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A Call for Global Day of Solidarity for the Sundarbans

The Sundarbans – the largest single tract mangrove forest, extraordinarily rich in biodiversity, a Ramsaar site, and a UNESCO-declared world heritage site – is in grave danger. The Rampal Coal Fired Power Plant, now under construction, and many other commercial projects in and around the forest, are going to destroy the unique biodiversity and the extra-ordinary ecosystem of the forest. The joint projects of PDB (Bangladesh) and NTPC (India) for a 1320 MW Rampal coal-fired power plant has become a deadly threat to the survival of Sundarban.

In addition, it is inviting a range of national and international vested interest groups to grab forest and set up hundreds of commercial projects in and around the Sundarbans. This has not only put the livelihoods of at least 3.5 million people at risk, it has made the lives of around 40 million coastal people vulnerable to natural disasters as the Sundarbans have also been a natural safe-guard against frequent cyclones, storms and other natural disasters in the country. Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries facing climate change. Sundarbans provides a natural barrier against this deadly threat. To preserve its outstanding universal value, we now demand global public action for its survival.

We have been fighting an ongoing eight-year long peoples’ movement for the cancellation of this Rampal Power Plant. Many friends from around the world have already expressed their solidarity for the campaign to save Sundarbans. Now it is urgent that we consolidate public opinion around the world to make the resistance global. We believe the observance of a global day would strengthen our unity, uphold our common spirit, and take our struggle to a new level to protect mother-nature from disastrous, profit-hungry projects and the threat of climate change. We believe that the global solidarity would also open up the opportunity to create worldwide awareness of the environment, and promote ecology-friendly power generation and sustainable development that puts people and environment before corporate profit.

We hope that our fellow activists, environmental groups, and political parties around the world will join our cause by expressing solidarity and taking up various forms of activities and action programmes on that day. In this respect we would like to appeal to you to consider any of the following:

• Staging demonstrations/human chain
• Sending written appeals to the embassies of Bangladesh and India
• Cycle rally, boat really, theatre, songs, cartoons, masks
• Campaigning to international press/media
• Sending us your protest/solidarity video messages

We welcome any effort or ideas on your part!

Let us raise our voice together on November 10th, 2018, in different parts of the world to save the Sundarbans and to take a step forward to save our mother earth from projects of mass destruction. We look forward to your participation and hope that our common struggle will further bind us together and contribute to a stronger global movement for upholding public interest.

National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas-Mineral Resources Power and Port, Bangladesh (NCBD)

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