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Current Forest Mgt Practice of Bd


Submitted By sabrinachow23
Words 4378
Pages 18
Topic: Considering the current trend of forest management practice, develop an appropriate strategy to manage the forest resource of Bangladesh in a sustainable way.


In performing my assignment, it's a successful one I had to take the help and guideline of some respected persons. First of all I am grateful to Allah who gives me sound mind & sound health to accomplish my assignment. The completion of the report gives me much Pleasure. I would like to thank my gratitude Mr. Md. Jakariya (Jky), Course Instructor of Introduction to Environmental Science, Sec 4, North South University, Bangladesh for giving me a good guideline for assignment.
I would like to thank School of Business Studies, North South University for updated education system in Bangladesh. Lastly I would like to deliver my whole hearted thanks to the persons of Forest Department of Bangladesh for their cordial cooperation. Actually it was not possible for me to complete a severe task without such help. So I pray the long life and good health for all the persons who have helped and co-operated me in my assignment research.

Sabrina Alvi
20 December, 2013

Table of content Title | Page | Introduction | | Forest of Bangladesh Table 1:Forest area in Bangladesh Table 2:Forest types of Bangladesh | | Forest Management in Bangladesh | | Current trend of forest management practice in Bangladesh | | Strategies to manage forest resource of Bangladesh in a sustainable way | | Conclusion | | References | |

Human beings and forests are closely related with each other from the very beginning of human history. Forestry has manifold contributions towards the welfare of mankind. The multiple uses of forest resources have been recognized from the advent of civilization. Forest is a very important renewable resource in Bangladesh. The forestry sector contributes about 1.79% of the total GDP of Bangladesh. . It provides materials like timber, pulp, pole, fuel wood, food, and medicine, habitat for wildlife and primary base for biodiversity. It also provides oxygen, controls or reduces the intensity of the cyclones and tidal surges in the coastal areas of Bangladesh, influences the rainfall, and sustained water yield in the river systems etc. But with the rapid increase in the population, forests have been exploited in an unprecedented way especially in last few decades. Importance of forest for a nation and its people are manifold. It is closely related to socio—economic and ecological aspects of a nation. Loss of forest & forest resource not- only disrupts ecological balance but also hampers the very efforts of economic and social developments of Bangladesh. Increasing pressure on forests from multiple sectors presents significant challenges to forest management practice of Bangladesh. Application of good forest management practices is getting importance with the passage of time. If changes are not made, present limitation will become future scarcities. It is time to change the way we view and manage our forest resource. It is also important to overcome the image crisis of the Forest Department, so that people can trust them. In this paper, I analyze the current trend of forest management practice in Bangladesh & outline some strategies to manage the forest resource of Bangladesh in a sustainable way.

Forest of Bangladesh
Table 1: Forest area in Bangladesh Kind of forest | Area
(mill ha) | | | 1. Forest managed by FD* | 1.53 | * Hill forest | 0.675 | * Natural mangrove forests | 0.601 | * Mangrove plantations | 0.134 | * Plain land sal forests | 0.123 | 2. Unclassified State Forests | 0.67 | 3. Village forests | 0.27 | 4. Social forestry plantation | 0.04 | 5. Plantation in tea & rubber garden | 0.07 | Total | 2.58 |

Note: * FD = Forestry Department of the Ministry of Environment and Forests

Table 2: Forest types of Bangladesh

Forest type | Distribution | Tropical wetevergreen forests | The hill forests of Sylhet and some small pockets of forests in Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts | Tropical wetevergreen forests | Most of the hill forests of Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong Hill Tracts | Tropical moistdeciduous forests | The sal forests situated in the grater districts of Dhaka ,Mymensingh, Dinajpur, Rangpurand Comilla | Fresh waterwetland forests | These sites get fl ooded and/orInundated during monsoon. Thereed land and the hijal-koroj forests of Sylhet haor area | Mangrove forests | All the coastal estuarine tidalforests including Sundarban |

Forest management in Bangladesh
There are two types of Forest Management in Bangladesh. 1. Past Forest Management 2. Present Forest Management

Past forest management: No scientific attempt was made anywhere in the sub-continent to conserve the forests before the advent of British rule. A separate Forest department was created for Bengal in 1876 for the management and preservation of forests in Chittagong and the Sundarbans. However, management plans were prepared much later .At that time; forests were managed primarily for revenue collection under the control of Revenue Department. Only valuable trees were extracted from the forest to get more revenue, keeping in mind the importance of forest, a forest management plan or work plan is prepared for each forest division. Management plan guides forest manager to manage forest & perform their work properly. This plan spells out where to cut trees, how much to cut and what to plant to cover up the cleared up forest etc. on annual basis. After liberation in 1971, a total ban was imposed on the felling of trees, suspending the ongoing management plans. Plantation forestry was continued on a limited scale in denuded areas. Most of the plantations were under different development projects. In 1992 the Bangladeshi Government has developed a participatory forest management and conservation program. The concept of forest management initiated with sustained yield, has transformed to ‘multiple use ‘and is now entering into the era of sustainable integrated management.

