Published:  12:40 AM, 15 October 2017

An almanac illustrating natural abundance of CHT

An almanac illustrating natural abundance of CHT Parbotto Chottogramer Biponno Projatir Brikkho Porichiti Authors: Harun-Ur-Rashid, Farid Uddin Ahmed and Dr. Mohammad Kamal Hossain Published by Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs in July 2017

Mahfuz Ul Hasib Chowdhury evaluates a textual drive to explore the environmental affluence of Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Bangladesh is a land of peerless natural beauty. The rivers, mountains, flowers, trees, paddy fields and wildlife across Bangladesh fill our hearts with joy and remind us about the mellifluent poems and songs towering poets like Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Jibanananda Das have written adulating the natural affluence and comeliness of the country.

To explore the true gracefulness of Bangladesh we need to move away from the mechanized lifestyle of big cities and reach closer to the remote parts of the country. In this context three hill districts of Bangladesh-Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari are ideal destinations for people who want to discover natural wonders dotting Bangladesh with marvelous resplendence.

Whenever we contemplate on Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), a portrait of mountains, birds, wild creatures, clouds embracing the cliffs of hills, waterfalls and many more natural blessings flash across our minds. It goes without saying that Chittagong Hill Tracts are one of the most resourceful areas of Bangladesh which attract a great deal of tourists every year from Bangladesh as well as from other countries.

Besides tourists, people from different walks of life such as students, scientists, photographers, zoologists and officials from different organizations also visit Chittagong Hill Tracts to know about different species of birds, animals, flowers and trees which have made this region outstandingly spectacular.

Parbotto Chottogramer Biponno Projatir Brikkho Porichiti is a highly informative and wonderfully illustrated book featuring a wide range of trees found across the hilly terrains of Chittagong Hill Tracts. Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs has published this compendious book in association with Arannyak Foundation to make people familiar with the biodiversity and environmental traits which define the three districts Chittagong Hill Tracts consist of.

It was authored by Harun-Ur-Rashid, Farid Uddin Ahmed and Dr. Mohammad Kamal Hossain while the photographs inside this book were clicked by Abdul Mannan, Farhana Khan Pushpa and Dr. Mohammad Kamal Hossain. The photograph used for the book's cover page was snapped by Afzal Nazim. The content of the book depicts a huge number of trees, their scientific names and categories in easily comprehensible words which are capable of enhancing the knowledge of Bengali-speaking people as far as the flora and fauna of Chittagong Hill Tracts are concerned.

Readers, I believe, will find this book very interesting and it's a fabulous book to keep in one's collection for the colorful pictures and lively descriptions it contains. This book is an evidence that we can feel proud of our country as one of the finest places on earth where so many varieties of trees, flowers and natural abundance are found. This book also makes references to the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord which was signed on 2nd December 1997 by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This agreement ended insurgency in Chittagong Hill Tracts and restored peace and stability throughout Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachhari.

This book contains historic references as well by recollecting how the colonial British government first occupied these mountainous districts back in 1872. This is how the damages to the trees and plants in Chittagong Hill Tracts began according to this book. The British authorities chopped down many trees on those hills and grew teak plants for making furniture. In the current world of environmental pollutions and ecological imbalance, preserving trees, mountains and wild creatures is the most vital thing for enabling human beings to breathe freely. One of the main targets of this book is to raise awareness among people about conserving the environmental resources of Chittagong Hill Tracts and to save Bangladesh from the adverse effects of ecological degradation.

Some species of trees which are available in Chittagong Hill Tracts cannot be easily found in other parts of Bangladesh. That's why preserving the trees of Chittagong Hill Tracts is one of the most important things the concerned authorities should do with special emphasis. Bangladesh has very fertile land and its climatic modalities are highly suitable for the growth of trees, crops and for the living of birds and animals.

The life and livelihood of tribal clans who have been living in Chittagong Hill Tracts are closely bonded with the natural resources of that area. Therefore, we have to make the best of our efforts to protect the beautiful and variegated natural aspects of the hill districts so that the indigenous tribes can live there with peace and happiness.  The leaves, fruits and flowers of trees found across the mountains of Chittagong Hill Tracts are used for making a lot of useful materials like herbal medicines, perfumes, paints and many more things.

Preserving the splendor of Chittagong Hill Tracts can profoundly help us to boost our tourism sector. Every year tourists visit Chittagong Hill Districts for pleasure as well as for excursions. Some people travel to the hill districts with their families while some other visitors go there with colleagues and foreign delegates. Bangladesh can earn an enormous amount of foreign currencies by fetching more tourists to the hill districts.

The reviewer is a literary analyst for The Asian Age

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