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Bangladesh - Country Profile

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Biodiversity Facts

Status and trends of biodiversity, including benefits from biodiversity and ecosystem services

The following text has been approved by Bangladesh however will be further updated upon completion of the revised NBSAP and fifth national report.

Bangladesh is one of the biodiversity-rich countries in the world. The five broad types of ecosystems in Bangladesh are coastal and marine ecosystems, inland freshwater ecosystems, terrestrial forest ecosystems, hilly ecosystems and man-made homestead ecosystems. Haor (depressed land) wetlands are the most important natural ecosystem of Bangladesh and 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. The hill ecosystems cover around 12% of the country’s land area. 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.

Main pressures on and drivers of change to biodiversity (direct and indirect)

The following text has been approved by Bangladesh however will be further updated upon completion of the revised NBSAP and fifth national report.

There are many threats that drive biodiversity loss, among which some are direct and dynamic while the others are indirect. Direct threats include changes in land use, habitat destruction, introduction of invasive alien species, etc. On the other hand, examples of indirect threats are the economic system and policies of the State; unsustainable exploitation of resources and weak management systems; gaps in spatial information; lack of public awareness. Other threats are emanated from the effects of natural calamities. In addition, habitat loss is considered the single largest threat to biodiversity.

Measures to Enhance Implementation of the Convention

Implementation of the NBSAP

The following text has been approved by Bangladesh however will be further updated upon completion of the revised NBSAP and fifth national report.

Completed in 2004, Bangladesh’s NBSAP contains 16 strategies focusing on: valuation; ecosystem, species and genetic resource conservation; restoration and rehabilitation; invasive alien species; access and benefit-sharing; awareness-raising and capacity-building; traditional knowledge; institutional development and cooperation; protected areas management; wetlands; participatory mechanisms (including private sector, civil society, local communities); legislation and policy; monitoring and reporting; innovative and sustainable financing; synergies with other MEAs; mainstreaming in national development planning. A total of 128 action programmes were identified for implementation of these strategies in the short, medium or long terms. Examples of accomplishments of the NBSAP are highlighted in the sections that follow.

Bangladesh is currently in the process of updating its NBSAP, with the intention to finalize it in 2014. Priorities identified in the fourth national report are being considered in the development of the new NBSAP. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets will also be taken into account in the next cycle of development planning.

Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets

The following text has been approved by Bangladesh however will be further updated upon completion of the revised NBSAP and fifth national report.

The Forest Policy 1994 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 developed the Biological Diversity Act.

Specific actions 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.

The Department of Environment (DoE) has, so far, designated nine areas significant for biological diversity as Ecologically Critical Areas (ECAs) in the country.

Support mechanisms for national implementation (legislation, funding, capacity-building, coordination, mainstreaming, etc.)

The following text has been approved by Bangladesh however will be further updated upon completion of the revised NBSAP and fifth national report.

Sectoral and cross-sectoral mainstreaming of the NBSAP happens across an institutional level, an individual level and in policy/legislative frameworks. At an institutional level, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), through its National Technical Committee on Biodiversity (NTCB), oversees activities related to biodiversity conservation.

At an individual level, researchers and professionals are working on different components of the environment and ecosystems, without having explicit aims to translate the research results into achieving the objectives of the NBSAP, although it is true that much research work is closely connected with different NBSAP components.

The level of mainstreaming of the NBSAP into individual policies and strategies achieved so far in Bangladesh can be said to be satisfactory. However, integration and harmonization among policies to achieve common goals concerning biodiversity conservation remains a substantial challenge. The NBSAP advocated that legal, regulatory and policy regimes should be aligned with biodiversity conservation. In this regard, it can be claimed that the strategic arrangements and legislative frameworks of the country are strong enough to safeguard habitats, ecosystems and their associated biodiversity. The environment and biodiversity-related policies, such as the Bangladesh Environment Policy 1992, Forest Policy 1994, Water Policy 1999, National Land Use Policy 2001, National Fisheries Policy 1998 and the National Environment Management Action Plan (NEMAP) 1995 contain considerable elements related to biodiversity conservation.

Capacity-building at the individual, institutional and systemic or policy levels to handle the complex issues of biodiversity conservation will greatly assist in furthering the mainstreaming process.

Mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing implementation

The following text has been approved by Bangladesh however will be further updated upon completion of the revised NBSAP and fifth national report.

The Government of Bangladesh has constituted the National Technical Committee on Biodiversity and National Committee of Biosafety, headed by the respected Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to ensure monitoring and reviewing implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and all other issues related to the Protocols thereunder.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme