International Day for Biological Diversity

'Unplanned Tourism Effects Biodiversity of Cox’s Bazar'

Published : 21 May 2017, 17:20

Jagoroniya Desk

To celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity a workshop was held on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at Six Season Hotel, Gulshan, Dhaka. The event was organized by by the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) initiatives of IUCN Bangladesh.

The aim of the event was to highlight the importance of biodiversity conservation in both sustainable tourism and blue economic growth on the eve of the International Day of Biological Diversity.

Secretary, Ministry of Environment of Forests (MoEF), Istiaque Ahmad, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest while Chief Conservator of Forests, Mohammed Shafiul Alam Chowdhury, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bangladesh Tourism Board, Dr. Md. Nasir Uddin,, Country Representative, IUCN, Mr. Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmadwere present at the occasion. Government official from related departments, environment activist, donors, scientists, researchers, tour operator association, media were also present at the workshop.

Istiaque Ahmad Secretary, Ministry of Environment of Forests (MoEF), biodiversity conservation and blue economy can ensure sustainable tourism development in Bangladesh. He also mentioned that unplanned tourism effects biodiversity of Cax’s Bazar as an example. Some initiatives have already taken. More and more participation of academician, researcher, scientists and environmentalist is need to achieve this goal. 

Mohammed Shafiul Alam Chowdhury, Chief Conservator of Forests, Bangladesh Forest Department, strongly believes that Red List of Bangladesh 2015 can help us to conserve the threatened species and their habitat, Vulture conservation, Country status of Asian Elephant were the best work with the technical implementation partner of IUCN Bangladesh. We hope in future jointly we can take initiative to conserve our biodiversity and sustainable tourism.

Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmad, Country Representative, IUCN Bangladesh believe thatInternational Day of Biodiversity, is on 22 May, and it's not only a good reason to celebrate nature, it is also a reminder that we are not the only form of life on this planet. Diversity in species, ecosystems and landscapes attracts tourism and promotes economic growth. In turn, a well-managed tourist sector can help reduce threats to key wildlife populations, and can maintain or increase biodiversity, through tourism. Blue Economy is a very new idea, it’s a biodiversity-driven approach. MFF addresses this approach to promote sustainable development in coastal and marine areas. 

Dr. Niaz Ahmed Khan and Dr. S Rashidul Hasan were present two papers on Blue Economy and Biodiversity and Tourism. 

About the theme of this workshop
Blue Economy is an evolving concept; it encompasses economic, social and environmental elements. The recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 14, which focuses on conservation and sustainable use of oceans and the seas for sustainable development. It further gives the basis to include environmental conservation approach at the top of the blue economy concept. One of the key economic elements of blue economy initiative is the tourism potential in the coastal and marine destinations of the country. Biodiversity, at the level of species and ecosystems, provides an important foundation for many aspects of tourism. A well-managed tourist sector can contribute significantly to reducing threats to, and maintain or increase, key wildlife populations and biodiversity values through tourism revenue.

Considering this, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has announced that the theme of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) on 22 May 2017 will be: “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism”. This has been chosen to coincide with the observance of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The role of Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) lies here to promote effective policies of utilization of coastal and marine resources that ensures sustainable Blue Economy in Bangladesh. This was also discussed in the 10th meeting of the National Coordinating Body (NCB) of MFF Bangladesh. NCB further decided to promote the concept of ecosystem protection and biodiversity conservation. Celebration of the IDB 2017 under this theme therefore will provide an opportunity for the MoEF and NCB to raise awareness and action towards the important contribution of sustainable tourism both to blue economic growth and to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

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