Priorities of Forest Landscape Restoration and Biodiversity Conservation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts

A seminar on "Priorities of Forest Landscape Restoration and Biodiversity Conservation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts" was organized by Arannayk Foundation on 8th June 2022 at the Conference Room of the Department of Environment at Agargaon, Dhaka. The seminar was chaired by Mr. Rakibul Hasan Mukul, Executive Director of Arannayk Foundation. Mr. Iqbal Abdullah Harun, Additional Secretary of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry was the chief guest, and Dr. Abdul Hamid, Director General of the Department of Environment and Mr. Md. Amir Hossain Chowdhury, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) were the special guests in the seminar. The seminar began with a welcome address by Farid Uddin Ahmed, Senior Forestry Expert of Arannayk Foundation. The keynote presentation was made by Dr. Mohd Abdul Quddus, Forest Landscape Restoration Specialist of Arannayk Foundation.
The keynote paper focused on Arannayk Foundation's research findings on the present condition and restoration needs of the Reinkhyong Reserved Forests and its surrounding unclassed state forest (USF) and the approach and experiences of its ongoing pilot project on forest landscape restoration (FLR) in Rowangchari Upazila of Bandarban Hill District. The paper highlighted the need for coordinated planning of forestry and agricultural activities by Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD), Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Chattogram Hill Tracts Development Board (CHTDB) and other stakeholders (Regional and District Hill Councils, District and Upazila administration, etc.) necessary policy support from the government.
The key note presentation was followed by discussions by Mr. Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed, retired CCF and President of the Institution of Foresters Bangladesh (IFB), Dr. Ishtiaq Sobhan, Senior Environmental Specialist from the World Bank Bangladesh, Prof. Dr. Mostafa Feeroz from Jahangirnagar University and Dr. Kristofer Johnson, Team Leader of FAO Bangladesh's Environment, Forestry and Climate Change Unit. The general participants of the seminar also made questions and comments on the keynote presentation. Dr. Abu Mostafa Kamal Uddin, Project Lead, Compass, US Forest Service, facilitated the discussion session.
The seminar ended with a vote of thanks from Mr. Jafar Siddique, Environmental Specialist of Arannayk foundation.
Over one hundred participants from relevant government agencies (BFD, DAE, Department of Environment), academia (including University students), civil society organizations and mass media participated in this seminar.