Present Forest Management
Now, Forest management is almost totally different from the past in respect of its objectives and philosophy. Present-day forest management objectives are not only to produce timber but also to provide clean air, clean water and a healthy habitat for wildlife and to act as a major harbor of biodiversity and nature based tourism. The present philosophy is to involve people in the management of forest resources and create an environment so that people can feel that they have also a share on trees growing on forestland as well as to improve the living standard of people residing in the vicinity of the forest.
Present-day forest management is primarily guided by the Forestry Master Plan (FMP) completed in 1993 with the assistance of ADB, UNDP and FAO. The objectives of present-day forest management are adopted following the FMP and include:
• Enhancing environmental preservation and conservation;
• Introducing rational forest land use;
• Increasing public participation and benefit from the forest;
• Creating forests on marginal and private lands;
• Institutional strengthening;
• Improving management practices; and
• Improving the efficiency of resource utilization.

Current trend of forest management practice in Bangladesh Forest management practices have been changed and revised from time to time in accordance with Government policy and legal regimes. The status of forest ecosystems has also changed. The present practices of Forest management in Bangladesh are: * Social Forestry: Social Forestry is a forestry which aims at ensuring economic, ecological, and social benefits to the people, particularly to the rural masses and those living below poverty line, specially by involving the beneficiaries right from the planning stage to the harvesting stage. The target of the social forestry is the ‘rural poor’ and not the ‘tree’ alone. There are three fundamental elements of any social forestry project: the forest, the people and the establishment of a link between the two. Social forestry which is an appealing land-use strategy by local poor landless community has been in practice in Bangladesh for more than twenty years. The Government of Bangladesh has been paying much attention and channeling more money towards the social forestry programmes. It has become a highly attractive and acceptable programme to the rural people, especially the landless and small farmers. It has generated sufficient resources and income to raise the rural poor above subsistence level and proved that Social forestry can play a significant role in rural poverty alleviation in Bangladesh. Apart from the creation of resources, employment and income, Social forestry is playing a vital role in preserving the environments. The participants have been benefited with their share, while the Forest Department and NGOs also earned handsome revenue from a small patch of plantation without involving itself in the tedious job of its protection. The system is a unique example for poverty alleviation of the poor farmers and conservation of forest without much involvement for management and protection.

Social forestry projects are working on the following field:

* Participatory Natural Sal Coppice Forest Management * Participatory Buffer Zone Plantation * Homestead Plantation * Institutional Plantation * Urban Plantation * Bamboo, Cane and Murta Plantation * Plantation of Medicinal Plants * Neem Plantation * Coconut Plantation * Agar Plantation * Seedling Distribution * Tree Plantation Movement * Tree Fair * Tree Rally

Social Forestry programs have following objectives: * Meeting the needs for fuel wood, small timber, bamboo, fodder and other minor forest produces on sustained basis. * Providing employment opportunities to the rural population. * Developing cottage industries in rural areas. * Utilizing the available land to the best advantage according to its production capacity. * Providing efficient soil and water conservation. * Improving aesthetic value of the area and to meet the recreational needs of the population.

* Agro forestry: Agro forestry as a scientific and planned approach to land use has emerged recently. It is a sustainable management system for land that increases overall production, combines agricultural crops, tree crops and forest plants and/or animals simultaneously or sequentially, and applies management practices that are compatible with the cultural practices of the local population. The potential land available for agro forestry in the country has been identified to be about 1.51 million ha including 0.27 million ha homesteads land. Forest Department has been practicing this in the name of Taungya in the hill forest for last 100 years. This has long been practiced by the farmers of Bangladesh in haphazard manner. Sal Forest, Forest Department is practicing this system for decades together on a participatory approach to replant the barren forestland and after harvest besides Bangladesh is also experiencing agro forestry in the two hilly villages of Rangunia Thana, Chittagong district.

