Bangladesh Forest Department

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1 Bangladesh Forest Department Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project Updating Forestry Master Plan for Bangladesh Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized Public Disclosure Authorized Technical study for review of Forestry Master Plan Task 1: Sectoral Studies 19 October 2016

2 This report was prepared by Agriconsulting Europe S.A., Brussels, Belgium, and Sodev Consult International Ltd., Dhaka, Bangladesh, in partial fulfilment of the contract for the Services of Updating Forestry Master Plan for Bangladesh; Technical study for review of Forestry Master Plan and different sectoral studies for Forestry Master Plan updating; Technical study for developing strategy, update Forestry Master Plan and prepare time specific plans, being Package BFD/S-9 of the Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project. 19 October 2016 Agriconsulting Europe S.A. Brussels, Belgium Sodev Consult International Ltd. Dhaka, Bangladesh

3 Bangladesh Forest Department Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project Updating Forestry Master Plan for Bangladesh Technical study for review of Forestry Master Plan Task 1: Sectoral Studies for Forestry Master Plan updating Dhaka, 19 October 2016

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5 Executive summary Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD), through the Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project (CRPARP), has assigned a consultancy entitled as, Updating Forestry Master Plan for Bangladesh (Consulting Firm) Technical Study for Review of Forestry Master Plan and different Sectoral Studies for Forestry Master Plan Updating and Technical Study for Developing Strategy, update Forestry Master Plan and Prepare time specific Plans to a consortium of Agriconsulting Europe S.A. (Brussels, Belgium) and Sodev Consult International (Dhaka). The terms of reference (ToRs) of the contract for updating the Forestry Master Plan (FMP) of Bangladesh has divided the total scope of work into seven distinct but interrelated tasks, as follows: Task 1: Prepare Sectoral Reports on: Problems of existing BFD institutions and possible remedies, land management and ownership, forest and other related sectors assessment, monitoring and assessment including remote sensing, socio-economic survey and MIS/GIS database management, reporting and mapping related issues and roadmap to overcome this, wildlife management, review of the existing FMP, forest policies, acts regulation, programs, institutions, environmental and socio-economic challenges, and international commitments, economic / financial valuation of forests & ecosystem services, alignment with Five Year Plans. Task 2: (Task 3 was deleted) Strategies, programs and resources for implementation of new FMP. Task 4: Climate change impacts, enhancing resilience of forest ecosystems and forest dependent communities to enable adaptation to climate impacts. Task 5: Development of package of sustainable forest management and silvicultural (and nursery) practices Sustained Ecosystem Management Services. Task 6: Financial & other resources needed for implementation of FMP, policies, institutional reforms and technical capacity required for implementing FMP. Task 7: Research, Education, Monitoring of socio-economic and ecosystem services impact indicators and meeting international Convention and Agreement requirements. Task 8: FMP Report synthesis, Detailed Action plan and separate Executive Summary. This report pertains to Task 1 of the contract. The report consists of nine sectoral studies which will form the foundation on which the new FMP shall be constructed. A brief description of the findings of each report is given below. State of forests, LULUCF, Land use, biodiversity wildlife, and ecosystem services There are several ways of describing the country s forests, namely, on the basis of forest type, location, ownership, legal status, extent of tree cover etc. Going by various descriptions, the country has approximately an area of 2.5 million hectares (16.88% of the geographical area of the country) under forest and tree cover, both government and private, with 10% or more canopy density. An area of 18, 79,503 ha is government forest, notified under various laws, but most of this area does not have even 10% canopy density to define it as forest in accordance with the standard definition. Natural forest is now available only over 502,245 ha, SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING i

6 (excluding the area of Sundarbans under water) which does not bode well for the country s biodiversity. It seems that tree cover in notified forest areas is still decreasing while tree cover outside forests is increasing. Nearly all the ecosystems of the country are highly stressed. There are clear indications that the forest cover in the country is going down. Principal drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Bangladesh are: High dependence of a large rural population on natural forests for fuelwood, construction timber, fodder and various non-timber forest products; Encroachment of forest land for agriculture or habitation by poor people living in and around forests, as well as by migrants; 'Land grabbing' by influential people for various commercial purposes; Conversion of forest land into non-forest uses by the government for infrastructure or industrial development; and, Commercial timber felling and the smuggling of valuable timber trees by criminals. The country has switched from long rotation plantations of commercially important species like teak and gamar, started during the British periods, primarily in CHT areas to short rotation exotic species under social forestry. Mangrove and non-mangrove plantations are being taken up in coastal areas as shelterbelt against sea storms. Loss of forests is accompanied by the loss of biodiversity. 31 species of vertebrates are already reported to be extinct while 181 species are endangered and 56 are critically endangered in Bangladesh. Due to anthropogenic factors, all the ecosystems are stressed and ecosystem services are declining, although these ecosystems are still critical for the well-being of the local communities. Although Sundarbans is still able to provide livelihoods and protection against the seaborne calamities, to a very large population, its condition is deteriorating under the pressure from local communities and infrastructure development. Sea level rise, as a result of impending climate change is going to submerge large parts of this critical ecosystem. Sal forests are suffering from very high pressure of encroachments while the hill forests are degrading under pressure from shifting cultivation and illegal felling. Forest production and economic value There is a clear linkage between social forestry and decline in rural poverty in targeted locations, case studies in the report show. Fuelwood, timber, NTFP are the main goods provided by the forests, while protective and life support services provided by the forest ecosystem are unmeasurable. There is no consistent data on the level current production levels, but by interpreting all available data, the current production of timber and fuelwood in the country is conservatively estimated to be 7 million and 19.9 million m 3. Timber and fuelwood are the most important tangible forest products worth nearly USD 2.5 billion per annum. 85% of fuelwood is consumed in the rural areas. Value of total measurable ecosystem services provided by forests in Bangladesh is roughly estimated to be nearly USD 5.8 to billion annually, using examples from outside the country. Fish, golpata, Murta, medicinal plants and honey are the most important non-timber forest products of Bangladesh. Lands under forests and agriculture have been decreasing in the country due to the pressure from habitation, infrastructure and industrial sectors. Forest lands are under pressure from both official ii SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

7 conversion to other uses as well as illegal pressures from encroachers and land grabbers. The decline in forest extent and quality, despite a moratorium on the exploitation of natural forests, indicates that much more needs to be done to safeguard the natural heritage of the country. Forest economics, industry, estimates of current and future socio-economic demands on the forest sector Production and consumption of roundwood, which includes timber and fuelwood, had been increasing rather steadily until the mid-1990s, but have since been declining. Fuelwood comprises nearly 99% of the total wood produced and consumed in the country, but its per capita consumption has been decreasing, apparently due to the unsustainable production of woodfuel as well as perhaps to a lesser extent the availability of alternative agricultural materials and fuels and changes in demographic patterns, although the decline is rather modest (4.5% in 14 years). Proportion of the population using wood as a cooking fuel has dropped from 44.37% in 1991 to just 34.8% in While the consumption of industrial roundwood, wood charcoal, and paper and board are expected to rise significantly, the consumption of total roundwood is likely to fall due to the fall in demand for fuelwood, if the current trend stays the course. Comprehensive field investigations are required to further refine consumption forecasts accurately as the current trends may be misconstrued to some extent because of the lack of consideration of consumers' 'unexpressed' consumption and a resulting wood fuel 'gap.' In view of the likelihood of reduced production of roundwood, the country shall have to depend more heavily on imports to fulfil its requirements for specialised wood products such as industrial wood, charcoal, paper and board. Bamboo consumption is expected to rise in the near term, although no reliable data on current trends are available. Review of the existing forestry master plan FMP 1995 proposed three categories of programmes: people oriented, production directed and Institutional strengthening. It had proposed two investment scenarios for the forestry sector during the 20 year period: a minimum investment of Tk billion within the existing institutional constraints and Tk 145 billion if all constraints are removed. But the country could provide only Tk 23.7 billion (38.3%) to the sector during the plan period. Investments in the sector have been fluctuating depending upon donor interest in the sector. Despite this shortcoming, tree cover in the country has touched nearly 17%, primarily on the back extensive plantations by the people in their homesteads and cultivated lands. The plan had a strong focus on development of forest based industries without adequately addressing the issue raw materials. Although many of the institutional reforms proposed in the FMP could not be carried out, but, the amendment of the Forest Act 1927 to institutionalise social forestry was a major achievement. A new Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act, was also promulgated in New Forest Policy was approved in The creation of a forestry board, separation of the enforcement function of the BFD from its business function did not gain acceptance. Similarly creation of a separate department for wildlife and nature conservation could not be created, although many new protected areas were created. The master plan attracted significant donor interest to the forestry sector from the ADB, World Bank, USAID and many other donors in the beginning. However, as the current environmental concerns such as the climate change and biodiversity conservation had not acquired a clear shape at the time when the FMP was written, these concerns could not be adequately SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING iii

8 addressed. With the advent of new multilateral sources of funding, aimed at mitigating climate change, such as the Global Climate Fund (GCF), BCCRF, CDM, REDD+, NAPA etc. new opportunities to draw finances to the forestry sector have now emerged. The new FMP should target these sources to renew efforts to achieve 20% forest and tree cover. Sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services, climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and building adaptation and resilience among ecosystems and communities shall have to be the cornerstone of the new FMP. Monitoring and assessment, including remote sensing, socio-economic survey and on MIS/GIS database management, reporting and mapping by RIMS This report reviews the current monitoring and mapping capabilities, and activities, of BFD. According to this assessment, there is no systematic forest resource monitoring activity or capability in BFD. RIMS is the key office in generating and managing digital spatial data but has neither the staff, nor the facilities to do so. It has been taking up sporadic mapping activities, primarily with the help of outside expertise, but applications developed by outside agencies fail to remain functional after the initial contract is over. An example of such an adventure is the development of MIST wildlife patrolling and monitoring system. The national assessment of forest resources has been done just once, in 2007, a recent assessment (2013) covers only the government forests, that too incompletely. The monitoring and evaluation office of BFD has no infrastructure to run even a minimal monitoring programme and the reports on the condition of plantations are compiled manually. The DFOs have bare minimum IT facilities, while offices below the division level have absolutely no IT infrastructure. Environmental challenges and multilateral environmental agreements The environmental challenges faced by the country are of enormous proportions. While the Bay of Bengal is four to six times more prone to sea storms and surges than the Arabian Sea, the coastal areas are in danger of being seriously affected by sea level rise and increased storm frequency, due to climate change. Changes in salinity due to sea level rise on the one side and increased flow of fresh water due to excessive snowmelt in Himalayan river systems on the other, can cause dramatic changes in vegetation patterns in coastal areas. Fish populations and distribution may be affected due to changes in temperature, affecting livelihoods of coastal population as a consequence. Mangroves can be affected both by sea level rise and increased salinity and sedimentation. Monsoon patterns are likely to be altered, affecting vegetation and communities. Long term adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts shall require a massive afforestation and reforestation effort, particularly in coastal areas. Enhanced carbon sequestration capacity, through forestry, can be used to generate more resources through CDM, REDD+ forums. The decline in biodiversity has gone hand in hand with the loss of forest cover in the country. Lack of knowledge, lack of resources, and poor protection of wildlife are the main challenges to the conservation of biodiversity in the country. Although the goods provided by ecosystems are well appreciated, many ecosystem services are intangible and unquantifiable. Assessment of the value of ecosystem goods and services (EGS) is critical for their appreciation for policy making. Due to the deterioration in the condition of forest ecosystems in the country, the EGS are badly affected and a cohesive effort is required to revive the potential of forest ecosystems to generate EGS in adequate measure. iv SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

