Map of Bangladesh

Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is the world's eighth most populous country. Most of Bangladesh is covered by the Bengal delta, the largest delta on Earth. 17% of the country is covered by forests and 12% is covered by hill systems. The country's biodiversity includes a vast array of plant and wildlife, including critically endangered Bengal tigers, the national animal. In southeastern Bangladesh, experiments have been done since the 1960s to 'build with nature'. Construction of cross dams has induced a natural accretion of silt, creating new land. With Dutch funding, the Bangladeshi government began promoting the development of this new land in the late 1970s. The effort has become a multi-agency endeavor, building roads, culverts, embankments, cyclone shelters, toilets and ponds, as well as distributing land to settlers (Wikipedia).

Quick Facts

Land use

Total land area
13,017,000 hectares
Area of forest
11.0% of land area
Area of agriculture
69.9% of land area
Area of permanent cropland
6.4% of land area

People

Population
161.0 million
Population growth
1.2% annually
Rural population
66.0%

Economics and development

GDP from agriculture
16.1%
GDP per person
1211.70 USD

Climate change and biodiversity

CO2 emissions
0.44 metric tonnes per person
Threatened animal and plant species
148
Bonn Challenge Commitments
Goal year
2020
Date committed
Area committed
750,000 hectares
Potential economic benefit
236 million USD
Potential climate benefit
0.07 GtCO2 sequestered

The Asia Bonn Challenge event, held in May 2017, brought together twelve Asian countries to identify ways to collaborate on forest landscape restoration (FLR) in support of the Bonn Challenge. The event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of South Sumatra in cooperation with IUCN. Along with pledges from Pakistan, Mongolia and Sri Lanka during the same event, Bangladesh made a pledge to the Bonn Challenge that helped to tip the Bonn Challenge over its 150 million hectare milestone.

National Restoration Targets
Total restoration target
140,000 hectares
UNFCCC NC5 and NC6
Second National Communication of Bangladesh to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2012)

Potential Adaptation Measures (pg. 159):

  • Maintain and manage protected areas and ecologically critical zones to conserve threatened species.
  • Create buffer zones or migration corridors for ecosystems. Protective corridors can allow the migration of plants and animals following pole-ward shifts in habitat distributions due to changes in temperature and precipitation. 
  • Implement afforestation and reforestation programmes and increase area coverage to reduce dependency on primary forests. Enhance afforestation programmes in the reserve forest areas.
  • Promote natural regeneration in degraded forest lands and develop the social forestry sector by selecting appropriate species and by selecting proper placement for safe environment perspective.
  • Afforestation including expansion of coastal greenbelt to protect the mangroves and coastal wetlands.

The Multi-Donor Trust Fund evolved into the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF), with contributions from four main donors: the UK, Denmark, Sweden,  and the EU. Switzerland has subsequently contributed US$ 3.8 million. Two [projects] have been approved for development into full project proposals: a US $22.8 million proposal submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture on ‘Agricultural Adaptation in Climatic Risk Prone Areas of Bangladesh - Drought, Flood and Saline prone areas; and a US$ 24.95 million proposal by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, on ‘Afforestation and Reforestation for Climate Change Risk Reduction in Hilly and Coastal Areas’ (pg. 209)

Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects
5823 - Establishing National Land Use and Land Degradation Profile toward mainstreaming SLM practices in sector policies (2014 - duration 36 months)

Afforestation in the Northern Region (pg. 9-10):

  • Overall Objective: To check desertification in the Northern zone through development of sustainable source of surface water and plant biodiversity
  • Specific objectives are:
    • To create numbers of surface water reservoir using degraded water bodies to promote sustainable utilization for facilitating irrigation, domestic use, fish cultivation etc.
    • To increase tree cover for biodiversity conservation and wildlife habitat restoration, supply of raw materials, contribute to the local energy needs etc.
    • To create sustainable employment generation for the poor women, landless population, destitute, under privileged young generation etc.
    • The current project will draw lessons at the community level on engaging local communities on sustainable natural resource management and will also ensure sharing of experiences with the national team on various best practices and approaches that the project will implement including the local SLM funds and village land use plans. In addition, the project will also establish working linkages and coordinate with projects and programs funded by other international donors.  
5456 - Ecosystem-based approaches to Adaptation (EbA) in the drought-prone Barind Tract and Haor "wetland" Area (2013; duration - 48 Months)

