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Introduction: Biodiversity is a contraction of biological diversity and refers to the number, variety and variability of living organisms.

In its widest sense, therefore, it is synonymous with Life on Earth. It embraces two different concepts: one is a measure of how many different living things there are and the other is the measure of how different they are. It has been estimated that more than 50 million species of plants, animals and microorganisms are existing in the world. Our planets requirements and services depend mainly on the biological resources. Biological resources not only provide us nourishment, clothing, housing, fuel and medicine but also meet our several other requirements. Bangladesh was claimed as very rich with its huge biological resources. Now-a-days, this claim is getting pale, as the rate of destruction on biodiversity does know no bound. As the rate of biodiversity loss is looming large, the nature loving people are raising their concern apprehending the catastrophic imbalances waiting ahead of us. We have to curb the situation for the greater sake of the present generation and the generations to come. The prosperity of the country will always be depending on how much we are being able to maintain and conserve our precious biological diversity. Because, diversity of ecosystems and their rich floral and faunal resources have made Bangladesh resilient to natural calamities and the rich biodiversity of this land with moderate tropical climate makes it soothing for the human habitation. The richness of species diversity, health of ecosystems and habitats has been declined in recent decades for a number of reasons. Definition of Biodiversity The term BIODIVERSITY was first coined by the entomologist E.O. Wilson in 1986. A neologism from biology and diversity, it refers to the variety of life on the planet. There is no single standard definition for biodiversity. Biodiversity may be defined as the totality of different organisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems they form. The Convention on Biological Diversity defines biodiversity as the variability among living organisms from all sources including, among other things, terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. Types or Levels of Biodiversity Biodiversity may be considered at three levels: genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity. Species diversity - refers to the variety of living species within a geographic area. A species may be defined as a group of organisms which are able to interbreed freely under natural conditions to produce viable offspring.

Species diversity may be measured using the following characteristics:

Species richness - the number of species within a particular sample area. Species evenness - this refers to the evenness in number of individuals of each species in the area Relative abundance of species of various categories - (the categories might include size classes, tropic levels, taxonomic groups, or morphological types).

Importance of species diversity: I. Species diversity is easier to work with. II. Species are also easier to conceptualize and have been the basis of much of the evolutionary and ecological research that biodiversity draws on. Genetic diversity - refers to the differences in genetic make-up between distinct species, as well as the genetic variations within a single species. This is the least visible and, arguably, least studied level of biological diversity. Genetic diversity is the variety present at the level of genes. Genes, made of DNA, are the building blocks that determine how an organism will develop and what its traits and abilities will be. Importance of genetic diversity: Within species, genetic diversity often increases with environmental variability, which can be expected. If the environment often changes, different genes will have an advantage at different times or places. In this situation genetic diversity remains high because many genes are in the population at any given time. If the environment didn't change, then the small number of genes that had an advantage in that unchanging environment would spread at the cost of the others, causing a drop in genetic diversity. Since the gene is the fundamental unit of natural selection, and thus of evolution, some scientists argue that the real unit of biodiversity is genetic diversity. However, species diversity is the easiest one to study. Ecosystem diversity - encompasses the broad differences between ecosystem types, and the diversity of habitats and ecosystem processes within each ecosystem type. Ecosystem diversity deals with species distributions and community patterns, the role and function of key species, and combines species functions and interactions. The term "ecosystem" here represents all levels greater than species: associations, communities, ecosystems, and the like. This is the least-understood level of the three described here due to the complexity of the interactions. Trying to understand all the species in an ecosystem and how they affect each

other and their surroundings while at the same time being affected themselves, is extremely complex. Difficulties in Examining Ecosystem Diversity Measuring changes in the extent of ecosystems is difficult, because there is no globally agreed classification of ecosystems. Transitions between them are usually not very sharp. Species contained within a given ecosystem vary over time. The classification of the earths immense variety of ecosystems into a manageable system is a major scientific challenge.

