Sundarbans oil spill: UN team to share full report

UNB, Dhaka :
The UN expert team will share its full report on Sundarbans oil spill incident today in the city.
The UN Sundarbans Oil Spill Response Mission, comprising of multi-disciplinary experts from seven different countries, including Bangladesh, had visited the Sundarbans from December 22 to December 28.
“The team has now completed its report and will release it officially here,” an official involved in the process said.
The team will meet the media at the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (Cirdap) auditorium to share the report.
The team was there to support government of Bangladesh in containing the spillage and cleaning up; and assessing the situation and develop an action plan for a phased response and recovery. On its return, the team had shared its experience with the media at a press briefing on December 31.
On the day, the UN experts recommended halting plying water vessels through the Sundarbans to avert further environmental disasters.
Considering the environmental aspects, the movement of water vessels through the mangrove forest should not be continued, they said while sharing the preliminary findings of the joint team of UN-Bangladesh Mission to Sundarbans Oil Spill.
Amelia Walstrom, the chief of the joint UN-Bangladesh mission, said while a number of factors limited the impacts of the spill, the shipping of oil through the sensitive forest Sundarbans presents a serious risk to both the environment and the communities that depend on it for their livelihoods.
“The UN wants to make sure that appropriate safeguards and mitigation measures are put in place before opening the route to traffic,” she added.
The expert team termed the December-9 oil spill incident a serious wake-up call for Bangladesh.