Protected Areas of Bangladesh

Author(s): Bangladesh Forest Department


Despite of being an exceptionally biodiversity rich country, the forest coverage of Bangladesh is declining at an alarming rate. Declaration and management of protected areas in this regard is one of the efforts from government side to tackle the loss of biodiversity. The limited numbers of forest-protected areas (FPA), established to conserve the dwindling forest biodiversity of the country with high pressure on them for timber, non-timber forest products, and fuelwood - makes their management challenging. Moreover, most of the FPAs of the country declared only in the recent decades with very limited infrastructure, manpower and policy support for monitoring and governance. Some people-centred approaches for the management of FPAs and alternative livelihood and income generation subsidies although made available through a few project interventions, their number are still inadequate and performance remains less than satisfactory. This chapter provides a critical review of the FPAs of Bangladesh looking at their role in biodiversity conservation, management challenges, and key lessons from previous management interventions with recommendations for the future. It has been revealed that the FPA system of Bangladesh still poorly represents the diverse forest ecosystems with relatively small forest size and lack of corridors for the movement of wildlife. There are ample opportunities to render co-management of FPAs an effective strategy to minimize the conflicts in FPAs management in the country. It is, however, important to ensure the access of local forest-dependent people to different alternative income generating options that may adequately support their livelihoods.

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