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Monday, September 10, 2012

US to help protect Kaptai Nat'l Park

New Age, Dhaka, Metro
Monday, September 10, 2012

Staff Correspondent

US ambassador Dan Mozena on Sunday attends a programme of wheat distribution under a project of school feeding and nutrition in Chittagong. — FNS photo

US ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and US ambassador Dan Mozena on Sunday visited Kaptai National Park under the project of Integrated Protected Area Co-Management Project funded by US Agency for International Development. 

The delegation explored the park trails and discussed about natural conversion and government management to protect the natural areas with the local communities.

The discussion took place at Kaptai with representatives from the co-management committee, a village conservation forum, government officials and a women’s bamboo basket producers’ group.

IPAC has been working with local communities and Bangladesh government for the last three years to preserve the natural resources of Kaptai National Park. 

According to global climate change initiative of US president Barack Obama, IPAC works with the local communities through USAID for sustainable development. 
A key goal of IPAC is to provide income-generating opportunities to the local indigenous communities to offer alternatives to unsustainable exploitation of natural resources in the protected areas. 

Alternative income generation opportunities includes eco-boats, training for eco-tour guides, and bamboo basket weaving which help the members of the local communities to reduce their unemployment.

Over the last 13 years, the USAID and Bangladesh government supported the Nishorgo Network, a national group working for protected forests and wetlands conservation through co-management.

Co-management brings the government and community groups together to share the roles, rights, and responsibilities of ecosystem conservation. 

More than 680,000 hectares of 25 protected areas are under improved management projects as a result of these efforts.

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