Press Release

Intimate engagement is a must for Forest conservation: Speakers at a discussion meeting of Co-management day organized by Arannayk Foundation

March 23, Dhaka: To ensure the sustainable use of forest resources, the active engagement of co-management committees is a must. Therefore, achieving their stable financial capacity is essential. Speakers at the discussion meeting marking the Co-management day 2023 made these remarks.

On Thursday afternoon, Arannayk Foundation organized this discussion at its head office in the capital and local office at Ukhiya, Coxsbazar.

On March 23, 2008, Rafiqul Islam, a member of the Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary Community Patrolling Group (CPG), was stabbed to death by illegal timber loggers. Commemorating his supreme sacrifice, Bangladesh Forest Department has been observing this day as Co-Management Day since 2009.

Speaking as the Chief Guest, Md. Imran Ahmed, Conservator of Forest- Wildlife & Nature Conservation Circle of Bangladesh Forest Department said, along with the government, local communities must work for safeguarding the forest. Biodiversity is often affected by the livelihood activities of forest-dependent people. Hence, the community Patrol Group (CPG)s are to act more actively to ensure the co-existence of the human and wildlife, he added.

While speaking as the special guest, Md. Sarwar Alam DFO Cox's Bazar South Division urged the regional network of Co-management Committees to organize a national-level conference. “The Forest department will provide maximum support in this regard”, he assured.

Arannayk Foundation’s Head of Programs Masud Alam Khan chaired the meeting. He commemorated the contributions of the CPG members in protecting forests and mentioned the names who sacrificed their lives. The Co-management committees (CMC) have to be more active, he remarked.

The senior advisor of Arannayk Foundation Dr. Mohd Abdul Quddus called for allocating government funds and Private sector CSR finances for the CMCs to attain stable financial capacities. A permanent allowance structure and rewarding the best CPG member will also motivate local people to work for protecting forests, he suggested. 

Speakers at the meeting said, achieving the CMCs reliable financing will be easier if half of the revenue earned from tourism can be shared with all CMCs according to the Protected Area Rules 2017.

They urged the government to observe this day nationally as an acknowledgment of the contribution of CMCs to forest and nature conservation.

While delivering the closing remarks, the Program Coordinator of CMO Network of Arannayk Protibesh Project A H M Kamal reiterated the importance of CMOs regional and national networks to address the issues to make the PA rules effective.

Among others, Dr. Madinul Ahsan, Mr. Mazharul Islam from USAID Ecosystems/PROTIBESH Activity, Sital Kumar Nath from CODEC, Safiqur Rahman from NACOM also spoke at the meeting.

Presidents and Secretary from the newly formed Regional CMO Network at Khulna & Sylhet region and CMC leaders from Ratargul, Satchhari CMC, Koyra CMC, Himchhari CMC, Medakachapia, Inani SJINP CMC, President, and Treasurer of Whykong CMC, Fasiakhali CMC, Chandpai CMC, Munshigonj CMC, Dacope- Koyra CMC have attended the meeting virtually.

Currently, 28 Co-management committees are active in 22 protected areas.

Thanking you

Arifur Rahman

Communication and Advocacy Lead

Cell: 01913440955