Threats to biodiversity There are many drivers of biodiversity loss, among which some are direct and dynamic while the others are indirect. Direct threat includes land use change, habitat destruction, introduction of invasive alien species etc. On the other hand, indirect threats are economic system and policy of the country; unsustainable exploitation of resources and weak management system; gaps in spatial information, lack of public awareness etc. A. Direct Threats 1. Change of land use (High population growth and natural resource consumption) The pressures that brought change in the land use in both terrestrial and aquatic environments include, demand for increased agricultural lands, collection of fuel wood and non-timber forest products by the local communities. More and more natural habitats are converting into human habitations due to high growth of population and economic activities. As a small country with high population and limited natural resources, it is obvious that the competition for these resources is immense. At present, the country has 85 thousand hectares of agricultural lands, of which 1% is being converted annually to other land use patterns. Urbanization is another major concern for the country, causing rapid shrinkage in agricultural lands. Development of infrastructures such as communication networks and flood control and irrigation infrastructures are also bringing rapid change in the land use. 2. Fragmentation and loss of habitat Fragmentation of habitats has been extensive and continues to occur at a rapid rate across the country. Habitat fragmentation typically reduces total habitat area, size of individual habitat patches, and proximity of habitat patches, and it can increase the amount of habitat edge. Reduction in the area of suitable habitat can result in population declines for most of the species by simply reducing adequate space for territories and other critical resources. Changes in habitat patch size, proximity of habitat patches, and the amount of

edge-habitat also can affect wildlife populations by negatively affecting reproductive success, survival, and/or immigration rates in the remaining habitats. Biodiversity is strongly associated with intact ecosystems and natural landscapes, however transformation of land use patterns, expansion of agricultural lands, change in cropping patterns, introduction of high yielding varieties (HYV), urbanization, expansion of road networks, unplanned embankments and other manmade factors have caused immense damage of habitats in all ecosystems. 3. Change in hydrological regime Reduction of upstream flow is one of the major causes of concern for reducing biodiversity of the country. Additionally, changes in land use and development of numerous flood management infrastructures have also played key role to change the hydrological cycle of the country. Other infrastructures such as roads and railways have also created obstacles for the waterways. These changes in hydrological regime not only reduced the fish production by changing the migration routes and spawning grounds but also influencing negatively the habitat quality of many other aquatic and terrestrial wildlife by changing the water availability for their existence. Reduction in the availability of freshwater is posing severe threat to the species composition and biodiversity of Sundarbans, the largest mangrove in the world. 4. Pollution With the increase of industrial units across the country without having effective waste management practices, the pollution level for both terrestrial as well as aquatic habitat is on the rise. Many of these industries are dumping their waste directly into neighbouring agricultural fields or water bodies. The situation is extremely bad for water bodies near all the major cities of the country. The situation is further worsened because of the release of untreated sewage from most of the cities. Agricultural run-off, growing use of agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides, are major source of pollutant across the country posing potential threat to the genetic resources to be faded out. 5. Uncontrolled tourism The development of unplanned and uncontrolled tourism is becoming one of the major threats for the degradation of biodiversity at hot spots. For example, the biodiversity of St. Martin's island, Lawachara National park and Madhabkundu Ecopark have been facing a continuous threat from unmanaged or poorly managed tourism. 6. Unsustainable agricultural practices Introduction of high yielding varieties coupled with hybrid seeds are causing sharp decline in the country's crop genetic resources. Changes in agricultural system are the main causes of genetic erosion in agricultural biodiversity. Out of more than 10,000 rice cultivars only 22 are mostly used now, leaving behind the vast genetic resources accumulated through

the painstaking work of our farmers. With the advent of High Yielding Varieties (HYVs), farmers have stopped using most of these old varieties that they used to possess earlier. Slush and burn practice in the hilly area is also not sustainable in present form. Traditionally it was done in a long 5-7 years return period, but with present population growth, the return period shrinks to 2-3 years making the area vulnerable to be denuded and thus exposed to landslide and erosion. This small return period also do not provide enough time to re-vegetate the area to support the wild flora and fauna. 7. Invasive alien species A large number of non-native species have been introduced in Bangladesh with various purposes including agriculture, horticulture, forestry, animal husbandry, fisheries development, pet animal and ornamental aquarium species. Although some of them escapes in the wild and adapted with local condition, but many of them became invasive. Many exotic turtle species have been introduced to natural water bodies by the aquarium shops. Most of the identified alien invasive species found in Bangladesh are plant species and are known worldwide for their invasiveness. Two of the most common are Chromolaena odorata and Lantana camara; these two cryptic invaders are established in our forest floor and out-competing our local species, especially in the open areas of forest margins. 8. Climate change Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate changes, variability and extreme events and the country is suffering from severe impacts because of its low-lying nature and dense population. The coastal zone including the world's largest stretch of mangrove ecosystem, the Sundarbans (has been declared in 1997 as Ramsar Site), is facing a serious threat of loss of biodiversity due to change in climate. Northward penetration of the salinity front due to climate change would result in salinity induced succession problems in the Sundarbans and as a result, the symbiotic process in the entire ecosystem would change completely. Since the rate of these changes are much higher compared to the rates at which forest species migrate to suitable places, the size of the (actual) forest will be less compared to its present size. Forests and agricultural systems are vulnerable to increased incidents of disease and pest outbreaks as a result of changing climatic conditions. Moreover, with the ensuing threat of climatic changes, the existing agro ecosystems of the country could be under heavy pressure to feed the population. The increased salinity in the estuarine region would also change the species composition of freshwater fishery, as many freshwater fish are sensitive to salt water. The coastal zone would also be negatively impacted, as increasing water level would lead to considerable habitat loss in the short term. A wide range of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, and above all the Royal Bengal Tiger will face extinction in Bangladesh due to climate change. For some species there will no longer be anywhere with a suitable climate to survive; in other cases they may be unable to reach distant regions where the climate is suitable. Other species may survive elsewhere only to face new threats, notably if the new area is covered by crops or urban sprawl. Climate change over the past 30 years has produced numerous shifts in the distribution and abundance of species worldwide. Climate

