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  • Sustainable Coastal Zone Management of Bangladesh

    A scoping report for Mangroves for the Future


  • Sustainable Coastal Zone Management of Bangladesh A Scoping Report for Mangroves for the Future

    January 2011

    Produced by MFF with the financial support of Norad and Sida

    Prepared by

    IUCN Bangladesh Country Office


    Enamul Mazid Khan Siddique Ahana Adrika


    Remeen Firoz Dr. Istiak Sobhan

    Photo used in the cover: “Saint Martin’s; the only island with coral reef in Bangladesh” © Ahana Adrika 2010


  • Acknowledgement

    This report adopted informations and methodology from various documents of the Project Development Office of Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (PDO-ICZMP) and Coastal and Wetland Biodiversity Management Project (CWBMP). Existing national policies, strategies and plans have also been used. The core idea was to asses the prospects of MFF in line with the national priorities of Bangladesh. However, lack of data and contradiction among data sources has been encountered by the study team especially concerning ecosystems and biodiversity. There has not been large scale comprehensive survey of biodiversity throughout the whole coastal zone in last ten years. Moreover, Population Census 2011 report has not yet been published. So, the current analysis of livelihoods and human conditions has used the data of the previous census. A trend of population increase in Bangladesh contends that situation may be worse than the data, especially considering the number of lives under threat of various natural hazards.

    Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) is a comprehensive concept with overwhelming scopes. It’s tough to combine all the relevant features and yet keep the report within a smart page limit. Smooth editing by Ms. Remeen Firoz and Dr. Istiak Sobhan has made the report precise and communicative. We must also acknowledge Mr. Hasibur Rahman and M. M. Abdullah-Al-Mamun for helping on the sections on critical habitats. We would also like to thank Maeve Nightingale, Coordinator, Regional Coastal & Marine Programme, IUCN Asia Reginal Office, for providing us with her insights and thoughtful comments on the report.

    ii Sustainable Coastal Zone Management of Bangladesh: A Scoping Report for Mangroves for the Future (MFF) Project. January 2011

  • Executive Summary

    The coastal zone of Bangladesh consists of the 19 coastal districts. This area has further been divided into exposed and interior coast considering degree of vulnerabilities to disasters rooted in the seawards direction. More than 35 million people live in the 47,201 sq. km area of this coast. This report tries to identify identify the scopes and prospects of improving lives of the coastal communities through the implementation of Mangroves for the Future (MFF) initiative in Bangladesh. An overview of the countries coastal biodiversity, major environmental issues and threats of disasters, livelihoods of the coastal communities, gaps in the current institutional and legal arrangements of coastal zone management, ongoing and completed initiatives in the coastal zone, and an analysis of MFF PoWs in relation to the priorities of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has been given in this report.

    Among the 25 bio-ecological zones of the country, 11 are wholly situated in the coastal zone, 4 others have parts of them in the coast. The countries coastal ecosystems include mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass beds, sandy beaches, sand dunes, Inter-tidal and sub- tidal wetlands and mudflats, flood plain, salt Marshes, estuaries, lagoons, peninsula, offshore islands, tropical hill forest etc. Major part of the world’s largest mangrove “Sundarbans” is one of its key ecosystems. But these ecosystems are degrading alarmingly due to various external pressures especially due to pollution and exploitation. However, the country has developes a wide network of protected areas in the coast. There are 10 wildlife sanctuaries, 5 national parks, 17 fish sanctuaries, 3 ECAs, and 1 Ramsar site in the coastal zone.

    The coastal zone contributes highly to the national development. There are 2 sea ports and 3 EPZs, 3 gas fields in the coast and several gas blocks in the EEZ. There is known stock of other minerals in the coast too. There is significant industrial development in the coast which is increasing. Fishery is the second largest contributing to the national GDP.

    The major environmental issues faced by the country includes cyclones and storm surge, land erosion, flood, drainage congestion, salinity intrusion, drought, earthquake, shortage of drinking water & arsenic contamination,ecosystem degradation, pollution and climate change. The country is repeatedly struck by fierce cyclones leaving davastations for human beings as well as biodiversity. Changes in land use mainly due to the increased pressure of population on the limited resources are posing threat to the coastal ecosystems. NAPA (2005) has identified potential threat to the protected areas and biodiversity due to climate change. An assessment done after the 2004 Indian oceane Tsunami shows that the impacts will go beyond the coastal zone and may even reach Dhaka, the capital of the country.

    Major livelihoods in the coastal zone are agriculture, fishery, salt farming, shrimp culture, industrial and agricultural labour, and extraction of forest resources etc. The urban areas in Khulna and Chittagong have diversity in livelihoods due to the growth of the service sector. GDP is high in these two areas thab the rest of the coastal zone. However, GDP of the coastal zone is lower than the national GDP. Poverty is very common in the coast, 29 % of the people are extreme poors. Livelihoods activities of the people’s dependent on natural resources are degrading the coastal ecosystems and invading spaces of biodiversity.

    Women of the coast are disadvantaged socioeconomcally. They are deprived in terms of wage and life chances. Women comprise less than half of the paid workforce. However, all the national policies and plans emphesise on prioritising women in the development activities and gender mainstreaming.

    iii Sustainable Coastal Zone Management of Bangladesh: A Scoping Report for Mangroves for the Future (MFF) Project. January 2011

  • The institutional setting is strong in the coastal zone. A wide network of Government and non-government organizations and agencies are active with different mendates in the coast. However, there is a gap of proper coordination. There is no single agency for overall coastal and marine zone management. A framework has been proposed by the Coastal Development Strategy with a central Programme Coordinating Unit at WARPO and District and Upazila Development Coordinating Committees throughout the coastal zone. There is a need of capacity development for the framework to be effective. Many research institutes are active concerning various aspects of the coastal zone.

    Bangladesh has a Coastal Zone Policy that addresses the issues of ICZM and calls for integrating coastal development in the overall national development programmes with high priority. This policy is supported by a comprehensive policy framework of sectoral policies and a Coastal Development Strategy. PDO-ICZMP identified some common themes and gaps within this framework which has been further updated by this report. Coastal zone has been prioritized in different national plans such as Bangladesh Climate Change Strategic Action Plan, NAPA, NBSAP, NCS etc due to its environmental and economic importance and vulnerability.

    ICZM as a concept is quite new to the development context of the country. However, initiatives for it have been there since the 70s. However, Bangladesh has many success stories and experience in the coastal zone which can be shared through MFF. The Forest Department has developed a coastal green belt through social forestry. Coastal Wetland and Biodiversity Management Project has developed management plans for ecologically critical area management. Bangladesh has a long experience in comprehensive disaster management and community based resilience. IUCN Bangladesh has been active in building nature based solution to climate change in the coastal zone through piloting salinity resilient rice variety, community based mangrove restoration, and awareness programmes.

    All the MFF Programmes of Action (PoWs) are in line with the national priorities set by different policies and strategic papers. The gaps within institutional framework and needs for capacity development indicates the scopes for MFFs involvement in Bangladesh. A proposed National Coordinating Body (NCB) is under process of official endorsement of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Meanwhile, a draft indicative action plan has been prepared through the discussions of FD and IUCN Bangladesh Country Office with relevant stakeholders. The NCB is hoped to be endorsed by September 2011 and a National Strategy and Action Plan (NSAP) will be developed by December 2011. The goal is to achieve full membership of MFF.

    iv Sustainable Coastal Zone Management of Bangladesh: A Scoping Report for Mangroves for the Future (MFF) Project. January 2011

  • Abbreviations and Acronyms

    ADAB Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh

    BADC Bangladesh Agricultural D