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Mapping the Institutional Frameworks of Nature Conservation of the Government of Bangladesh

CHAPTER - ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Statement of the problem Bangladesh, the world largest deltaic region in the northeastern part of South Asia between 20° 34' and 26° 38' north latitude and between 88° 01' and 92° 41' east longitude(http://www.bforest.gov.bd). The majority of country’s land is formed by river alluvium from the Ganges and the Brahmaputra and their tributaries which, consists mostly of flood plains (80%) with some hilly areas (12%) with a sub-tropical monsoon climate.

Geographically, Bangladesh falls near the Indo-Burma region which is one of the ten global hot-spot areas and supposed to have 7000 endemic plant species. Due to its unique geophysical location Bangladesh is exceptionally characterized by a rich biological heritage of flowering plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes etc. and it is a zone of high biodiversity (Mukul, 2007).


But the natural forests of Bangladesh have been facing such onslaughts that considerable portions of it has already been lost, leaving the country with only a small percentage of land under forests. This has resulted in the loss of the sources of wild biodiversity. Much of the floral biodiversity in tropical forests resides in herbs, shrubs and trees which do not attain large size. How much of the biodiversity has already been lost is not known, and there is no way of knowing. Only 27 plant species are listed as threatened or endangered, but there could be many more. There is no information on gene pools or varieties within species because of lack of knowledge about within species variation.

The issues of conservation and protection of biological diversity have so far had a law priority in Bangladesh. While the ban of October 1989 on felling trees in natural forests in aimed at ensuring biodiversity, there is no mechanism to enforce the ban; and it has therefore been ineffective (Forestry Master Plan, 1992). 1.2 Objectives of the Research • •

To understand policies and laws related to nature conservation; To know the organizational bodies and its manpower, resources, programs and projects and its activities related to nature conservation;

To find out the limitations in conserving nature and future remedies as well.

1.3 Methodology of the Research 1.3.1 Sources of data: Data have been selected from two sources. Such as – Primary sources and Secondary sources.


Secondary data were collected from books, internet, journals etc. such as, “Forestry Master Plan. While, primary data were involved with interviewing with Forest officials and experts. We were conducted interviewing with Forest Conservator of Administration and finance of Forest Department officials and experts. In interviewing we can know some limitations such as financial problem, lack of awareness of people, lack of implementation of policy, corruption etc. which is hampered to nature conservation in Bangladesh. CHAPTER – TWO STATUS OF FLORA AND FAUNA IN BANGLADESH 2.1 Economic and Environmental Importance Of Forest and Wildlife Forestry is a long-term production system. It has manifold contribution towards the welfare of mankind. The multiple use of forest resources have been recognized from the advent of civilization. The Forestry sector contributes about 5% of the total GDP (Gross domestic product) of Bangladesh. This does not reflect the true contribution of this sector. The rural population uses fuel wood and other minor forest products practically free of cost. Forest also plays an important role in protecting watersheds, irrigation and hydraulic structure, also in keeping the rivers and ports navigable. It also plays key role in protecting the coastal areas from natural calamities. The role of forest in protecting the environment from pollution and its contribution towards bio-diversity is immense (http://www.bforest.gov.bd). The participatory social forestry contributes towards rural poverty reduction significantly. In the last 3 years, out of total sale proceeds of timber and fuel wood about 308 (three hundred and eight) million taka has been distributed to 23561 participants. Social Forestry Rules have been framed to give the legal basis of benefit sharing system. Tree farming fund has been created from the 10% of the sale proceeds to create new resources on the same pieces of land involving the same participants, to ensure sustainability. The TFF operating committee has been established involving local government and Local Community Organization (LCO) (http://www.bforest.gov.bd). Apart from the sale proceeds, participants also get money from Forest Department for their labor input in the plantation activities. They also get periodic income from agriculture crops


grown between the trees both in forest and marginal land. The participants also get thinning and pruning outputs in many places (http://www.bforest.gov.bd). Employment generation In 2001-2002, about 2% (two percent) of the total manpower of the country was engaged in the forestry sector. Many people actually benefited directly from forestry-related activities e.g. in wood based industry, saw milling, furniture making, establishing private nursery, logging, extraction and in a forestation programs. Besides this in Sundarban millions of people are dependant on the mangrove forest for their livelihood (e.g mawali, bawali, fisherman etc). (http://www.bforest.gov.bd). Ecotourism Ecological sites, by their nature & the need to maintain wilderness, are not suitable for mass tourism as in the case of recreation parks, historical sites, picnic areas or resorts etc. It is necessary to distinguish the difference between ordinary tourism & ecotourism for controlling the number of visitors and for prescribing management and use regulations (http://www.bforest.gov.bd). Ecotourism can be developed by providing access to interested specialist tourists and presenting to them ecological wealth and diversity of the country such as wildlife resources and interesting ecological types. Bangladesh has good potentials for ecotourism development including Sundarbans, other coastal areas, wetlands, CHT, Sylhet region etc. but these have not been so far used. During the last 5years the average number of foreign tourists visiting Sundarbans per year has been about 300, most of whom are temporary residents in Bangladesh (http://www.bforest.gov.bd). Income from wildlife resource Where wildlife products are available, it can generate wildlife based small scale industriese.g. ivory carving and fancy articles with feathers or skins.


In Bangladesh spotted deer and crocodile are consider to have potential for commercial farming and exploitation (Forestry Master Plan, 1992). 2.2 Natural Forest in Bangladesh Of the total area of Bangladesh, agricultural land makes up 65% of its geographic surface, forest lands account for almost 17%, while urban areas are 8% of the area. Water and other land use account for the remaining 10%. The total forest land includes classified and unclassified state lands and homestead forests and tea or rubber gardens. In case of private forests, the dated represent the tree-covered areas (http://www.bforest.gov.bd). Of the 2.52 million hectare Forest land, Forest Department manages 1.52 million hectare which includes Reserved, Protected and Acquired forest and Mangrove forest on the newly accreted land in estuaries of major rivers. The remaining 0.73 million hectare of land designated as unclassed State Forest (USF) are under the control of Ministry of Land (http://www.bforest.gov.bd).


