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World Bank loans $40m for Bangladesh wildlife ecotourism

The World Bank is supporting Bangladesh and Nepal for the first phase of a program on strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection in Asia.

The Washington-based lender has approved a 36-million U.S. dollars-credit to Bangladesh and a 3-million U.S. dollar-grant to Nepal for the first phase of the Adaptable Program Loan, said a statement of the bank released Sunday.

It said the project will assist the governments to enhance shared capacity, institutions, knowledge and incentives in tackling illegal wildlife trade and other selected regional conservation threats to habitats in border areas, while promoting ecotourism.

South Asia is home to 13-15 percent of the world’s biodiversity and hosts some of the most endangered species on Earth, the statement said, adding habitats across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal are home to over 65 percent of the 3,000 or so remaining wild tigers.

According to the World Bank, pressures such as deforestation, habitat loss, pollution, and poaching of wild animals have put the environmental and ecological balance under severe threat.
The project will tackle conservation threats to habitats in border areas and clamp down on the illegal wildlife trade of species such as the tiger, snow leopard, rhinoceros and elephant in increasingly fragmented habitats, it said.

The bank said Bangladesh holds the largest remaining population of tigers in the Sundarbans, the largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world, and added that the country’s environmental and ecological balance is under severe threat and studies indicate that 4-5 percent of faunal species and about 10 percent of floral diversity have become extinct in the last century.

This article is written by Valere Tjolle, who is editor of the Sustainable Tourism Report Suite. The article is quoted from Travelmole newsletter from 2011-04-13. To read the original article please follow this link .

This article is uploaded by Majbritt Thomsen, administrator on ‘Views On Tourism’

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Posted in Bangladesh, Cooperation and network, Development, Nepal, Performance and management, Policy, Sustainability.

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