Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina calls for massive tree plantation

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Awami League, Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh

Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina has passionately appealed to the citizens of Bangladesh to actively participate in creating a “Green Bangladesh” by planting trees in significant numbers. This call to action was made today during the inauguration of a three-month-long tree plantation program organized by the Bangladesh Krishak League (BKL) at her official residence, Ganabhaban.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasized the critical importance of tree plantation in combating climate change and enhancing the country’s green cover. She urged all citizens to plant as many trees as possible across various terrains, including embankments of rivers, coastal belts, roadsides, rooftops, and household premises. This extensive tree plantation initiative is seen as a step towards mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change and promoting environmental sustainability.

“We have to plant trees as much as we can across the country to make a ‘Green Bangladesh,'” she stated emphatically. Prime Minister’s vision is to foster a nationwide green movement that not only beautifies the country but also strengthens its resilience against climate-related adversities.

During the event, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina acknowledged and awarded several BKL leaders for their significant contributions to the Awami League’s nationwide tree plantation campaign. She distributed saplings among the leaders, symbolizing the start of the plantation drive and highlighting the importance of community involvement in this green initiative.

Marking the inauguration, the Prime Minister planted three saplings at Ganabhaban. She proudly mentioned her personal commitment to this cause, noting that she has planted over 2,000 trees at her residence since assuming power. This personal example underscores her dedication to environmental conservation and serves as an inspiration for citizens to follow suit.

As the leader of a predominantly agricultural country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed the crucial role of agriculture in Bangladesh’s economy. She outlined the government’s strategy of pursuing industrialization without compromising the agricultural sector. “We will go for industrialization after developing the agriculture sector but not bypassing it,” she declared, highlighting the need for a balanced approach to development.

The Prime Minister issued a caution against the destruction of arable lands in the name of industrial development. She emphasized that crop lands should not be sacrificed for scattered industrial growth, advocating for planned and sustainable industrialization. Her government is committed to building 100 economic zones across the country to protect agricultural lands from unplanned industrialization.

Reflecting on the historical context, PM Sheikh Hasina recalled the legacy of tree plantation initiatives dating back to 1985, inspired by the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. She pointed out that the current tree plantation drive is a continuation of these efforts, aimed at shielding Bangladesh from the detrimental effects of climate change.

In a pointed critique, she contrasted the Awami League’s environmental efforts with the policies of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), accusing the latter of tree felling under the guise of development. She alleged that former President Ziaur Rahman and his wife were responsible for significant deforestation, highlighting the different approaches of the two parties towards environmental conservation.

This year, the Krishak League has set an ambitious target to plant 52 lakh saplings across the country within the three-month program. This large-scale effort is expected to make a substantial contribution to increasing the country’s green cover and promoting ecological balance.

Sheikh Hasina also shared her vision of transforming the agricultural irrigation system to be fully powered by solar energy. While acknowledging the initial investment required, she emphasized the long-term cost benefits and sustainability of solar-powered irrigation. “I want to bring irrigation completely under the solar power system. Initially, it might require some investment but in the long run, it would cut the overall costing,” she explained.

Prime Minister reiterated her government’s commitment to ensuring food security for the nation. She called for increased food production by utilizing every inch of available land, aiming for self-sufficiency and independence from external sources. “We have achieved success in food production due to extensive research in this sector,” she noted, highlighting the achievements in agricultural research and development under her leadership.

In a move to modernize crop storage, the government is setting up advanced silos with chilling systems and various chambers across the country. Initially, eight silos will be built in eight divisions, with plans for further expansion. These facilities, with capacities of 26,000 metric tons each in locations like Shantahar and Mongla, are designed to preserve crops and ensure food security during natural calamities.

Sheikh Hasina warned of ongoing conspiracies aimed at destabilizing the government and isolating it from the people, drawing parallels to the artificial famine created in 1974. She emphasized the need for vigilance and unity to prevent history from repeating itself and to protect the nation’s progress.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s call for a “Green Bangladesh” represents a comprehensive vision for environmental sustainability, agricultural development, and industrialization. Her leadership and commitment to tree plantation, food security, and sustainable energy reflect a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of these issues. As the nation embarks on this ambitious green journey, the collective efforts of its citizens and leaders will be crucial in transforming Bangladesh into a greener, more resilient country.

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