change can affect the distributional area of each species independently. Climate change has already produced shifts in the distribution of some species, such as amphibians, grasses, migratory birds and butterflies. 9. Lack of knowledge and awareness Lack of information and knowledge generally leads to gaps in awareness. Gaps in awareness have been identified at various levels. To start with, most people do not even know that there are so many species of organisms occurring in Bangladesh. Most of the people do not know that there are laws that ban hunting and trade in wild animals, there are laws that protect certain species and ecosystems and that there are laws that are meant to control environmental pollution. 10. Unstable Legal and institutional systems A number of laws have been come into force in last four decades those are directly or indirectly addressing the issue of biodiversity conservation. Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act 1995 is one that has clear mandate to conserve overall environment along with biological diversity and ecosystems. To fulfill the mandate of the Environment Act, the Department of Environment (DoE) is not yet strengthened enough with adequate work force and other facilities. To deal with the three basic obligations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) viz., conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of uses of genetic resources, the institutional setup at the policy level is not mainstreamed and sensitized. Outdated bureaucracy in the governance and administrative arena is not yet supportive enough for knowledge-based conservation and management of biodiversity in Bangladesh. Overall, there is a lack of integration of environmental considerations in planning resulting in the absence for a truly integrated land and water management. Due considerations on environmental issues were farsighted off the development activities like roads and highways development, polders and embankments development, barrage and dam construction. Excessive climatic uncertainty, fishing and overexploitation of coastal resources, water quality deterioration, mangrove destruction for shrimp pond excavation, lack of public awareness and rampant rural poverty, institutional and legal limitations, cyclones, etc. are some of the major problems which need to be addressed on a priority basis for conserving our biological resources. Absence of proper institutional arrangements, frameworks and monitoring: Lack of adequate institutional or administrative frame works and suitable policies, weak implementation of existing policies, lack of integration of sectoral activities are other major threats to biodiversity in Bangladesh. Beside these, week institutional capacities and lack of trained manpower in all disciplines dealing with biodiversity, poor coordination and crosssectoral integration, weak national information system and inadequate knowledge on ecosystem structure and function are vital reason for biodiversity loss in the country. Monitoring is particularly important in understanding the fate of ecosystems, habitats and rare and endangered species.

Lack of true political commitments and willingness: Unfortunately, no political parties of the country been not included any forestry and biodiversity issue in their political campaign and these issues have also overlooked or weakly recognized or poorly emphasize when they are in power. In same cases political persons have been found responsible to illegal forest activities (i.e., encroachment) and environmental degradation. Illegal poaching: There is a big international market (illegal!) on wild animals (and their part, e.g., teeth, bones, far, ivory etc.) for their aesthetic and medicinal value. Peoples involved with this underworld syndicate sometimes illegally hunting/trafficking wild animals to earn some easy cash. Besides, unregulated logging, illicit felling, indiscriminate harvest of medicinal plants, Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), unplanned fishing, using bag nets, bottom trawling fishing, fishing in the breeding season and other factors are causing depletion of biodiversity Biodiversity conservation initiatives in Bangladesh Man has been directly or indirectly, dependent on biodiversity for sustenance to a considerable extent. The immediate task before the country is not only to manage and conserve the existing natural resources and ecosystem but also the restoration of degraded ecosystems through cooperation and support of people. As a signatory party of these conventions the government has undertaken various initiatives to conserve the biodiversity in both ecosystem and species level. The approaches for protecting biodiversity are1. The Ecosystem Approach The Ecosystem Approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way. An ecosystem approach is based on the application of appropriate scientific methodologies focused on levels of biological organization, which encompass the essential structure, processes, functions and interactions among organisms and their environment. Conservation of biodiversity is of two types: In situ conservation In situ conservation is carried out in the following areas: nature reserves, protected areas (i.e., national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and game reserves), world heritage sites and Ramsar sites etc. According to FRA-2005 about 20.9% forests (out of 8.71 million ha) of the country are primarily managed for conservation purpose (FAO, 2006). There are some ecoparks and safari parks in the country where both ex situ and in situ conservation measures have been practiced. Nature Reserves The objectives of a nature reserve are to protect communities and species and to maintain natural processes in order to have ecologically representative

