UNESCO won’t find anything negative to report about Sundarbans: Bangladesh official

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-11-18 03:01:48 BdST

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A UNESCO team is coming in December to the Sundarbans to assess the World Heritage Site and a government official believes they will not have anything negative to report.

The World Heritage Committee will send the four-strong team anytime between Dec 9 and 17, but the date is not set yet, Billal Hossain, an additional secretary to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, told bdnews24.com on Sunday.

It was part of a routine inspection of the World Heritage Sites, according to Billal.

“Their report will depend on what they see and what we say,” he said.

“We are working well so that there will be no problem and they do not report anything negative,” the additional secretary said.

In July, 2017, UNESCO abandoned a plan to put the Sundarbans on the list of endangered heritage sites by 2018 in case of the failure to meet the mission's recommendations as Bangladesh continued implementing a coal-fired power plant project at Rampal near the world’s largest mangrove forest.

The government had been allowed until December 2018 at the time to report on the conservation to the World Heritage Centre.

A reactive monitoring mission, jointly conducted by the Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature or 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 to be relocated.

In a meeting in July, the government succeeded in protecting the Sundarbans from being listed as a World Heritage in Danger with the help of China and India.