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R E P O R T O N E N V I R O N M E N TA L I M PA C T O F R O H I N G YA I N F L U X

Protection of natural and critical habitats is important even though the immediate impact on the ecosystems is of a cumulative nature and is less visible immediately. The proposed mitigation requires addressing land and resource use patterns by both the host communities and the Rohingya. Forest degradation has been a longstanding issue in the area and it has been exacerbated by the Rohingya influx. Enforcement of strict rules of resource use in the protected areas and establishing the proposed Inani National Park will mitigate unregulated and illegal access to fuelwood. The confirmation and enforcement of the ban on fuelwood, wood and bamboo collection from the protected forest should complement the alternative fuel programme in the area both for host communities and the Rohingya people. Protection of the Rohingya from elephant intrusions needs to be ensured. Combined fences (trees, bamboo and electrical fences and light watch towers) should be installed near the camp areas in Ukhia and Teknaf. Proposed actions to address the issue of the degraded forest habitat and compensate for the lost forest areas under the camps’ footprint are: Protection of natural forests; assistance to community forestry; reforestation of shrub-dominated areas and abandoned camps; afforestation along the coastal line; and agroforestry.

Plans are also needed: to restore the livelihood of the beneficiaries of social forestry programmes; to develop and implement closure and reclamation plans for abandoned camps; to establish designated areas for bamboo regeneration; and to consider the enhancement of natural habitats in other areas of Bangladesh to ensure no net loss in biodiversity. Current experience with managing influxes shows that when asylum seekers become repatriated or integrated, there are limited funds remaining for the closure and reclamation of the abandoned camps and associated facilities, reforestation of the degraded lands and conservation of wildlife habitat. The GoB should secure adequate resources to ensure that the restoration of the eco-system in the wake of the Rohingya influx is adequately supported. Extensive environmental management and detailed long-term monitoring programmes are recommended to confirm and quantitatively define the results of this indicative Rapid Assessment Study, and mitigate the environmental damage and loss and damage from the influx. The programmes should be integrated into the UN Humanitarian Response Plan process and led by the MoEF, MoDMR and other relevant ministries and line agencies.

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Profile for Zilla Haider

Report on ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ROHINGYA INFLUX  

This study was initiated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), and UNDP and UN Women, with...

Report on ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ROHINGYA INFLUX  

This study was initiated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), and UNDP and UN Women, with...

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