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Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Tuesday inaugurated a three-month National Tree Plantation Movement-2010 and one-month National Tree Fair-2010 with a call to plant at least three saplings by each individual on all open spaces to protect environment and biodiversity. "I call upon you all including the people's representatives, government officials and people from all walks of life to plant at least three saplings of fruit-bearing, timber and other medicinal trees and play a pivotal role to involve others with the government's tree plantation movement in this regard," she said. Mentioning the role of trees in poverty alleviation, employment generation and protecting environment, the Prime Minister said her government has undertaken various programs for increasing the country's forest resources to this end through creating of social afforestation. "We are also working for creating greenbelt across the coastal belt to protect it from natural calamities side by side with saving bio-diversity and environment there," she said. Sheikh Hasina also asked the authorities concerned to increase the country's forest area to 25 percent, which is now a mere 10 percent. She said her government has undertaken a project involving 1.09 billion taka (15.57 million U.S. dollars) through social afforestation to alleviate poverty. -------------------------------------------------
Besides, she said it has already initiated a Climate Change Trust Fund of 7 billion taka (100 million U.S. dollars) of its own to face the challenges of adverse impact of climate change. Nearly 140 million people are living in the limited area of Bangladesh. The agriculture sector has not developed enough to produce adequate food grains for the country and as such deficit is met through import from the neighboring countries. The country has become a land of ecological...