* Participatory forestry: Participatory forestry refers to processes and mechanisms which enable people with a direct stake in forest resources to be part of decision-making in all aspects of forest management; including policy formulation processes. The ADB funded Community Forestry Project implemented in the seven northern districts from 1981 to 1987 paved the foundation of Participatory forestry in Bangladesh. Community forestry is an evolving branch of forestry whereby the local community plays a significant role in forest management and land use decision making by themselves in the facilitating support of government as well as change agents Community forestry projects in Bangladesh can be classified into three categories based on who initiated the program–the government, an NGO, or the local community. Community forestry has generated sufficient resources and income to raise the rural poor above subsistence levels and proven that it can play a significant role in rural poverty alleviation in Bangladesh. Apart from making resources available and generating employment and income, community forestry is also playing a vital role in conserving the environment. Forest Department has successfully implemented some community forestry programs and others are in development. Thana afforestation and nursery development project, Coastal greenbelt project, Green Belt project are some of them. Besides, BRAC, PROSHIKA, RDRS, POUSH, and TMSS these NGOs are playing pioneer role in this field.

* Sundarbans management practice: Sundarbans is the single largest mangrove forest in the world, bearing numerous values and holding importance from economic, social and ecological perspectives. For about a century the Sundarbans has enjoyed the status of Reserved Forest and has been managed for its productive value. There are three wildlife sanctuaries say Sundarban East, Sundarban South and Sundarban West declared within the larger Sundarbans Reserve Forests. As a reserve forest, government is always providing extra care through state monopolies for its management with the introduction of policies and guidelines. In terms of mangrove biodiversity, the richest forest in the world; the government of Bangladesh declared it as World Heritage Site in 1999 followed by UNESCO’s declaration. Bangladesh, being the signatory of a number of international conventions and treaties, is committed to preserve its resources. Sundarbans Biodiversity Conservation Project is one of them. As a reserve forest, Forest Department (FD) controls overall top down management of the Sundarbans with no involvement of the local people and perceives resource management from their own perspectives. The Sundarbans is very rich for its NWFPs which are under direct control of the Forest department. The FD is managing its resources by addressing the need for wildlife conservation as early management emphasized revenue collection through resource extraction. It focuses on timber production overlooking the contributions of NWFPs to the local livelihood and forest sustainability. The Forest department controls fishery resources through allocation of permits for fishing. FD treats the forest as a source of revenue where resources are over-exploited and not ideal for its sustainable management. * Development of RIMS: The Bangladesh Forest Department established Resource Information Management System (RIMS) to produce reports and maps relevant to all aspects of the management plan, to provide information on present, predicted yields from relevant operations, to work as an aid to intensive forest resource management of all Forest Divisions through management plans and long-term planning in forestry. The FD developed the RIMS a lot now. It has adopted Geographical Information System (GIS), bestowed with modern GIS setup with state of the art and technology, software, computers, plotters, digitizers and experienced personnel as well.

With all these currently Bangladesh forest management is also practicing mangrove afforestation on newly accreted land in the coastal area, conservation area management to preserve wildlife habitat and biodiversity & ECO-TOURISM
Strategies to manage forest resource of Bangladesh in a sustainable way:
Though Bangladesh is doing forest management practices but the current trend of forest management practice is not enough to manage the forest resource in a sustainable way. The following strategies can be proved helpful to manage the forest resource of Bangladesh in a sustainable way.
1)A Collaborative management of forest resources should build to manage the forest resource which will refers a situation in which two or more social actors negotiate, define and guarantee among themselves a fair sharing of management functions, entitlements and responsibilities for a given territory, area or a set of forest resources.

2) A Co-management committee should be developed to stop illegal operation like felling trees in the reserve forests or protected areas which will consist of people from various strata of the society. Poor people constitute an overwhelming majority of the population in all the five protected areas so they can easily identify the illegal operations happening there since people who are directly involved or linked with such operation are very powerful, socially and economically. So, to counter such forces there is a need to develop an institutional structure or a co management committee.

3) Dividing the forest into sectors, form informal action groups and assign a block to each group with specific tasks aimed at protecting the forest and conserving the bio-diversity, assist and taking appropriate actions to help them in performing their tasks effectively &developing a positive competition among the groups, which could have positive impact in the long run.

4) A uniform, small group of villagers with members having high incentive to save forests performs well. The FD should provide room for villagers to decide on forest management duties and harvest options that best reflect their labor input, dependence on the forest, and larger market opportunities.

