Tree plantation mandatory at EZs

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has undertaken an initiative to plant trees at over 10 per cent land of each Economic Zone (EZ) across the country aimed at ensuring eco-friendly industrialisation, reports BSS.
"As per the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, BEZA has been working to build eco-friendly economic zones across the country," BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury told the news agency.
He said developers of the EZs will plant trees at five per cent land of each EZ while the factory owners will make green rest of five per cent.
Paban Chowdhury said many groups and banks, including City Group, TK Group, MISA Group, Brac Bank, City Bank, One Bank and Eastern Bank, have come forward to implement the BEZA's initiative for making green EZs across the country.
"We have taken a mega plan for huge tree plantation in the EZs. Many groups of company and banks are participating at the activities under their corporate social responsibility (CSR). BEZA is also planting trees under its own initiative," he said.
At least one million (10 lakh) trees will be planted at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City comprising the Mirsharai, Sitakunda and Feni Economic Zones in Chattogram at its along side roads, embankments and other selected areas of the economic zones," he informed.
"Various types of tress, including fruit-bearing plants, medicinal plants and timber plants will be planted in the city areas. We hope that the industrial city will look beautiful with trees bearing fruits and flowers within the two to three years," he stated.
The BEZA will also plant about 1.5 million (15 lakh) saplings of different varieties of trees in the next five years in Sonadia Eco-Tourism Park at Moheskhali upazila under Cox's Bazar to protect ecological balance in the coastal area.
"We want to protect ecological balance and conserve biodiversity in the Sonadia Island as many mangrove trees on around 4,000 acres of land in the area have already been damaged in the last 10 to 15 years due to illegal tree felling," he mentioned.
Paban Chowdhury said: "We will turn the island and its adjacent areas into a tourism park by conserving its greenery. Around 1.5 to two lakh saplings of different varieties of trees will be planted in the Sonadia Eco-Tourism Park within this year."
"In the Sonadia Eco-Tourism Park, BEZA has stopped felling of trees and taken an initiative to rehabilitate 315 families in the area. BEZA is also creating alternative livelihood for the people in the area who are depended on forest," he informed. He said BEZA is going to make planned housing having all facilities, including mosque and school for the locals.
BEZA has not yet taken any initiative to start construction work at the tourism park, he further informed. After consulting with different stakeholders, BEZA will start works to make an eco-friendly tourism park in the area," he said.
During the plantation, Paban Chowhdury said, BEZA is focusing on soil and environment of the area. "We are planting different species of saplings, especially those suitable for the coastal area," he said. "We want to conserve greenery in true sense of the term at Sonadia. So, we are trying to protect ecological balance in the area," he said.
The BEZA executive chairman said different private EZs, including Abdul Monem EZ, Cumilla EZ and Meghna Industrial EZ, have also taken initiatives to plants tress as per the directives of BEZA.