Wildlife laws in Bangladesh – Everything you need to know in 2023
Barrister Tahmidur Rahman
Director, Tahmidur Rahman Remura Wahid Law Firm in Bangladesh
24 Jan 2023
This article will explain in details about Wildlife laws in Bangladesh and how you can deal with any breach of violation of wildlife laws in Bangladesh and whats steps can you take.
Major Wildlife laws in Bangladesh
After regaining independence, Bangladesh tackled various development difficulties, including protecting its wildlife and preventing illegal trade in endangered species. The President of Bangladesh issued Presidential Order No. 23 of 1973, known as the Bangladesh Wild Life (Preservation) Order, in 1973.
In 2012, parliament passed another Act called The Wildlife (Preservation and Security) Act, 2012 to adapt new legal requirements for coping with shifting scenarios. The latter nullified the former.
Key provisions of the Act: The government can now convene a “Wild life Advisory Board” made up of specialists thanks to the 2012 Act.
The Board will periodically conduct an evaluation of the current state of biodiversity, wildlife, and forest resources, and issue guidance for their future growth and management. However, a Chief Warden, an Additional Chief Warden, and a Warden have been tasked with overseeing their growth and management as a whole.
Duties of Chief Conservator of Forest, Conservator of Forest and Divisional Forest Officers in Wildlife laws in Bangladesh
By virtue of their positions, the Chief Conservator of Forest, the Conservator of Forest, and the Divisional Forest Officers will serve in the roles of Chief Warden, Additional Chief Warden, and Warden, respectively. The Act requires all private citizens to register their possession of endangered species, protected plant species, and wildlife products within Section 11. According to Article 12, it is illegal to deal in such wildlife or wildlife products without first registering as a dealer. Any disobedience will result in legal consequences.
Section 39 of the Act for wildlife laws in Bangladesh provides for a maximum sentence of one year in jail, which may be increased to two years for further offenses. In order to ensure the continued health and viability of wildlife and flora, the government can designate any land as a wildlife refuge, community conservation area, safari park, eco park, botanical garden, wildlife reproduction center, landscape zone, buffer zone, or core zone under the authority granted by the Act.
Any person who violates sanctuary rules as per wildlife laws in Bangladesh is subject to a maximum of 2 years in prison, with the maximum sentence increasing to 5 years for subsequent offenses. The Act also allows for the establishment of wildlife rescue facilities, which provide medical care, food, housing, and safety for animals that have been injured, captured, or abandoned. The Act provides for the establishment of a unit composed of members of law enforcement agencies to combat wildlife crime and to enforce the provisions of international conventions, protocols, treaties, etc.
Bangladesh is home to many threatened species, including tigers and elephants. The illegal slaughter of these two species is now punishable by up to 7 years in jail under the Act, and up to 12 years in the event of a second conviction. In addition to jail time, a criminal may be required to pay a hefty fine. Trading of tiger or elephant parts has a minimum sentence of 3 years in jail, with the potential for an additional 2 years if the offender is caught again within 5 years.
As per wildlife laws in Bangladesh the act also makes it illegal to kill or trade protected species such as leopards, crocodiles, and migratory birds. These crimes carry a sentence of one to five years in jail. It is also a crime under the Act to aid in the commission of any of the aforementioned crimes.
“Big 5” laws of International wild life laws
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) 1973, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals 1979, Biodiversity Convention 1992, Ramsar Convention 1971, and World Heritage Convention 1972 are just a few of the wildlife conservation treaties that make up international wildlife law, also known as the “Big 5.” Non-binding instruments, such as Conference of the Parties (COP) decisions and various action plans, typically accompany and inform these.
Role of Bangladesh in wildlife laws
It’s important to note that Bangladesh has ratified, acceded to, or otherwise accepted all of these international treaties and conventions. Further, its wilderness areas are home to a great range of animal species, making it one of the world’s mega biodiverse states. The State should attempt to maintain and improve the environment and to preserve and safeguard the natural resources, bio-diversity, wetlands, forests, and wild life for the current and future citizens, as stated in Article 18A of the Constitution of Bangladesh.
The government of Bangladesh issued the Wildlife (Preservation) Order in 1973, which later became the Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) Act in 1973. Following this, in 2012, the National Parliament approved another Act, the Animals (Preservation and Security) Act, 2012, which replaced the former legislation in order to ensure the protection of forests, wildlife, and biodiversity.
As of right now, this law is the highest authority in Bangladesh on matters pertaining to the preservation of natural resources.
Despite the fact that all laws are often founded on the decisions made at the national level, States are also bound by the requirements of international treaties to which they are party and should thus base their laws on these treaties. State governments are responsible for making, enforcing, and enforcing wildlife trafficking laws across borders. Bangladesh is in a similar situation, with a major proportion of its wildlife in peril despite the fact that few regions are protected by law.
Bangladesh’s court’s jurisdiction in Wildlife laws in Bangladesh
Courts with jurisdiction over the offenses covered by this Act include the First Class Judicial Magistrate or the Metropolitan Magistrate and the Court of Sessions. Judges can fine offenders any sum allowed by the law. The Court of Sessions has jurisdiction over cases involving the unlawful killing of tigers and elephants.