5) The people responsible for assessing forest management areas on the basis of ecological, social, and silvicultural practices should work closely with the people actually responsible for day-to-day activities in the forest to manage the forest resource more effectively.

6) Should provide alternative livelihoods for those whose livelihood is dependent on the forest to save the forest & forest resource from being destroyed.
7) Should undertake actions to allow natural regeneration of the forest.

8) Should undertake appropriate programs to protect and conserve Biodiversity.

9) Should take appropriate actions to protect endangered animal species.

10) Materialize government’s decision: * to conserve wild animals and implement government’s ban against shooting of birds, including migrating birds * To stop burning timber/wood in brickfields, and implement government’s order on brick-burning (Control) law. * To take actions against cutting hills and collecting sand * To stop use of polyethylene.

11) Appropriate actions should be taken to control vehicles polluting environment through emission of black smoke and loud honking.

12) Sustainable harvesting technologies for timber and non-timber products should be made for managing forest resource in a sustainable way.

13) Should increase Industrial, agricultural and domestic technologies for reducing the pressure on forest.

14) Sundarbans mangrove forest is the largest single tract of mangrove forest in the world but this is the least studied forest in Bangladesh so a separate department should be developed to study only the Sundarbans to manage the resources in a well manner.

15) Prohibiting of low-technology shrimp farming from further expansion on forest lands.

16) Forest department of Bangladesh should involve people’s participation in managing the forest resource of Sundarbans.

17) Massive forest extension activities could be a demanding strategy.

18) Adopting Afforestation and reforestation as the best option, as well as for conserving the existing carbon sink offered by Bangladesh for mitigating global warming.

19) Should undertake afforestation activities involving community people, organized poor in particular, along the roadsides, railway tracts, khash land, and other degraded areas with the advice and support of the forest department following the benefit sharing principles of social forestry

20) Carbon trading can also be a key element for sustainable forest management in Bangladesh. Ensuring proper compensation of adversely affected groups, promoting and maintaining transparency &public awareness should be developed for the design of a carbon trade arrangement.

21) Identifying the nation’s priority forested watersheds and link with existing forest health conditions.

22) To build alliance with key stakeholders like political elite, timber traders, sawmill owners, brickfield owners, furniture shop owners, BDR, police, etc. should develop their awareness through close interactions and structured sessions, and change their mind set through continuous motivation and concurrent communication campaigns.
23) Motivating brickfield owners and other resource user groups not to assist in illegal extraction of forest resources and generating strong public opinion against such actions so that they conform to public demand.

24)As Bangladesh has a prospect for future participatory forestry programs the vast barren lands of the hill districts should be brought under forest cover immediately and the land tenurial conflicts between the tribal people and the Forest Department should be resolved immediately.

25) For effective participatory forestry, efforts should be made to incorporate alternative short term income generating activities in the participatory forestry program. Alternative employment generation activities can also be incorporated in this line which will help to deter people from tropical deforestation and current participatory forestry can be improved
26) In designing social forestry schemes, the orientation should be such that it benefits weaker sections of the society. In short, for ‘social’ forestry, the implementing agency needs to have an understanding of societal factors of the community it elicits participation from and know ways to sustain the program.

27) For sustainable forest resources management deforestation awareness campaigns must be implemented

28) Should adopt innovative approaches to address forest degradation in the participatory forestry programs involving the local habitants to raise, maintain and take care of the plantations.

29) Eco-tourism only allows eco-friendly behavior with nature during visiting the site. Areas should be improved eco-tourism facilities & people should work wholeheartedly and collectively to make the area safe and attractive to national and international tourists and work with the FD to ensure proper upkeep of the areas.

30) As the forestry sector of Bangladesh suffers from lack of sufficient research, the forestry master plan should place emphasis on in depth scientific research on these forests. Management authority should initiate degraded forest restoration in a pilot scale with scientific research instead of initiating a massive scale forest restoration program without any research.

31) A total survey and inventory of forest resources should be prepared for managing the forest resource in a sustainable way.

32) Linking people with national and private sectors for access to information and knowledge systems will help to enhance capacity at individual and farm levels that will ultimately support reforestation.

33) A socio-economic survey should be conducted before each forestry project goes into operational phase and the findings should reach among others the local people who are to be impacted by the project.

34) Lack of sufficient flow of information increases the chances of misunderstanding. Local people who are to be affected by forestry projects should have the right and access to information on such projects.

