Oil slick cover the roots of a mangrove forest after an oil tanker sank in the Sundarbans, in Joymani village, Bangladesh. UNESCO and environmental groups are urging Bangladesh to halt plans for a massive coal plant near ecologically sensitive coastal forests. The UN body says the $1.8 billion project threatens the region and its endangered tigers and dolphin species. Bangladesh has dismissed the concerns as unfounded and says it will continue construction. (AP Photo/File)
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — The U.N. agency devoted to preserving world heritage has joined environmental groups urging Bangladesh to halt plans for a massive coal-fired power plant near ecologically sensitive mangrove forests on the coast. UNESCO says it poses a “serious threat” to a region that protects the nation from flooding and holds one of the world’s last populations of wild tigers.
Bangladesh countered on Thursday that the concerns were misplaced, and that it would continue with construction as the 1.3-gigawatt Rampal power station was crucial for expanding electricity capacity in a country where only six out of 10 people have access. It said the report released this week by UNESCO and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature ignored government assurances that the plant would be safe.
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