examples of the natural environment. However, in Bangladesh there are no nature reserves. The country has one world heritage site (Sundarbans) and two Ramsar sites (i.e., Sundarban and Tanguar Haor) which has globally recognized for their unique ecological settings and conservation importance and presently conserved and managed by the government. Besides, the government has declared some Ecologically Critical Areas (ECA) which has been notified as ECA after severe ecological destruction. Protected Areas - Protected Areas are, areas especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means (IUCN, 1994). Globally the number of protected areas has been increasing significantly over the last few decades and currently about 12% of all forests are officially protected for conservation values (Scherr et. al. 2004; Mulongoy and Chape, 2004). Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) is; ecologically defined areas or ecosystems affected adversely by the changes brought through human activities. The Director General of the Department of Environment have the provision for declarations of ECA in certain cases where ecosystem is considered to be threatened to reach a critical state. If the government is satisfied that due to degradation of environment, the ecosystem of any area has reached or is threatened to reach a critical state, the government may by notification in the official gazette declare such areas as ECA. The government shall specify, through the notification provided in sub-clause (1) or by separate notification, which of the operations or processes cannot be initiated or continued in the Ecologically Critical Area. The following are the eight ECAs declared by Department of Environment (DoE), to date; Coxs Bazar-Teknaf Sea Beach St Martin's Island Sonadia Island Hakaluki Haor Taqnguar Haor Marjat Baor Gulshan Lake Strip of 10 km. outside the Sundarbans Reserved Forest

Protected Areas of Bangladesh Protected Areas: With the objective of conserving biodiversity (flora as well as fauna) and the natural environment within various forest types, the following three types of protected area under different IUCN protected area management category are defined in the Bangladesh Wildlife Preservation Act, 1974: Wildlife Sanctuary: an area maintained as an undisturbed breeding ground for wild fauna and where the habitat is protected for the continued well-being of the resident or migratory fauna.

National Park: a comparatively large area of natural beauty to which the members of the public have access for recreation, education and research, and in which the wildlife is protected. Game Reserve: normally comprises a relatively isolated area meant for protection of wildlife in general and to increase the population of specified species. The followings are the PAs (for in situ conservation) declared to date under different forest types of Bangladesh; Eco parks and Safari park- Government has established and declared several eco parks and one safari park to conserve biodiversity and genetic materials for research and other purpose. Both in situ and ex situ conservation strategies have been adopted here to maintain and keep biodiversity in sound condition. Table 5 lists the name and location of eco-parks and safari park in Bangladesh. Ex situ conservation In contrast to in situ conservation, ex situ conservation includes any practices that conserve biodiversity (or genetic materials) outside the natural habitat of the parent population. In Bangladesh these types of effort are mainly limited to Bangladesh Forest Research Institute (BFRI) and it includes the followings (Islam, 2004); Botanical gardens Mirpur Botanical Garden: area 85 ha, with 255 tree species (total 28,200 plants), 310 shrub species (8,400 plants), 385 herb species (10,400 plants). The total number of families of trees, herbs and shrubs is 114. Baldha Garden: area 1.15 ha with 18,000 trees, herbs and shrubs from 820 species and 92 families. Preservation Plots- BFRI has established five preservation plots at different hill forest areas and 27 at the Sundarbans (mangrove) forest. Clone Banks: The BFRI has established two clonal banks, one at Hyako, Chittagong (4 ha) and another at Ukhia, Coxs Bazar (4 ha). Seven tree species (Tectona grandis, Gmelina arborea, Bombax ceiba, Dipterocarpus turbinatus, Syzygium grande, Swietenia mahagoni and Paraserianthes falcataria) are preserved in these two locations. BFRI Arboretums One bambusetum (1.5 ha) has been established at the BFRI campus. This arboretum contains 27 bamboo species including 6 exotic species. One arboretum of medicinal plants (1 ha) has also been established at the BFRI campus with a collection of 40 species. One cane arboretum (0.5 ha) with seven species. Three arboreta of tree species have been established at the BFRI-HQ with 56 species, Keochia Forest Research Station with 56 species and Charaljani Silviculture Research Station with 52 species.

