Completed Project

Description of Project
Objectives of the project
Key Achievements
NACOM Deliverables

Coastal and Wetland Biodiversity Management Project (CWBMP)

Location within country:
Southern –East Coastal Region (Cox’s Bazar – Teknaf Peninsula (ECA)
Partner Organization: Department of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Forest funding from UNDP/GEF
Start Date: January 2007
Completion Date: June 2010

Name of Joint Venture Consultants:

IUCN, Bangladesh and Centre for Sustainable Development (CFSD)

Description of Project:

Wetlands and coastal ecosystems are of great importance to Bangladesh and it provides immediate benefits to the local people. Coastal areas are very important for its unique and characteristic faunal and floral diversity, and its linkages to livelihood of poor coastal communities. Unfortunately, the costal biodiversity of the country is highly degraded as reflected in the loss in biodiversity, erosion, habitat degradation, conversion of land, removal of mangroves, siltation, etc. This situation has been threatening the value of these areas as habitat for biodiversity and for provision of vital environmental services. Thus this situation has resulted in a serious ecological catastrophe and a declining spiral of production and productivity irreversibly detrimental to the livelihood of people living in and around the area, historically dependant on them. Recognizing the biodiversity degradation in the country and its consequences, in 1999, the government of Bangladesh designated and established a number of Ecologically Critical Areas (ECA) with biodiversity significance under the provision of Article I of the Bangladesh Environment Act, 1995. Teknaf peninsula is an important ECA of the country. Poor governance and lack of appropriate and pragmatic management regimes for these ECAs have been linked to the failure in ECA management in the country. Responding to the urgent need to address the biodiversity conservation, Department of Environment (DoE) initiated a project, called ” with a view to halt the degrading situation of these resources by involving local community and sustainably manage ECAs.

Teknaf peninsula ECA is a unique environment, having ally significant biodiversity value. However, anthropogenic activities have posed a serious threat to the sustainability of its resources. There fore, Teknaf Peninsula ECA has been included in CWBMP project. A Conservation Management Plan for the site was developed engaging local and foreign expatriate consultants..

Objectives of the Project:

The overall objective of the CWBM Project is to establish an innovative system for management of Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs) in Bangladesh that will have a significant and positive impact on long-term viability of the country’s important biodiversity resources.

However, the overall objective of the present phase of work of the CWBMP is to implement the Conservation Management Plan developed for Teknaf Peninsula ECA for ensuring conservation and sustainable use of ally significant coastal biodiversity through its management as ECA.However, the specific objectives of the project are -
to halt or curb the degrading trend in biodiversity/resourcebases
to restore and rehabilitate the degraded ecosystems to improve habitat quality
to reduce the dependence of local people on local critical resources through providing alternate income streams and resource substitutes
to ensure the effective participation of local people in the process of implementation of the project activities with a further view to develop a caring community

Key Achievements:

The project has implemented a number of activities related to natural resource management and biodiversity conservation for the sustenance of the resource base which will result in the improvement of local livelihoods. Many of the activities have brought tremendous success to the project. Of these, some of the important ones are described below:

i. Mangrove regeneration and plantation
In total, about 361 hector area has been planted with mangrove vegetation. These planted and regenerated mangroves have now luxuriant growth. Birds have re-colonized within the mangroves. Importantly, mangrove provides nursery and feeding grounds for marine animals, including fish, shrimps and mollusks. In fact, production of marine and estuarine fish is related to the health of mangrove vegetation. Although not monitored, it is expected that mangrove vegetation has positively impacted fish production in the area. Therefore, the fishing community is directly benefited by the plantation and regeneration activities. This impact of mangrove vegetation will continue in the future. The output is very visible. The local community has been maintaining the mangrove and it is hoped that they will get benefit from the vegetation.