The Dinajpur and Bogra districts of the Barind Tract are included in the Development of Rural Communication Network for Marketing of Agricultural Products Project (hereafter referred to as the ‘Communication Network Project’). The main objective of this project is to construct feeder roads to remote areas to promote a rural communication network. A further objective of this baseline project is to prevent desertification through an afforestation programme alongside the feeder roads. The project began in July 2012 and will run until June 2017, with a total budget of ~ USD 52,740,000 funded by the GoB (pg. 7).​​​​​​​

UNDP-led project entitled ‘Community based adaptation to Climate Change through Coastal Afforestation in Bangladesh’, funded by the LDCF (USD 3.3 million) from 2009-2013, and aims to enhance resilience of coastal communities as well as introduce new options for income generation (pg. 15).

4700 - Integrating Community-based Adaptation into Afforestation and Reforestation Programmes in Bangladesh (2011; duration - 48 months)

Project Component 1: Integration of community-based adaptation principles and actions into the design and rollout of new and ongoing afforestation programmes (pg. 1)

  • Expected Outputs: 
    • Community-based adaptation and livelihood diversification measures, such as integrated fish/fruit/forest- farming, diversified livestock rearing and salt tolerant/flood resistant crop farming are integrated with baseline afforestation and reforestation activities in 19 districts 
    • Diversified trial plantations of up to 10 mangrove and non-mangrove varieties are established in 4 districts to increase the adaptive capacity of greenbelt structures on newly accreted lands 

The project will transform the way greenbelt afforestation and reforestation programmes in Bangladesh are designed and developed. It will ensure that new afforestation programmes are made resilient to anticipated climate change risks through a combination of (a) planting of climate resilient mangrove and non-mangrove varieties, (b) adoption of new planting and management techniques by communities that take climate change risks into account; and (c) greater and continued community participation in the management and long-term protection of new greenbelt structures, in partnership with relevant sub-national government entities (pg. 3). 

Investment Project 2 of the Strategic Programme for Climate Resilience (SPCR), which will focus on the rehabilitation of embankments and small-scale afforestation measures to stabilize these embankments (target areas yet to be determined) (pg. 13)

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Country Profiles – NBSAPs, National Reports (5th)
National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2021 (2016)

20 national targets (pg. xv):

  • By 2021, Bangladesh’s 3% area under terrestrial ecosystem (forests), 3% area under inland wetlands and coastal ecosystems and 5% of total marine area will come under PAs or ECAs with development and implementation of management plan for these areas
  • By 2021, initiate implementation of restoration plan for degraded ecosystems, especially, forest lands and wetlands for addressing climate change mitigation, adaptation and combating desertification
    • Action: Take project to initiate implementation of restoration restoration plan for degraded plan for degraded forest ecosystems (pg. 69).
Fifth National Report of Bangladesh to the Convention on Biological Diversity (2015)

NBSAP Strategy:

  • Strategy (pg. 76-77): Restore ecosystems and rehabilitate endangered species. 
    • Actions:
      • Short term (0-3 years): Develop national systems and plans for conservation and management of Ecologically Critical Areas. 
      • Long term (8-10 years): Incorporate ecosystem conservation efforts into the national disaster management plan implementation
  • Strategy (pg. 77-78): Restore ecosystems and rehabilitate endangered species. 
    • Actions:   
      • Short term (0-3 years): Create and launch initiatives for restoration of degraded ecosystems
      • Medium term (4-7 years): Develop mechanisms to halt degradation and restore ecosystems as much as possible
      • Long term (8-10 years): Encourage afforestation and reforestation programmes with indigenous species 
    • Activities Reported in the Fourth National Report (MoEF, 2010): Tangua haor management plan and CBRMP have been working to restore wetland and swamp forest ecosystems
    • Accomplishments during the Fifth National Report (2010-2015): Afforestation and reforestation by the Bangladesh Forest Department includes indigenous species. 
  • Strategy (pg. 81-82): Promote use of traditional knowledge for conservation, use and protection of the local communities’ intellectual property rights 
    • Actions in NBSAP: Promote forestry activities with a focus sustainable harvesting and management of fuel wood and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) by supporting activities such as Joint Forest Management and development of Community Wood lots etc. (creating equitable access among gender, class and caste to forest resources)
  • Achievements under Strategic Goals of Aichi Biodiversity Targets 2020:
    • Target Statement: By 2020, ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being, are restored and safeguarded, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities, and the poor and vulnerable. 
      • Achievements until 2015 (pg. 95):
        • Significant progress has been made in this area. Major ecosystems, like Tanguar Haor, Hakaluki Haor, Hail Haor, Sonadia Island, Lawachara Forest, Teknaf Forest, Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary, Modhupur National Park, and Community Conserved Areas in the Chittagong Hill Tracts are examples of steps taken to restore and safeguard focusing co-management and community-based natural resource management approaches.
        • Substantial portion of plain land forest Ecosystems has already been restored through implementing social forestry system with the involvement of women, poor and vulnerable people of local communities as beneficiaries.  
    • Target Statement: By 2020, ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced, through conservation and restoration, including restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification. 
      • Achievements until 2015 (pg. 95):
        • More than 15% of the plain land forests have been restored. 
        • Government has taken initiatives to restore the ecosystems of hill forests through massive enrichment plantation, natural regeneration and introduction of Social Forestry in the hilly districts of Bangladesh.
Other (National Strategies and Plans, Rural Development Programs, Natura 2000 areas, projects, and goals)
Restoration target
140,000 hectares
7th Five Year Plan (FY2016 - FY2020): Accelerating Growth, Empowering Citizens (2016)