35) As Bangladesh have experienced severe political instability & most of the time management authority follows the Government’s political priority instead of the objectives laid down in the master plan. As forestry operations require long term interventions, a political commitment is prerequisite for making the forest management efforts sustainable.

36) To manage forest resource in a sustainable way forest certification, policy makers must also focus on institutional development, professional skill development, use of indigenous technology, long-term financial support and use of appropriate and modern technology. These factors/goals are especially important in developing countries where effective, enforceable forest policies have historically been lacking.

37) NGOs need to show greater interest in protecting the remnants of the' natural forest and the forest communities as well with a proper approach towards integrated human development.

38) Sustainable forest management programs must be carried out in a ways that reflect local, regional, and national priorities. Nationwide awareness focusing on the values of forests, restoration needs, national, regional and international obligations, access to resources, benefit sharing from ecosystem services and, policy and legal reforms should be raised in all sectors of society.

39) While developing forestry programs at public, private or participatory levels, emphasis on species selection should be linked up with local demands like furniture, brick field, rubber estates, tobacco curing, and fodder and fuel wood production.

40) Should undertake awareness building and motivational campaigns within the project sites using different communication techniques to make people aware of the negative consequences of forest depletion and involve schools children, scouts, girls’ guides to undertake specific actions at the project sites.

41) Communications campaign should be adopt which make effective use of regular internet and web-based systems, and then amplify its messages through the new web-based social networks. Sustainable forest messages must be made relevant at the local community level, where people live, care and come together, building sustainable forest ideas into local plans

42) Forest department should be developed financially to operate their programs to manage the forest resource of Bangladesh.

43) Establishing friendly relationship between the forest department and the local people.

44) Should Energize, bind people on a common slogan to manage the forest resource of Bangladesh in a sustainable way.

The journey to manage forest resource in a sustainable way is not a linear and sequential process – the advancement in one realm cannot await completion of another. Unless we find a framework in which forests and people can live together, one or the other will be destroyed. Experiences from Bangladesh show that community involvement in forest development and management has increased, but communities do not always fully benefit because they often lack the legal recourse to deal with dispute resolution. Forest officials’ attitude toward community-based initiatives is hindering proper implementation of many community forestry programs. Furthermore, widespread corruption and poor governance in the forestry sector is hindering the progress of social forestry programs. Management at the local level is necessary to manage the forest resources in a sustainable way. Management requires the active participation, integration and coordination of every stakeholder, from planning to implementation. The authorities need to be more cautious about afforesting the degraded and denuded forest land with exotic species. Both parties should be drawn closer through training and information dissemination. I think besides the current trend of forest practices we should adopt the above mentioned strategies to manage the forest resource in a sustainable way.

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* Kabir, D.M.H. and J. Hossain, 2008. Resuscitating the Sundarbans: Customary Use of Biodiversity and Traditional Cultural Practices in Bangladesh. 1st Edn.Unnayan Onneshan--The Innovators, Dhaka, pp: 98.

* WB, 1991. Bangladesh Environment Strategy Review. 1st Edn. World Bank, Washington DC, pp: 73.


* Champion HG, Seth SK (1968) A revised survey of the forest types of India. Government of India Publication * Choudhury JK (2003) National forest policy review: Bangladesh. In: Enters T, Qiang M, Leslie * RN (eds) An overview of forest policies in Asia. EC-FAO partnership program (2000–2002).FAO, Rome, pp 5–46 * Chowdhury QI (1999) Bangladesh: country overview. In: Chowdhury QI (ed) Bangladesh state of environment report 1999. Forum of Environmental Journalists of Bangladesh, Dhaka, pp 1–14 * GOB (1979) Bangladesh national forest policy 1979. Ministry of Agriculture, Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka * GOB (1995) Development perspectives of the forestry sector master plan. Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka * GOB (1999) Bangladesh national water policy. Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka * GOB (2001) Banglapedia: national encyclopedia of Bangladesh. Cited 01 Jan 2007 * GOB (2002) Forest statistics (unpublished). Bangladesh Forest Department, Dhaka * UNFF (2006) History and milestones of global forest policy. Cited 10 Jan 2007 * * Bangladesh forest department, * * * Participatory Forestry Newsletter (PFN). 2005. Participatory Forestry Newsletter, Bulletin No. 4,September 2005, Quarterly Newsletter of Bangladesh Forest Department * Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2006. Global Forest Resource Assessment 2005. FAO Forestry Paper No. 147. FAO, Rome. Available:

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