Monday, May 31, 2004

Nat'l Tree Fair begins today

The National Tree Plantation Movement and Tree Fair-2004 begins on the National Parade Ground in Dhakatoday (Tuesday), says BSS.

Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia is expected to inaugurate the fair at 11 a.m.

Addressing a press conference in the PID conference room, Environment and Forests Minister Tariqul Islam said tree fairs would be held in 107 upazilas of the country to strengthen afforestation programme.

Mr. Islam expressed the hope that saplings worth taka one crore 50 lakh would be sold at the National Tree Fair this year. He informed that saplings worth taka one crore 20 lakh were sold last year.

The minister said the present government has been working relentlessly under the leadership of the prime minister for protecting country’s forest resources.

He said a programme has been taken at the initiative of the prime minister to plant one crore coconut saplings in the eight greater districts in the coastal areas. As part of this programme, a total of 42 lakh coconut saplings would be planted in the current season, he added.

The minister said the Thai government has promised to supply one crore coconut seeds as a friendly gesture to Bangladesh. He said four thousand seeds (Thai Tall Variety) are expected to reach Chittagong by June and a Thai expert team is also expected to visit Bangladesh in July.

Mr. Islam said that the forest department has been instructed to plant those trees which are on the verge of extinction. Effective measures are being taken to halt felling of trees and hill cutting. He said 15 persons of forest department were suspended in this connection.

He said 10 percent of the country’s total area is covered by forest which would be increased to 20 percent by 2015.

State Minister for Environment and Forests Jafrul Islam Chowdhury and Forests Secretary Syed Tanvir Hossain and Principal Information Officer Khondakar Manirul Alam were present.

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