The inauguration of the 2nd National Forest Inventory held in Dhaka he Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations organized the inauguration program of the 2nd National Forest Inventory of Bangladesh jointly with the Forest Department of Bangladesh, yesterday ( 25 February). The program is inaugurated by the Honorable Minister Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change and Dr Jiaoqun Shi, FAO Representative in Bangladesh. Dr Farhina Ahmed, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bangladesh attended the event; it was chaired by Md Amir Hosain Chowdhury, Chief Conservator of Forests.

National Forest Inventory will take place across the country by the Bangladesh Forest Department under the technical assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; it is supported by the World Bank under the Sustainable Forests and Livelihoods (SUFAL) Project. Bangladesh will conduct national-level forest inventory to collect the biophysical and socioeconomic data across the country. Identifying the status of the forest resources and their dependency will pave the way for better management of forest resources. The inauguration event brings all relevant national stakeholders and shares the process and technological aspects used in this inventory.

State-of-the-art methodologies in forest monitoring
Under this extended project, around 1 858 sample plots in forests will be visited to assess the net forest resources. Around 6 400 households will be surveyed to enumerate the communities' dependency on forest resources. Advanced tools and technologies will be introduced to maintain higher accuracy and consistency of the National Information System. Bangladesh will be the first country in Southeast Asia to use these technologies for the forest inventory at the national level. The main objective of the project is to strengthen the country’s existing National Forest Management System and increase precision in forest monitoring, using state-of-the-art technical methodologies.

Dr Jiaoqun Shi, FAO Representative in Bangladesh said “Information of the National Forest Inventory will be used to complete international reporting as well as strengthening the country’s resource monitoring system. This will help building a strong information system for the forests. FAO continues to support Bangladesh and its people in protecting their natural resources.”

Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bangladesh said “The Government of Bangladesh is committed to ensuring the protection and monitoring of its natural resources. The National Forest Inventory is the first stage to obtain a strong and digitalized resource database. This database will be an asset to materialize our target under the SDG goals and international declarations as well as better management of our resources.”

Representatives from various entities including the officials of the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC), officials from the Forest Department and Department of Environment, and other pertinent Ministries, Divisions, and Agencies participated in the event. National-level natural resource planners, multiple government agencies, universities, and both national and international development partners and representatives from relevant NGOs, civil society organizations (CSOs), the private sector, research/academic institutions, and stakeholders from the project's target geographies were also present. All the guests and participants gathered with a unified goal towards achieving sustainable forest management across the country with a better forest monitoring system in place.