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Rohingya influx puts biodiversity at risk in Cox’s Bazar: UN report
A total of 4,300 acres of hills and forests were cut down to make temporary shelters and provide facilities for Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar, threatening the biodiversity of the ecologically critical areas.
A joint study styled “Environmental Impact of Rohingya influx” by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women, with support from Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change unveiled the information today at a city hotel.
Around 3,000 to 4,000 acres of hilly land in the Teknaf-Ukhia-Himchari watershed area has been cleared of vegetation, according to the report.
The report said since the influx began in August 2017, coupled with the host community and Rohingyas from past influxes, the crisis affected population is now almost 1.5 million in Cox’s Bazar creating massive pressure on the already dilapidated environment of Cox’s Bazar, which still remains significantly underfunded.
Environment and Forests Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud attended the launching ceremony as the chief guest, UNB adds.
UNDP Bangladesh Sudipto Mukerjee and Country Representative, UN Women, Bangladesh Shoko Ishikawa were, among others, present.
Of the total 1502 hectares of forests, about 793 hectares have been encroached, said the report.