Crucial Need to Protect Native Flora and Fauna for Healthy Environment  

Zannatul Mouwa Naz

Ecological services are the biological functions that different species of animals and plants perform for their survival. This is the tree that produces oxygen, they do it for their benefit. Occasionally we are taking in oxygen. The pollination that insects cause is essential for the survival of insects and grains themselves.

Whoever has life, we call him a living being. From tiny viruses to giant elephants or whales or plants, herbs, shrubs, everything is diverse. Biodiversity is the name given to the diverse celebration of life on earth. There is a deep connection between plants and animals. It is difficult for one to survive without the other. Plants that herbivores use as food for survival. Carnivores eat carnivores. Again, big carnivores live by eating small carnivores.

Humans use both animals and plants as food for their survival. Every animal and plant are dependent on each other for survival. Foreign traders and tourists have been coming to Bangladesh since ancient times as it is an important route of international trade. They have brought with their grains, fruits and herbs of their own country. So far, scientists have been able to identify about 300 species of such plants. At the same time, they have made a list of aggressive species of plants and animals. They said that there are 69 species of exotic plants and animals that are widely grown in Bangladesh. These are becoming a major threat to native species.

Researchers from five universities in Bangladesh, the United States, Australia and Germany have researched exotic species of plants and animals in Bangladesh. The research report was published this month in the science journal Global Ecology and Conservation. It is said that Bangladesh has 48 species of plants, 16 species of fish, 5 species of insects, 1 species of snails and 1 species of birds.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has compiled a list of the world’s 100 most invasive species of plants and animals. It contains the names of all the 69 species. These include widely grown plants such as water hyacinth, Assam creeper, lantana or lantern and forest. To meet the sustainable development goals and maintain the natural balance of Bangladesh, we need to know which species of trees and animals are harmful to our country’s ecosystem.

A non-governmental organization said in Prothom Alo that most of the fruits popular with the people of Bangladesh come from abroad. However, he said it was not right to have any foreign species of trees in the natural forests of Bangladesh, adding, “There is nothing to prevent anyone from planting foreign trees commercially on their land.”

However, we need to have a full survey on all the exotic species of plants in Bangladesh. We need to evaluate how much they are good or bad for the environment. According to the study, 51 per cent of the 69 invasive species of plants and animals in Bangladesh are deadly invasive. Species that are at risk of being 36 percent aggressive and 9 percent aggressive. Of these, 26 species have been imported from North America, 18 species from other Asian countries, 9 species from Africa and 6 species from Australia. Of these, 36 species of trees came before independence.

Asked about this, Chief Forest Conservator Amir Hossain Chowdhury told Prothom Alo, “The forest department has planted trees in 16,000 hectares of land in the last two years.” It’s entirely a native species of tree. A comprehensive survey of any foreign invasive species affecting native species in Bangladesh has been initiated by the Forest Department and Bangladesh National Herbarium. Once that is done, we will be able to make a clear decision about these trees.

According to the study, if these invasive species of trees and animals are not controlled, the native species will gradually become extinct. Bangladesh has signed the UN Charter on Biodiversity. Where stated, native and indigenous species must be protected.

The existence of plants and animals in our country is under threat due to human activities. Due to the rapid increase in population, houses are being built on deforested and croplands for human habitation. Large numbers of animals are losing their habitat as a result of indiscriminate logging. As a result, the existence of these animals is endangered. Bangladesh’s biodiversity is now under threat due to increasing population pressure and indiscriminate extraction of various resources. People are cutting down forests and building habitats. As a result, many plants and animals have become extinct. Therefore, in meeting the sustainable development goals, importance has been given to the protection of native species.

Lack of waste management and use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on land are also affecting biodiversity. Industrial waste is sometimes dumped directly into a pond or open space or pond. These wastes are very harmful to the environment. Again, dumping waste in the river kills aquatic animals or infects them with various diseases. Similarly, the use of chemical fertilizers on land pollutes the water of the surrounding water bodies and kills other aquatic animals, including fish, or they cannot reproduce. Flood control dams, obstruction of drainage systems and cultivation of low lands with dams do not maintain the normal flow of water. As a result, many animals related to water and plants are under threat.

“No animal on earth can live alone. All animals depend on each other for survival. Birds and insects are needed for the reproduction of flowers, fruits and grains. Crows, vultures and foxes all eat the flesh of dead animals to protect the environment from pollution”

Unplanned use of high yielding crops and seeds is also destroying biodiversity. At one time there were about 14,000 varieties of paddy in our country. Most of the land is now being cultivated with some varieties of high yielding paddy. This is losing other species of rice. The biggest reason for the destruction of biodiversity is the lack of awareness of the common people. Many times, people are very negligent and cause damage to many plants and animals. Initiatives should be taken to make the general public widely aware of this issue.

No animal on earth can live alone. All animals depend on each other for survival. Birds and insects are needed for the reproduction of flowers, fruits and grains. Crows, vultures and foxes all eat the flesh of dead animals to protect the environment from pollution. Even if a banyan tree is cut down, many animals lose their shelter. If we cut down fruit trees or banyan trees and plant only shawls, teak, mahogany trees, then the birds will lose their shelter and who will go elsewhere or become extinct.

Protecting biodiversity is essential to keeping the earth habitable. People need to be made aware of this. Measures should be taken to compile accurate statistics of the biodiversity that already exists in the country. At the same time, the existing rules and regulations for the conservation of animals need to be further enhanced and the law needs to be properly enforced. Make a list of endangered birds and animals and set up separate zoos or protected areas for their conservation.

The author is an Associate Editor

The Environment Review


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