Households dependent on natural resources of the Sundarbans have been significantly affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This is mainly due to reduced income as a result of limited access, restricted movement, less demand of harvested products and more.
In light of this, some 7,000 households neighbouring Chandpai and Sarankhola Range of the Sundarbans are receiving cash grants and aid packages, said a press release.
The support comes as part of a special emergency project "COVID 19 Mitigation Measures in the Sundarbans" -- jointly implemented by Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is funding the initiative, while Centre for Natural Resources Studies (CNRS) supported the rollout of this effort, the press document said.
Begum Habibun Nahar, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, inaugurated the programme on Thursday at the Chandpai Range Office premise.
During her speech, the Deputy Minister urged everyone to join hands with BFD to conserve the Sundarbans, which she termed "Our pride and our lifeline," said the press release. She also thanked the German Government for their support and expected continued cooperation in conservation and enrichment of Bangladesh's vital forest resources, as well as climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.
In the inauguration event, senior BFD officials, Divisional Forest Officers of Sundarbans East Forest Division, Upazilla Chairman of Mongla, GIZ Bangladesh and CNRS representatives, Chandpai Co-Management Committee members were present among others, the press release said.