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Resource-dependent livelihoods in the Sundarbans

The paper ‘Resource-dependent livelihoods in the Sundarbans’ (January 2010) is written by Md. Tamimul Alam Chowdhury, Research Officer (Environment & Forest) at Bangladesh Water Development Board. Center for River Basin Organizations and Management, Solo, Central Java, Indonesia, published this paper in CRBOM Small Publications Series No. 18.

Below quote is from the paper summary:

The present paper describes an example from the Sundarbans, Bangladesh, of a community living in a balance with a surrounding mangrove forest, upon which it depends for subsistence and livelihoods. The balance is fragile, because excessive exploitation can undermine the resource availability. At the same time, due to prevailing poverty, there is an urgent need of supplementary or alternative livelihoods and income generation.
The Sundarbans is the World’s largest continuous mangrove area, covering some 10,000 km2 of land and water within the Ganges Delta, with some 62 percent located in Bangladesh and the remainder in the Indian state of West Bengal. The Sundarbans forms a uniquely rich ecosystem, famous for its tiger population (with perhaps more than 600 individuals), but with some 40 other mammal species, hundreds of bird species, as well as a wealth of reptiles, shellfish and marine turtles.
Exemplified by one community, Southkhali, typical occupations are fisheries, farming, labour, trade and services, with half of the households depending mainly on the mangrove resources for their livelihoods, and the remaining ones to some extent.
Several development initiatives are in progress, and more are needed, in pursuit of sustainable resource utilization and an overruling need of poverty alleviation.
Good management – and good knowledge – are required to assure a win-win situation rather than a development where both the mangrove forest and its communities stand to lose.

Download the entire paper Resource-dependent livelihoods in the Sundarbans

This knowledge source was provided by Elisabeth Fahrni Mansur, Training & Education Coordinator at Bangladesh Cetacean Diversity Project/Wildlife Conservation Society.

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Posted in Bangladesh, Development, Education and qualification, Performance and management, Sustainability.


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