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01.08.2013 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2013

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 6/2013

Modeling of freshwater wetland management strategies for building the public awareness at local level in Bangladesh

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change > Ausgabe 6/2013
Md. Nazrul Islam, Daisuke Kitazawa


Bangladesh has a large aerial extent of freshwater wetlands for her deltaic characteristics. In 1970, the total area of wetlands in Bangladesh is estimated to be 70000–80000 km2, approximately, i.e., 50 % of total national land area. In the recent years, most of these wetlands are being lost and degraded primarily because of flood control projects, irrigation and agricultural activities and others human interference. Unfortunately, over the last three decades in the name of wetland development, local habitats were not taken care of. In this paper, the stakeholder and scenario analyses are employed for measuring public views towards wetlands degradation in Bangladesh. Involvement of stakeholders helps reconcile their different conflicting interests in wetlands, hence creating a common understanding about the problem under study. An exploratory scenario analysis illustrates different themes fulfilled by the wetlands and their associated services in case study Chalan Beel. The Chalan Beel once covered an area of approximately 651,230 acres in 1967. Currently, the permanent flooded area of the Chalan Beel has been reduced to about 18,120 acres. The scenarios show that most of the wetlands in Bangladesh are converted into agricultural lands, settlements, roads, and highways. Aquatic plants and animals are lost and endangered due to human interference and natural disturbance. The government, policymakers and some private organizations are trying to design suitable policy for wetland management but they are not able to reach this goal. It is observed that the local and national policies are facing complexities to create an effective regime to set aside the wetlands management policy in Bangladesh. In this context, this paper proposed an Increased Public Awareness (IPA) policy model that could be pathways for both short and long-term solutions of wetlands degradation in developing nations like Bangladesh.

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