Thursday, April 29, 2010

On Earth Day 2010 : Don’t sell our Sundarbans in the name of Carbon Trading

Speakers on the Earth Day urged the government not to sell the Sundarbans mangrove forest under carbon trading systems ignoring forest peoples and indigenous communities’ rights on collection and management of biodiversity resources. Humanitywatch and Centre for Environment and Participatory Research (CEPR) jointly organized the discussion meeting on 22 March 2010 5:00 PM at Umesh Chandra Public Library to observe 40 years of Earth Day and eighteen years of United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The meeting was chaired by Humanitywatch chairperson Sazzadur Rahim Pantha. Economist and columnist Professor Anowarul Kadir, Politician Advocate Feroz Ahmed, Rupayan executive director Khalid Hossain and Khulna University teacher Kushal Roy was present as honourable guests in the meeting.
The speakers said, the Sundarbans is not only the largest single tract mangrove forest in the world but also the source of livelihoods of at least 300 thousand people of southwest coastal region of Bangladesh. Due to climate change the communities are in vicious cycle of vulnerabilities for frequent cyclone and storm surges, increased salinity, raised high tides and changed weather patterns. The Sundarbans is also denuding due to adverse impacts of climate change. So, the forest people have traditional legal rights on using and management of the forest which comply with sustainable use of natural resources.
The speakers expressed their concern on USAID funded Integrated Protected Area Co-management (IPAC) and other corporate involvements. The speakers said that, Carbon Trading is a strategy of giant corporate houses to own their rights to damage the environment. They urged government initiative to stop carbon trading through a major discrimination to the forest peoples and indigenous communities.
Paribartan-Khulna executive director Nazmul Azam David, Rupantar training officer Sheikh Abu Jafar, Humanitywatch coordinator Shariful Islam Salim, Christian Service Society training officer Palash Das, Nasim Rahman Kiron was present among others.