The endangered forests of Bangladesh: why the process of implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity is not working

Author(s): Muzaffar SB, Islam MA, Kabir DS, Khan MH, Ahmed FU, et al.


Bangladesh has been a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) although implementation of the convention has been poor. We independently assessed the extent to which the program of work (POW) of the CBD has been implemented in Bangladesh by carrying out workshops involving local communities, conservation organizations, universities, and government departments involved in forest conservation. Our analyses indicate that there is little or no understanding of the ecosystem approach that is central to the CBD; forestry practices remain primitive and largely ineffective; forest destruction continues at high rates; restoration of degraded forests are minimal; protected areas are small and ineffective; indigenous peoples’ rights are nominal and are outside any legislation; threats to species have been identified, but little is being done to reduce threats; there is no work on pollution and its mitigation; some work has been done to adapt to climate change; the institutional environment does not enable effective implementation of the ecosystem approach; laws and policies are ineffective; institutional capacity is poor; government will is limited or totally lacking; and knowledge base remains poor, although reporting has improved and various strategic plans have been formulated but never implemented. Thus, the implementation of CBD in Bangladesh requires systemic changes in policy at the institutional levels as well as complementary changes in attitudes and avenues of alternate income generation.

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