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Status and socio-economic significance of wetland in the tropics: a study from Bangladesh

MP Rana (1)   , MSH Chowdhury (2), S Sohel MSI Akhter (1), M Koike (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 2, Issue 5, Pages 172-177 (2009)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0512-002
Published: Oct 15, 2009 - Copyright © 2009 SISEF

Research Articles


This study was carried out in the adjacent communities of the Hakaluki haor, the largest inland freshwater wetland of Bangladesh to explore their socio-economic status and haor-based livelihood dependency. Hakaluki haor is a poverty stricken region with 37% households falling into extreme poor group having monthly income of Tk 2 000.00 only. More than half of the community view Hakaluki haor as the vital source of livelihoods. The surrounding community is dependent on the haor in varying degree (15% totally dependent, 32% moderately and 53% less) with a variety of livelihood activities like fishing and related profession (32%), duck rearing (29%), cattle rearing (28%), fuel wood collection (6%), sand extraction (3%) and reed collection (2%). The average annual household incomes from fishing of naturally available fish, pisciculture and NTFPs collection are Tk 21 701.35, Tk 31 524.83 and Tk 2 704.80, respectively. The haor serves as the source of fuel for cooking to a majority of the community (48%). The respondents identified over-exploitation of fish resources, use of excessive pesticides and gradual increase of human settlement in and around the haor as the most threatened events. With the designation as Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) by the government, immediate attempts should be taken to ensure sustainable utilization of the haor resources. Development of integrated management plan with a provision of the participation of local stakeholders may become the possible way of conserving this wetland.This study was carried out in the adjacent communities of the Hakaluki haor, the largest inland freshwater wetland of Bangladesh to explore their socio-economic status and haor-based livelihood dependency. Hakaluki haor is a poverty stricken region with 37% households falling into extreme poor group having monthly income of Tk 2 000.00 only. More than half of the community view Hakaluki haor as the vital source of livelihoods. The surrounding community is dependent on the haor in varying degree (15% totally dependent, 32% moderately and 53% less) with a variety of livelihood activities like fishing and related profession (32%), duck rearing (29%), cattle rearing (28%), fuel wood collection (6%), sand extraction (3%) and reed collection (2%). The average annual household incomes from fishing of naturally available fish, pisciculture and NTFPs collection are Tk 21 701.35, Tk 31 524.83 and Tk 2 704.80, respectively. The haor serves as the source of fuel for cooking to a majority of the community (48%). The respondents identified over-exploitation of fish resources, use of excessive pesticides and gradual increase of human settlement in and around the haor as the most threatened events. With the designation as Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) by the government, immediate attempts should be taken to ensure sustainable utilization of the haor resources. Development of integrated management plan with a provision of the participation of local stakeholders may become the possible way of conserving this wetland.

  Keywords


Livelihood, Wetland, NTFPs, Hakaluki haor, Bangladesh, Asia

Authors’ address

(1)
MP Rana
S Sohel MSI Akhter
Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet-3114 (Bangladesh)
(2)
MSH Chowdhury
M Koike
Forest Policy Laboratory, Department of Forest Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Shinshu University, 8304 Minamiminow-Mura, Nagano-Ken 399-4598 (Japan)

Corresponding author

Citation

Rana MP, Chowdhury MSH, Sohel MSI Akhter S, Koike M (2009). Status and socio-economic significance of wetland in the tropics: a study from Bangladesh. iForest 2: 172-177. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0512-002

Academic Editor

Marco Borghetti

Paper history

Received: May 07, 2009
Accepted: Jul 21, 2009

First online: Oct 15, 2009
Publication Date: Oct 15, 2009
Publication Time: 2.87 months

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