Strategies and Policies of the Forest Sub-Sector (pg. 295-6):

  • An estimated 50,000 ha land of hill forest and 5,000 ha of plain land forest will be planted during the plan period. Productivity of plantations will have to be increased. Multi-purpose trees will receive special attention to increase the productivity of land under forest. 
  • Necessary programmes will be taken to improve quality and increase tree density of the existing forests and older plantations through ‘enrichment planting’ and ‘assisted natural regeneration’.  
  • Plantation activities in coastal zone will be intensified with the aim of strengthening adaptation and mitigation initiatives against climate change impacts. Due attention will be given for selecting suitable plant species. 
  • An estimated 50,000 ha land of hill forest and 5,000 ha of plain land forest will be planted during the plan period. Productivity of plantations will have to be increased. Multi-purpose trees will receive special attention to increase the productivity of land under forest. 
  • The existing coastal afforestation and enrichment plantation will also be continued. The existing mature coastal plantations will remain for reinforcing green belt. An area of 30,000 ha will be planted and replanted in the coastal areas. 
  • The protected area (PA) coverage will be increased to 15 percent of the total forest land during the 7th Five Year Plan period. 

Key objectives under the 7th Five Year Plan (405-8):

  • To eradicate extreme poverty and achieve national food security
    • Promote multiple land use technology like agro-forestry to ensure increased productivity and supplement agricultural production;
    • Continue and expand people-oriented afforestation Programme for poverty alleviation and increased employment opportunities including women 
  • To achieve tree cover over 20% of the land surface (with tree density > 70%) and ecologically healthy native forests are restored and protected in all public forest lands (about 16% of land) 
    • Conserve Sundarbans mangrove forest without any further deforestation and forest degradation  
    • Ensure no forest land shall be converted for non-forest use 
THE SIXTH FIVE YEAR PLAN (2011-1015) (2011)

Forestry Management Policies, Strategy and Programs (Part 1, pg. 199-200):

  • An estimated 250,000.00 ha. land of hill forest and 7000.00 ha. of plain land forest will be planted during the plan period. Productivity of plantations will have to be increased manifold. Multi-purpose trees will receive special attention to increase the productivity of land under forest.
  • The existing coastal aforestation and enrichment plantation will also be continued. The existing mature coastal plantations will remain. Some 40,000 ha. will be planted and replanted in the coastal areas. SRF is presently engulfed with severe ecological problems. Special attention will be given to the Sundarbans Reserve Forest (SRF) for its biodiversity conservation. 
  • Presently, only 1.70 percent of the total land area falls under protected land area category which is about 10 percent of the total forest land. The protected area will be increased to 15 percent of the total forest land during the Sixth Five Year Plan period. Effective management for all the protected areas will be established. 

Environmental Management Targets in the SFYP (Part 2, pg. 450): 

  • Regeneration and aforestation of 25,000 hectares of fresh water swamp forest in haor basin. 
  • 500 meter wide permanent green belt established and protected along the coast 

Policies, Strategy and Programme (Part 2, pg. 463-5):

  • The redlands of Sylhet has long been lying unutilized. Under the Sixth Five Year Plan 5000.00 ha. of redlands will be planted.  
  • The Sixth Five Year Plan targets to cover 7500.00 ha. of Bamboo, cane and murta plantation. Honey, wax and gol-patta will also receive special attention for improvement during the plan period. 
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