A ten-day long dolphin fair kicked off in Khulna today with a call to take tangible steps to protect freshwater dolphins in the Sundarbans.
An inaugural session was held this morning at Shaheed Hadis Park in Khulna city at 10:30am with the Khulna City Corporation (KCC) Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque as chief guest in the programme.
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Bangladesh in partnership with CNRS organised the fair under a project initiated by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Bangladesh Forest Department.
The fair will go on around villages of West Sundarbans creating awareness for conservation of dolphins and dolphin habitats for the next ten days.
Raquibul Amin, country representative of IUCN Bangladesh, Arif Mohammad Faisal, programme specialist of UNDP, ABM Sarowar Alam, senior programme officer of IUCN Bangladesh, Jahidul Kabir, conservator of forests (Wildlife and Nature conservation circle) of Bangladesh Forest Department and others were among those present.
Speakers at the programme urged the government to declare the Ganges River Dolphin as a national aquatic animal.
The program today also featured a puppet show by Joler Putul and will hold a host of other activities, kid’s craft show, dolphin exhibition and music shows, among others.
The Sundarbans is home to Asia’s last two remaining freshwater dolphins -- Irrawady Dolphin and the Ganges River Dolphin, both globally endangered.