"Samia has spent five of her 14 years living in Kutupalong – the largest and
most densely populated refugee settlement in the world.
The series of camps that make up the settlement were carved out of the forest
in southern Bangladesh in 2017 to shelter hundreds of thousands of Rohingya
refugees fleeing violence in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Nearly one
million people are now crammed into an area of just 17 square kilometres.
Bamboo shelters throng the hillsides and narrow roads teem with pedestrians,
rickshaws, humanitarian vehicles and traders. It is no wonder that Samia looks
skyward for a sense of peace.
“When I see a flock of birds flying nearby, I feel good,” she says. “I like the
sound of the birds.”
After arriving in Bangladesh, following a traumatic journey from Myanmar, Samia
was dismayed to see the forest being destroyed as trees were cleared to make
way for shelters.
“When I first came here, I saw people kill wild animals when they entered the
camps. They cut the trees and threw them away to cultivate the land. And people
used to litter everywhere.”
Thanks, in part, to her efforts and those of other young Rohingya refugees in
Kutupalong, attitudes towards wildlife and the surrounding forest are starting
Samia belongs to one of five youth groups in the camps that, along with five
similar groups in the surrounding host community, have received training on
environmental issues from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and its partner
organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). They
have learned about the links between destroying trees and vegetation and the
climate crisis that increasingly impacts their daily lives."
Via Future Crunch
issue 192: https://futurecrunch.com/
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics