Bangladesh has been exempted from the obligation to submit conservation reports on Sundarban till 2029. Since 2013, Bangladesh has given this report seven times.
According to a press release issued by the Bangladesh Embassy in Paris, the WHC council expressed concern in the wake of the controversy over the construction of the coal-based Maitri Super Thermal Power Plant to be built jointly by Bangladesh and India at Rampal, adjacent to the Sundarban, in 2013.
"Unesco's highest policy-making council, the World Heritage Convention (WHC) has unanimously taken this decision during the 45th extended session in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Friday," Bangladesh Ambassador to France and Permanent Representative of Unesco Khondker M Talha said in a message.
However, the message said the session applauded the government of Bangladesh for its decade-long efforts in safeguarding the Sundarban.
During the meeting, a decision was reached to classify the ongoing development efforts in the South-Western region of Bangladesh, which includes the power plant, as sustainable development, the release said.
However, the council also advised the government of Bangladesh to uphold this development momentum while simultaneously continuing its environmental conservation initiatives.
Khondker M Talha in his response conveyed his gratitude to all the members of the WHC on behalf of the people of Bangladesh, the release reads.
He said this achievement is another recognition of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's leadership in preserving the global climate in the last decade and a half.
He hoped that this recognition would take Bangladesh forward in its sustainable development journey.
Earlier, the government had approved 190 industries and factories within 10 kilometres of the Sundarban while 154 industries and factories are running in the area labelled as ecologically critical area (ECA).