The government is
yet to declare 18 compartments of the Sundarbans as wildlife sanctuaries
although an initiative was taken year back in this regard, aiming to protect
the biodiversity of the world's largest mangrove forest.
The Forest Department carried out field studies to gather data on compartment
No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 11 and 12-B of Sharankhola range, compartment No. 10, 12-A,
13 and 14 of Chandpai range, No. 17, 18, 19 and 20 of Khulna range and No. 49,
51-B and 52 of Satkhira range to announce those as sanctuaries in January last
year, said Jahir Uddin, forest conservator of Khulna region.
Later, the data and the map of those areas were sent to the Divisional Forest
Officers (DFO) of the Sundarbans East and West zones on January 21 last year,
seeking their opinion in this regard within 15 days.
Contacted, DFO Saidul Islam of Sundarbans East Department said some nine compartments
out of total 12 of Sharankhola range will be wildlife sanctuaries once the 18
proposed compartments are declared as the sanctuaries.
Later, an eco-tourist spot will be built in the sanctuary area with the
permission of the Forest Department.
Sundarbans, a natural habitant of 375 spices of wild animals including Royal
Bengal Tiger, deer, crocodiles and dolphin, 334 spices of evergreen trees, 315
varieties of birds and 210 kinds of fishes, was announced the 522nd World
Heritage Site by UNESCO, a United Nations body, on December 6, 1997.
In 2012, the Forest Department announced 18 rivers of the mangrove forest as
the sanctuaries of Dolphin to protect the moribund Irrawaddy Dolphin.
Save the Sundarbans Foundation Chairman Dr Sheikh Faridul Islam alleged the
government is not sincere to save the mangrove forest.
"If they were sincere, they would announce half of the Sundarbans as
wildlife sanctuary as early as possible," Faridul added.