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Call to protect Tanguar Haor from uncontrolled tourism

Sylhet Correspondent

Speakers at a view exchange meeting in Sunamganj yesterday laid emphasis on sustainable development programmes for the proper use of the Tanguar Haor.

They said plundering of natural resources from the vast waterbody by the looters should be stopped at any cost. Alongside the government’s intervention, participation of the local people is also essential in this connection.

Indiscriminate fishing by the greedy and influential groups in the haor must be stopped. The natural site should not be made a location for uncontrolled tourism, the speakers added.

The meeting was arranged to call for a coordinated effort to saving the haor area.

State minister for Finance and Planning MA Mannan attended the event as the chief guest while Director of Department of Environment Zafar Siddique presented the concept paper.

Tanguar Haor, the second largest in the country, is declared as the motherland for fishes of Bangladesh. Lot of beels and swamp area all together are called as Tanguar Haor. Plenty of rivers and canals passed through this massive haor. Most of those rivers are originated from the Meghayan hills.

It is a 100 sq km wetland and ‘inland sea’. Home to over 200 species of aquatic plants, 140 species of fish, 208 indigenous bird species, 100 species of migratory birds, 34 species of reptile, and 11 species of amphibian, it is one of Asia’s most magnificent natural environments. It is already a veritable site for dedicated naturalists and birdwatchers as well as photographers, and those simply seeking the tranquillity of such an environment. It is also a vital resource for both nation and continent.

The speakers said in developing and supporting the development of tourism the key word has to be sustainable, ensuring, not only access, but also the protection of environment and wildlife, as well as the livelihoods of the local people.

Spreading on 9725 hectares of waterbodies, it provides the livelihoods of over 56,000 people in 88 villages, primarily through fishing resources. Tanguar Haor was declared an Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) in 1999 and as Bangladesh’s second Ramsar site in 2000, because of its national and global significance.

The vast waterbody had been under a joint management of the district administration and the IUCN for 12 years.

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