Improving Environmental Governance for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in Bangladesh

Aim

To increase the participation of community-based organisations and women in community-based management of natural resources and strengthen capacities to promote equal and legitimised participation of local authorities and communities in natural resource management.

 

Background and activities

This sub-project works to strengthen community-based management schemes. It aims to promote natural resource management through stronger civil participation and improved linkages with government institutions. It is implemented in various regions of Bangladesh: Kapasia - Gazipure, Arua - Shibalaya/ Harirampur-Manikgonj (located in the Upazila Parishad),  Haor (Jamalgonj, Sunamgonj) and on river-floodplains (Shalikha, Magura, Chandpur sadar).

IUCN partners are setting up multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs) at sub-district levels to allow for dialogue between natural resource users, civil society members, community-based organisations (CBOs) and local and central government representatives. 

They are also helping to raise communities' voices, including those of women, by holding workshops and training sessions.

IUCN and partners are enabling multi-level discourse and engagements from local to national scales and will disseminate results and lessons learnt from the project to a wider national and international audience. 

Outcomes

It is expected that the cross-institutional dialogue facilitation provided by this project will enhance the capacity of both local communities and local government structures to engage in equal and legitimised participation in natural resource management.  

There will also be active engagement and inclusion of women in natural resource management governance structures. 

Achievements

In Bangladesh, multi-stakeholder platforms have brought together community members and local government officials. This has provided poor and excluded sectors of society with a real voice in local decision-making. As a result, government officials have become more accountable and responsive. Examples of the achievements are: (i) the exploitative leasing system in haor (perennial wetland system) areas controlled by powerful elites is gradually being replaced by ‘co-management’; and (ii) communities in the Chandpur district have been able to obtain an increase in the compensation that poor fishermen receive during the lean season –time when fishing is banned- from 500 to 5,000 Bangladeshi taka per person (approximately from 5 to 50 GBP). Read more.
 

Partners

IUCN-Asia(Bangladesh) is responsible for project supervision and monitoring and evaluation.

National Bangladeshi organisations collaborating with IUCN include:

The Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) is the leading advocacy group for the project and is very active in public litigation and policy advocacy. It provides training manuals and training sessions on natural resource governance issues for stakeholders and other partners in the project. It is also establishing the multi-stakeholder platforms for dialogue in four forest areas and preparing policy briefs.

The Centre for Natural Resource Studies (CNRS) and Nature Conservation Management (NACOM) work with community-based organisations and facilitate interaction with local governance structures.