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The UNHCR energy and environment unit supports re-greening of the camps, access to sustainable energy for cooking and lighting, and essential action on climate mitigation and adaptation. This includes installation and maintenance of solar streetlights and solar mini-grids, improved watershed management, provision of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking, bamboo plantation for reforestation, and environmental education and animal conservation. Combined, these activities maintain environmental protection in the camps, an essential component of refugee protection.

KEY ACTIVITIES

Wildlife Conservation and Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation 24 Human-Elephant Contact Events Mitigated

Since the camps were established after the 2017 Rohingya influx, the risk of human-elephant conflict has been a protection concern for both refugee and the host communities whose settlements lie in the migration corridor of one of the last remaining herds of wild Asian elephants. To mitigate these conflicts, elephant response team volunteers are trained and equipped with torches and loudspeakers to deter elephants from the camps and direct them towards nearby forests. Thorny plants and beehives are being established along camp boundaries as natural deterrents to elephants. Volunteers are also engaged in in wildlife rescue, including rescue of snakes to the local wildlife centre operated by the Bangladesh Forest Department. Hand-inhand with elephant response, UNHCR and partners conduct environmental education and conservation activities in camps to help maintain ecosystem balance with local biodiversity and wildlife.

Sustainable Use of Land Management and Ecosystem Restoration (SuLMER) Individuals benefitting from SULMER 17,292

The Sustainable Land Management and Environmental Restoration (SuLMER) is a 3 year multi-sectoral watershed management project running from 2022-2024, aiming to improve ecosystem wellbeing for communities living around water systems (rivers, streams, etc) in the Rohingya refugee camps. It restores water networks using nature-based solutions of stream excavation, bank protection, slope stabilization, revegetation and plant-based water treatment, benefitting hundreds of families that now experience a safer, healthier and habitable environment surrounding their households. As of 2023, 600 meters of stream have been re-excavated through these Nature Based Solution, with plans for further excavation toward building a safer and more enjoyable environment for community members living in the area.

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