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Bangladesh - Main Details

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Status and Trends of Biodiversity

Overview

The 4 broad types of ecosystems in Bangladesh are coastal and marine ecosystems, inland freshwater ecosystems, terrestrial forest ecosystems, and man-made ecosystems. Wetlands are the most important natural ecosystems of Bangladesh. The haor basin is known for its rich biodiversity. The largest haor in Bangladesh is Hakaluki Haor, which supports one of the largest inland fisheries in the country. Over 260 species of birds and 40 species of mammals are known to exist in the Barind Tract. The hill ecosystems cover around 12% of the country’s land area. The Madhupur forest ecosystem is home to 19 species of mammals, more than 170 species of birds, and 28 species of reptiles. There is an occurrence of wide genetic variations in plants and animals both in wild and cultivated/ domesticated states. The diverse agro-ecosystems of Bangladesh are rich in genetic resources of plants and animals. There are 6,000 varieties of rice known to have existed in the country. In addition, habitat loss is considered as the single largest threat to biodiversity. Other threats include over harvesting of resources and natural calamities.

Implementation of the Convention

Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target

The 1994 Forest Policy aims to increase protected areas by protecting 10% of the reserve forest land by the year 2015. In order to provide legal basis for ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of biological and genetic resources, and associated indigenous and local knowledge, Bangladesh has drafted the Biodiversity and Community Knowledge Protection Act. Its objective is to protect and support the rights, knowledge, innovations, and practices of local and indigenous communities. Government agencies, such as Forest Department, Department of Environment, Department of Fisheries, Department of Agriculture Extension and Agriculture Information, are participating to this initiative by promoting communication activities at the local level.

Initiatives in Protected Areas

The specific targets include: conservation of important biodiversity hotspots in Cittagong Hill Tracts, conservation of Rampahar and Sitapahar of Chittagong Region, and conservation of denuded hill areas of Ramgarh Shitakunda. Tanguar hoar has been established as a Ramsar site and is also protected, among others, as a fish sanctuary. The Hakaluki haor, Tanguar haor and Hail hoar have also been protected because of their importance for migratory and resident birds. St. Martin’s Island, the only coral-bearing island of Bangladesh, is protected as a marine park. Furthermore, a few mudflats, such as Nijhum dweep and Sonadia Island, are protected as shore birds sites. The Ministry of Environment and Forest has taken the initiative to increase the protected area system.

Initiatives for Article 8(j)

The Biodiversity and Community Knowledge Protection Act has been drafted to protect biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge in Bangladesh. Local institutions have been established to encourage participation of local community in decision-making and sustainable management of wetland and fisheries resources.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme