Bangladesh possesses a good species diversity of flora and fauna. The topical semi-evergreen forests in the country are botanically amongst the richest in the Indian subcontinent, and they also support a good diversity of mammals and great diversity of birds. "For a small country like Bangladesh, the species richness is relatively large but population size of most of the species has declined drastically”.(Source: Overview of Biodiversity Status, Trends and Threats, https://www.cbd.int/doc/world/bd/bd-nr-04-p2-en.pdf)
Among the plant species in Bangladesh, medicinal plants are in a most critical status even though these plants are essentially needed for human and animal health care and also overall ecosystem. According to a recent research, significant changes in land use/ land cover evident in some forest areas of the country resulting in mass extinction crisis of different species including most commonly used medicinal plants. There are many causes for the drastic decline of most of the species some of which are as under:
- Changes in land use
- Massive deforestation
- High intensity of pollution
- Introduction of invasive alien species
- Unsustainable exploitation of resources and weak management system
- Gaps in spatial information
- Lack of public awareness etc.
In light of the global commitment towards Sustainable Development, Bangladesh too is focused on ensuring sustainable production and consumption, as well as ensuring environmental sustainability. One of the core targets of Bangladesh’s 7th Five Year Plan in the context of vision 2021 is pursuing environmental friendly development. The National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) of the country identified Environment, Natural Resource and Disaster Management as one of the Strategic Priority Areas.