The USAID, international development agency of United States, has launched a fresh project worth of $ 20 million for protecting critical forests and wetlands in Bangladesh.
Planning Minister MA Mannan was the chief guest at the launching of ‘USAID Ecosystem/Protibesh’ at Westin Dhaka on Tuesday.
USAID deputy administrator Isobel Coleman was also present on the occasion while Mission Director Kathryn Steven made address of welcome.
The five-year long Protibesh project targets two green areas including Sundarbans mangrove forests and forest, freshwater wetland ecosystem of Sylhet border region.
Officials hoped the multilateral programme will help communities build long term climate resilience by adopting climate-smart agriculture approaches and learning business skills to diversify and increase their income.
Minister MA Mannan hoped the long lasting friendship between Bangladesh and United States will become stronger in development arenas.
“The government believes in inclusive development in participation of people from all diversified groups. No one will lag behind. The country is worse victim of climate change and the global partnership is required to reach benefits to all,” he said.
The minister hoped the merginalised communities will be benefited from the fresh project in cooperation with the USAID.
USAID Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman said the project will protect the biodiversity in Bangladesh as people are experiencing the negative impact of climate change.
“There are huge nature resources in the country. Bangladesh will able to combat the effects of climate change, protect the country’s critical natural resources – a rich source of life and livelihood for the people. It will also build resilience to climate induced natural disasters,” she said.
Mission Director Kathryn Steven said US AID has worked closely with Bangladesh to combate climate change and strengthen environmental conservation for last 25 years.
“The climate resilience is important for life and livelihood of people as the region goes through sever cyclone every year. We have been worked with communities and government officials to protect more than 2.5 million acres of wetlands and forest areas so far,” she said.
Officials mentioned that the Protibesh project wills strength environmental governance and sustainable forest and wetland management in collaboration of communities and government.
Land Ministry Additional Secretary Zahirul Haque, Environment Ministry’s Additional Secretary Iqbal Abdullah Harun, Fisheries and Livestock’s Additional Secretary Towfiqul Arif, ERD Additional Secretary Shahriar Kader Siddiky, Chief Conservator for Forests Amir Hossain Chowdhury, Director General of Fisheries Department Khandaker Mahbubul Haque and Department of Environment Director Syeda Masuma Khanam were also present on the occasion.