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Poverty-environment interaction through participatory forest management in Bangladesh: an evidence of poverty reduction

Safa, Mohammad Samaun (2005): Poverty-environment interaction through participatory forest management in Bangladesh: an evidence of poverty reduction. Published in: 17th Commonwealth Forestry Conference Proceedings

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Poverty is an obstacle in the process of socio-economic development of Bangladesh. Majority people of the country live in the rural area where subsistence income generating activities are mainly related to exploring natural resources. A high population and its basic needs, thus, cause overexploitation of resources. Forest resources are one of the most overexploited resources in the country. Presently the forest cover is 13.36% of the total land that is alarming for the environmental sustainability. In order to protect forest resources from such overexploitation, participatory forest management approach was followed by the Forest Department involving rural poor. They were provided 1ha of degraded land for plantation and in a few cases 0.5 ha for homestead area. The objective of such initiative was to develop a strong interaction between the over-exploiters and their involvement in protecting forest. The study was conducted in the sal (Shorea robusta) forest of Bangladesh with a sample size of 120. Using non-parametric statistics, the standard of living was examined. A list of opinions was sought for assuming the change in environment due to the participatory management. BCA approach was applied to estimate the distribution impact and poverty reduction impact. The findings of the study reported that there was a significant change in livelihood as well as conservation measurement. The distribution impact analysis showed that the poor people were benefited substantially. The PIR (0.95) gave the positive indication of poverty reduction impact. It was found that the involvement of rural poor could be a process of poverty-environment interaction. The approach of participatory management is useful to increase the interaction between rural poor and resource management towards environmental sustainability.

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