Staff Reporter: A few projects are now being implemented to raise the tree coverage to 24 per cent of the country by 2025 as per the 8th five-year plan, he told Parliament, replying to a question from Awami League lawmaker Benjir Ahmed (Dhaka-20).
The minister said the government has set a target to create a 29,124-hectare mangrove and block garden as well as a 1,574-km strip garden under the Forest Department in the current fiscal year of 2021-22.
In reply to another question from ruling party MP AKM Sarwar Jahan (Kushtia-1), Shahab Uddin said the social forestation programme continues throughout the country.
The forest minister said a total of 102,229-hectare woodlot and block gardens were created in the lands of the Forest Department under the social forestation programme from 1980-81 fiscal to the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Besides, some 76,752-km strip gardens were developed in other lands including fellow lands, roads, highways, railways and water dams throughout the country at the same time as part of the social afforestation programme, he said.
Responding to another question from AL MP Didarul Alam (Chattogram-4), the minister said the number of tigers is 114 in Sundarbans as per the latest census conducted in 2018.
But 106 tigers were found in 2015 when the camera trapping method was applied for the first time in the Sundarbans tiger census, he said.
Besides, some 100,000-150,000 deer, 165-200 crocodiles and 40,000-50,000 monkeys are there in the world's largest mangrove forest Sundarbans, he added.