B. Legal and Administrative Obligation There are several legislative policies and initiatives that provide provisions for regulating, harvesting and protecting plants and animals in Bangladesh. Those are: National Conservation Strategy (NCS) The need for a National Conservation Strategy was first emerged in September 1986. Its primary goal was to provide a national strategy for conservation of all concerned sectors. It provides specific strategies for sustainable use of natural resources as well as sustainable development in 18 different sectors. The National Conservation Strategy Implementation Project I (19941999) was a five-year project implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), with financial and technical support from NORAD and IUCN. Through this NCS Phase 1, one major programme was implemented in four distinct ecosystems tropical and mangrove forest areas, St. Martins Island, Tanguar Haor and Barind Tract. The main objective of all these activities is conservation of biodiversity. National Environment Management Action Plan (NEMAP) The MoEF prepared the NEMAP, which is based on a comprehensive participatory planning process ranging from grassroots up to national level. Inputs were provided from local communities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, professional groups, academics, parliamentarians, lawyers and journalists. Together, this cross section of concerned stakeholders identified key institutional, sectoral, location-specific and long-term issues and actions. The NEMAP thus constitutes a synthesis of perceptions of the government, NGOs and the people on environmental problems and the actions required to address them. The NEMAP provides the policy framework of, and action plan for environmental development in combinations with a set of broad sectoral guidelines that emphasis, inter alia, the following: 1) Maintenance of the ecological balance and overall progress and development of the country through protection and improvement of the environment. 2) Protection of the country against natural disasters. 3) Identification and control of all types of activities related to the pollution and degradation to the environment. 4) Undertaking environmentally sound development programmes in all sectors. 5) Sustainable long term and environmentally congenial utilization of all natural resources. 6) Activities in association with all environmental-related national and environmental initiatives. Sustainable Environment Management Programme (SEMP) The Sustainable Environment Management Programme supported by the UNDP and implemented by MoEF for a five year periods (1998-2002) was the response evolved from the concerns, needs and actions identified through the National Environment Management Action Plan (NEMAP) process. It focuses on community-based resource management in wetlands. In the NEMAP several major priority areas of environmental concern were identified, and the SEMP has been designed to address these priorities. The programme consists of 26 components on five major themes, and is implemented by 22 organizations from the government, nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and private sector. The community-based Haor and Floodplain Resource Management Project is being

implemented by the IUCN with the Ministry of Environment and Forest, in two well-defined degraded areas of haor and floodplain ecosystems. The major focus of the programme is to involve community people in the planning and implementation of activities for the management of natural resources that maintain biodiversity and human well-being. Biodiversity conservation in Bangladesh Mukul, S. A. (2007) 20 The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and Environment Conservation Rules 1997: The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act of 1995 was enacted for environmental conservation, environmental standard development and environmental pollution control and mitigation. ECA 1995 is currently the main legislative framework relating to environmental protection in Bangladesh. The Environment Conservation Rules, 1997 (ECR 1997), are the first set of rules which have been promulgated under the ECA 1995. The major aspects covered by ECR 1997 are the National Environmental Quality Standard; requirements and procedures to get environmental clearance; requirement of Initial Environmental Examination and Environmental Impact Assessment for any project. However, the major application of ECA 1995 was to declaration of Ecologically Critical Areas (ECA). National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) As a signatory party of CBD Bangladesh has prepared a NBSAP with 24 different conservation components which has been implemented and executed by different government and nongovernmental conservation organizations. Nishorgo Support Project (NSP) This pilot protected area management programme is a Forest Departments Project and has been financed by USAID under a Strategic Objective Grant Agreement. This is a five year project (2005-2010) and has been primarily implemented in five PAs of the country (i.e., Lawachara National Park, Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary, Satchari National Park, Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary and Teknaf Game Reserve) (Roy, 2005). The overall objective of this project is conservation of biodiversity within the PAs. The project has worked to achieve six separate but closely related objectives in support of this overall objective, as stated below: o Develop a functional model for formalized collaboration in the management of Protected Areas. o Create alternative income generation opportunities for key local stakeholders in and around PAs. o Develop policies conductive to improved PA management and build constituencies to further these policy goals. o Strengthen the institutional system and capacity of the FD and key stakeholders so that improvements under the project can be made permanent. o Build or reinforce the infrastructure within PAs that will enable better management, and provide limited visitor services. o Design and implement a program of habitat management and restoration for PAs. Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) (Amendment) Act, 1974 The Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) Order, 1973 was promulgated under Presidential Order No. 23 in 1973 and was subsequently enacted and amended as the Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) (Amendment) Act, 1974. The law provides for the preservation, conservation and management of wildlife in Bangladesh. According to the Act the term wildlife or wild animals means any vertebrate creature, other than humans beings and animals of usually

