|Date||24 Apr 2012|
Biodiversity is depleting both regional and global scale. Major causes of biodiversity loss are habitat destruction, overexploitation, land use changes and lack of adoption of sustainable management. It is accepted in global scientific community and professional practitioners that achievement of biodiversity conservation objectives in developing world is quite difficult sometimes impossible without active participation of local community. It is also documented that several ethnic communities throughout the world playing active role in biodiversity conservation since generation after generation either to meet their livelihood or as a tradition of the society.
Historically, forest of Bangladesh was rich in biodiversity. Now, forest biodiversity is in alarming stage due to gradual conversion of forest to other land uses, over exploitation, negligence to involve local community with conservation initiatives, huge population pressure and lack of adequate policy formulation and weakness of implementation. Among different forest types (mangrove forests, plain land sal forests, hill forests) most of the hill forests of Bangladesh is situated in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs). CHTs is consisted of three different hilly districts viz. Bandarban, Rangamati and Khagrachari. There are 13 different ethnic groups of peoples living in CHTs most of them depend on forest products for their livelihood. Contraction of forests and reduction of biodiversity is the reality particularly for the government managed forests of CHTs. On the contrary, Village Common Forests (VCF) still contributes significantly in biodiversity conservation of CHTs. The study will be conducted in two different VCF in Bandarban, CHTs, Bangladesh. VCFs are natural forests around the households of ethnic community of CHTs which are managed by customary rules and regulations to fullfill their demand since 1900.
The aim of my project is to explore the reasons of biodiversity depletion in VCF and to strengthen biodiversity conservation in VCF through minimizing reasons of depletion, creating community awareness and conservation education. The major activities included in the project are: community survey, biodiversity survey, biodiversity conservation campaign, seminar with community people, conservation education and workshop with policy maker. From the project it is expected that communities will be more aware and thoughtful about biodiversity conservation in VCF, policy maker will be informed about the reasons of biodiversity depletion in VCF and ways to minimize it which will helped them for sustainable policy formulation and implementation.
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