January-March 2016

Conservation and restoration of Swamp Forests in Sunamgonj

Arannayk Foundation jointly with CNRS has taken a massive program for conservation and restoration of swamp forests through nurturing existing Hijal and Koroch trees and plant degraded sites with the same trees. The importance of conservation of swamp forests is appreciated by local communities including administration. Md. Iqbal Hossain, UNO, Tahirpur Upazila, inaugurated the plantation activities of AF-CNRS’s in Latifpur Hijol-Koroch bagh. Local people were motivated to plant the seedlings of Hijal and Koroch. They planted 5450 saplings in 30 acres of land.

Observing "World Wetland Day"

The World Wetland Day was observed in Sunamgonj by Arannayk and CNRS through organizing a public meeting at South Sreepur UP office on 2 nd February, 2016. Mr. Md. Nizam Uddin, Assistant Commissioner and Executive Magistrate, DC office, Sunamganj was present as special guest and Mr. Bishwajit Sarker, Chairman, South Sreepur UP, Tahirpur was present as a chief guest. The guests thanked Arannayk Foundation and CNRS for taking initiative to restore Manikkhila and Latifpur Hijol-Koroch swamp forests which, he believed, will contribute in enhancing biodiversity and increase production of fish in this area”. Moreover, the forests will save life of people from wave action during rainy season.

Celebrating World Wildlife Day

Staying true to the theme ‘The future of wildlife is in our hands’, AF celebrated ‘World Wildlife Day’ on 12 March 2016 by participating in a daylong program organized by Wildlife and Nature Conservation Circle, Bangladesh Forest Department. The program included a rally, wildlife conservation fair and a discussion session. AF showcased its studies and displayed publications regarding documenting the wildlife of different protected areas of Bangladesh along with other major publications. Honorable Minister Mr. Anwar Hossain Manju MP, Ministry of Environment and Forest, inaugurated the day-long program. Wildlife Centre, IUCN, Wildlife Conservation team of Bangladesh, Wild Team, Dhaka University, Wildlife Rescue Centre-JU, Jagannath University and many other organizations participated in the program along with the AF.

Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) for alternative livelihood and forest conservation

Hill Flower, a local NGO in Rangamati is conserving forests in Wagga Union of Kapati with financial and technical support of Arannayk Foundation since 2009. Following its success, the adjacent areas were also brought under conservation since 2015. Forest dependent communities were organized to form village based conservation forum. They were encouraged to have their own monthly savings. Arannayk Foundation helps the communities involved in forest conservation through creation of a revolving fund with their own savings and a grant from the Arannayk to establish a revolving loan fund in order to undertake alternative income generating activities so that their dependence on forests is reduced and they conserve their forests.

Arannayk and Hill Flower distributed grants to the five newly formed groups in five villages of Wagga for carrying out various AIGAs on 13 March, 2016 at Wagga high school premises of Sapchari, Rangamati. The ceremony was presided over by the executive Director of Hill Flower, Dr.Nilo Kumar Tangchangya. Mr. JotindraBodhipriyoLarma(SantuLarma), Chairman, Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council was present as the chief guest. Mr. Farid Uddin Ahmed, Executive Director, AF and Dr.Mohd. Abdul Quddus- Senior Program Officer, were also present as special guests at the ceremony along with the local traditional leaders. The Chief Guest, Mr. JotindrabodhipriyoLarma, in his speech emphasized on the need for conservation of forests for water and wildlife habitat. He said that without active participation of the people forest conservation is not possible. He highly appreciated the initiative of Arannayk for supporting people with technical knowledge and grant to establish a revolving loan fund managed by the communities.

Water from Village Common Forests (VCF)

A Gravitational Flow System (GFS) has been established at Pladai para (on way to RumaUpazila, 30km from Bandarban) by the joint initiative of AF and Tahzingdong (a local NGO). The GFS serves 21 families in the village, providing those with safe water for drinking and daily household needs. This has relieved them from spending hours for collecting water from bottom of the hills and has ensured availability of safe water throughout the year. Similar GFS is being constructed in Renikhyang Bagan Para VCF, which is near to Pladai para.

Improving lives of Madarbunia Chakma Para Community

Some Chakma families moved to Madarbunia (near Ukhia) possibly 40-50 years back from Chittagong Hill Tracts. They were practicing shifting cultivation in the hills. Arannayk jointly with Forest Department and a local organization SHED (NGO) had been supporting the community to improve their livelihood and reduce their dependence on forests since 2009. Due to scarcity of land the fallow period of shifting cultivation was reduced to three years and virtually they had been getting very small amount of cereals from the hills. With active livelihood support they have started growing vegetables in their homestead, rearing poultry, goats and pig, strengthened handloom settings and improved bamboo made handicrafts production. There is a temple in their locality. The AF has now supported the communities with construction of a house adjacent to the temple so that visitors can stay overnight during their festivals. It will also enable them to support round the year visitors who come to see their life and culture. The house will also be used as venue for their monthly meeting and other social program.

Environmental Education program

Arannayk Foundation has published a book for school children of Chunati forest areas to make them aware about their forests and biodiersity. The book is distributed to all school children of Chunati. SHED, the partner NGO of AF has organized 02 awareness meeting in 02 schools having 300 students from grade 6 to 10. Later the students were taken to the forests with the book to familiarize them with different trees and their uses. They could see several bird species along with butterflies. AF also has organized a 02 days long training workshop for 20 teachers on ‘Introduction of Environmental Education at 10 high schools of Dighinala, khagrachari’ with the support of its partner organization Anando at Khagrachari. Abdul Mannan, Program Officer (M&E), AF conducted the training workshop.

CRPARP's Poultry value chain development programme

Various stakeholders of CRPARP's poultry value chain development programme (participants, private company representatives, DLS officials and input suppliers) took part in a coordination meeting, held during March’16, where a network amongst the stakeholders were created. To boost up group poultry sales, 09 collection points were established at Cox’s Bazar and 02 at Mirsarai. It has created integrated network among the producers and the buyers.

Trainings commenced on handicrafts value chain development Programme

From February’16, ‘Pebble HATHAY BUNANO’ started 54 days long training for 300 women as per their MOU signed with Arannayk Foundation. AF’s CRPARP participants (from selected villages) are being trained for developing high quality, contemporary hand knitted soft toys. The project beneficiaries are trained on knitted products that will be brought back by ‘Pebble HATHAY BUNANO’ to sell to different countries.

Monitoring visit to AF's project sites

During the January-March’16 quarter, AF’s Program Officer Abdul Mannan along with Mr. Harun Ur Rashid, Consultant of AF and Ms. Anima Ashraf, Intern of AF have visited two projects sites of AF at Inani and Bandarban. The objective of the visit was to monitor the activity level progress of the projects and to provide necessary backstopping support to the implementing entities for successful implementation of the project. To know more about their visit have a look at our website's 'Resources' section.

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