ii. Plantation of indigenous species
In total, 8,510 saplings of fruit and timber yielding trees have been planted and distributed among local communities and local academic institutions. Monitoring results show that about 74% saplings have survived. Many of the species planted will be matured within 10-12 years of age. The local households (HHs), academic institutions will be benefited from this plantation program. In the near future, they will get timber, fruits and fuelwood from these plants. In addition, 2 roadstrip plantations have also been made. Local CBOs are looking after these plantations. As per agreement with local Union Parishad, the CBOs will get 50% share of the benefit accrued from the plantations.

iii. Demonstration and promotion of indigenous plant nurseries In order to promote eco-friendly plantations within the project area, demonstration nursery was established within the project area. The land for demonstration nurseries was provided the local CBOs, while the project provided the other required inputs. These nurseries functioning well and a 50% of the raised saplings from the demonstration nurseries could be distributed among the local community. The CBOs also got 50% share of the benefit. The income from the nurseries went to community fund. Similarly, a number of private nurseries were promoted among local people. These nurseries also has been operating well and the income from the nurseries supports their livelihood.

iv. Promotion of eco-friendly shrimp fry collection
Shrimp fry collection has known detrimental impact on marine animal resources, fish in particular. However, the adverse impacts of this practice could be minimized by simply introducing eco-friendly collection method, where the collector through the waste water into the sea. Our monitoring results show that about 85-90% collectors have switched to eco-friendly fry collection and thus probably has tremendous impact on marine and estuarine fish production.

v. Capacity building of local CBOs
The CBOs formed under the project is seen as the main actor for the management and conservation of local resources. However, the success of the CBOs will largely depend on their capacity to manage their organizations, decision making regarding resource management and their ability to manage natural resources. Therefore, the project has taken a number of activities targeting the capacity building of the CBO members. The capacity building activities included backstopping support to manage their organizations, skill development training on organizational management and natural resource management. The CBOs were also registered with the Department of Cooperatives. They were also involved with planning and implementing project activities so that they could manage and conserve the local resource in the absence of the project. The CBOs were also linked with local administration. The whole purpose was to help institutionalization of the local CBOs and the CBOs have taken the shape of an local institution. The CBOs have now considerable capacity to manage their organizations and also they provide support for implementing project activities.

vi. Livelihood improvement program for local community
Some of the project activities are targeted to improve the local livelihoods through providing alternate income options. Such activities includes livelihood skill development training, providing seed money as grant for undertaking AIG activities, help exploring the income generation opportunities and establishing marketing linkages. The project also provides backstopping support to the CBOs in undertaking such income generation activities. Regular monitoring of the CBO activities is done with a view to bring transparency within the CBO as well as providing advice regarding the management of funds. The community has started undertaking diverse range of AIG activities. The program has already brought benefits for the community people and there is a clear indication that the rural livelihoods is improving.

vii. Enhancement of local awareness level
The project has made a tremendous success in raising the local level awareness about the conservation and management of local biodiversity and natural resources. A number of activities, including folk drama performances, village awareness meeting, school awareness meetings, posting of bill boards, production and distribution of posters have been implemented with a view to mobilize the local people towards the conservation of local biodiversity. In addition to the above, workshops and meetings were organized with local government agencies and local administration also to raise their awareness. Surveys indicated that about 70% are now are aware about the project activities. The increased awareness of the local community and government agencies has a great impact on the conservation of local biodiversity.

viii. Promotion improved cooking stoves (ICS)
A large number of ICS have been promoted within the project area with a view to reduce pressure on the plant resources. This activity increased enthusiasm among the local community. The stoves are fuel efficient and can save about 50% fuel. It is anticipated that local has been benefited.

NACOM Deliverables :

Formation and capacity building of community based organizations (CBOs).
Establishment of fish and bird sanctuary
Ex-situ and in-situ conservation of marine turtles and establishment of turtle hatchery
Mangrove  and sand dune generation and plantations, Participatory intervention planning and developing code of conduct for wise use of resources
Promotion of eco-friendly agriculture and diversification of crops,
Skill development training to poor people for undertaking AIG activities
Facilitating improved enforcement of law, Linkage development with union parishad and upazila and district level government administration
Enhancement of local awareness, production of awareness outreach material and formation of folk drama group.
Participatory biodiversity monitoring