9 Reforestation of depleted forests and afforestation of selected critical locations, such as coastal belt and hill watersheds, can restore the supply of EGS to a significant extent. Mangroves, i.e. the Sundarbans, are critical to the health of Bangladesh as they protect the country against the dangers from the seas and provide livelihoods to an enormous number of people. Sundarbans have suffered from the frequent sea storms, illegal felling of trees and infrastructure development. The report also looks at opportunities for generation of finance for mitigation and adaptation in the face of intensifying climate change and reviews the scope of financial avenues such as GCF, CDM, REDD+, NAPA, INDC, and various other multilateral and bilateral financial institutions, for financing climate change related forestry actions. If BFD and other forestry sector institutions have adequate capacity to tap into these mechanisms, considerable amount of resources can be generated. Lastly, the report reviews the various international conventions to which Bangladesh is a signatory and their reporting requirements. There is a lot of commonality between the reporting requirements of most multilateral environmental agreements (MEA) and common data and information pools can help in meeting the national obligations of many of them. The MEAs relevant to the forestry sector include United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Convention of Desertification (CCD), Convention on Wetlands of international Importance or the Ramsar Convention, Forest Resources Assessment program of the FAO, United Nations Forum on Forests and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). The report reviews the frequency and contents of the reports to be submitted to the headquarters/secretariats of these MEAs and examines the common sources of information that can feed into all these reports. Review and assessment of forest policies, land tenure, programs and institutions The evolution of the forest policy of Bangladesh was initiated in While reserving valuable forests for soil conservation and revenue, that first forest policy encouraged the diversion of forest land for agriculture and free access of local people to neighbouring forests to meet their needs for small timber. The 1955 policy advocated working plans for all forests, a massive plantation program on marginal lands and wastelands, precedence of the protective role of forests over their commercial aspects, protection of wildlife and constitution of a professional and trained forest service. The 1962 policy continued the emphasis on afforestation, emphasised the need for research in farm forestry and pilot projects for afforestation of saline and waterlogged lands. The 1979 policy emphasised the need to afforest the coastal belt and charlands, establish new forest-based industries, the recreational use of forests and a mass motivation programme for planting trees. The policy also provided that forest land shall not be diverted for non-forest use. The 1994 policy, prepared as a part of the FMP 1995, provided, among other goals, a target of 20% area as forest the conservation of natural habitats of birds and animals, and an emphasis on the participation of local people to control illegal felling, hunting and illegal occupation of forest lands. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING v

10 Under the mandate of successive forest policies, the country has made significant progress in social forestry and coastal plantations. Earlier emphasis on long rotation plantations of teak and gamar in CHT areas was abandoned, both due to environmental concerns as well as the land tenure issues in CHT areas. Despite the tremendous shortage of resources, the country has covered 16.88% of its land under tree cover, which, in effect, is more than 20% of the dry area if the land under water is taken into account. Although the country has established over 50 protected areas for wildlife, many of them are very small in size. For example, 12 are less than 1000 ha in size, with an average area of only 335 ha. The National Land Use Policy 2001 gave priority to protecting agricultural land, while recognising the importance of preserving forest land. The policy promotes rational land use, but the laws to effectively implement the policy are not in place. Despite the existence of the land use policy, forest lands continue to be encroached due to the prevailing 75% landlessness in rural areas. There are several other policy instruments on agriculture, food, fisheries, livestock, water, sustainable development, etc., which interface with the forest policy in that they relate to the use and management of natural resources. Forestry sector institutions need to take cognizance of these policies in order to draw upon their strengths in support of forest conservation. Institutional Limitations Apart from BFD, the Bangladesh forestry sector consists of the Bangladesh Forest Research Institute, Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation (BFIDC) and Bangladesh National Herbarium. Each of these institutions is suffering from an acute shortage of manpower and resources. BFD has 22% vacancies in its ranks and the vacancies at the senior level are close to 50%. BFD also suffers from an acute shortage of operational funds for running the internal systems of the organisation, such as for meeting the costs of travel bills, building and maintaining minimal IT infrastructure, forest protection, maintenance of buildings, vehicles and machinery, and so on. The organisational structure of BFRI has not been significantly altered since its inception despite tremendous changes in the scope of forest science. BFRI is unable to retain quality staff due to the lack of effective career development programs. There is no modern research equipment, not even adequate internet support. BFIDC primarily manages government rubber plantations and manufactures furniture, doors and windows for government buildings. Despite being the forest industries development corporation, it has no activities to develop forest industries other than its own units. BFIDC has no professional foresters or industry experts on its senior staff and has never tried to expand the scope of its operations. Its profits, especially from rubber cultivation, have plummeted in the past few years during the cyclical downturn in the market. Bangladesh National Herbarium also has 26% vacancies in its staff. Even the director s post is vacant. The institute has never had any development budget except in when it got an allocation of one crore taka. Although the herbarium has modern facilities for the preservation of plant specimens but further collections are virtually at a standstill due to the paucity of resources. vi SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

11 Resource mobilization Despite the growing importance of the forestry sector as a poverty alleviation mechanism, and as an environment protection instrument, more so as a climate change mitigation and defence bulwark, resource flow to the sector has not grown significantly. The FMP 1995 had estimated a minimum investment Tk billion in the sector during the 20 year plan period, but BFD, which is the major organ of the sector received only Tk billion, making it only 38.3% of the minimum requirement. In real terms the investment is even smaller than the investment in (Tk 157 crore against 177 crore) when compared at common prices. Although the importance of the sector cannot be measured only in financial terms, the sector has been getting back far below its recognised contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country (0.27% against 1.27%). The annual development programme (APD) of the BFD has been mainly dependent on donor contributions and has been fluctuating according to the donor interest in the country. Whereas shortage of ADP funds to the sector is well known, less talked about are the financial gaps in the revenue budget of the sector. BFD has been reported to be perennially short of funds to pay for its basic requirements, such as forest protection, reimbursement of travel bills, fuel for vehicles and boats, maintenance of minimal computing capacity, maintenance of buildings and vehicles and so on. These requirements are well funded only in areas where there is some donor funded project but these projects are generally focused on coastal areas. Thus the units located inland are much poorer in resources than the coastal areas. The ADB, World Bank, USAID, EU, GEF are the major development partners of Bangladesh although ADB has been absent from the sector for almost a decade. Large scale staff vacancies, shortage of core funding, lack of training, poor condition of information technology and communications infrastructure, lack of incentives for skill development and overly bureaucratic ways of working are the main constraints to the mobilisation and utilisation of resources in the sector. Challenges, goals and vision for FMP The FMP shall focus on the sectoral vision stated in the National Forestry Policy 2016, which is as follows: Restore and maintain the country s environmental integrity; Increase and stabilize its forest cover to at least 20% of the country's geographical area; Address in the most effective manner the emerging challenges associated with climate change and the maintenance of sustainable flows of ecosystem goods and services; Increase the contributions of the country's forests to national welfare and the enhancement of local employment and income opportunities; and Support efforts to secure food security and alleviate poverty by enhancing biodiversity conservation through the sustainable management of forests, wildlife and other ecosystems, including those of protected areas, social and community forests, coastal forests of mangroves and charland plantations, wetlands, homesteads, and other tree cover. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING vii

12 Within this overarching mandate, the sector shall work on achieving clear goals in the following areas: a. Meeting growing biomass demands and socioeconomic needs by achieving 20% forest and tree cover at 50% canopy density, through a massive reforestation programme on government forests, afforestation of new charlands, coastal belt and marginal lands, agroforestry, REDD+ implementation and promotion of climate neutral substitutes for wood and wood products. b. Addressing environmental challenges through adapting forestry practices to the needs of addressing climate change, biodiversity conservation and provision of ecosystem goods and services. These initiatives shall build on the initiatives in the previous para by providing additional focus on climate resilient species, creation of coastal shelterbelts, creation of protected areas for wildlife, monitoring the condition of the ecosystems and ecosystem services and publishing the results; and, promotion of ecotourism in suitable areas. c. Adopting sustainable and participatory forest management systems through involvement of all sections of the society, particularly women, youth and weaker sections, in an invigorated social forestry initiative, expansion of community based wildlife management though ecotourism and co-management, consultation with other agencies and beneficiaries in developing species suitable for agroforestry and involving urban population and civic authorities in enhancing urban tree cover. d. Policies, institutions and resources to meet the environmental and socioeconomic challenges shall focus on sustainable forest management, protected area management, biodiversity conservation, climate resilient forestry, research and training, strong restrictions on transfer of forest land to other uses and so on. Structure and organisation of BFD and BFRI shall be reviewed, and their capacities shall be enhanced to provide clear focus on implementing the new policies and mandate. Recruitment, posting and training policies of the government shall be reviewed to enhance staff capacity and motivation. e. Strategies to address international conventions shall be devised to ensure that common databases and data collection programmes feed into the monitoring and reporting requirements of all the multilateral environmental agreements and treaties. viii SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

13 Table of contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ABBREVIATIONS I XVI INTRODUCTION 1 1 STATE OF FORESTS, LAND USE, BIODIVERSITY, WILDLIFE, AND ECOSYSTEM SERVICES Trends in area under forest: past, current and future Forest types of Bangladesh Forest Land in Bangladesh Forest and tree cover Trend in forest area Forest Cover in Major Forested Regions of Bangladesh Trends in deforestation in different regions, forest degradation, and drivers Trends in deforestation and forest degradation Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation Trends in afforestation and reforestation programmes in different regions including coastal regions State of biodiversity and ecosystem services State of biodiversity IUCN Red List Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation Current forest data generation and dissemination policies and institutional arrangements Forest inventory, RIMS and monitoring arrangements Carbon stocks and inventory 45 2 FOREST PRODUCTION AND ECONOMIC VALUE Assessment of the linkage between the forestry sector and poverty alleviation Production of biomass: timber, fuelwood, and NTFP Roundwood Forest product industries Secondary Wood Products Non-timber forest products Economic value of products, biodiversity, and ecosystem services Value of roundwood timber Value of fuelwood Value of non-timber forest products Value of ecosystem services Summary of land use status and policy Summary of current land-use pattern Evaluation of demands on land Review of current land use policies in the context of forestry 78 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING ix

14 3 FOREST ECONOMICS, INDUSTRY, ESTIMATES OF CURRENT AND FUTURE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEMANDS ON THE FOREST SECTOR Timber, fuelwood, industrial wood and non-timber forest products, current consumption Industrial Roundwood Wood fuel Pulpwood Wood charcoal Paper and paperboard Bamboo Non-timber forest products Biomass demand Timber and Fuelwood Paper and Paperboard Bamboo and Non-Timber Forest Products 89 4 REVIEW OF THE EXISTING FORESTRY MASTER PLAN Introduction Relevance of the Forestry Master Plan 1995 in the current context Review of FMP Scope of Forestry Master Plan Evaluation of FMP Review of the Forestry Master Plan Implementation Key lessons learnt from the implementation of the Forestry Master Plan MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, INCLUDING REMOTE SENSING, SOCIO-ECONOMIC SURVEY AND MIS/GIS DATABASE MANAGEMENT, REPORTING AND MAPPING BY RIMS Introduction The Resource Information Management Unit Staff Facilities RIMS activities Remote Sensing capability and products Socio-economic surveys MIS/GIS database management Mapping and reporting Additional tasks ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES AND MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENTS Introduction Environmental challenges facing the forestry sector Enhancing the resilience of forests to climate change Enhancing carbon stock for mitigation of climate change Biodiversity conservation Sustained delivery of ecosystem services Mangrove conservation Climate financing for forestry Climate finance options for forestry under the UNFCCC 131 x SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

15 6.3.2 Climate finance options for forestry through IFIs Bilateral climate finance options for forestry Voluntary carbon market Reporting requirements to international conventions REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT OF FOREST POLICIES, LAND TENURE, PROGRAMMES AND INSTITUTIONS Review and assessment of forest policies The evolution of forest policy Review and assessment of the 1994 National Forestry Policy Summary of limitations of forest policies Review of Forest Department programmes Review and assessment of land use, agricultural, and other relevant sectoral policies Review and assessment of institutional limitations Bangladesh Forest Department Inadequacy of Field Infrastructure and Logistics Bangladesh Forest Research Institute Bangladesh Forest Academy Forestry Science & Technology Institute, Chittagong Bangladesh National Herbarium Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation Gender aspects of forest planning, implementation and management RESOURCE MOBILISATION Review of the resources available and mobilized from national and international sources for the forestry sector Financial gaps Development partners Major constraints in financial and technical resource mobilization Other Organisations CHALLENGES, VISION AND GOALS FOR THE FMP FMP Vision and Objectives Meeting growing biomass demands and socio-economic needs Addressing environmental challenges; climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services Adopting sustainable and participatory forest management systems Policies, institutions and resources to meet the environmental and socioeconomic challenges Strategies to address International Conventions OTHER CRITICAL ISSUES Land Management Forest Management Current status of the forest estate Protection against illicit felling, encroachments and wildlife poaching Moratorium on felling of trees in natural forests Reforestation of degraded forest through social forestry Agroforestry on encroached forest lands-social forestry Strip plantations on the sides of roads, canals, railway lines, embankments SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING xi