Map source: http://www.nishorgo.org/map.asp


Area distribution of Different Land use Category Table -1 Land Use Category Area (Million Hectare) Agriculture 9.57 State Forest Classified 1.52 Unclassified 0.73 Private Forest Homestead 0.27 Tea/Rubber Garden 0.07 Urban 1.16 Water 0.94 Other 0.49 Total 14.75 Table - 2 Total Forest Land of Bangladesh Category of Forests Forest Department Managed Forests Unclassed State Forest Village Forest Total

Area (Million Hectare) 1.52 0.73 0.27 2.52

Table - 3 Forest Area Managed by FD Category of Forests Area (Million Hectare) Hill Forests 0.67 Natural Mangrove Forests 0.60 Mangrove Plantations 0.13 Plain Land Sal Forest 0.12 Total 1.52

Percent 64.9 10.3 5 1.8 0.5 7.9 6.4 3.2 100

Percentage 10.30 4.95 1.83 17.08

Percentage 4.54 4.07 0.88 0.81 10.30

Depending on their location, nature and type of management of the forests of Bangladesh can be grouped into three broad categories, which is tabled below: Types of Forest Natural Mangrove Forest and Plantation Tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen Forest Tropical moist deciduous Forest Total

Types of Forest: Mangrove Forests Tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests Tropical moist deciduous Forests

Area (m ha) 0.73 0.67 0.12 1.52

Percentage 4.95 4.54 0.81 10.3


Village Forests Mangrove Forests i. Natural Mangrove Forests The largest single tract of natural mangrove forest is the Sundarban. It consists of a total of 6,01,700 hectare which is 4.07% of total land mass of the country and 40% of total forest land. Sundarban harbours 334 species of trees, shrubs and epyphites and 269 species of wild animals. World renowned Royal Bengal Tiger is the magnificent animal of the Sundarban. 1,39,700 hectare forest land of Sundarban is declared as World Heritage Site where three wildlife sanctuaries viz.Sundarban East, Sundarban West and Sundarban South wildlife sanctuaries are located. The forest inventory of 1998 exhibits that there are 12.26 million cubic meter timber is available from the species of Sundri (Heritiera fomes), Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha), Keora (Sonneratia apetala), Baen (Avecennia officinalis), Dhundul (Xylocarpus granatum), Passur (Xylocarpus mekongensis) etc with 15cm and above diameter. Sundri is the most important tree species in the Sundarban which is distributed over 73% of the reserve. Extent of Sundri is followed by Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha), Baen (Avecinnia offcecinalis), Passur (Xylocarpur mekongensis), Keora (Sonneratia apetala) etc. There are some other non-wood forest products like Golpata (Nypa fruticans), honey, wax, fish, crab etc which are also of high value. Sundarban is a unique habitat for a number of wildlife. Among them some mammals are Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetica), Monkey (Macaca mulatta), Indian Fishing cat (Felis viverrina), Indian Otter (Lutra perspicillata), Spotted Deer (Axis axis) etc. Reptiles like Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Monitor Lizard (Varanus salvator), Rock Python (Python molurus) and Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) etc. are found in the Sundarban. ii. Mangrove Plantation Mangrove afforestation along the entire southern coastal frontier is an innovation of foresters. During 1960-61, Government undertook afforestation programme along the shore land of


coastal districts. This initiative got momentum from 1980-81 with the aid of development partners and afforestation programs are extended over foreshore islands, embankments and along the open coasts. Since 1960-61 upto 1999-2000, 142,835 hectare of mangrove plantations have been raised under a number of coastal afforestation projects. The present net area of mangrove plantation is 132,000 hectare after losing some area due to natural calamities. Tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests Tropical evergreen and semi evergreen forests are extended over Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Sylhet totaling an area of 6,70,000 hectare which is 4.54% of total landmass of the country and 44% of national forest land. Depending on topography, soil and climate these area are categorized as i) Tropical wet evergreen forests and ii) Tropical semievergreen forests. The hill forests are abundant with numerous plant as well as animal species. Some important flora are Garjan (Dipterocarpus spp.), Chapalish (Artocarpus chaplasha), Telsur (Hopea odorata), Tali (Palaquium polyanthrum), Kamdeb (Callophyllum polyanthum), Uriam (Mangifera sylvatica), Jarul (Legarstromia speciosa), Civit (Swintonia floribunda), Toon (Cedrela toona), Bandorhola (Duabanga grandiflora) etc. Moreover there are bamboo, cane, climbers and fern etc. in these forests. These forests are brought under plantation programme since 1871. At present, plantation activities are being conducted under development projects. Some valuable plantation species are Teak (Tectona grandis), Gamar (Gmelina arborea), Mehogani (Swietenia spp), Chapalish (Artocarpus chaplasha), Jarul (Legarstromia speciosa), Koroi (Albizzia spp), Chikrassi (Chikrassia tabularis), Pynkado (Xylia dolabriformis), Kadam (Anthocephalus cadamba), Telsur (Hopea odorata) etc.

