2 Jul 2014 10:09 AM
[By Chris Bowden our International Species Recovery Officer & Vulture SAVE Programme Manager]
After four high level meetings in Dhaka with senior Forest Department officials last week, and listening to what the Chief Conservator of Forests, and the Additional Secretary both had to say – I’m left feeling very upbeat on the prospects not only of making the diclofenac ban more effective in Bangladesh, but also for going the extra step to ban ketoprofen, (which although we know it’s also toxic to the vultures, has yet to be banned in any of the vulture range states)... could this be the lead we need to get it banned across South Asia??
My colleague, Ananya Mukherjee and I were made extremely welcome by our IUCN Bangladesh hosts and indeed many more, including even the high level Forest department officials. Dipu of IUCN had carefully planned almost every minute of our time, and made the most of it to raise the profile of vultures. As well as appearing on the national TV news channels, we even did an environmental (Channel i) chat show with the famous Muqeed Majumdar Babu, and were able to reinforce those SAVE priority messages on air! In the end I could also visit the field and saw one wild Oriental white-backed vulture as well as meeting all the newly formed local Vulture Community Team at their inaugural meeting! Ananya shared experiences from India and Nepal and we came away thinking that with the level of Forest Department support shown so far, this work could end up setting the standards for others to follow.