16 etc.-social forestry Harvesting of social forestry plantations Coastal Plantations (mangrove, non-mangrove, nypa etc.) Core zone plantations, ANR, enrichment plantations for biodiversity conservation Regulated extraction of NTFP Capacity for management at the field level Forest Dependent Communities State of reporting and information management Management of Wildlife and Protected Areas Protected areas Wildlife divisions State of Wildlife Crime and Criminal Justice System Human Wildlife Conflict Wildlife Master Plan 226 BIBLIOGRAPHY 228 ANNEX I ORGANIZATIONAL CHART AND STAFFING OF BFD 233 xii SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

17 List of tables Table 1-1: Forest Types of Bangladesh... 5 Table 1-2: Notified Forests of Bangladesh. ( )... 6 Table 1-3: Forest and tree cover in 2005 (000 ha)... 6 Table 1-4: Trend in Forest Area of Bangladesh (000 ha)... 7 Table 1-5: Forest cover in the littoral areas (ha) Table 1-6: Forest cover in the plains sal areas (ha) Table 1-7: Forest cover in hill areas (ha) Table 1-8: Village Homestead Area by Tree Cover Classes (000 ha) Table 1-9: Household Based Forestry Activity (BBS 2014) Table 1-10: Forest and tree cover of Bangladesh Table 1-11: Forest area (000 ha) (FRA 2015) Table 1-12: Changes in vegetation cover between 2005 and 2015 (000 ha) Table 1-13: Forest types by tree cover classes (000 ha) (2005) Table 1-14: Forest area by percentage of canopy cover (GFW) Table 1-15: Tree cover loss, in >10%, >30%, >50%, >75% canopy cover classes, in different divisions of Bangladesh (ha) (GFW) Table 1-16: Tree cover gain over the period in areas with a canopy cover over 50% (GFW) Table 1-17: Extent of encroachments and forest land conversions Table 1-18: Extent of plantations in Bangladesh (FRA 2015) Table 1-19: Plantation areas (ha) by planning period (NBSAP 2016) Table 1-20: Recorded and Estimated Number of Wild Plant Species of Different Plant Groups Table 1-21: Number of Animal Species Belonging to the Major Taxonomic Groups Table 1-22: Extinct Wildlife Species of Bangladesh Table 1-23: Summary of the Red List of Bangladesh Table 1-24: Protected Areas, Ecologically Critical Areas and several important conservation sites in Bangladesh Table 1-25: Ecosystem services in Bangladesh (Chowdhury 2008) Table 2-1: Employment in forestry from (FRA 2015) Table 2-2: Forestry Based Employment (Source: BBS, Statistical Year Book Bangladesh 2014) Table 2-3: Employment by type and gender in forestry sub-sector in Table 2-4: Production of wood products, (FRA 2015) Table 2-5: Production of pulp and paper (tonnes) (FRA 2015) Table 2-6: Raw Material Supplied by BFD to Karnafuli Paper Mills Table 2-7: Production of major NTFP in Bangladesh (Tonnes) Table 2-8: Murta Production in Sylhet Forest Division Table 2-9: Estimated market size for some key medicinal plants in Table 2-10: Primary reasons for degradation of selected NTFPs (Khar, 2010) Table 2-11: Timber price development (Hossain 2015) Table 2-12: Wholesale price of fuelwood (BBS 2006, 2010) Table 2-13: Commercial value of collected NTFPs in 2010 (FRA 2015) Table 2-14: NTFP and forest income against total household income by income group (Khar 2010) Table 2-15: Categories and proportions of forest land ownership (FRA 2015) Table 2-16: Availability of agricultural land (BBS, 2011) Table 3-1: Production and consumption of wood charcoal (tons) Table 3-2: Current trends in the production and consumption of paper and paperboard in Bangladesh (tonnes) Table 3-3: Consumption and Demand for bamboo (million culms) Table 3-4: Production of Major NTFPs in Khulna Circle Table 3-5: Projections of demand for timber Table 3-6: Projections of fuelwood demand Table 3-9: Estimated consumption of paper and paperboard in Bangladesh in 2020, 2030, and Table 4-1: Main Development Projects Implemented by Forestry Organizations Table 6-1: Environmental and socio-economic challenges facing the forestry sector in Bangladesh SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING xiii

18 Table 6-2: Categories of goods and services and their relationship to forests Table 6-3: Climate finance options for forestry in Bangladesh Table 6-4: Common parameters used in reporting of forestry activities Table 6-5: Reporting requirements to international Conventions and other bodies Table 7-1: BFD staff position Table 7-2: Staff position in BFRI Table 7-3: Courses and programmes offered by the Forest Academy Table 7-4: FSTI courses and graduation numbers Table 7-5: Staff strength of BNH Table 7-6: BFIDC staff position Table 8-1: Annual Development Programme (ADP) and Expenditure (in crore Taka; Office of the ACCF, Development Planning Unit, BFD) Table 8-2: Budget Allocations of BFD (crore Taka) Table 8-3: Revenue budget (crore Taka) Table 8-4: Financial Resources for National ADP vs. Forestry Sector ADP Table 8-5: Donor Financed Projects (Completed, Ongoing and Committed) Table 8-6: Vacancies at important levels in BFD Table 10-1: No. of trees and growing stock per ha (trees over 15 cm dbh) in Sundarbans since Table 10-2: Wildlife crime cases recorded by WCCU (June 2012 to April 2016) List of figures Figure 1-1: Trends in natural forest area in various forest types (FRA 2015)... 8 Figure 1-2: Expected change in tree cover by national land use classes Figure 1-3: Expected change in tree cover by forest type Figure 1-4: Changes in forest cover between 1981 and Figure 1-5: Trend in afforestation and reforestation Figure 1-6: Endangered animal species of Bangladesh Figure 2-1: Trend in the production of industrial roundwood (logs and poles) by Forest Department Figure 2-2: Trend in the production of logs through jote permits Figure 2-3: Major areas producing medicinal plants (Dixie et al. 2003) Figure 2-4: Main collectors of NTFPs in Chittagong Hill Tracts Figure 2-5: Land types from which NTFPs are collected in the Chittagong Hill Tract Figure 2-6: Land use proportions in 2011 (FAOstat 2015) Figure 3-1: Production and consumption of paper and paperboard in Bangladesh from 1979 to Figure 3-2: Projection of fuelwood demand Figure 6-1: Phases in REDD+ implementation Figure 6-2: General applicability of REDD+ activities as a function of forest condition Figure 6-3: Assessing ecosystem goods and services Figure 7-1: Organizational structure of BFRI Figure 8-1: Trends in expenditure on afforestation and reforestation List of maps Map 1-1: Distribution of Forests in Bangladesh... 5 Map 1-2: Bio-ecological zones of Bangladesh (IUCN, 2002) Map 1-3: Wildlife distribution in Bangladesh (Library of the Prime Minister s Office) Map 1-4: Protected Areas in Bangladesh Map 2-1: Cropland area of Bangladesh in 1976, 2000 and 2010 (Hasan et al. 2013) Map 5-1: Typical map of a Forest Division produced by RIMS Map 5-2: Mouza map from Map 5-3: Detail of mouza map, with annotation of land use in parcels Map 10-1: Kassalong reserve forest xiv SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

19 List of boxes Box 1-1: Deforestation in Chittagong Hills, an extract from the Project Concept Note Bangladesh REDD+ ARR Protected Areas Project (BRAPAP) Box 1-2: Principal drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the Sundarbans Box 2-1: Economic contribution of participatory agroforestry programme to poverty Box 2-2: alleviation: a case from Sal forests (Islam 2011) Role of non-timber forest products in sustaining forest-based livelihoods and rural households resilience capacity in and around protected area (Mukul et al. 2015) Box 2-3: Honey Hunting in Sundarbans Reserved Forests of Bangladesh (Gani 2015) Box 2-4: Bangladesh: Queen of natural beauty Box 2-5: Value of Sundarbans ecosystem goods and services Box 5-1: MIS development in the SEALS project Box 6-1: Concepts related to resilience Box 6-2: Economic valuation of ecosystem services in the Sundarbans Box 6-3: CDM project development for the Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary Box 6-4: UN-REDD Bangladesh Programme overview SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING xv

20 Abbreviations ADB ACCF ACF ADP AF AFOLU ANR ARR BBS BCCRF BCCSAP BCCTF BFD BFIDC BFRI BNH BRAPAP BUR CBD CBO CCD CCF CDM CEGIS CER CHT CITES cm CMC CO 2 CREL CRISP CRPARP DCF DFO DoE ECA EGS EU FAO FAP FCPF FENTC FIGNS FIP FMP FRA FRMIS FRMP FSP FSTI FYP GCF GDP GEF GHG GFW GIS GIZ GoB GPS ha HWP ICT IFESCU IFI Asian Development Bank Assistant Chief Conservator of Forests Assistant Conservator of Forests Annual Development Programme Arannayk Foundation Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (reporting category of the IPCC) Assisted natural regeneration Afforestation, Reforestation, and Revegetation Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund Bangladesh Forest Department Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation Bangladesh Forest Research Institute Bangladesh National Herbarium Bangladesh REDD+ ARR Protected Areas Project Biennial Update Report United Nations Conventions on Biological Diversity Community-based organization United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Chief Conservator of Forests Clean Development Mechanism Centre for Environmental and Geographic Systems (of MoWR) Certified Emission Reduction Chittagong Hill Tracts Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora centimetre Co-management councils and committees Carbon di-oxide Climate Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihood project Collaborative Redd+IFM Sundarbans Project Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project Deputy Conservator of Forests Divisional Forest Office Department of Environment Ecologically Critical Area Ecosystem goods and services European Union Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Flood Action Programme Forest Carbon Partnership Facility Forestry Extension, Nursery and Training Centres Forest Information Generation and Networking System Forest Investment Program Forestry Master Plan Forest Resources Assessment (of FAO) Forest Resources Management Information System Forest Resource Monitoring Program Forestry Sector Project Forestry Science and Technology Institute Five-year Plan Green Climate Fund Gross Domestic Product Global Environmental Facility Greenhouse gas Global Forest Watch Geographic Information System German Development Cooperation organization Government of Bangladesh Global Positioning System hectare (also Mha millions of ) Harvested wood products Information and communication technology Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, Chittagong University International Finance Institution xvi SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

21 IFM Improved Forest Management INDC Intended Nationally Determined Contributions IPAC Integrated Protected Area Co-Management project IPCC Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change IT Information technology ITTO International Tropical Timber Organization IUCN-B International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Bangladesh km 2 square kilometre LAN Local area network LULUCF Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (reporting category of the IPCC) M&E Monitoring & evaluation m, m 2, m 3 metre, square metre, cubic metre M million (prefix for unit: ha, tco 2e) MIS Management Information System MoEF Ministry of Environment and Forests MoU Memorandum of Understanding MoWR Ministry of Water Resources MRV Measurement, reporting and verification NAMA Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions NAPA National Adaptation Plan of Action NBSAP National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan NC National Communication NFA National Forest Assessment NFI National Forest Inventory NGO Non-governmental organization NP National Park NTFP Non-timber forest product OCA Opportunity cost analysis ODA Overseas Development Assistance PA Protected Area PoA Programme of Activities (of the CDM) PRSP Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper RAID Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks RAM Random Access Memory REDD+ Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries REL Reference emission level RF Reserve Forest RIMS Resource Information and Monitoring System RL Reference level RS Remote sensing RSC National REDD+ Steering Committee SEALS Sundarbans Environmental and Livelihoods Security project SFM Sustainable Forest Management SFPC Social Forestry Plantation Centres SPARSSO Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization SRF Sundarbans Reserve Forest TB terabyte tco 2e ton of CO 2-equivalent emissions of greenhouse gases (also MtCO 2e millions of ) TEEB The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity TFA2020 Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 TFF Tree Farming Fund Tk Taka ToR Terms of Reference UNCED United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNFCCC United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change UNFF United Nations Forum on Forests UN-REDD United Nations REDD+ Programme USAID United States Agency for International Development USD United States Dollar USF Unclassed forest VCS Voluntary Carbon Standards VH Village homestead forest WB World Bank WFP World Food Programme SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING xvii