The latest forest inventory shows that a total of 23,93 million cubic meter forest produces are available there. Among the mammals Elephant (Elephas maximus), monkey (Macaca mulatta), Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Barking Deer ( Muntiacus muntjak), Samvar (Cervus unicolor), and Indian


Leopard (Panthera pardus). Among the reptiles King cobra (Ophiophagus hanna) Monitor Lizard (Varanus salvator) and Bengal Monitor Lizard (Varanus bengalensis) are remarkable. Tropical moist deciduous Forests The Central and northern districts covering an area of 1,20,000 ha about 0.81% of total land mass of the country and 7.8% of the country’s forest land are bestowed with Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests. This forest is intermingled with the neighbouring settlements and fragmented into smaller patches. Sal (Shorea robusta) is the main species there with other associates like Koroi (Albizzia procera), Azuli (Dillenia pentagyna), Sonalu (Cassia fistula), Bohera (Terminalia belerica), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Kanchan (Bauhinia acuminata), Jarul (Lagerstroemia speciosa), Jam (Syzygium spp) etc. A recent forest inventory encountered that 3.75 million cubic meter wood available in the sal forests. Presently participatory forestry programme are being implemented here under the social forestry initiatives. Among the mammals, Jackel (Canis aureus), Monkey (Macaca mulatta), Wild cat (Felis chaus) etc. are found there and among the reptiles Bengal Monitor Lizard (Varanus bengalensis) and common cobra are remarkable (http://www.bforest.gov.bd). 2.3 Flora and Fauna Diversity in Bangladesh Although Bangladesh is rich in biodiversity, its flora includes an estimated 5,700 species of angiosperms alone, including 68 woody legume species, 130 species of fibreyielding plants, 500 medicinal plant species, 29 orchid species, three species of gymnosperms, and 1,700 pteriodophytes. Some 2,260 plant species have been reported from the hilly region of Chittagong alone. Correspondingly, Bangladesh also possesses rich faunal diversity and has approximately 113 species of mammals, more than 628 species of birds, 126 species of reptiles, 22 species of amphibians, 708 species of marine and freshwater fish, 2,493 species of insects, 19 species of mites, 164 species of algae and 4 species of echinoderms (Mukul, 2007).


Sources: http://www.virtual Bangladesh. com/bd_geog_animals.html

Sources: http://iberianature.com/wildworld/guides/wildlife-of-bangladesh/


Common wildlife in Bangladesh 2.4 General Causes and Threats Of Nature Conservation Of Bangladesh Bangladesh has the highest rural population densities in the world with lowest per capita forest land. The contribution of the forestry sector to GDP is 3.3 at current prices and about 2% of the country’s labour forces are employed in this sector. Officially although Bangladesh has nearly about 17.5% forest coverage but only 6% of them are well stocked. Besides, the annual deforestation rate in the country is 3.3% which is highest among the South-east Asian Countries. In recent days, although government has became anxious about nature conservation but country’s forest and biodiversity are still facing various challenges like other regions of the world. Following are some major reasons behind biodiversity and nature conservation depletion in Bangladesh (Mukul, 2007). 2.4.1 High population density, extreme poverty and unemployment


Bangladesh is one of the world’s densely populated countries with a population of more than 150 million. Majority of the people of the country are still living under poverty line and without any permanent job. Besides, more than 85% of the country are living in rural areas and some how depends upon various natural resources which often lead over exploitation of plant and animal products for their survival and income. Rural fuel consumption pattern is another important issue related to natural resource depletion in the country. Still now, most of the people in rural areas depend on fuel wood which is strongly concerned with degradation and unsustainable use of various woody and forested areas (Mukul, 2007). 2.4.2 Habitat Loss, Degradation And Fragmentation Nature conservation is strongly associated with inact ecosystems and natural landscapes, however transformation of land use patterns, expansion of agricultural lands, change in cropping patterns, introduction of high yielding varieties (HYV), urbanization, expansion of road networks, unplanned embankments and other manmade factors have caused immense damage of habitats in all ecosystems (Mukul,2007). The following are some underlying factors related to this issue; 2.4.2.1 Encroachment 2.4.2.2 Shifting cultivation 2.4.2.3 Urbanization 2.42.4 Land use change and agricultural expansions 2.4.2.5 Commercial shrimp cultivation in coastal mangrove areas 2.4.3 Illegal Poaching There is a big international market on wild animals (and their part, e.g.,teeth, bones, far, ivory etc.) for their aesthetic and medicinal value. Peoples involved with this underworld syndicate sometimes illegally hunting/trafficking wild animals to earn some easy cash. Besides, unregulated logging, illicit felling, indiscriminate harvest of medicinal plants, Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) , unplanned fishing , using bag nets, bottom trawling fishing , fishing in the breeding season and other factors are causing depletion of biodiversity (Mukul,2007).

2.4.4 Environmental pollution and degradation


One of the biggest threats to biodiversity in Bangladesh is pollution of air, soil, and water. Water is the greatest victim of contributed by toxic agro-chemicals (i.e., chemical fertilizers, insecticides), industrial effluents that are causing depletion aquatic resources and riparian natural resources (Mukul, 2007). 2.4.5 Invasive Alien Species A large number of exotic (non-native) plants have been introduced into Bangladesh for agriculture, horticulture, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries. Also some have become escapes accidentally and having adapted with local conditions proliferated profusely. Local people to different agro-ecological conditions have nurtured some of these and some have become invasive over local flora and fauna .Besides, replacing natural plantation with monoculture of short rotation and fast growing species have threatens the existence of local fauna as they have not adapted with this species (Mukul,2007). CHAPTER –THREE INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS OF NATURE CONSERVATION 3.1 Nature Conservation Strategies In Bangladesh Government to conserve biodiversity in two different ways (i.e., ex-situ conservation and insitu conservation) is briefly discussed. 3.1.1 In-situ Conservation In-situ conservation is carried out in the following areas: nature reserves, protected areas, world heritage sites and Ramsar sites etc. According to FRA-2005 about 20.9% forests of the country are primarily managed for conservation purpose. 3.1.1.1 Nature Reserves The objectives of a nature reserve are to protect communities and species and to maintain natural processes in order to have ecologically representative examples of the natural environment. However, in Bangladesh there are no nature reserves.

3.1.1.2 Protected Areas


Protected Areas are, “areas especially dedicated to the protection and maintaince of biological diversity and associated cultural resources and managed through legal or other effective means. Globally the number of protect areas has been increasing significantly over the last few decades and currently about 12% of all forests are officially protected for conservation values. Protected Areas include wildlife Sanctuary, National park and Game Reserve. Their definitions in the Bangladesh wildlife order, 1973 is as follows:

Source: http://www.nishorgo.org/map.asp. Maps-of-bangladesh.blogspot.com Notified Protected Areas of the Country are as follows: A) National Parks: “National Park means comparatively large areas of outstanding scenic and natural beauty with the primary object of protection and preservation of scenery, flora and fauna in the natural state to which access for public recreation and education and research may be allowed” (paragraph) (p) of Article 2). Sl. No. 1

National Parks Bhawal National Park

Location Gazipur

Area (ha.) 5022.00

Established 11-5-1982


2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Modhupur National Park Ramsagar National Park Himchari National Park Lawachara National Park Kaptai National Park Nijhum Dweep National Park Medha Kachhapia National Park Satchari National Park Khadim Nagar National Park Baraiyadhala National Park Kuakata National Park Nababgonj National Park Shingra National Park Kadigarh National Park

Tangail/ Mymensingh Dinajpur

8436.00

24-2-1982

27.75.00

30-4-2001

Cox's Bazar

1729.00

15-2-1980

Moulavibazar

1250.00

7-7-1996

Chittagong Hill Tracts Noakhali

5464.00

9-9-1999

16352.23

8-4-2001

Cox's Bazar

395.92

8-8-2008

Habigonj

242.91

15-10-2005

Sylhet

678.80

13-04-2006

Chittagong

2933.61

06-04-2010

Patuakhali

1613.00

24-10-2010

Dinajpur

517.61

24-10-2010

Dinajpur

305.69

24-10-2010

Mymensingh

344.13

24-10-2010

Sub-Total 45312.65 Wildlife Sanctuaries : “Wildlife Sanctuary means an area closed to hunting, shooting or trapping of wild animals and declared as such under Article 23 by the government as undisturbed breeding ground primarily for the protection of wildlife inclusive of all natural resources such as vegetation soil and water� (paragraph) (p) of Article 2). Sl. No. Wildlife Sanctuaries Location Area (ha.) Established 16 Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Hobigonj 1795.54 7-7-1996 Sanctuary 17 Char Kukri-Mukri Bhola 40.00 19-12-1981 Wildlife Sanctuary 18 Sundarban (East) Bagerhat 31226.94 6-4-1996 Wildlife Sanctuary 19 Sundarban (West) Satkhira 71502.10 6-4-1996 Wildlife Sanctuary 20 Sundarban (South) Khulna 36970.45 6-4-1996 Wildlife Sanctuary 21 Pablakhali Wildlife Chittagong Hill 42087.00 20-9-1983 Sanctuary Tracts 22 Chunati Wildlife Chittagong 7761.00 18-3-1986 Sanctuary


23

Fashiakhali Wildlife Sanctuary Dudh PukuriaDhopachari Wildlife Sanctuary Hazarikhil Wildlife Sanctuary Sangu Wildlife Sanctuary Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary Tengragiri Wildlife Sanctuary

24 25 26 27 28

“Game Reserve means an area declared by the government as such for the protection of wildlife and increase in the population of important species wherein capturing of wild animals shall be unlawful (paragraph) (c) of Article 2)”.

Cox's Bazar

3217.00

11-4-2007

Chittagong

4716.57

6-4-2010

Chittagong

2908.50

6-4-2010

Bandarban

5760.00

6-4-2010

Cox's Bazar

11615.00

24-03-2010

Barguna

4048.58

24-10-2010

Sub-Total Grand-Total

223648.68 268961.33

C) “Game Reserve means an area declared by the government as such for the protection of wildlife and increase in the population of important species wherein capturing of wild animals shall be unlawful (paragraph) (c) of Article 2)”. **Protected Area Covers 10.7% of Total Forest Area Other Conservation Sites D 1 2 3 4 5

Name National Botanical Garden Baldha Garden Madhabkunda Eco-Park Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-park Dulahazara Safari Parks

3.1.2 ex situ Conservation

Location Dhaka Dhaka Moulavibazar Chittagong

Area (ha.) 84.21 1.37 265.68 808

Established 1961 1909 2001 1998

Cox’s Bazar

600

1999


In contrast to in situ Conservation, ex situ conservation includes any practices that conserve biodiversity outside the natural habitat of the parent population. In Bangladesh these types of effort are mainly limited to Bangladesh Forest Research Institute (BFRI) and it includes the followings: 3.1.2.1 Botanical Gardens 3.1.2.1.1. Mirpur Botanical Garden: Area 85ha, with 255 tree species (total 28,200 plants), 310 shrub species (8,400 plants), 385 herb species (10,400 plants). The total number of families of trees, herbs and shrubs in 114. 3.1.2.1.2 Baldha Garden: Area 1.15 ha with 18,000 trees, herbs and shrubs from 820 species and 92 families. 3.1.2.1.3Madhabkunda Eco-park 3.1.2.1.4. Sitakunda Botanical Garden and Eco-park 5. Dulahazara Safari parks. 3.2 Conservation And Management Of Wildlife Forest Department under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is responsible for preservation, conservation and management of Wildlife in the country. The Chief Conservator of Forests is the Chief Wildlife Warden. There is a Circle named Wildlife and Nature Conservation Circle administered by an officer in the rank of Conservator of Forest. There are Four Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Divisions under this Circle. Each of the Division is administered by a Divisional Forest Officer. In addition, there are two Botanical Gardens in the country (http://www.bforest.gov.bd). . 1. Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Divisions Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division, Dhaka. Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division, Chittagong. Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division, Sylhet. Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division, Khulna. 2. Botanical Gardens National Botanical Garden, Dhaka. Botanical Garden and Eco-Park, Chittagong. 3.3 Legal and policy framework for nature conservation There are several legislative policies and initiatives that provide provisions for regulating, harvesting and protecting plants and animals in Bangladesh. Those are :


3.3.1 National Conservation Strategy (NCS) The need for a National Conservation Strategy was first emerged in September 1986. Its primary goal was to provide a National Strategy for Conservation of all concerned sectors. It provides specific strategies for sustainable use of natural resources as well as sustainable development in 18 different sectors. The National Conservation Strategy Implementation Project 1(1994-1999) was a five-year project implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), with financial and technical support from NORAD and IUCN. Through this phases 1, one major programme was implemented in four distinct ecosystems-tropical and mangrove forest areas, St.Martin’s Island, Tanguar Haor and Barind Tract. The main objective of all these activities is nature and biodiversity conservation (Mukul, 2007). 3.3.2 National Environment Management Action Plan (NEMAP) The MoEF prepared the NEMAP, which is based on a comprehensive participatory planning process ranging from grassroots up to national level. Inputs were provided from local communities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, professional groups, academics, parliamentarians, lawyers and journalists. Together, this cross section of concerned stakeholders identified key institutional, sectoral, location-specific and long-term issues and actions. The NEMAP thus constitutes a synthesis of perceptions of the government, NGO’s and the people on environmental problems and the actions required to address them. The NEMAP provides the policy framework of, and action plan for environmental development in combinations with a set of board sectoral guidelines that emphasis, inter alia, the following: 3.3.2.1 Maintenance of the ecological balance and overall progress and development of the country through protection and improvement of the environment. 3.3.2.2 Protection of the country against natural disasters. 3.3.2.3 Identification and control of all types of activities related to the pollution and degradation to the environment. 3.3.2.4 Undertaking environmentally sound development programmes in all sectors. 3.3.2.5 Sustainable long term and environmentally congenial utilization of all natural resources. 3.3.2.6 Activities in association with all environmental related national and environmental initiatives. 3.3.3 Sustainable Environment Management Programme (SEMP)


The Sustainable Environment Management Programme supported by the UNDP and implemented by MoEf for a five year periods (1998-2002) was the response evolved from the concerns, needs and actions identified through the National Environment Management Action Plan (NEMAP) process. It focuses on community-based resource management in wetlands. In the NEMAP several major priority areas of environmental concern were identified, and the SEMAP has been designed to address these priorities. The programme consists of 26 components on five major themes, and is implemented by 22 organizations from the government, non government organizations (NGO’s) and private sector. The major focus of the programme is to involve community people in the planning and implementation of activities for the management of natural resources that maintain biodiversity and human well-being (Mukul, 2007). 3.3.4 The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and Environment Conservation The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act of 1995 was enacted for environmental conservation, environmental standard development and environmental pollution control and mitigation. ECA 1995 is currently the main legislative framework relating to environmental protection in Bangladesh. The Environment Conservation Rules, 1997 are the first set of rules which have been promulgated under the ECA 1995. The major aspects covered by ECR 1997 are the national Environmental Quality Standard; requirements and procedures to get environmental

clearance;

requirement

of

Initial

Environmental

Examination

and

Environmental Impact Assessment for any project. However, the major application of ECA 1995 was to declaration of Ecologically Critical Areas (ECA) (Mukul, 2007). 3.3.5 National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) As a signatory party of CBD Bangladesh has prepared a NBSAP with 24 different conservation components which has been implemented and executed by different government and nongovernmental conservation organizations. National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) of Bangladesh Implementing and Planning agency is Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). Donor is GEF/UNDP and objectives of the Bangladesh NBSAP: 3.3.5.1 Formulate strategies and action plans of conservation and sustainable use of country’s biological diversity.


3.3.5.2 Identify the current pressure on the biological resources, and options and priority actions for the conservation and sustainable use of national biodiversity by the stakeholders. 3.3.5.3 Complement and build on the NCS (National Conservation Strategy) as well as the NEMAP (National Environmental Management Action Plan) and other sectoral plans, through participatory processes involving representative ness from different sectors of the society. 3.3.5.4 Raise Community awareness of the sustainable use of biodiversity. The Bangladesh NBSAP identified a total of 24 conservation related components and subdivided under 13 major priority areas (Mukul, 2007). 3.3.6 Nishorgo Support Project (NSP) This pilot protected area management programme is a Forest Department’s project and has been financed by USAID under a Strategic Objective Grant Agreement. This is a five year project (2005-2010) and has been primarily implemented in five PAS of the country (i.e., Lawachara National Park, Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary, Satchari National Park, Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary and Teknaf Game Reserve). The overall objective of this project is conservation of biodiversity within the PAs. The project has worked to achieve six separate but closely related objectives in support of this overall objective, as stated below: 3.3.6.1 Develop a functional model for formalized collaboration in the management of protected Areas. 3.3.6.2 Create alternative income generation opportunities for key local stakeholders in and around PAs. 3.3.6.3 Develop policies conductive to improve PA management and build constituencies to further these policy goals. 3.3.6.4 Strengthen the institutional system and capacity of the FD and key stakeholders so that improvements under the project can be made permanent. 3.3.6.5 Build or reinforce the infrastructure within PAs that will enable better management, and provide limited visitor services. 3.3.6.6 Design and implement a program of habitat management and restoration for PAs. 3.3.7 Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) (Amendment) Act, 1974 The Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) order,1973 was promulgated under Presidential No. 23 in 1973 and was subsequently enacted and amended as the Bangladesh Wildlife (Preservation) (Amendment) Act,1974. The law provides for the preservation, conservation and management of wildlife in Bangladesh. According to the Act the term wildlife or ‘wild animals’ means ‘any vertebrate creature, other than human beings and animals of usually domesticated species or fish, and include the eggs of birds and reptiles’ only. The law itself is not sufficient to provide legal protections to the significant aquatic biodiversity component of the ecosystem. For example, by this definition, the important components of the coral species


