Coastal forest division in Noakhali

--Sanaullah Patwary DFO, Noakhali Department of Forest

22. Sanaulla Palwary

The Forest Division Noakhali founded in 1967 as Coastal Afforestation Division Noakhali with a few Embankment Plantation Programs. Later on, the name has changed as Coastal Forest Division Noakhali. It is also in the central part of the coastal zone of Bangladesh. FD-Noakhali has a reputation in implementing mangrove and non-mangrove plantations programs.

Moreover, FD-Noakhali has vast experiences on project management pertinent to the Mangrove and Non-mangrove plantations in the newly accreted lands as well as Embankment, Roadside, Drainage, Khal and Dyke Plantations to come up with the objective of increasing the size of afforested lands and coastal ecosystem management.

In order to form a shelterbelt in Noakhali coastal zones, mangrove plantations are raised with Keora, Bean and so on species in the newly accreted land. FD Noakhali is accomplishing mangrove plantations since 1970. The main objective of mangrove belt is to protect the lives and properties of the coastal communities from cyclone and tidal surges. Mangroves also play a vital role in reclamation and stabilization of newly accreted lands. Mangrove also provides some ecosystems services specially fisheries and apiculture sectors. Besides these mangroves also provides spaces for wildlife. Salinity, erosion, deposition of sand, tidal surges and insect infestation are primary threats to new plantation .Excessive grazing, encroachment, illegal logging as well as leasing of forest land are also threat to mangroves plantation.

According to the Social Forestry Roles of Bangladesh Government, FD-Noakhali implements plantation programs through the community participations. The process is leading to the beneficiaries even selecting the planting site and species also. Training, workshop, cross visiting and disbursement of final benefits are to provide awareness building activities to make the community climate resilient.  By dint of the plantation programs, the stability and fertility of the lands increase in prospect of ensuring and securing the life and livelihoods of the coastal people with a view to poverty alleviations and rehabilitating the over growing homeless coastal population.

Furthermore, FD-Noakhali has handed over 77589 Acre lands to the coastal people through the District Administration. In addition, FD-Noakhali has also disbursed approximately 3 Crore Taka among the beneficiaries and even to the other organizations. Till to the date, FD-Noakhali has accomplished 1, 96,788.00 Acre Mangrove, 3547.0 km Strip Plantation. Bangladesh Army has covered 86,700 Acre coastal lands in the name   Jahaijjar Chars under the coastal zone of Noakhali .Accepting their activities they are also taken initiatives to make the char greener growth with the support of BFD. About 10, 500 Acre of lands is under the implementation of plantation programs. At present, FD-Noakhali is implementing several mangrove and non-mangrove plantation projects. The following implementing projects are significant and noticeable as well:

w         Char Development and Settlement project-IV, Funded by IFAD and the Government of Netherlands.

w         Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project, Funded by World Bank.

w         Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change, Funded by UNDP.

Besides, Nijhum Dwip an established mangrove plantation situated in Hatia Upazila is declared as a National Park by the Government of Bangladesh which is now an attractive recreational place of tourism because of being  home of the spotted deer and other prominent local and migratory birds.

Through the afforestation and reforestation of the previous and ongoing programs, the FD-Noakhali has been able to create a greenbelt which is playing an influential roles in protecting and tackling the natural disasters e.g. cyclones, storm and sea surges. The plantation programs also settle lands that come for the different purposes of human beings and coastal ecosystem managements. Now, the present Bangladesh Government has given importance to such mangrove and non-mangrove plantation projects to address the adaptation and mitigation option of NAPA-2005, BCCSAP-2009 and IPCC-2013 the most priority program to fight back the climate change impacts.

At last, necessary steps should be taken pertinent to the mangrove and non-mangrove plantation projects in FD-Noakhali being a suitable and appropriate place of mentioned plantation types. So, multi-lateral and bi-lateral organizations would spread out their helping hands for the sake of saving the life and livelihoods of the coastal communities and even to mitigate global temperatures for which they are working in the globe.