Dhaka, Bangladesh
BEZA to plant 15 lakh trees in Sonadia Eco-Tourism Park

BEZA to plant 15 lakh trees in Sonadia Eco-Tourism Park

Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has undertaken an initiative to plant about 15 lakh saplings of different varieties of trees in the next five years in the Sonadia Eco-Tourism Park in Maheskhali upazila under Cox’s Bazar to protect ecological balance in the coastal area.
“We want to protect ecological balance and conserve biodiversity in the Sonadia Island as many mangrove trees on around 4,000 acres of land in the area have already been damaged in the last 10 to 15 years due to illegal tree felling,” BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowhury told BSS.
He said: “We will turn the island and its adjacent areas into a tourism park by conserving its greenery. Around 1.5 to 2 lakh saplings of different varieties of trees will be planted in the Sonadia Eco-Tourism Park within this year.”
As per the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said, BEZA has been working to build eco-friendly economic zones across the country.
“In the Sonadia Eco-Tourism Park, BEZA has stopped felling of trees and taken an initiative to rehabilitate 315 families in the area. BEZA is also creating alternative livelihood for the people in the area who are depended on forest,” he added.
He said BEZA is going to make planned housing having all facilities, including mosque and school for the locals.
The BEZA executive chairman said the City Group and the City Bank Limited are contributing to BEZA initiatives to plant trees at the tourism park.
“City Group is planting 1 lakh saplings under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) fund at the area while City Bank Limited is planting 50 thousand saplings,” he added.
He said BEZA has not yet taken any initiative to start construction work at the tourism park. After consulting with different stakeholders, BEZA will start works to make an eco-friendly tourism park in the area,” he added.
During the plantation, Paban Chowhdury said, BEZA is focusing on soil and environment of the area. “We are planting different species of saplings, especially those suitable for the coastal area,” he said.
“We want to conserve greenery in true sense of the term at Sonadia. So, we are trying to protect ecological balance in the area,” he added. BEZA has a plan to build the Sonadia Eco-Tourism Park on 9,467.31 acres of land, comprising Sonadia and other adjacent islands. It has already taken an initiative for making an environment-friendly master plan to set up eco-tourism park in Sonadia Island.
Sonadia is 2.6km away from the Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf road and the length of the sea beach of the park is 19.20 kilometers.
Sonadia, its warm sands surrounded by the glistening blue sea, is an amazing sight. The island is also famous for red crab. The tall feathery jhau trees simply enhanced the beauty of this island off the coast of Cox’s Bazar.
BEZA expects that the park will be a new tourism city like Cox’s Bazar. It will attract local and foreign tourists which will become a source of earning of foreign currency. It will also attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and generate employments.

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