22

23 Introduction Bangladesh, covering an area of 147,570 square km (BBS 2016), is situated under the northeastern wing of the Indian sub-continent. The country s main landmass is a low-lying delta, traversed by numerous branches and tributaries of the Padma, Jamuna and Meghna rivers. These rivers bring enormous amounts of sediments and nutrients that contribute to the biological richness of the forests, wetlands, wildlife and aquatic biodiversity. Bangladesh is considered to be one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world. As a lower riparian country with an extensive coastline, floods, storms and cyclones are frequent and intense. The country s food and economic security is linked closely with its ecological security for which forest and wetland conservation, in gainful partnerships with local communities, is vital. The country s forest ecosystems, including encompassing wetlands, provide socioeconomic and ecological services in terms of life supporting, provisioning and regulating functions, and have tremendous impact on water-induced disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation of local communities and land resources. Sustainable forest management in densely populated Bangladesh has high socioeconomic and environmental benefits for local communities, who are mainly made up of subsistence farmers and labourers. But with climate change becoming the principal concern of the world, particularly of the most vulnerable states like Bangladesh, the importance of sustainable and climate-resilient forestry is now better appreciated than ever before. Bangladesh was one of the first countries in the world to have a long-term forestry master plan (FMP) which was in operation from 1995 to This master plan was grounded in the realities of those times and provided a strong focus for investments in the forestry sector in the country. Although it recommended wide ranging programmes, its main focus was improving the production of forest products, revival of the forest based industries, institutionalisation of people s participation in forestry and institutional reforms in the forestry sector. Although biodiversity conservation did get some attention but the plan did not propose any programmes to deal with the impacts of climate change. Although the potential impacts of climate change on human society and ecosystems were recognised but global action to deal with these impacts had not yet started. Although the forestry sector received less than 40% of the investments recommended by the FMP, but it was able to catalyse some very important institutional changes in the form of giving the country a new forest policy and amending the Forest Act to put social forestry on a firm footing. As the FMP 1995 had run its course, and new environmental concerns had emerged which needed immediate attention, it was naturally the time for the country to consider revising its existing forestry master plan. Coincidentally, the inception of a new forestry project funded by the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) provided an opportunity to rewrite the master plan at the right time. Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project (CRPARP) The Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD), Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), jointly with the Arannayk Foundation (AF), have received financial support from BCCRF to implement the Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project (CRPARP) with technical support from the World Bank. The project was launched in 2013 and will end in June The project consists of four main components, namely: SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 1

24 Component 1: Afforestation and Reforestation Program Component 2: Alternative Livelihoods to Support Forest Communities Component 3: Capacity Development for Forest Resource Planning and Management Component 4: Project Management Component 3 of the project aims to strengthen the capacity of BFD, and the communities confronted with climate change risks, to better manage forest resources and supports the development of a strategy for capacity development, including the revision of the existing FMP. The revised forestry sector master plan is required to increase the sector focus on emerging challenges of climate change and environmental conservation. The Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD) has engaged a consortium consisting of Agriconsulting Europe S.A. (AESA) of Brussels (Belgium) and Sodev Consult International of Dhaka (Bangladesh) to provide consultancy support for the updating/review of the Bangladesh Forestry Master Plan ( ). The contract was signed on 29 December 2015 and the project became effective on 1 January, The consortium has deployed a team of 9 international and five national experts to perform this task. Addressing the socio-economic and environmental challenges facing the forestry sector, and the country, requires long-term planning, increased technical capacity, additional financial resources, enabling policies, participation of the local communities, monitoring and reformed institutional structures. The new FMP will assist in addressing these challenges both from the short- and long-term perspectives. Objectives of the Consultancy According to the Terms or Reference (ToRs), the objective of the consultancy is two-fold: 1. The aim of the first part is to review and update the Forestry Master Plan to address the environmental and socio-economic challenges facing the Bangladesh forest sector and other related sectors by adopting a consultative and inclusive process. The firm needs to carry out a series of sectoral studies as background technical assessment of forest sector master planning. Short reports are required which will form the basis of the Forestry Master Plan. 2. The aim of the second part is to prepare a time specific action plan based on the updated Forest Master Plan. The assignment includes the detailing of all activities to be proposed for the first 5 years so that the action plan for this period can be converted into a project/program document. Tasks for the Firm/Consultancy According to the ToR, the Preparation of the Forestry Master Plan would involve conducting several technical studies, consultation meetings, preparation of the sectoral reports, synthesis of the report, review, and finalization. The project could involve the following 6 major studies (sub-contracts) and a synthesis report. Task 1 Prepare Sectoral Reports on; Problems of existing FD institutions and possible remedies, land management and ownership, forest and other related sectors assessment, monitoring and assessment including remote sensing, socio-economic survey and MIS/GIS database management, reporting and mapping related issues 2 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

25 and roadmap to overcome this, wildlife management, review of the existing FMP, forest policies, acts regulation, programs, institutions, environmental and socioeconomic challenges, and international commitments, economic / financial valuation of forests & Ecosystem services, alignment with Five Year Plans. Task 2 Strategies, programs and resources for implementation of new FMP. Task 3 deleted. Task 4 Climate change impacts; enhancing resilience of forest ecosystems and forest dependent communities to enable adaptation to climate impacts. Task 5 Development of package of sustainable forest management and silvi-cultural (and nursery) practices Sustained Ecosystem Management Services. Task 6 Financial & other resources needed for implementation of FMP, policies, institutional reforms and technical capacity required for implementing FMP. Task 7 Research, Education, Monitoring of socio-economic and ecosystem services impact Indicators and meeting international Convention and Agreement requirements. Task 8 FMP Report synthesis, Detailed Action plan and separate Executive Summary. This report pertains to Task 1 of the ToR. As mentioned above, Task 1 refers to a set of studies aimed at documenting the current status of various aspects of forests and forestry in the country. These studies will form the basis of the FMP and are as follows: 1. Sectoral Report: State of forests, LULUCF, Land use, biodiversity wildlife, and ecosystem services 2. Sectoral Report: Forest production and economic value 3. Sectoral Report: Forest economics, industry, estimates of current and future socioeconomic demands on the forest sector 4. Review the existing forestry master plan 5. Sectoral Report: Monitoring and assessment, including remote sensing, socioeconomic survey and on MIS/GIS database management, reporting and mapping by RIMS 6. Environmental challenges and multilateral environmental agreements 7. Sectoral Report: Review and assessment of forest policies, land tenure, programs and institutions 8. Sectoral Report: Resource mobilization 9. Challenges, goals and vision for FMP. These nine studies form the nine chapters of this report. As can be seen, these reports cover virtually every aspect of forestry, including climate change, in the country. The contents (sections) of each report are provided in the ToR and therefore, the experts explored essentially the direction given in the ToR. Most of these studies were carried out by teams of experts that best matched the requirements of the studies. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 3

26 1 State of forests, land use, biodiversity, wildlife, and ecosystem services 1.1 Trends in area under forest: past, current and future Forest types of Bangladesh Primary forests of Bangladesh are of three types, namely, hill forests, sal forests and mangrove forests. A brief description of these forests is given below: Hill forests Tropical wet evergreen and semi-evergreen forests are commonly known as hill forests and are found in Cox s Bazar, Chittagong, the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Khagrachari, Rangamati and Bandarban) districts, and Sylhet Forest Division. Trees in the top canopy of these forests attain a height of m in the semi-evergreen forests and m in the tropical wet evergreen forests. The main species are Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Bailam (Anisopera scaphula), Bandarhola (Duabanga grandiflora), Champa (Michelia champaca), Chapalish (Artocarpus chaplasha), Chickrassi (Chickrassia velutina), Civit (Swintonia floribunda), Dhakijam (Syzygium grande), Gamar (Gmelina arborea), Garjan (Dipterocarús spp.), Jarul (Lagerstroemia speciosa), Kadam (Anthocephalus chinensis), Kainjal (Bischofia javanica), Kamdeb (Calophyllum polyanthum), Khair (Acacia catechu), Koroi (Albizia spp.), Lohakat (Xylia dolabriformis), Mahogony (Swietenia spp.), Minjiri (Cassia siamea), Pitali (Trewia nudiflora), Shimul (Bombax ceiba), Sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo), Tali (Dichopsis polyantha), Telsur (Hopea odorata), Toon (Toona ciliata), and Uriam (Mangifera sylvatica). Some parts of these forests are dominated by bamboos. Bamboo species, found in these forests include Bariala (Bambusa valgaris), Basali (Teinostavhayum griffithi), Daloo (Neohuzeaua dullooa), Kali (Oxytenanthera nigrociliata), Kaiera (Oxytenanthera auriculata), Mitenga (Bambusa tulda), Muli (Melocana baccifera) and Orah (Dendrocalamus longispathus) (Chowdhury 2014). Plain land Sal forests Tropical moist deciduous forest, which is commonly referred to as Sal Forests, occurs over the central part and in some areas of the northern part of the country. This forest type is characterized by the gregarious presence of Shorea robusta (sal) up to 30 m in height. Bamboos are very rare and restricted to wet sites. The associated species include: Banyan (Ficus bengalensis), Ashwath (Ficus religiosa), Koroi (Albizia spp.), Ajuli (Dillenia pentagyna), Sonalu (Cassia fistula), Bohera (Terminalia balarica), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Kanchan (Bauhinia acuminata), Jarul (Lagerstroemia speciosa), Kurchi (Holarrhena antidysenterica), and Jam (Syzygium spp.), among others (Chowdhury 2014). Many parts of these forests have been converted into plantations of fast-growing exotic species under the social forestry programme. Tropical littoral and mangrove forests Bangladesh has natural and planted mangrove forests. The natural mangrove forests are situated in the southwest of the country and called the Sundarban, because of the presence of a tree species called sundari (Heriteria fomes). Another small patch of natural forests earlier 4 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

27 found in the southeastern parts, the Chakaria Sundarbans, has now virtually disappeared. This forest type occupies about 4.1% of the land area of Bangladesh. The major part of the forest (62%) is composed of Sundri (Heritiera fomes), followed by Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha), and Goran (Ceriops decandra) mixed with 25 other tree species such as Baen (Avicennia officinalis), Passur (Xylocarpus mekongensis) and Keora (Sonneratia apetala) (Chowdhury 2014). Being a mangrove, nearly one third of the Sundarban reserve forest (SRF) is mostly under water. According to available records, the area of these forests is as given below: Table 1-1: Forest Types of Bangladesh Forest Type Area (Ha) Sal Forest Hill Forest Mangrove Forest (Sundarban) Distribution of these forests in the country is shown in map 1-1. Map 1-1: Distribution of Forests in Bangladesh SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 5

28 1.1.2 Forest Land in Bangladesh Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD) is the custodian of all the state forest lands. Traditionally, forests were classified as reserve forests or protected forests under the Forest Act But later on areas acquired by the government or vested in the government under other laws, aimed at consolidation of the forest estate, also came under the control of the BFD. However, not all this area bears tree cover; this is the area which is formally known as forest, irrespective of the fact whether it bears any forest or not. Major notified and other forest areas under the control of the forest department are as given in Table 1-2 Table 1-2: Notified Forests of Bangladesh. ( ) 1 Type Area (000 ha) Reserved forests 1, Notified under section 4 of Forest Act 1927 (Proposed Reserve) Protected forests 37.0 Vested/Acquired forests Unclassed state forests under the control & management of BFD Total 1, In addition to these areas, BFD also controls the strip plantations and coastal plantations carried out by them outside the notified forest areas. The unclassed state forest (USF) under the control of the civil administration is believed to be approximately 694,983 ha in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) area. There is not much information about this category and it is believed to be heavily encroached, mainly in the form of shifting cultivation and used for nonforestry purposes. Only a small portion is with BFD, under plantations, as shown above. Out of the above notified forest land, an area of ha has been transferred to various other agencies while ha area is under various kinds of encroachments. Thus the net area under the control of the forest department is approx ha only. Moreover, some of the areas were notified in anticipation of new accretion which has actually not happened. Therefore, the real area under the control of BFD much lower than actually notified Forest and tree cover As mentioned before, all the forest lands of the country do not bear tree cover and many parts are under various levels of degradation. However, the country has significant tree cover outside the state forests. According to the last assessment of tree cover in the country, (NFA 2007), the forest and tree resources were estimated as given in Table 1-3: Table 1-3: Forest and tree cover in 2005 (000 ha) Origin Type Area Hills 551 Natural Forest Sal 34 Mangrove Source: ACCF (Management Planning), BFD. 6 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

