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Save Ganges dolphins to save rivers: Saber Hossain

Messenger Online

Published: 18:56, 23 April 2024

Save Ganges dolphins to save rivers: Saber Hossain

Saber Hossain Chowdhury. Photo: Collected 

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Saber Hossain Chowdhury on Tuesday (23 April) stressed the need for protecting the Ganges river dolphins aiming to save the ecosystem of the country's rivers.

"Ganges dolphin is the top predator in rivers. If the dolphins disappear from the country's rivers, the river ecosystem will change, which will ultimately affect our food," he said while speaking at the opening session of a three-day conference.

In collaboration with the World Bank, Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB), Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and Bangladesh Forest Department jointly arranged the First International Conference on Management and Conservation of the Ganges River Dolphins at Hotel InterContinental Dhaka.

Speaking as the chief guest, Saber Hossain said the dolphin is a nature-based indicator of rivers, and if the state of dolphins in a river is understood, the ecology of the river will be realised.

He said if the dolphins could not service in river water, it will mean that water pollution puts the river's ecosystem in peril, affecting aquatic species.

Recalling that Bangladesh is a lower-riparian country as most of its rivers are originated outside the country, Saber Hossain said intergovernmental collaboration is an urgent to ensure water flow and depth of the transboundary rivers.

Mentioning that community should be engaged in saving rivers aiming to get benefit from the nature, he said: "Transbounday approach is going to be important...we have to be respectful and collaborate together."

Chaired by Chief Conservator of Forest Md Amir Hosain Chowdhury, the session was addressed, among others, by Environment Secretary Dr Farhina Ahmed, World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Syud Amer Ahmed, BWDB Director General Muhammad Amirul Haq Bhuiya and BIWTA Chief Engineer (Dredging) Rokibul Islam Talukder.

Divisional Forest Officer of Chittagong North Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, Ramesh Kumar Yadav of Koshi Tappa Wildlife Reserve of Nepal and Lead Environment Specialist and Regional Standards Coordinator at the World Bank Josefo Tuyor made separate power-point presentations on the Ganges dolphins.