in the St. Martin’s Island, and also fishes and mollusks, remain outside the legal protection of this Act (Mukul, 2007). 3.3.8 Bangladesh Forest Act, 1974 and subsequently Amendments The law provides protection of and development of forests. The government may assign a reserved forest to any forestland or wasteland, or any land suitable for afforestation, which is the property of the government, over which the government is entitles. Subsequently, the Forest Law has been amended and updated foe a number of times in response to changing needs. The Forest Act, 1972, the Forest (Amendment) Act 1990 and the amendment in 2000 may be mentioned in this regard. These are contributing quite a lot to the conservation of biodiversity, although not enough, and much more remains to be done (Mukul, 2007). 3.3.9 Forest Policy and Forestry Sector Master Plan The GOB first formulated the National Forest policy in 1979.But as the situation began to change with demand for forestry products and consequent depletion of forest resources and degradation of the overall environment, the Government had to update it and formulate a revised policy which is known as the Forest Policy 1994.The biodiversity issue has been given increased importance in the latest policy. The policy stated that attempts will be made to bring about 20% of the country’s land under the afforestation programmes of the government and the private sector by 2015. In order to achieve self reliance in forest products and maintenance of ecological balance, the government will work hand in hand with the NGO’s and people’s participation will be encouraged. The policy further stated that the priority protection areas are the habitats that encompass representative samples of flora fauna in core areas of National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Game Reserves. Attempts wil aiso be made to increase the extent of these protected areas by 10%of the reserved forest area by 2015. To achieve the objectives and targets as stated in the policy, the government has also formulated the Forestry Sector Master Plan (1995-2015). The financial requirements to implement the plan have been estimated to be about TK.80,000 million (Mukul, 2007). 3.3.10 Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan 2009-2017 The Bangladesh Tiger Action Plan (BTAP) marks the beginning of a structured approach to achieving long-term conservation of tigers in Bangladesh. The BTAP is a policy level


document that provides a vision, goals, and objectives to guide an integrated and focused tiger conservation programme. The vision is to ensure protected tiger landscapes in Bangladesh, where wild tiger thrive at optimum carrying capacities and which continue to provide essential ecological services to mankind. The main goal for the next years is to stabilize or increase the Sundarbans tiger population. The Bangladesh Forest Department, under the ministry of environment and forests, is the custodian of the forest and its wildlife, but one of the most important aspects of the BTAP is the recognition of the immense task of tiger conservation necessitates support and expertise outside the normal remit of forest management. Therefore, the establishment of a forest department led platform that facilitates collaboration for the implementation of conservation activities will be fundamental to its success (http://www.bforest.gov.bd). 3.4 Ministries and department of nature conservation organization Three major institutions are related to nature conservation under the Ministry of environment and forests, Government of the peoples Republic of Bangladesh. These are: 3.4.1. Forest Department; 3. 4.2.2. Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation; and 3.4.3. Bangladesh Forest Research Institute. These are given below: 3.4.1. Forest Department: Forest Department is the custodian of National Forest and is responsible for execution of Forest policy, Forest Act, Wildlife preservation Act and other allied Acts and rules associated with Forestry. The Development is also responsible for conservation, protection and development of the resource. In recent decades, the Forest extension activities outside the National forest areas, are also entrusted with the Rajshahi are also operated by the Department. In recent years, the training of village leaders and NGO’s in forest extension activities has been entrusted with FD he Department. Besides, Bangladesh Forest Academy, FDTC, Forest school, Sylhet and Rajshahi are also operated by the Department. In recent years, the training of village leaders and NGO’s in forest extension activities has been entrusted with FD (Forestry Master Plan, 1992).


Forest Department is headed by a chief Conservator of Forests under the overall control of the Ministry of Environment and Forest with the Minister or state Minister incharge of the Ministry. The country is divided into 6 forest circles, each in charge of one Conservator of Forests. The circles are divided into Forest Divisions, each incharge of a Divisional Forest officer. Some Forest Divisions are divided into sub-divisions, each in charge of a SDFO. The divisions are divided into Ranges, incharge of a Range Forest officer. The Ranges are divided into Beats or Coups, incharge of Deputy Ranger or Forester. For Extension works, 97 permanent nurseries have been established in different Forest Divisions, each incharge of a Range Forest officer. There are 33 Forest Divisions, 6 subdivisions, 186 Ranges, 515 Beats, 97 Forest extension nursery centers, 85 Revenue check stations, 170 petrol posts and 4 parks (Forestry Master Plan). The Forest Department became functional in the portion of the forest now falling in Bangladesh, during British time from 1864. To start with Forest administration was consolidating the reserve and protected forests and under the Forest Act took custody of the areas from the civil administration. With the partition of India in 1947, Forest Department became a part of the then East Pakistan. With the achievement of independence, it became a part of the sovereign state of Bangladesh from 26th march, 1971 (Forestry Master Plan). During early Pakistan time, full attention was given for revenue earning and little steps were taken for overall development of the forest resource. The inexperienced private sector established, in an unplanned manner, small forest based industries like match factories, plywood factories etc. to meet country’s demand without assessing the regular and cheap supply of forest raw material for efficiently operating the industrial units. Big forest based industries were established by public sector corporations. Their raw material supply, at a low price, was an important function of the forest. These industries were primarily meant for meeting the demand of entire Pakistan. The private sector remains small and limited to saw milling, match factories, plywood factories, hard board factories etc. (Forestry Master Plan, 1992). During the war of liberation, Forest Department lost considerable tree cover and rehabilitation of the displaced people due to war, took a severe toll on the forest resources. The industries suffered badly due to excess labour employment, loss of market and competitive product cost. The already hostile people around the forest due to deprivation in earlier period became more aggressive and it became extremely difficult for the Forestry


protection personnel to prevent illicit fallings. The total moratorium on tree felling in the sal forest area without thinking about the domestic supply and labour employment need, made people more hostile to forest. In the name of ‘Jote Permit’ and otherwise, heavy illicit removal of sal trees continued. The establishment of check stations in important routes could not control the large scale theft of trees. The heavy population pressure and unusual delay in Forest settlement by the civil authority over such land, grow more food campaign, all contributed towards large scale encroachment over the forest areas throughout the inland sal forest and Hill forests. Due to loss of fertility of USF, there is large scale Jhumming by the tribal people every year in Kassalong, Rankheong, Sango and Matamuhuri Rfs. Heavy illicit feelings continued in Sundarban forests and in and around the lot areas and scarcity areas near heavy population. The situation is alarming and forest cover is being lost at the rate of about 37,600ha every year in 1980s and the annual loss likely to increase in 1990s (Forestry Master Plan 1992). Table-1 Achievements of Development plans in Forestry (percentage) Particular Utilization of ADP Physical achievement of plantation(public sector) Physical achievement of Rubber plantation(public sector)