domesticated species or fish, and include the eggs of birds and reptiles only. The law itself is not sufficient to provide legal protections to the significant aquatic biodiversity component of the ecosystem. For example, by this definition, the important components of the coral species in the St. Martins Island, and also fishes and mollusks, remain outside the legal protection of this Act. Bangladesh Forest Act, 1978 and Subsequent Amendments The law provides protection of and development of forests. The government may assign a reserved forest to any forestland or wasteland, or any land suitable for afforestation, which is the property of the government, over which the government is entitles. Subsequently, the Forest Law has been amended and updated foe a number of times in response to changing needs. The Forest Act, 1972, the Forest (Amendment) Act 1990 and the amendment in 2000 may be mentioned in this regard. These are contributing quite a lot to the conservation of biodiversity, although not enough, and much more remains to be done. Forest Policy and Forestry Sector Master Plan The GOB first formulated the National Forest Policy in 1979. But as the situation began to change with demand for forestry products and consequent depletion of forest resources and degradation of the overall environment, the Government had to update it and formulate a revised policy which is known as the Forest Policy 1994. The biodiversity issue has been given increased importance in the latest policy. The policy stated that attempts will be made to bring about 20% of the countrys land under the afforestation programmes of the government and the private sector by 2015. In order to achieve self-reliance in forest products and maintenance of ecological balance, the government will work hand in hand with the NGOs and peoples participation will be encouraged. Biodiversity conservation in Bangladesh Mukul, S. A. (2007) 22 The policy further stated that the priority protection areas are the habitats that encompass representative samples of flora and fauna in the core areas of National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Game Reserves. Attempts will also be made to increase the extent of these protected areas by 10% of the reserved forest area by 2015. To achieve the objectives and targets as stated in the policy, the government has also formulated the Forestry Sector Master Plan (1995-2015). The financial requirements to implement the plan have been estimated to be about Tk. 80,000 million. Way forward Bangladesh is globally, committed to conserve its Biodiversity as the country is a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and signatory to the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), UNESCO World Heritage Convention and Ramsar Convention on Globally significant Wetlands. Our traditional knowledge to conserve biodiversity. We have got rich traditional knowledge to conserve biodiversity. We have also an uprising generation to come up with knowledgebased resource management. The much thing we need is our policy level endeavor to implement effective action plans to conserve biodiversity. Biodiversity conservation should be placed on the high of the agenda of the government. Rules-regulations should be formulated or in some cases be updated with the core concept of conservation and sustainable use of the components of biodiversity. Bangladesh, in 2004, has developed National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAP). Bangladesh has enacted environment conservation act and rules and regulations. Environmental Impact

Assessment has been made mandatory for development interventions which have much impact on the environment. Bangladesh has nineteen nationally designated protected areas comprising approximately 2,458 km2, which is 1.66 percent of land area of the country. These include ten national parks, eight wildlife sanctuaries and one game reserve. Bangladesh has so far declared 9 areas significant in biodiversity and environment conservation, as ecologically critical areas (ECAs). Government has already undertaken project initiatives towards conserving some of these important areas. United Nations declared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. To commemorate the year, government has chalked out various events of public awareness. Government is going to submit the Fourth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Bangladesh has finalized the Fourth National Report on implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which came up with Biodiversity Program of Action (BPA) 2020. BPA covered the immediate and urgent needs of activities to be implemented towards strengthening biodiversity conservation in the country. Government and the development partners should come forward to implement BPA ensuring ecosystem approach and people's broader engagement in biodiversity and natural resources management.