Completed Project

Description of Project
Objectives of the project
Key Achievements
NACOM Deliverables

Ecological assessment of and biodiversity monitoring of Phulbari Coal mine project area

Assignment Location within country: Northwest of Bangladesh
Partner Organization: Asia Energy Corporation (Bangladesh) Pty. Ltd. Australia.
Start Date: April 2002
Completion Date: March 2004

Description of Project:

Asia Energy Corporation (Bangladesh) Ltd. (AEN), with permission from the Bangladesh Government, had completed a comprehensive Feasibility Study on the coal mine development at Phulbari, Dinajpur. The mining of coal from the area is anticipated to foster the economic growth of the country together with employment generation, energy sector development and curbing of huge dependence on imported fuel. Initial outcomes of the feasibility study are in favour of mine development .

The development of the mine and subsequent mining operations were likely to bring about physical changes to the environment which might have potential impacts (positive or negative) on local biodiversity. As an obligation for the approval process, a Biodiversity Management Plan was developed with a view to mitigate or reduce potential negative impacts on local biodiversity. A Biodiversity Monitoring Program is an essential component of the proposed Biodiversity Management Plan, vis-à-vis Environment Management Plan, designed to track changes in biodiversity due to mining and also to assess the effectiveness of the mitigatory measures undertaken for the protection of local biodiversity.

SMEC International engaged Nature Conservation Management (NACOM) to conduct a Biodiversity Study in relation to the mine project area, in two phases, in wet season and dry season.

Objectives of the project:

The project was implemented in Coal Mining area of Phulbari, Dinajpur. The intent of the project was to monitoring program is to establish baseline information obtained to and for the Phulbari Coal Project, and to subsequently facilitate the evaluation of impacts and effectiveness of mitigation measures in relation to project development.
Monitoring of wildlife biodiversity in the Coal Mining area
Monitoring of Fisheries Biodiversity
Monitoring of Plant Biodiversity
Monitoring of animal biodiversity
Monitoring of Vertebrate & Invertebrate Animals
Coastal and charland areas of Noakhali, Luxmipur and Feni Districts (Map 1). .

Key Achievements:

a. Conduct floral and faunal survey
This was the core activity of the study and aims at collecting qualitative and quantitative information on selected indicator species/groups/sites with a view to establish baseline on the selected parameters. The following groups of animal and plant was monitored:

Plants: Pteridophytes – Angiosperms (in sal forests and wetlands)
Fishes –in all selected aquatic sites
Birds (across all habitat types) and other vertebrates (in sal forest only)
Mollusks –in all selected aquatic sites
Zooplankton, in all selected aquatic sites
Micro-benthos - in all selected aquatic sites
And the following outputs were obtained:
relative abundance,
species dominance
species richness
species/population density

NACOM Deliverables:

Conduct floral and faunal survey
Produce GIS maps
Fish catch assessment survey
Zooplankton and benthos survey
Mollusk survey
Taxonomic and qualitative survey of flora
Pitfall trapping, case trapping and opportunistic survey of terrestrial vertebrate
Field data processing and Analysis
Produce report