Cox’s Bazar botanical garden

--M. A. Hassan Assistent Conservator of Forest Cox’s Bazar Department of Forest

Introduction: A botanical garden is a place in where we display a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names. For that reason in a botanical garden collected & cultivated different plant species in-situ and ex-situ condition.

A botanical garden also have availability of plants for scientific research, display of plant diversity in form and use, display of plants of particular regions (including local), plants sometimes grown within their particular families, plants grown for their seed or rarity, major timber trees, plants of economic significance, glasshouse plants of different climates, all plants accurately labeled, records kept of plants and their performance, catalogues of holdings published periodically research facilities utilising the living collections, studies in plant taxonomy, examples of different vegetation types, student education, a herbarium, selection and introduction of ornamental and other plants to commerce, studies of plant chemistry (phytochemistry), report on the effects of plants on livestock.

Cox’sBazar is the most important tourist destination of Bangladesh. In Cox’sBazar there is the longest sea beach of the world beside the hill. Many local & foreign tourists come to see the natural beauty. But the hills are barren or decline due to population preassure and land hunger. There is no alternate source of recreation in Cox’sBazar. To facilitate Eco-Tourism on the available forest lands, to create scope for establishing seed sources and gene bank of the existing, rare and endangered tree species to bring in species diversity as well as the biodiversity in the natural forest stand, to create scopes of research for the interested research students or institutions. Bangladesh Forest Department takes some steps to conserve & restore the degraded sites near Cox’sBazar to provide alternative attraction of enjoying nature as Botanical Garden.

Location

Cox’sBazar Botanical Garden located at Ramkot Reserv area in Rajarkul union of Ramu upazilla of Cox’sBazar District. With in the jurisdiction of Rajarkul Beat & Range under Cox’sBazar South Forest Division. Right across the Ramu Moricha road. At present existing area with in the encloser are 16.0 acre. With in 2015 financial year according the on going project ÒEco-restoration of Hill Forest, Cox’s Bazar” Supported by Bangladesh Climet Change Trust Fund. The area of botanical garden should be extended upto 45.0 acre. According to the proposed Master Plan of Botanical Garden it should be 249.0 acre or 100 hacter. In future it should be extended up to 200 hacter. The GPS with in the project site are North-  21° 22′ 57.0″, East-   92° 07′ 02.5″.

Objectives

Prevailing threats and impacts of the climate changes what are already experienced. This sort of ideal natural forests and forest watersheds can be marked as a good nature conservation area; which attracts tourists, educationalists, researchers and research/ educational institutions and builds/ develops eco-tourism and recreational facilities. As well as create job opportunities for the local jobless people.

Present facilities

Plantation Programme: Live Hedge plantation beside the boundary wall of Botanical Garden for protection, Establishment of Rose Garden-Tropical Perennial flower garden-Tropical seasonal flower garden bed establishment each type 200 beds 100 beds established another 100 bed established with in project period, Establishment of native medicinal plants corner, Orchid & Cactus garden establishment 300 & 500 seedlings respectivly, Live fence establishment beside the bar bed wire fencing area by using cane seedlings, Establishment of Bamboosetum with all specis of Bangladesh 4.0 acres, Rare and endangered indigenous plants corner, Plantation of different valuable spicies & Labeling Plants with in the project area. There is a Lake with in the project area. For tourist facility development such as swimming area, boating, fishing, etc., excavation & renovation the lake and excavation a Pond for Aqutic plants garden establishment.

Civil Work to facilate tourist facility

Construction of a Botanical Garden office building, Construction of Guard/ mali/ night guard Barack for stuffs, Construction of changing room/ public toilet-Pump House-overh head tank and sinking of deep tube well, Construction of Resting shed-Approach road-Parking Lot-Drainage system-Water distribution pipe lines, Construction of Cactus & Orchid house, Construction of R.C.C Siting Bench-R.C.C. umbrella with Siting Bench, Construction of a Dam/ Sluice gate to make a water reservoir, Construction of stair beside the water body, Construction of RCC/ Wooden bridge, Construction of a permanent nursery, Construction of boundary wall & Bar bed wire fence, Green Lawn development, Excavation of a Pond, Canal & Lake Renovation (soil work), Excavation of a Trench around the boundary protection barrier for wild elephant, Construction of semi permanent nursery shed, etc.,

Proposed devlopments

Beside these according to the proposed Master Plan there are various plantation programme would be carried out phase by phase. Such as Butterfly corner, Doner Grooves, Fragrance grove, Get lost trac, Plam-Citrus-Ficus-Wild Flower-Wild Banana-Tropical Fruit-Leguminous Species Corner, Fire fly site, etc., For tourist facility development in the Botanical Garden area Construction of Information Center, Gift shops & Restourant, Lake Excavation /Renovation for visitors swimming area-boating, walk way over the lake, Walking Trails,  Tree top walk way, Sitting bench in groups, Bench with table, sitting arrangement under umbrella, Watch Tower, Rest House, Fountain, Children Recreation Corner, etc.,

Role of Botanic Gardens

Botanic gardens have had a changing role throughout history. In current times, Botanical garden are becoming key players in both the conservation of plants and in the education of the people who come to see them. They are also starting to play a role in the mitigation of the effects of climate change.

Out come

Botanical Garden will play vital role to help mitigating the threats and negative impacts of the climatic changes. Plantations of rare and endangered indigenous, endemic and native forest species are established. By this Species diversity & Vegetation cover increased.

A permanent barrack, Botanical Garden Office, Eco-tourism related infrastructure and logistics developed and number of tourists increased. Service of the local people towards natural resource & revenue increased. Proper coordination between FD and local communities is ensured.

Conclusion

Eco-friendly replenishment of Ramkot Reservs degraded and depleted Rajarkul forest lands with the existing, endangered and rare indigenous, endemic and native forest species gradually develops natural forest conditions in the Cox’sBazar Botanical Garden. The proposed Botanical Garden/ arboretum created in this area will be used as seed sources and gene bank of the existing, rare and endangered forest tree species to bring in species diversity and thus biodiversity in the natural forest stands of Bangladesh. If the depleted forest lands of a proposed Botanical Garden are properly replenished with greens, the existing watersheds of the same area also get improved and replenished. Natural forest conditions along with improved watersheds can improve biodiversity in the forest area. In future Cox’sBazar Botanical Garden became a role model of ideal natural forest well conserved & managed Botanical Garden. This Botanical Garden forests watersheds can be marked as a good nature conservation area. Which attracts tourists, educationalists, researchers and research/ educational institutions and builds /develops eco-tourism and recreational facilities. Cox’sBazar Botanical Garden can achieve all the characteristics. Cox’sBazar Botanical Garden create job opportunities for the local jobless people.