Saturday, February 5, 2011

Help Reject Proposed Rail-line in the adjacent areas of the Sundarbans

Recently, the Government of Bangladesh announced plans to set up rail-line from Navaran of Jessore District to Munshiganj of Satkhira District which is adjacent to the Sundarbans. According to the news, there are deep forests and shrimp farms on the designed rail-line and hundreds of the mangrove trees will be subjected to clear-cut for installation of the infrastructures. Wildlife may be hampered due to loud sound of the railway and environment and ecology will be threatened for regular operation of the rail coaches. Please write to the following officials asking them to reject these plans. Sample letter below.

Dear {Enter Name Here}
Recently, I have come to know that the Government of Bangladesh is going to set up rail-line from Navaran of Jessore District to Munshiganj of Satkhira District which is very adjacent to the Sundarbans. According to the news, there are deep forests and shrimp farms on the designed rail-line and hundreds of the mangrove trees will be subjected to clear-cut for installation of the infrastructures. The news also said that the wildlife may be hampered by the loudness of the railway and environment and ecology will be threatened for regular operation of the rail coaches.

I am personally concerned that yet another serious threat looms on the horizon the Sundarbans- the largest contiguous mangrove forest on our planet and a declared World Heritage Site. Mangroves need conservation and restoration more than ever. Already, over 16 million ha of mangroves have been lost to development pressures- over half the mangroves of the world-, so the Sundarbans is not unique in that sense. But I believe this is the time take a stand against further losses of precious mangrove habitat. Mangroves support a rich biodiversity, including important wild fisheries, endangered species such as the Bengal tiger, and also support many local fishing communities. The mangroves also provide a vital, life-saving buffer against tsunamis and cyclones, as well as sequester and store massive amounts of carbon, thus mitigating the effects of climate change.

With these and many other important reasons to conserve and sustainably manage the mangroves of the Sundarbans, I urge you not to support the proposed rail line.

Sincerely;
{Your name here}

Send letter to:
1. The Director General
Department of Environment
E/16 Agargaon, Sher-E-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka


2. The Director General
Bangladesh Railway, Rail Bhaban
16 Abdul Gani Road, Dhaka


3. Director
Department of Environment
Khulna Division, Boyra, Khulna

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