Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The United States and Germany will provide a $19 million for reforestation of a Bangladesh wildlife sanctuary under a global climate change mitigation project, the U.S. embassy said.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to support global climate change mitigation and adaptation in Bangladesh.

Peter Palesch, Country Director of GTZ in Bangladesh, and Denise Rollins, Mission Director of USAID in Bangladesh, signed the deal for their respective organizations on Monday, a U.S. Embassy press statement said in the capital, Dhaka on Wednesday.

The collaboration between the two organizations will be funded by US$3.50 million (2.5 million Euro) from the GTZ’s Participatory Forest Management and Reforestation in Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary Project (CWS Project) while US$15.5 million from the USAID four-year Integrated Protected Area Co-Management (IPAC) Project, according to the statement.

The project is designed to improve natural resource management through collaboration with local communities and the government. Chunati is one of three sanctuaries included in IPAC.

Chunati is an ecological hotspot that serves as a major corridor for movement of Asian elephants between Burma, officially known as Myanmar, and Bangladesh and is a habitat for garjan, an important timber species under threat.

As part of a series of activities to improve the environment, the USAID and the GTZ will plant trees to help restore 2,000 hectares of forest land, and will collaborate on ways to decrease carbon emissions in the region.

“These initiatives will help restore the severely degraded sanctuary, raise awareness through public education, and create alternative income opportunities for over 125,000 people who live in communities in and around Chunati,” the U.S. embassy added.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-13August09-12:21 am (BST)