Sundarbans faces threat from charcoal smugglers

Sunday, October 31, 2010

DHAKA - The endangered ecology of the Sundarbans that straddle Bangladesh and India is facing a new challenge from poachers who chop down and burn the trees to sell charcoal to brick fields, a media report said here Sunday.

A report from the southern Bagerhat district said the Coast Guard, in charge of security in the coastal areas along the Bay of Bengal, has discovered that this has been going on for at least three years.

Its personnel, with support from the district police and forest personnel, seized 20,000 kg of wood, illegally extracted from the Sundarbans, from two ovens at Tafalbari in Sarankhola sub-district, about five km from the forest area.

The felling of trees to make charcoal is illegal and has no official permission. But businessmen engaged in the process allegedly have the support of influential people of the area.

Mohammed Akbor Ali, conservator of forests in Khulna circle, told the New Age that the ovens used for making charcoal were a health hazard.

Bangladeash and India are jointly working to preserve the Sundarbans, which is also the home of the famed Royal Bengal tiger.

Filed under: Environment

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