• Thursday, Oct 06, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

ED: A national treasure too valuable to compromise

  • Published at 02:27 am May 5th, 2021
Sundarban fire
A fire broke out in Daser Bharani area of Sarankhola Range of Sundarbans East Forest Division on Monday, May 3, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

The authorities concerned must do a better job of ensuring that fires do not break out with the regularity that we are seeing

It is a cause for alarm that, yet again, a fire has broken out in the Sundarbans, marking the second fire of 2021 in the region.

At the time of writing, the fire, which broke out on Monday afternoon, had been brought under control, but was not yet fully doused, and as the fire burns, more forest land continues to be destroyed. While the fire-fighters at the scene deserve our sympathy and support for trying their best, ultimately, the grim truth is that we are losing precious forest land to fires.

The Sundarbans are invaluable to us in a multitude of ways; in addition to being a crucial part of Bangladeshi heritage and our identity as a nation, being home to the Bengal tiger, it is also instrumental in preserving the region’s natural eco-system.

However, perhaps the Sundarbans’ most significant contribution is to act as our first line of defense against natural calamities such as tropical cyclones, and with the knowledge that the effects of climate change will continue to be particularly detrimental to Bangladesh, we as a nation must leave no stone unturned to preserve it at all times. To that end, it is imperative that the current fire is put out and a thorough investigation carried out to determine why the fire broke out.

Consequently, the authorities concerned must do a better job of ensuring that fires do not break out with the regularity that we are seeing, and that there is active preparedness to deal with any fires immediately. The Sundarbans are too important for Bangladesh -- too important for its conservation and protection to not be a top priority.

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