The poaching of endangered species like the tiger and elephant is now a cognizable and non-bailable offense. All other Act violations are not cognizable and bailable.
No court will have jurisdiction over a violation of the Act unless a formal complaint has been filed by either an authorized authority or a victim.
Awareness among the general public is crucial in the fight against wildlife crime, which must be complemented by legal restrictions against the trafficking of endangered species. The risk of losing a species of animal or plant, and the long-term consequences for ecological balance, are not well understood by the general public. This is why those who commit crimes against animals are always given a way out.
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“Courts with jurisdiction over the offenses covered by this Act include the First Class Judicial Magistrate or the Metropolitan Magistrate and the Court of Sessions. “
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Company formation and registration at Tahmidur Rahman Remura: TRW: The Law Firm in Bangladesh:
The legal team of Tahmidur Rahman, The Law Firm in Bangladesh Remura: TRW, The Law Firm in Bangladesh are highly experienced in providing all kinds of services related to Wildlifes laws and preservation . For queries or legal assistance, please reach us at:
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How much money is required for company registration in Bangladesh?
The governmental fees for registering a company are determined by the amount of authorized capital. Government fees for the issuance of an Incorporation Certificate shall be BDT 1000.
How long does it take to register a company in Bangladesh?
Once the aforementioned formalities have been completed, RJSC will usually issue the certificate of incorporation (Company registration certificate) within 6-8 working days.
It usually takes 2-3 weeks from the date of submission of all documents to RJSC to register a company.
What is BIDA?
Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) is in charge of facilitating foreign investments in the country.
BIDA's responsibilities include issuing work permits for foreign employees, visas for foreign investors, processing loans from foreign sources, approving remittance of royalties and technical fees, assisting in the acquisition of industrial plots, facilitating utility connections, approving foreign loans, suppliers credit, and providing assistance and advice on a variety of investment-related issues.
Foreign investors with industrial projects are strongly advised to register with BIDA after forming their limited company. However, there is no requirement for a commercial or trading company to register with BIDA. The average time frame for obtaining registration is 7-10 working days.
What documents are needed to set up a private limited company in Bangladesh?
1. Memorandum of Association
2. Article of Association
3. Certificate of Incorporation
4. Trade License
6. VAT Registration Certificate
7. Name Clearance
8. Environmental Clearance Certificate
9. Fire Certificate
What is the minimum capital required for a private limited company in Bangladesh?
In Bangladesh, there is no minimum or maximum authorised capital for a local company.
However, for practical reasons and to obtain complete flexibility in terms of expatriation and bringing in foreign expatriates, a minimum of USD 50,000/- must be invested in the Company.
Can a single person start a company in Bangladesh?
Bangladesh does not allow a single person to open a private limited company or One Person Company (OPC).
A private limited company must have at least two shareholders. In the case of a public limited company, however, the total number of shareholders required is seven.
Can a private limited company have one director in Bangladesh?
A private limited company must have at least two directors. Local or foreign nationals may serve as directors.
Directors must be at least 18 years old and have never been bankrupt or convicted of a crime. A director is required by law to own the qualification shares specified in the Articles of Association.
- Authorised capital: The amount of authorised capital must be specified in the Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association. It is the maximum amount of share capital that a company may allocate to shareholders.
In Bangladesh, there is no minimum or maximum authorised capital for a local company. However, for practical reasons and to obtain complete flexibility in terms of expatriation and bringing in foreign expatriates, a minimum of USD 50000/- must be invested in the Company.
-Paid-Up Capital : The minimum paid-up capital for registering a Bangladeshi company is Taka 1 (for local companies) and USD 50000 (for foreign companies).
About Barrister Remura Mahbub | One of the most innovative young lawyers in Bangladesh
Barrister Remura Mahbub is a finance partner and one of the Bangladesh's market leading international lawyers. She is head of the firm's Mergers and Acquisitions practice, which advises corporates and financial institutions on outbound and inbound investments, projects and financings.
Meheruba has a diverse finance practice , representing large banks, financial sponsors, and corporations. She specializes in acquisition and structured financings, loan portfolio purchase and financing, real estate financings, and inbound and outbound transactions. She has extensive expertise in the energy and infrastructure industries.
Meheruba has acted on many high-profile Finance and Commercial deals in Bangladesh and India. These include advising:
⦾ Standard Chartered Bank on the sale of a portfolio of loans in Bangladesh, the first in a series of similar deals in Bangladesh as part of the government’s directive to banks to focus on the robustness of their balance sheets.
⦾ the lending and underwriting banks on the refinancing of US$6.9bn worth of debt uninsured by the Summit Group
⦾ Brookfield Property Partners on the acquisition and financing of Unitech’s real estate portfolio
⦾ Enron on the US$3bn Dhabol power project (since renamed Ratnagiri Gas and Power), the first ever inward investment into the power sector
⦾ the sponsor and borrowers on the Sakhalin LNG project, the world’s largest integrated oil and gas project and the largest LNG financing in Russia
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