blamed for destroying natural forest in Bangladesh
Dhaka, June 27, 2008 (DPA)
groups in Bangladesh are up in arms against a US-based oil giant
for allegedly destroying a natural forest while exploring for oil
and gas near the north-eastern frontier with India, official sources
said Friday. The seismic surveys conducted by Chevron oil company
had caused irreparable damage to the Lawachhara forest, located
near the tea terraces of Sylhet province, said Zillur Rahman Siddiqui
of the Society for Environment and Human Development.
is the home to several rare species, including the Holoock Gibbon
(known locally as Ulluk), which is under serious threat also from
poachers," said former university teacher Siddiqui. Another
local environment activist, Anu Mohammad, blamed Chevron for carrying
out explosions which blasted the serenity of the forests."Chevron
has been stealing our forests indiscriminately," Mohammad said.
multinational has frequently been accused of harming the ecology
of the lush valleys of Habiganj district looking for oil under a
contract between Bangladesh's Petrobangla and Chevron.
Bangladesh Environment Association called on the interim government
to cancel the agreements with Chevron and seek compensation from
the oil company. The Lawachhara forest, which is popular among nature
lovers, is the habitat of 167 plant and animal species including
birds. The indigenous Khasia people are the dominant tribal community
in the area.