1973-78 73 124

1978-80 100 157

1980-85 89 75

1985-90 88 46

100

50

63

63

(Source: Development plans) In addition to the protection function of Department, the heavy responsibility of disposal of forest produce, their checking in and outside the forest area and development of resources both inside and outside the forest areas coupled with extension activities for the development of village wood lots have assumed a gigantic shape and successful implementation of programes has become impossible. The performance of different development plan periods bears some testimony (Forestry Master Plan, 1992). Table2- Current Position of Staff Strength in the Forest Department Category Class-1 Class-2 Class-3 Class-4

Total sanctioned strengthen 214 8 5,893 3,499

Actual in position 150 6 4,982 3,359

Vacant positions 64 2 911 140


Total

9,614

8,497

1,117

(Source: Forest Department) The existing sanctioned strength of FD and the Actual number in position speak of a high proportion of posts are currently vacant. The position is not satisfactory. The post of one OCCF, three CFs, 22 DCFs, 30 ACFs, two senior Research officers are vacant in class-1 positions. 3.2.2 Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation The BFIDC was established through an ordinance “EP ordinance LXV11 of 1959” to catch for

the development of mechanized timber extraction, saw milling, seasoning, wood

preservation, mechanized furniture factory and host of other allied forest based industrial units including standard doors and windows manufacturing plants using seasoned timbers. The pilot rubber plantation project of the Forest Department was also transferred to the said corporation in the year 1960 for commercial plantation and processing of rubber (Forestry Master Plan, 1992). BFIDC, a semi-autonomous corporation, is under the overall control of the Ministry of Environment and Forest. It has a Board headed by a chairman. The Board members including the chairman are appointed by the Ministry and they are drawn from different disciplines or departments. The Secretary of the Board is also appointed by the Ministry. The Board members are: •

Chairman

Director, planning and Development

Director, Production and Commercial

Director, Finance

The Chairman is the chief Executive of the corporation and has specified role to play. As a Chairman of the Board of Director, he is to approve agenda of the meeting, to call Board meetings, to preside over the meetings and to guide and control deliberations of the meetings with a view to reach decisions in conformity with the policy Directives of the Government


(Forestry Master Plan, 1992). The director planning and Development and Development, in addition to participation in the Board meeting, carry out specified role as functional Director and as Director in charge for a group of industrial units. Similarly the Director production and Commercial and Director Finance have three-fold roles such as, participatory in the Board meeting, carry out the functional role of the Director and act as Director incharge for a group of Industrial units. The Corporation has 24 operational units including 11 Rubber plantation units. The total manpower as power as on January,1992 is given below: Officer/Unit Head office Rubber plan units Operational units Total

Officers 74 59

Staff 234 301

Regular Worker 11 1355

Casual Worker 8 71

Total 327 1,786

77

448

1418

17

1,960

210

983

2,784

96

4,073

(Source: BFIDC) .The industrial units were set up between 1960 to1970. Except for some timber extraction equipments, rubber plantation and one veneered particle Board factory no substantial investments were made during the last three decades. The production level is low due to the following reasons: •

Shortage of forest raw materials

Old and worn-out equipments

Lack of investment for modernization and balancing

Labor force is disproportionate to present low production level

Lack of standardization and efficient marketing skill.

Heavy loss of mature rubber trees due to cyclone of 1991 in Chittagong region.

3.4.3 Bangladesh Forest Research Institute A Forest product laboratory was initiated in the mid 1950s in Chittagong at the present site with the object of utilizing the local forest produce. The Forest Management Branch was not


given the due importance. In 1965, the Forest product laboratory was transferred to the provincial Government under the control of Forest Department. The provincial Government initiated the Forest management Research Branch and upgraded the Laboratory to a full fledged Research Institute headed by a conservator of forest under the overall control of the Chief Conservator of Forests. The war of liberation had a set back on the progress of activities. In the post liberation period, steps were taken, initially to rehabilitate the war damages. The research in the product branch and to a limited extent, in the Management Branch continued up to 1976. The Management Branch was activated with the arrival of UNDP expert’s from 1977. The Forest product branch, however, continued their research activity. The FRI was subsequently taken out of the administrative control of FD in the year 1985. It is now operating as an attached institution under overall control of MOEF (Forestry Master Plan, 1992). BFRI is headed by a Director and two CROs, one in charge of Forest product Branch and the other in charge of Forest Management Branch. The general services are under the direct control of the Director. The product Branch and Management branch have several Divisions, each under a Divisional officer. The DOS are supported by SROS and JROS and other supporting staff. The total sanctioned strength in 823 and divided into following classes: Class 1 2 3 4 Total

Normal 72 29 408 188 697

Development 37 15 27 47 126

Total 109 44 435 235 823

Vacant position 34 17 63 13 127

(Source: BFRI) Out of the senior positions, two CROs, 11 Dos, one DFO, four SROs,10 JROs positions are vacant. This gives a gloomy picture of senior Research personnel of BFRI.


The present set up is shown in figure 1. DIRECTOR

Forest Products Branch Wood working and Timber Engineering Division Seasoning and Timber physics Division Wood Preservation Division Pulp and paper Division Veneer and Composite Wood product Division Forest Chemistry Division

Forest Management Branch Silvicultural Research Division Forest Economics Division Forest Protection Division Minor forest Products Division Forest Botany Division Soil Science Division Silviculture (Genetics) Division Seed Orchard Division National Forest Seed Center Forest Inventory Division Mangrove Silviculture Division Plantation Trail Unit Wildlife Section

General Services - Service Engineering Division - Admission - Library (Source : BFRI) 3.5 Limitations On basis of primary and secondary data we can identified some limitations in Bangladesh. The entire area of natural conservation in Bangladesh, as it relates to forestry, is characterized by institutional neglect. There is so much written about nature and conservation, but very little done. Since environmental costs are not including in the development calculations and in the pre or post project evaluations, there is no compulsion to improve the situation (Master plan). There is a lack of adequate institutional arrangement to take responsibility for wild life, protected areas and conservation. The Forest Department is nominally responsible for wildlife; but sine 1983, their has been virtually no staff, programmes, budget, specialized skills or capability. BFD has no facilities (equipment, information or infrastructure) to support conservation; no data base planning.