29 Origin Type Area Plantation Bamboo or bamboo mixed /broad-leaved forest 184 Long Rotation 131 Short/Medium Rotation 54 Mangrove 45 Rubber 8 Cultivated Land Wooded land with shifting cultivation** 327 Shrubs 266 Villages* Rural settlement with trees ha 1,090 Rural settlement with trees >0.5 ha 1,677 Total 4,803 * Commonly known as homestead forests ** In the Chittagong Hill Tracts area As can be seen, more than half of the tree covered area of the country is in the homesteads due to the cultural affinity of the local people with trees. However, a very large portion (12%) of the natural vegetation in the hill forests is affected by shifting cultivation or is otherwise classified as just shrubs in cultivated land, while, in effect, it is a degraded forest in the hill regions. No comprehensive assessment of the forest and tree resources has been attempted since 2007 although serious changes in the forest landscape of the country have taken place. In a recent assessment (BFD 2013) limited to state forests only, it has been found that the natural sal forests have further declined to just 17,495 ha while the natural mangrove cover (land area) has also shrunk to approx. 390,550 ha. Although a much more drastic decline in the condition of the hill forest has been noticed in the above study but a complete picture is not yet available as some areas of hill forests could not be mapped in that exercise. Approximately 122,089 ha block plantations, 23,512 km strip plantations and nearly ha of coastal plantations have been established since the last full assessment (2005) in the country Trend in forest area According to FRA 2015, the forest area of Bangladesh has decreased while degraded forest (other wooded land) has been increasing since 1990 as shown in Table 1-4 below: Table 1-4: Trend in Forest Area of Bangladesh (000 ha) Category Forest 1,494 1,468 1,455 1,442 1,429 Other Wooded Land Other Land with Trees ,408 1,882 2,356 The other wooded land is nothing but degraded forest and scrubland while other land with trees includes homesteads, agricultural land and other lands which have some tree cover. While tree covered area outside notified forests has increased at a tremendous rate, as shown above, since 1990, the forests under the control of BFD have been degrading at an equally alarming rate. This indicates tremendous socioeconomic pressures on these forests. 2 Source: BFD records SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 7

30 Trends in the forest area under natural forests of various types is shown in Fig Mangrove forests Sal Forests Hill forests Bamboo Forests Figure 1-1: Trends in natural forest area in various forest types (000ha) (FRA 2015) In the above chart, the status of the forests in the years 1990, 2000 and 2005 is based on FRA 2015 while the status in 2015 is based on the FIGNSP 2013 project of the BFD. The drastic decline in the area of bamboo forest may be because of classification of some mixed bamboo and tree forests as pure tree forests. However, this minor discrepancy does not change the overall situation showing fast decline of natural forests in the hill region. As can be seen, there has been only a small decline in the tree cover in the Sundarbans between 1990 and 2015 (actually 2013) while other forests have suffered very serious losses Forest Cover in Major Forested Regions of Bangladesh As the forests of Bangladesh are under severe pressure, they are continuously degrading and the nature of the forest crop keeps changing. As mentioned before, BFD carried out the mapping of the forest areas of the country in 2013 under a project called Forest Information Generation and Networking System Project (FIGNSP) with the help of the Centre for Environmental Geographic Information Services (CEGIS). All forests of the country except a small portion of the hill forests were covered under this exercise. The project was able to classify the crop standing on forest lands into several cover types. A total of 23 different land cover classes have been defined from IKONOS and RapidEye satellite images for all the forest divisions in Bangladesh except the Sundarban Reserved Forest. The classes relevant to this report are described below. Natural Forest (Hill) The natural forest of Sylhet forest division, Chittagong forest divisions, Cox s Bazar forest divisions and areas under Chittagong Hill Tracts are considered in the class. Forest of native species regenerating through natural regeneration or assisted regeneration is considered as natural forest. Open forests of 70 or 60% to 20 or 10% canopy coverage of natural forest is mostly covered by this class. The forest is semi evergreen type mostly and broadleaved, often mixed with deciduous and ever green forest patches. Height of the trees in this forest is >30m to 3 m. Dominant species are Garjan (Dipterocarpus spp.), Chapalish (Artocarpus chaplasha), Telsur (Hopea odorata), Uriam (Mangifera sylvatica), Jarul (Legarstroemia speciosa), Civit (Swintonia floribunda), Toon (Cedrela toona), Bandorhola (Duabanga grandiflora), Gamar (Gmelina arborea), etc. 8 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

31 Scattered Forest (Natural and Plantation) This class is found in the three reserved forests (Kassalong, Rankhiang and Sangu- Matamuhuri) and other areas of this project under Chittagong Hill Tracts. Scattered natural trees with herbs/shrubs and mixture of scattered plantations, natural scattered trees & other types of vegetation are the main composition of this class. They could not be separated from each other on RapidEye satellite images and were thus included in this class. This may include teak plantation (natural and plantation) since teak is a deciduous tree and the images are of dry seasons. During dry season, teak loses its leaves and thus looks bear with herbs or grass. However, a pattern was identified and based on that some areas were identified but did not work for all areas. This class present in degraded forest areas, generally left fallow, covers huge areas. Height range varies up to 1.5 meter. Natural Forest (Sal) This class has been found in Dhaka, Tangail & Mymensingh forest divisions and Dinajpur, Rangpur & Rajshahi social forest divisions. The class includes the full grown Sal, coppices of Sal and where Sal is more than 50% in case of mixture with other plantation species. If sal was found less than 50% in case of mixture with other plantation and could not be separated from each other, then it was included in Plantation. This forest type is naturally developed in the Pleistocene terraces, spread over the central and northern region of the country. Undulating terrace land, hillocks and raised areas are covered with this type of forest. Sal (Shorea robusta) is the main species, which is broadleaved, height greater than 30 m to 3 m, covering 90% of the area and is deciduous in winter for a short period. Sal naturally regenerates by coppice. Natural Forest (Swamp) Natural forest growing in some fresh water swampy areas is included in the class. This type is found in the northern haor areas of Sylhet Forest Division, limited to heavier rainfall tracts i.e. in permanently moist soil and almost always subject to flooding during rainy season. The most dominant species are Hijol (Barringtonia acutangula) and Koroch (Pongamia pinnata). Moreover, Syzygium species, Bauhinia javanica, Albizia procera, Ficus glomerata, etc. are also available species. Trees are broadleaved evergreen and average tree height is meter. Species of reed land type (mostly Murta) are also found as under growth in some places. If the canopy coverage of the swampy species was found more than 30%, with the Murta undergrowth, then that was included in this class. Otherwise, the swamp was considered in the Reed Land class. Natural Forest (Mangrove) The mangroves, which grow naturally near saline water in the active delta along the coast of Bay of Bengal, are included in the class. This type is found only in the Sundarban Reserved Forest (SRF).Elevation is not more than 2m above mean sea level. Forest floor inundates with saline water twice daily and is intersected by numerous rivers and creeks. Sundri (Heritiera fomes), Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha) and Goran (Ceriops decandra) are the dominant species. Some minor species are Keora (Sonneratia apetala), Passur (Xylocarpus granatum), Kankra (Bruguiera gymnorrhiza), Baen (Avicennia officinalis), etc. Trees are broadleaved evergreen and average height is meter. All the dominant and minor species are present as different composition percentages throughout the Sundarbans. Sundri grows and dominates in less saline areas in the eastern part, Gewa in medium saline in the middle part and Goran in the higher saline areas in the western part of Sundarban. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 9

32 Plantations Plantation class includes all types of species under short rotation and long rotation. The plantation areas are identified by the similarities of species for a large area, similar tree heights, and smooth texture in satellite images, mostly high density of trees and by direct field observation. In case of failed plantation, if the tree canopy coverage is more than 10% then included in this class. The new plantation of three/four year s age from satellite image dates may not be included in this class since they could not be separated from herbs and grass. However, during field reference data collection if any such new plantation was observed, it was marked and included in the class. Furthermore, there was a problem in classifying teak plantation as teak is leafless during the dry season when the satellite images were taken. Thus all teak plantations may not have been included in this class. The teak is a deciduous tree and the images are of dry seasons. However, a pattern was identified and based on that some areas were identified but the method did not work for all areas. Long rotation forest plantations (40-60 years) include Teak (Tectona grandis), Dipterocarps, Mahagoni (Swietenia macrophylla), Jarul (Lagerstroemia speciosa), Neem (Azadirachta indica), Gamar (Gmelina arborea), etc. and short/medium rotation forest plantations (7-20 years) are fuel wood, Acacia, Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globus), Gamar (Gmelina arborea), etc. Plantations (Mangrove) Artificially created plantation of mangrove forests along the coast and off-shore islands are included in this class. It is dominated by Keora (Sonneretia apetala) spp. and Gewa (Excoecaria agallocha) is also found. In case of presence of scattered mangrove trees, if the tree can copy coverage is more than 10% then it was included in this class. The new plantations aged three/four years on the day of taking the satellite imagery may not be included in this class since they could not be separated from bare mudflat and uri grass (Porteresia coarctata). Other Vegetation In a few places, vegetation of homestead type, mixed with plantations, could not be separated from each other and were classified as this class. Areas of different homestead vegetation without house structures, fruit trees of different heights, inhomogeneous on satellite images are interpreted as this class. In most cases, this class is very near or attached to the class named as Settlement with Homestead Vegetation. (This class is mostly seen in the sal area. As large parts of sal forests are under encroachments and have been covered under agroforestry, this class is generally seen within the forest blocks.) Reed Land This class is found in the haor areas only in north Sylhet region and includes low height non timber plants which grow in marshes or low lying areas. Only one plant type, locally known as Murta, was included in the class. However, the class may include some scattered Hijol and Koroch, which are present inside the reed land class. Bamboo Bamboo class includes both natural and planted bamboos. This class is mostly available in the hilly areas. In case of mixture of bamboo with other vegetation, if the presence of bamboo is more than 60 to 70 percent, the class was considered as bamboo. Bamboos are woody 10 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

33 grasses that are up to 15 meters tall and occur in the eastern and southern part of Bangladesh. Bamboo naturally occurs in pure stands or mixed with trees. Major species of bamboo are Muli (Melocanna baccifera), Mitenga (Bambusa tulda), Dalu (Neo houzeau adullooa), Orah (Dendrocalamus longispathus), Kalichari (Oxytenanthera nigrociliata), etc. Shrubs and Grass Shrubs occur in the heavily degraded forest areas, generally left fallow, and covers huge areas. It refers to those vegetation types where the dominant woody elements are shrubs i.e. woody perennial plants, generally more than 0.5 m and less than 5 m in height on maturity and without a definite crown. The Shrubs and Grass type includes low to high dense non-timber low height plants, bushes, grasses, some bare areas, etc. However, very scattered trees may be present and thus might be included in the class. It was very difficult to separate this class from very young type of plantations, since both of the types give similar spectral response and signature of the satellite images. Therefore, some areas may have been wrongly interpreted. Rubber Rubber plantation managed for latex production, occurs in well-drained soil or land with 3% to 32% slope of the central, north and south eastern part of Bangladesh. Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) and is broadleaved, deciduous in the drier months for a very short period. Due to the deciduous nature, it looks like bare land with grass in the images in dry season (mostly January and February). Therefore, some areas may be wrongly interpreted due to the leafless situation. Distribution of various forest cover classes in the forest lands of Bangladesh is given below: Table 1-5: Forest cover in the littoral areas (ha) Division Natural Forest (Mangroves) Plantations Plantations Mangroves Shrubs and Grass Total Patuakhali CAD Bhola CAD Noakholi CAD Chittagong CAD Sundarbans Cox's Bazar North Cox's Bazar South Total SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 11

34 Natural Forest Scattered Forest (Nat. & Plantation) Other Vegetation (Homestead type & Plantation) Bamboo Plantations Swamp Forest Rubber Shrubs and Grass Reed Land Total Table 1-6: Forest cover in the plains sal areas (ha) Location Natural Forest (Sal) Other Vegetation (Homestead type & Plantation) Plantation Bamboo Shrubs and Grass Total Dhaka FD Tangail FD Mymensingh FD Rajshahi SFD Rangpur SFD Dinajpur SFD Total Table 1-7: Forest cover in hill areas (ha) Division/Reserve Forest Chittagong North Chittagong South Cox s Bazar North Cox s Bazar South Kassalong RF Rankhiang RF Sangu-Matamuhuri RF Kaptai NP Sylhet FD Total It is to be noted that these tables do not correspond to the total notified forest lands of the country. As the boundaries of the surveyed forest lands were not marked on the ground or available on digital maps, some land uses such as agriculture, homesteads etc. (as a result of encroachments) could not be distinguished from the adjoining private lands. Moreover, very young plantations, as well as defoliated forests (e.g. teak plantations) were also not distinguishable in the satellite imageries. Therefore, the above forest cover can be treated as the minimum forest cover rather than the actual. This assessment shows a very high degree of degradation/deforestation of the sal and hill forests. Although the decline follows the trend indicated in the various FRA reports on the basis of regression analysis, this assessment shows very major change since the NFA 2007 assessment, in which the areas of natural forests were shown considerably above the values indicated in the FRA country reports. Although some areas have not been included in the FIGNSP mapping but the left out areas not large enough to make a significant difference to the results. 12 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

35 Unclassed State Forests Unclassed State Forests (USF) refer to the forest area under district administration. The land under this classification comprises an area of about 712,418 ha out of which nearly 17,347 ha is under the control of the BFD As mentioned before, there is no information on the exact extent of forest coverage within this area, but it is recognized that most of the lands under this category are unproductive use with a lack of forest cover. Local forest officers feel that 50-60% of this area should still be available for the development of forests as the rest is under various kinds of encumbrances. Homestead and other private forests Homestead forests are essentially tree gardens around rural habitations. Although a large portion of the trees in the homesteads are fruit trees such as mango, jackfruit, coconut, etc., but these treelands are popularly believed to meet nearly 80% (FMP 1995) of the local demand for wood products. The NFA estimated their extent to be far more than all other natural and planted forests put together (2,767,000 ha, all plots over 0.1 ha in size). Tree cover in the homestead vegetation is fairly dense, as shown below: Tree Cover Classes Table 1-8: Village Homestead Area by Tree Cover Classes (000 ha) 3. No Tree Cover <5% 5-10% 10-30% 30-70% >70% Table 1-8 shows that nearly 40% of the villages have tree cover which is comparable with any forest area of the country. Previous studies showed that per capita availability of bamboo and trees from the homesteads had increased between 1981 and It is presumed that the same trend has continued in the recent past and the area and number of trees in the homestead must be more than recorded here. NFA shows that the village homestead stands and cultivated lands contain more than double the commercial volume (105 million m 3 ) of commercial volume of roundwood compared to the nation s forest areas (43 million m 3 ). This underlines the importance of these resources for the local economy. According to Hammermaster (1981) Mha of rural (villages and homesteads) areas (excluding Chittagong Hill Tracts) had a growing stock of 54.8 million m 3. The same area was found to have million m 3 in Thus it grew at 2.62 million m 3 per year. In 1993 the homestead growing stock was million m 3. ADB (1993) reported that the village forests supply 5 million m 3 wood every year, which is 5.8% of the total growing stock. Thus it can be assumed that the village groves (homesteads) yield about 5.8% of the growing stock that they carry at any given time 4. Homestead forests consist of mixed fruits, fuel wood, shade, and other multipurpose trees, as well as bamboos. In the upper stratum, it is common to find trees such as Albizia procera, A. lebbeck, Aphanamixis polystachya, Artocarpus heterophyllus, A. lacucha, Polyalthia longifolia, Alstonia scholaris, Azadirachta indica, Dillenia indica, Mangifera indica, Cordial dichotoma, Elaeocarpus floribudus, Bombax ceiba, Syzygium cumini, Samania saman, Swietenia macrophylla, Tamarindus indica, Toona cialiata, Acacia nilotica, Lagerstroemia speciosa, 3 BFD: NFA Chowdhury J.K and Hossain A.A. 2011: Bangladesh Forestry Outlook Study, FAO Bangkok. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 13

36 Ficus bengalensis, F. religiosa, F. racemosa, Anthocephalus chinensis, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Areca catechu, Borassus flobellifer, Cocos nucifera, and Gmelina arborea, among others. In the middle stratum, the major part is composed of small trees and bamboos (Alam 2014). Apart from the formally recorded or recognized categories of forests, people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Chittagong Hills and Dhaka circle own significant chunks of private forest areas. There is no accurate survey of the extent of these forests, although the estimated area of private forests in North Rangamati division is approximately 273,791 ha, which is mostly composed of teak and gamar plantations (pers. Com. DFO). While most of these forests have already been converted into teak forests, the newfound interest of the local indigenous people in horticulture suggests that the extent of these forests may be declining. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) carried out a Household Based Forestry Survey in 2014 to estimate the level of forestry activity in the homesteads and other private lands. A summary of the results is given in the table below: Table 1-9: Household Based Forestry Activity (BBS 2014) Item Estimate Remarks No. of Households reporting % reported owning trees Total No. of trees million Total value of trees million Tk. Total wood production Cft. Value of wood produced million Tk. Total bamboo production Value of bamboo produced 1067 million Tk. Firewood production million tons Value of firewood million Tk. Gross output of HH based forestry activity million Tk. This study divided the overall private tree planting activity into two categories: Homestead trees and planned forest away from homesteads. It estimated the area of planned forests as only acres ( ha) and no estimate of the area under homestead plantations is given. Apparently, the results of this study are not comparable with the earlier assessments and most values seem to be underestimates. Strip Plantations Bangladesh has been undertaking the planting of fast growing exotic species, primarily Acacia auriculiformis and A. mangium, on the strips of land along roads, railway lines, and canals under the social forestry programme. While there are conflicting records of the total extent of these plantations, it is reasonable to believe that the area under plantations is growing as the result of the recurring annual establishment of plantations, as well as the security provided by the communities participating in the social forestry programme. According to the records of the BFD, approximately 62,329 km of strip plantations were established between and , although FRA 2015 indicates their extent to be 73,000 km before 2005, equivalent to 14 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

37 about 7,3000 ha. Since then 23,512 km additional strip plantations have been established until making the total length close to one hundred thousand km. Based on the information presented above, it is clear that the tree cover has been on the decline inside the state forests while there have been major gains outside the forests. Putting together data from different sources, although from disparate periods, the composite picture of the country s tree cover that emerges is as given in the table below: Table 1-10: Category of Forest or Tree Cover Forest and tree cover of Bangladesh Area (Ha) Source Remarks Hill Forest Sal Forest Mangrove Forest, Natural Bamboo FIGNSP 2013 FIGNSP 2013 FIGNSP 2013 FIGNSP 2013 >10% Canopy Cover; all RF blocks not mapped >50% sal trees > 60% Bamboo Plantations Short Term) (Long Term and FIGNSP 2013 Scattered Forest in CHT Mixed with Teak Plantations FIGNSP 2013 Plantations in USF (FD controlled) BFD Plantations, Mangrove Plantations, Rubber 9217 FIGNSP 2013 FIGNSP 2013 Plantations, Strip BFD Cultivated land with >10% tree density Rural settlements with >10% tree cover NFA ,97,000 NFA 2007 Village/Homestead Total Area under Tree Cover 24,91,555 Total Area of Bangladesh 1,47,57,500 % Area With Tree Cover 16.88% 21% of dry land SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 15

38 The above table indicates that the current tree cover in the country is close to 17% of the geographical area of the country which is almost equivalent to 21% of the dry land. However, as the tree cover also includes areas with very low canopy density, these is plenty of scope for improvement despite the country having reached the 20% goal mentioned in the 1994 National Forest Policy. However, it is important to update this picture through a thorough country wide survey of tree cover, so that correct data for planning is available. 1.2 Trends in deforestation in different regions, forest degradation, and drivers Trends in deforestation and forest degradation Discussion in the previous section brings out the fact that the natural forests of the country are on a sharply declining path, although the losses are partially compensated, at least in extent, through afforestation and reforestation. There are no recent studies on deforestation and degradation of forests in Bangladesh. It is, therefore, difficult to compile definitive information on the subject. Reasonable inferences on deforestation and forest degradation may be established, however, by collating relevant data from diverse sources. Table 1-4 and Table 1-11 provide an indication of the increasing deforestation trend in natural forests. Table 1-11: Forest area (000 ha) (FRA 2015). Category Primary forest Other naturally regenerated forest Planted forest Total 1,494 1,468 1,455 1,442 1,429 Primary forest is an area which is very little affected by human activities and is limited only to Sundarbans. The natural forest area of the country has declined between 1990 and 2015, although the area under plantations, notwithstanding the decline between 2005 and 2010, has increased. The clearest picture of the state of affairs emerges from a comparison of NFA and FRA 2015 as shown below. Table 1-12: Changes in vegetation cover between 2005 and 2015 (000 ha). Type Area 2005 Area 2015 Hill 551* Sal Mangrove Bamboo 184** *Although the NFA gives this figure, FRA 2015 indicates an area of 92,910 ha which fits well with the trend observed in FIGNS-2013 study. **This figure is based on NFA FRA 2015 predicts a figure of 83,100 ha which is more in conformity with the findings of the FIGNSP-2013 study. 16 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

39 Table 1-12 shows that natural hill forests, including bamboo forests and sal forests are very close to complete obliteration although Sundarbans are still holding on. If this trend in deforestation continues, no natural forests, outside Sundarbans, are likely to survive in future, unless effective measures are taken to stem the decline. NFA had classified the forests on the basis of their canopy cover as shown in Table Table 1-13: Forest types by tree cover classes (000 ha) (2005) Forest types Tree Cover <5% 5-10% 10-30% 30-70% >70% Hill Forest Mangrove Forest Bamboo Forest Long Rotation Plantations Short Rotation Plantations Mangrove Plantations The above table shows that very dense forests over 70% canopy density are available only in the Sundarbans. The FIGNSP 2013 study has not classified the forests on the basis of their canopy density and has lumped all forests between 10 to 70% canopy together. This shows that there are virtually no forests with over 70% density outside Sundarbans. NFA had also predicted future tree cover losses in all categories of land use in the country, as shown in the figures below. Figure 1-2 shows the expected decline in tree cover in most of the forest areas and rise in the cultivated lands, villages and other land uses. Figure 1-2: Expected change in tree cover by national land use classes. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 17

40 Figure 1-3: Expected change in tree cover by forest type Figure 1-3 shows that out of all the forest types, the hill forests are likely to suffer the maximum loss of tree cover in future. This forecast seems to have come true as only about 11% of the natural tree cover in the hill forest is left as present, as indicated by the FIGNSP project. The Global Forest Watch (GFW) has maintained records of the loss of tree cover in the country as a component of their global database since Table 1-14 shows the extent of tree cover, but not forest cover, in the country in various canopy classes in 2000 using data extracted from the GFW database. 18 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

41 Table 1-14: Forest area by percentage of canopy cover (GFW). Division Forest area by canopy cover (ha) >10% >15% >20% >25% >30% >50% >75% Barisal 150,695 6% 131,948 6% 127,251 6% 116,631 6% 102,279 5% 57,498 4% 0,347 0% Chittagong 1,512,357 56% 1,411,510 61% 1,381,114 62% 1,344,601 64% 1,282,846 65% 1,124,171 73% 676,910 97% Dhaka 250,288 9% 167,378 7% 148,033 7% 119,341 6% 93,144 5% 31,917 2% 3,195 NA% Khulna 469,946 18% 383,725 17% 365,563 16% 346,210 17% 331,547 17% 239,220 16% 2,127 NA% Rajshahi 95,517 4% 41,704 2% 35,407 2% 24,352 1% 17,370 1% 2,176 0% 0,379 NA% Sylhet 204,723 8% 168,621 7% 159,403 7% 146,521 7% 132,623 7% 86,736 6% 13,744 2% Total 2,683, % 2,304, % 2,216, % 2,097, % 1,959, % 1,541, % 696, % Table 1-14 indicates that an area of nearly 2.7 Mha had 10% or more tree canopy cover in 2000, of which nearly 2 Mha (73%) had a canopy cover of more than 30%. Even more significantly, the table shows the incidence of dense forests in the Chittagong division in the year 2000 while all those forests have been severely degraded by now. Table 1-15 depicts the gradual loss of tree cover throughout the country in those areas having more than 10%, 30%, 50%, and 75% canopy cover between 2001 and Table 1-15: Tree cover loss, in >10%, >30%, >50%, >75% canopy cover classes, in different divisions of Bangladesh (ha) (GFW). Division % Tree cover loss (>10% canopy cover) Barisal % Chittagong 3,843 3,209 1,985 2,858 2,845 5,961 2,931 3,868 4,772 3,706 3,419 5,032 6,701 9,710 60,841 85% Dhaka ,094 6% Khulna % Rajshahi % Sylhet , ,912 8% Total 4,637 4,038 2,190 4,352 3,336 7,013 4,104 4,606 5,753 4,867 4,357 5,654 6,896 10,103 71, % SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 19

42 Division % Tree cover loss (>30% canopy cover) Barisal % Chittagong 3,834 3,196 1,975 2,842 2,835 5,913 2,901 3,833 4,730 3,676 3,375 4,840 5,957 8,634 58,542 85% Dhaka ,914 6% Khulna % Rajshahi % Sylhet % Total 4,614 4,006 2,172 4,303 3,310 6,930 4,038 4,539 5,679 4,793 4,277 5, ,930 69, % Tree cover loss (>50% canopy cover) Barisal % Chittagong 3,806 3,143 1,930 2,781 2,794 5,733 2,800 3,710 4,589 3,575 3,292 4,668 5,466 7,979 56,265 86% Dhaka ,402 5% Khulna % Rajshahi % Sylhet ,121 8% Total 4,533 3,877 2,100 4,097 3,213 6,623 3,801 4,299 5,407 4,540 4,069 5,162 5,562 8,152 65, % Tree cover loss (>75% canopy cover) Barisal % Chittagong 3,510 2,745 1,606 2,283 2,435 4,551 2,227 2,897 3,597 2,750 2,682 3,690 3,258 4,748 42,981 90% Dhaka ,561 3% Khulna % Rajshahi % Sylhet ,896 6% Total 3,935 3,132 1,695 3,016 2,656 5,024 2,744 3,165 3,995 3,181 3,105 3,949 3,273 4,762 47, % 20 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

43 The GFW data provided in Table 1-15 demonstrates that the country lost tree cover over an area of 71,906 ha (2.7%) that had more than 10% tree cover in Of that loss, 47,632 ha (66% of the total loss) was dense forest with a canopy density of more than 75%. While that data reflects both legal, as well as illegal, tree felling, the loss of tree cover in dense forests is a cause of concern. Although there has been a ban on the felling of trees in natural forests, 25,435 ha of woodlot plantations and approximately 11,926 km of strip plantations were felled by the BFD between and It is important to recognize that the figures provided in Table 1-9 do not necessarily represent the net loss of forests or tree cover as some of these areas may have been regenerated or replanted and more trees may have been planted in afforested areas. Tree cover loss and gain are not adjusted by GFW and are maintained as separate entities. The data corroborates that most of the loss of tree cover has occurred in the Chittagong division (58,542 ha, or 85%), which includes the hill forests of the CHT. It may be either due to the Jote felling on private lands, shifting cultivation, illegal felling in government forests, or the official diversion of forest land for other purposes by the government. As per available statistics, an area of ha is under encroachments out of which ha is in the hill forests and ha is in the sal forests. Similarly out of ha land transferred to other agencies, ha was in the hills and 8571 ha in the sal forests. Since most of the areas with high tree density (676,910 ha, or 97%) also occurred in the Chittagong division in year 2000, this loss may result in a serious decline in the biodiversity of the region. Again, while loss of tree cover is not exactly equivalent to deforestation or forest degradation, it is indicative of the process of deforestation. In the larger context of Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) in Bangladesh, substantial transfers of forest to other land uses have taken place over the past two decades. Scarcity of land for agricultural production, urban and industrial developments and infrastructure projects are drivers of deforestation, with increasing population and economic development as proximate causes. Bangladesh gained 7,023 ha of tree cover with more than 50% canopy cover from 2001 to 2012, which was insufficient to offset the loss of 65,436 ha of tree cover with more than 50% canopy cover. Table 1-16 confirms that most of the reforestation and afforestation efforts have been implemented in the most vulnerable areas of the country. Table 1-16: Tree cover gain over the period in areas with a canopy cover over 50% (GFW). Division ha % Barisal 6 0 Chittagong 5, Dhaka Khulna 3 0 Rajshahi Sylhet Total 7, The most obvious inference from Table 1-16 is that despite large scale plantation programmes, especially under social forestry, the gain in tree cover at a significant canopy density level (50%) is minimal in comparison to the loss of tree cover during the same period (65,436 ha) and at the same density level. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 21

44 Tree cover loss and gain data are indicative of trends in tree cover, but do not accurately reflect the dynamics of deforestation because the changes in tree cover may occur outside forest areas also. Even in forest areas, moreover, forestry operations lead to local changes in tree cover. FAO (FRA 2014) describes the changes in forest cover of Bangladesh between 1981 and 2001 as follows: During the period of ten years ending 1996, the forest cover in Bangladesh has declined. More than half of the close (medium to good density) forests have either degraded to poor density forests (other forests) or deforested and encroached. Some of the "other forests" have also been deforested and encroached. Area under plantations in Coastal Afforestation divisions has declined by more than 25%. The protected area in two of the three wildlife sanctuaries in Sunderbans has also gone down by 10 to 30 percent while the total area under PAs has increased. Forest cover losses in Bangladesh remain unsurveyed or unmapped and their exact sizes and locations are not conclusively determined, except for periodic visual observations (FMP, 1992). The trend in forest cover described by FAO is illustrated below: Figure 1-4: Changes in forest cover between 1981 and It is obvious from the above account that the trends in the decline of forest cover seen in the last assessment (2013) had in fact started long ago and nothing much could be done in the face of the mounting socioeconomic pressures on forests. The BFD has very actively pursued and promoted programmes of social forestry and homestead plantations which demonstrate a substantial trend of increase in forested land in LULUCF statistics. These programmes were first formalized in the FMP 1995, but the earliest activities date back to 1980s Drivers of deforestation and forest degradation Deforestation and forest degradation in the context of the country's expanding economic growth have accelerated as the result of rapid population growth and poverty; expanding cultivation, urbanization and industrialization; and inadequate forestry investment, and consequently, insufficient biodiversity protection measures. Inadequate institutional capacity has provided disincentives for sustainable forest management. Moreover, since Bangladesh is a delta with good rainfall and fertile soils in plain lands, most of the forest areas in the country are suitable for agriculture as an alternative land use in a land scarce, agrarian economy. Historically, the country s land ownership has evolved in a less egalitarian manner in which land, as an important means of production, has always determined the socioeconomic status 22 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

45 of individuals. Rapid loss of resilience in forest ecosystems has not only adversely affected natural resource dependent communities, but has also negatively impacted soil fertility, water quality and quantity, air quality, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, including wildlife, and wetlands and fisheries - leading to declining natural resource capital with emerging environmental concerns, such as, climate change, forest land conversion, and biodiversity loss. The principal drivers of deforestation and forest degradation include combinations of the following factors: The practice of shifting cultivation in the CHT areas is perhaps the most powerful driver of deforestation; High dependence of a large rural population on limited natural forests for fuelwood, construction timber, fodder and various non-timber forest products; Encroachment of forest land for agriculture or habitation by poor people living in and around forests, as well as by migrants; 'Land grabbing' by influential people for various commercial purposes; Conversion of forest land into non-forest uses by the government for infrastructure or industrial development; and, Commercial timber felling and the smuggling of valuable timber trees by criminals. Lack of demarcation and mapping of forest blocks makes encroachment easy and often imperceptible. Weak law enforcement and delays in court decisions. These factors are aggravated by an extremely high population density, rampant poverty and lack of good governance. The absence of the clear demarcation of forest blocks on the ground makes encroachment by neighbours both easy and defensible in courts. The intensity and combination of factors driving deforestation varies from area to area. The Sal forests are more prone to agricultural encroachments because of the suitability of the plains land for agriculture. Land grab by influential people for commercial gain is a matter of serious concern in the plains. The hill forests of the CHT have to bear the impact of traditional shifting cultivation (jhum) by the local indigenous people. Progressively decreasing jhum cycles have destroyed the vitality of the hill forests. The dependence of local people on neighbouring forests for fuelwood, fodder and small timber is prevalent throughout the country. The Sundarbans are heavily affected by repeated house construction activity in the adjacent areas triggered by recurring storms and hurricanes. Table 1-17 shows the extent of forest encroachments and land transfers in various forest circles: SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 23

46 Table 1-17: Extent of encroachments and forest land conversions 5 Forest Circle Area transferred to other agencies (Ha) Area under encroachments (Ha) Dhaka 10, , Barisal 88, , Khulna Rangamati 1, , Bogra S.F , Chittagong 24, , Dhaka S.F Wildlife and Nature Conservation , Total 1,25, ,04, These transfers and encroachments have been recorded in the last 50 years, as mentioned in the BFD records. While the extent of land conversions shown here may be correct, extent of encroachments seems to be an underestimate. Keeping a correct record of forest encroachments, without a GPS or traditional survey, is virtually impossible. Most encroachments are occularly assessed and are often deliberate underestimates. As the encroached lands planted with trees under social forestry are treated as recovered lands, these are deleted from the encroachment database, despite the fact that these lands remain in the possession of the encroachers. As the country has excellent tree cover outside state forests, producing adequate woody biomass for the needs of the local people, the deforestation seen in the last few decades cannot be entirely attributed to the extraction pressure for timber and fuelwood. Most of the area of the sal forest has been either encroached or transferred to other agencies. Most of the forests of the hills are under jhum cultivation. Therefore, it is clear that the deforestation is more the result of prevailing land hunger in the country rather than the shortage of forest products. Although forest encroachments always have an important socioeconomic dimension, but even well to do people try to take advantage of the free for all situation if encroachments are tolerated liberally. This is what seems to have happened in Bangladesh. Most of the deforestation and degradation is happening as a result of weak law enforcement. While detecting and apprehending a forest offender itself is a very difficult proposition, the courts also take inordinately long time to decide cases, despite the fact that the government has made a provision for forest case conducting officers (FCCOs) and special magistrates to try forest offences. According to available records, 60% of the forest offences recorded are UODR category in which the criminal is unknown and 78% of the cases that go to the courts take more than eight years to reach conclusion. If the case is not decided within the first four years, it may never reach conclusion. In fact a large number of cases are not prosecuted as there is no money for prosecution and for taking care of the arrestees 6. 5 Source: ACCF (Management Planning), BFD. 6 Source: National Wildlife Crime Control Strategy 2015 (draft) BFD. 24 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

47 The effects of these factors on deforestation and forest degradation are vividly illustrated by the following passages taken from REDD+ publications. Box 1-1: Deforestation in Chittagong Hills, an extract from the Project Concept Note Bangladesh REDD+ ARR Protected Areas Project (BRAPAP) Most villagers are dependent on forest resources not only for their employment and livelihoods, but also for vegetables and fruits integral to their diets, household materials, and fuel wood for domestic use. The responsibility for their fuel wood collection usually falls mainly on women, children, and occasionally elderly members; it tends to be collected during the day, and saplings and seedlings are the most common source. Illegal harvesting, motivated by lack of alternative sources of fuel, have disturbed the natural regeneration of the forests, contributed to their considerable degradation, and negatively affected wildlife habitats. Some individuals also engage in the sale of fuel wood, and substantial quantities are transported daily from some of the protected areas to fuel wood traders or local markets, as in the cases of DDWS and MKNP. In terms of the movement of fuel wood, the first entry point is usually a small market, although the final destination may be a much larger market. Illegal tree felling has contributed to a reduction in forest cover and resources, and is carried out both by local people as well as outsiders, often under the influence of local elites, sometimes supported by outsiders. Most tree felling takes place at night, and is either used by villagers for building material or furniture, or is sold in markets nearby or in other big districts such as Chittagong and Dhaka. Over the past several decades, different types of biotic and natural disaster pressures have led to the degradation of most of the forest areas. Factors that have contributed to the deforestation and degradation of these lands include cyclone devastation, such as in 1991, 1994, and 1996 in INP, as well as population growth and migration, such as that of the Rohinga refugees from Myanmar into the areas surrounding INP and TWS. In some cases, migration has been fuelled by movement away from areas hit by natural disasters, as in DDWS, which experienced an influx of migrants pursuant to the cyclone of These increases in population have resulted in or contributed to fuelwood collection for personal use as well as for sale; illicit felling and logging; destructive tree bark collection from species such as Dillenia pentagyna; betel leaf cultivation; and clearing undergrowth, sometimes through the use of fires, to convert forest lands into agricultural lands and settlements. Encroachment of forest land after deforesting is also a critical issue in all the six protected areas. There are two forms of forest land encroachment: 1) by local communities, including cyclone and flood victims in the vicinity, wealthy influential individuals, and refugees from Myanmar, expanding into frontier forest areas, and 2) by forest villagers moving beyond the areas allocated to them by the FD. Forest villages were set up at different times in some of the reserve forests by the FD (e.g. in 1920s in Teknaf), under which a certain number of households were each leased 2 acres of land within the reserve forests. In return, the villagers were expected to help the FD with plantations and patrolling. However, there is evidence of encroachment beyond their allotments, and of migration of forest villagers family members into these areas. For example, in TWS, the total number of registered and enlisted forest villagers is about 350, but local estimates suggest the number of people claiming to be forest villagers is closer to 5,000 households. These anthropogenic pressures have contributed to the significant deforestation and degradation of the forests, and poverty and limited livelihoods options are important factors in local community members willingness to participate in these illegal activities. These stressors are further exacerbated by the weak law-enforcement capacity of the FD, as well as high demand for the forest products by sawmill owners and illegal timber traders. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 25

