas just to make housing for Rohingyas. Apart from this, it has been heard for a long time that new settlements are being built in the hilly areas by clearing the forests. On the other hand, the Sundarbans, one of the most protected forest areas in Bangladesh, is a little far away, but a power plant has been built by destroying the nature, which is a serious threat to our nature. Moreover, almost every day in the Sundarbans, we are destroying the biodiversity by illegally destroying our nature. Most of the people in the rural areas of Bangladesh are still using wood and bamboo as fuel. As a result, since these natural things are found in the forest areas of the forest, people are clearing the forest daily to use them as fuel. In fact, most of us do not even know that nature is one of the accessories of our survival. And because of this unawareness many of us are constantly damaging the environment without realizing it. And in return, nature gives us storms, floods, droughts, rains etc. One of the reasons for the recent heatwaves across the country is the loss of green forests and trees from our nature. In order to save from such scorching nature, the number of protected forests in the country should be increased and trees should be planted around wherever one lives. If the afforestation increases, pure natural oxygen will increase in the country and by that the environment will remain cool and rain will fall in the country at the right time i.e. the seasonal cycle of our country will work properly. The main problem of forestry in our country is lack of space. As houses and factories have been built to accommodate the country’s massive population, the forested area has decreased. However, even in Chittagong Hill Tracts, Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna and other districts, there are afforestable land and mountains, if they can be properly conserved by proper afforestation, then natural nature will prevail in our country for the next 200 years. So let’s do forestation together to save from natural disasters like heatwave. Even if we cannot do big afforestation, we protect the natural environment by planting trees around our house.
Ratan Kumar Turi: Writer and teacher.
Source: Bhorer Kagoj by www.bhorerkagoj.com.
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