There is a lack of suitable policies, weak implementation of existing policies, lack of integration of sectoral activities are other major threats to biodiversity in Bangladesh. Beside these, week institutional capacities and lack of trained manpower in all disciplines dealing with biodiversity, poor coordination and cross sectoral integration, weak national information system and inadequate knowledge on ecosystem structure and function are vital reason for loss of nature conservation in the country. Monitoring is particularly important in understanding the fate of ecosystems, habitats and rare and endangered species. 3.6 Recommendations On basis of limitations we can identify some recommendations of the nature conservation in Bangladesh. The degradation of the natural resource base and environment in Bangladesh started with various human and economic development activities, before adequate mitigation measures were considered an integral part of the development process. This happened due to a lack of appropriate sector policies, awareness, and integration of environment and development into conventional development strategies. In the conventional paradigm to attain economic growth the concept of “grow first and clean later� was the underlying principle. In the last decade, particularly after the Rio Summit in 1992, it has been realized worldwide that sustainable development cannot be achieved without nature conservation. The government of Bangladesh has now realized the need for concern regarding environmental issues, and started incorporating environment into policies dealing with various sectors. However, the major thrust of government policy remains towards poverty alleviation through employment generation and economic growth and little has been achieved in integrating nature protection. The key environmental concerns of the country that have been identified are land degradation, water pollution and scarcity, urban air pollution, loss of biodiversity, and impacts of natural disasters on economy and livelihood systems. There are sectoral policies to address these issues, but a lack of integration and over lapping of responsibilities prevails among the agencies. There is a lack of coherence among policies and no holistic approach to mitigate environmental degradation and conserve resources. However, this can be resolved through interministerial decision and coordination. Various policies are now under preparation by the relevant ministries that aim for a sustainable approach towards environmental management and development.


The majority gaps that have been identified in mitigating pressures on the natural resource base are mostly related to the lack of institutional capability, lack of proper data and research, particularly on impact

assessment,

and inadequate

action programs

for policy

implementation. The impacts of climate change on the natural ecosystem, livelihood system, and sustainable development are future concern. Therefore, it is important to develop a climate change adaptation strategy for the country, particularly to mitigate impacts of extreme climatic events such as droughts, floods, cyclones and storm surges. This policy also has to be integrated with the existing sectoral policies. 3.6.1 Policy and Policy Integration The following policy and policy level integration needs to be pursued to promote sustainable development in the country, as well as improve environment and quality of life as an integral part of the process. Policy integration, institutional capacity building, developing options for mitigating environmental degradation, and action programs all require adequate international assistance, both financial and technical. The state of Environment report is strongly recommending inclusion of environmental issues in various sector policies in Bangladesh. 3.6.2 Institutional capacity Building Lack of institutional capacity has been identified as a major constraint in implementing policy, and enforcing environmental acts and regulations. In order to Environment regarding the latter, institutional capacity building interms of equipment, training, and additional financial support is essential. In addition, promoting a strong network among researchers and policy makers will enable quality research and sharing of knowledge and experiences towards better implementation of policies. 3.6.3 Action Programme and Research The ultimate success of any policy or decision depends on the extent to which it turns into action programmes and research efforts to bridge gaps. It is now well recognized in Bangladesh that the acts, laws and regulations to diminish environmental degradation are not inadequate, but rather their enforcement through different programs is weak. Action and research programs are required to mitigate environmental degradation and restore the


degraded environment. A number of appropriate programs have been identified. These action programs and research activities should be undertaken immediately, to prevent further deterioration of the environmental resource base, and to assess the making in different sector policies coherent regarding environment. These aspects are lacking in the existing policy measures and action programs. The recognition of inter dependency among subsectors and different ministries, with comprehensive, integrated planning can address the interests of all users as well as reduce the conflicts in the system. This will enable the country to progress towards a sustainable environment and development. Conclusion As peoples of Bangladesh, depends chiefly on various natural resources for centuries, it is essential to demonstrate the linkages between biodiversity or ecosystem services, livelihoods and socio-economic structure. Another requirement is to delineate and restore country’s unique habitats including existing protected areas and adopt measures to ensure that these areas are conserved. An essential way of achieving this objective is through collaborative management regimes which has already found effective in some regions of the country. The involvement of local communities in preventing over –exploitation and poaching is essential to long term nature conservation. Finally a separate national body or institution is fundamental to ensure nature conservation; sustainable use and equitable sharing of benefits arisen from biodiversity. REFERENCES Smith, Guy-Harold, (eds.), (july, 1957) “Conservation of natural Resources,” the Ohio state university, John Wiley and sons, inc.-Champman and Hall, Limited New York 1950 London, Fifth printing. Forestry Master Plan (1992) : Government of Bangladesh Ministry of Environment and forests, institution structures, Education and training : 1-5. Forestry Master Plan (1992): Government of Bangladesh Ministry of Environment and forests, Forest Policy: 99-101. http://www.bforest.gov.bd http://www.virtual bangladesh .com/bd- geog-animals.html. M.F., Shirley walter allen and Leonard, Justin Wilkinson,(eds.) “Conserving natural resources”principle and practice in a democracy , third edition , school of Natural Resources, The University of Michigan : 175. Mukul, S. A .(2007), Biodiversity Conservation in Bangladesh. Available at: http://www.mtnforum.org/oldocs/1159.pdf.


http://www.virtual Bangladesh. com/bd_geog_animals.html http://iberianature.com/wildworld/guides/wildlife-of-bangladesh/


Mapping the institutional frameworks of nature conservation of the government of bangladesh