Founder, Cosmos Foundation WildTeam
The formation of Cosmos Group coincided with that of Bangladesh. In less than four decades, Cosmos has grown into a large conglomerate with a substantial presence in multiple sectors, namely oil and gas, mining, telecommunications, instrumentation, shipping and logistics, media, manufacturing, and trading. As a rising Bangladeshi conglomerate, Cosmos Group is steadily leaving a gradually-expanding footprint globally.
As a media entrepreneur, Mr Khan established the United News of Bangladesh (UNB), the first fully digitalised wire service in South Asia and is the founding editor of the ‘Dhaka Courier’, an independent newsweekly.
Keynote Lecture 14 – Harmonising Nature And Purpose – Institutional Conservation For The Sundarbans
The Sundarbans in Bangladesh stands as the world’s largest mangrove system and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, serving not only as a critical regulator of weather patterns and a shield against cyclones but also as a lifeline for countless people.
The Bengal tiger, an emblematic symbol of Bangladesh, occupies a pivotal role in the Sundarbans ecosystem. Safeguarding this majestic creature and its habitat is of utmost importance, given the looming threats of poaching, overexploitation, and human-wildlife conflict.
As a response to these pressing challenges, WildTeam has launched an array of community engagement programs, including the Village Tiger Response Team (VTRT), Forest Tiger Response Team (FTRT), BaghBandhus (friends of tigers), and TigerScouts. These initiatives are designed to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts, nurture wildlife-friendly attitudes, and empower local communities to actively participate in the conservation efforts for the Sundarbans. Preserving this invaluable natural asset its own right and as guardian of the Sundarbans not only upholds a cultural symbol but also ensures human safety and sustains livelihoods throughout Bangladesh.
Wild team in collaboration with the Bangladesh Forest Department and with support from KfW-German Cooperation, is taking a pivotal step by establishing the Sundarbans Museum and Interpretation Centre. This institution will be the first of its kind, dedicated to increasing knowledge and promoting pro-environmental attitudes regarding the Sundarbans among local communities, Bangladeshis at large, and the global community.