News Desk, bdnews24.com
Published: 2019-06-15 04:15:35 BdST
The World Heritage Committee of 21 governments is scheduled to decide on the recommendations by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN in its annual meeting in Azerbaijan from June 30 to July 10, according to the union
It said UNESCO released the recommendations by the union and addressed those to the committee on June 7.
In July, 2017, UNESCO withdrew a plan to inscribe the Sundarbans in the list of heritage sites in danger by 2018 in case of the failure to meet the mission's recommendations.
The government had been allowed until December 2018 at the time to report on the conservation of the world's largest mangrove forest to the World Heritage Centre.
A reactive monitoring mission, jointly conducted by the Centre and IUCN in March 2016, made detailed recommendations including the necessity of a strategic environmental assessment for the south-west region.
After the mission, the World Heritage Committee had called for the Rampal power plant project to be cancelled and relocated.
The committee had welcomed Bangladesh's decision to carry out the assessment into the potential impact of a coal-based thermal plant at Rampal on the Sundarbans, besides the decisions to scrap the plant's second phase and also the Orion power plant.
In an article on its website, IUCN on June 7 this year said it recommended listing of the Sundarbans, Mexico’s Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California and the Ohrid region in North Macedonia as “World Heritage in dnger
It cited severe threats from coal-fired power plants and numerous industrial activities in close proximity.
Despite the call for relocation of the project, its construction has continued without any assessment of its impact on the Sundarbans’ World Heritage values, the Union said.
Two additional coal-fired power plants are being constructed on the Payra River, which flows into the same bay as the Sundarbans, according to IUCN.
Over 150 industrial projects are also active upstream of the site, and their associated shipping and dredging activities further threaten its hydrological and ecological dynamics, it said.
“The hydrological systems, which drive this dynamics, are very large in scale and vulnerable to upstream impacts,” it added.