48 The second passage is from the Project Concept Note Collaborative REDD+IFM Sundarbans Project (CRISP) and describes the principal drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the Sundarbans. Box 1-2: Principal drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in the Sundarbans. A number of activities contributing to forest degradation continue to adversely affect forest land and forest cover. Main factors that have contributed to the deforestation and degradation of these lands include population growth and migration. These increases in population have resulted in or contributed to fuelwood collection for personal use as well as for sale and illicit felling for constructions and fish harvesting. The need for timber for boat making and fishing by local community and floating populations is substantial and most of it is met through unauthorized removals by using maritime access routes, sometimes in connivance with local FD field staff. Poor facilities and salaries of the FD field staff exacerbate the illegal harvesting due to high temptation for gratification. Peripheral deforestation is threat due mainly to highly commercial shrimp industry that has developed of late as the third largest foreign earning sector (after garment sector and remittances). 1.3 Trends in afforestation and reforestation programmes in different regions including coastal regions Background of programmes and projects Subsequent to the establishment of the Forest Department in 1865 and the enactment of the first Forest Act in that same year, which was subsequently revised in 1874 and 1927, the British India Government started to reserve the forests in the Bengal Presidency primarily on the basis of ecological considerations and watershed management. The Sundarbans Reserved Forests were accordingly declared in 1879 on ecological considerations of its coastal mangrove forests. The area of SRF was reduced to its present size in In the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Sangu, Matamuhari, Kassalong and Rankhiang forests were declared as head water reserved forests and catchments of important rivers, including the Sangu, Matamuhari, Kassalong and Rainkhiang. The tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests in the Sylhet-Chittagong-Cox s Bazar hill belt, containing high biodiversity because of the very good rainfall and soil conditions, were also declared as Reserved Forests. The Sal forests in the undulating and plain land, central and north Bengal, acquired from Zamindars and Rajas, were declared as proposed Reserved Forests under section 4 of the Forest Act, Many of these forests have still not been declared as Reserved Forests, however, and have come under encroachment. Out of the nearly ha of sal forest, nearly ha area falls in this category. Some sal areas have, however, been notified as reserved forests in 2016 despite these being heavily encroached. The first attempt at raising a forest plantation was made in 1871 with teak, in the Chittagong Hill Tracts using seeds brought from Burma. The policy of converting mixed forests of high biodiversity to plantations continued after independence until 1979 when the country s first forest policy was adopted and, increasingly, natural forests were brought under regulations controlling commercial felling to conserve biodiverse forests. With the subsequent surge in social forestry and employment generation through labour-intensive forestry, donor-funded forestry projects were established, culminating, more recently, in participatory climate resilient afforestation and biodiversity conservation projects centred in coastal areas and protected areas, respectively. 26 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

49 Donor-supported community and social forestry projects have been continuing since 1982 and participatory forestry initiatives by the BFD have included the Community Forestry Project, Upazila Afforestation and Nursery Development Project, Coastal Greenbelt Project, and the Forestry Sector Project. Each of these programmes has been successful in generating benefits for local communities organized into forest user groups. These benefits have been associated with employment opportunities in plantations established on unused public lands and forest lands, as well as with significant usufructuary benefits that have included sharing revenues from final harvests of the plantations that have been established with the participation of local people under the Social Forestry Rules of 2004 that were later amended in 2010 and A special feature of these participatory plantations has been the implementation of the Tree Farming Fund (TFF) in which 10% of total harvest proceeds are retained in the TFF for establishing future plantations by involving forest user groups as beneficiaries to ensure programme sustainability in establishing succeeding generations of plantations. The BFD has been concerned with determining the optimal levels of forest resource use and accelerating programmes of short-cycle plantations for timber and fuelwood to meet the demands of the wood products industries. These programmes have been primarily located in the coastal areas of the Bay of Bengal, the unclassed state forests, hill forests, and inland Sal forests. Important institutional and legal reforms were instituted under the Forestry Sector Project, which was designed and developed in accordance with the recommendations of the 1993 Forestry Master Plan. It was particularly noteworthy that under the project social forestry was institutionalized by promulgating the Forest (Amendment) Act 2000 and enacting the Social Forestry Rules (2004, 2010 and 2011). These rules provided for the sharing of usufructuary benefits between the BFD and local communities mobilized into groups of participants. The participatory benefit sharing agreements signed between the BFD and the local community, detailed how harvest proceeds would be shared. Social forestry was implemented for the first time in the Reserved Forests and Protected Forests by establishing participatory woodlots and agroforestry systems. The Sal coppice management component of the project was implemented in degraded Sal forests with provisions for encouraging natural regeneration and providing benefits to local communities associated as participants in the protection and rehabilitation of the degraded forests. During the Sixth Five Year Plan period , there were a number of forestry initiatives to expand forest resources with peoples' participation by implementing forestry projects with financial assistance from development partners and GoB resources. There were nearly 80,000 hectares of participatory plantations established in marginal lands and buffer zones by involving surrounding forest-dependent communities, as well as 35,000 hectares of coastal plantations established on newly-accreted charlands of coastal areas. There were also about 14,000 km of strip plantations established and 53 million seedlings distributed for planting in homesteads. The Social Forestry programme experienced considerable momentum through these programmes with 500,000 beneficiaries, of which 120,000 participants received more than Tk. 250 crore in benefits. There were also more than 40,468 ha of degraded forests that were restored with the active participation of local communities. In addition, Forest Transit Rules were amended for communities participating in timber trading and other related forestry activities. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 27

50 In the Sixth Five Year Plan, the establishment of 302,000 ha of plantations was targeted, but only about 25% of that target was achieved, primarily as the result of budget constraints. Several other components of the Forestry Sector Master Plan activities also were not implemented because of the unavailability of projected budget funds - only about 20% of the proposed Tk. 8,000 crores was available during the Plan period - and non-implementation of proposed institutional reforms. Afforestation and Reforestation Trends It is apparent from the previous assessment that many policies and projects have emphasized the importance of afforestation and reforestation. The objectives and content of these programmes have evolved in accordance with the emerging requirements associated with responding, especially, to climate change and the importance of improving community livelihoods. Since there has been a ban on logging in natural forests since 1989 (although logging in Sal forests was banned way back in 1974), there has been no compelling reason for the reforestation of these forests, except those that were illegally denuded or encroached. Prior to the initiation of the ban, forests were felled for conversion into commercially valuable species, principally teak. This activity was primarily confined to the hill forests of CHT, Chittagong, Sylhet and Cox s Bazar... Subsequent to the imposition of the ban, the emphasis in these programmes has been on social forestry-centric plantations and coastal afforestation. The social forestry plantations, consisting for the most part of short rotation exotic Acacia species, both within as well as outside of notified forests, have been undertaken with the purpose of generating benefits for local communities, as well as to meet the socioeconomic requirements of those communities for fuelwood and timber. In the coastal areas, afforestation and reforestation have been undertaken to protect coastal communities and natural resources against the vagaries of the seas in the form of tidal and storm damage. There is no production motive for coastal plantations. More recently, however, the focus of afforestation programmes has been further altered to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change, and the search for climate resilient species and techniques for afforestation has gathered considerable momentum. The natural regeneration of forests affected by biotic pressures from nearby communities is becoming more and more difficult because of the difficulties of curbing those pressures. While assisted natural regeneration (ANR) of degraded forests where natural seeding and coppicing of native species is still possible, continues to be practiced, in some areas, the primary means of reforesting denuded and degraded forests is through artificial regeneration. Since one of the primary purposes of reforestation is to address the socioeconomic requirements of local communities by using fast growing species, there is very limited attention directed to the planting of long duration native species, as of now. Even in instances where natural vegetation emerges within plantations of exotic tree species, local people are known to remove such plants to minimize competition with the growth of the primary exotic species. Apart from the creation of social forestry woodlots in denuded forests, the BFD has been establishing large-scale plantations on the strips of lands lying along the margins of linear infrastructure, including roads, railway lines, and canals. In such situations, returns are also shared with the land owning agencies, as well as with the local people, according to the provisions of the social forestry regulations. 28 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

51 While precise up-to-date information on the extent of plantations of different species is not readily available, the FRA 2015 has made a broader assessment of various forest plantations using interpolation and extrapolation approaches (Table 1-18). The results of the assessment showed generally increasing trends in plantations in most categories from 1990 to 2005, but a serious decline is visible in the latest assessment. This difference may be partly due to the data problem because the 2013 FIGNSP assessment could not identify the hill plantations clearly. Repetition of previous figures in several places indicates assumed figures not real. But the decline in the plains and coastal plantations, as assessed with the help of satellite imagery shows that the plantations are under severe pressure and are on a decline. Table 1-18: Extent of plantations in Bangladesh (FRA 2015). Category of plantations Area (000 ha) Hills Plains Littoral Rubber FRA 2015 does not provide up to date region wise extent of plantations in the country. FIGNSP 2013 also does not account for all the plantations as many plantations are often difficult to distinguish from surrounding vegetation. Many plantations are subject to various changes like felling, erosion, disease etc. and the actual area planted and the extent of plantations shown in assessments may be quite different from each other. It is to be noted that, since the last assessment in , an area of 122,089 ha of block plantations and 23,512 km of strip plantations have been established, raising the above percentage significantly. Till 2015, a total of more than 0.2 million (2 lac) ha, (1,97,739 ha mangrove, 8,860 ha nonmangrove, 3,190 ha Nypa) mangrove, non-mangrove and golpata plantations have been raised in the coastal areas. Among the mangrove plantations, about 80% area of the early plantations consisted of S. apetala, about 15% consisted of A. officinalis and the remaining percentage is consist of E. agallocha, Bruguiera sexangula (kankra), Ceriops dacandra (goran), H. forms and X. mekongensis (Hassan 2013). Several projects have funded the coastal afforestation activities since the So far, most of the coastal plantations have been developed primarily with the objective of stabilising the newly accreted lands. The land is given to the forest department for a period of 20 years to establish plantations and it has to be returned to the revenue department. An area of ha has been returned to the civil authorities in this process, in various coastal afforestation divisions. Fig. 1-5 shows the trend in rates of annual plantation targets in the country. As most of the plantation activity in the country is dependent on the availability of external aid, annual targets keep varying from year to year. Between 1995 and 2005, the achievements have varied between almost 1100 ha and ha per annum. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 29

52 Hectares kilometers Linear (Hectares) Linear (kilometers) Figure 1-5: Trends in afforestation and reforestation The NBSAP (2016, draft) has stated that plantations have been established by the BFD since independence, but coverage has been subject to fluctuations and has not increased consistently. Although this information could not be verified from BFD records, Table 1-19 shows the trends in afforestation and reforestation over a fairly long period. Table 1-19: Plantation areas (ha) by planning period (NBSAP 2016). Planning Period Area planted Yearly average 1st FYP + Two Year Plan ( to ) 67,912 9,702 2nd FYP ( to ) 100,112 20,023 3rd FYP ( to ) 69,236 13,847 4th FYP ( to ) 73,999 14,800 Two Year plan ( to ) 17,026 8,513 5th FYP ( to ) 57,296 11,459 From 2002 to ,291 13,291 Sixth FYP ( )* 75,500 25,100 Total 474,372 Thus, it can be seen that, while the emphasis of the country on coastal plantations, both mangrove and non-mangrove, has continued, it has now switched over almost entirely to short rotation exotic species for plantations in the mainland, nearly all under the social forestry banner. There are some interventions involving long rotation indigenous species in the core zone plantations but the total extent is insignificant. Teak plantations which used to be the rage some time ago, are not even talked about. Annual area coverage has been varying from year to year, depending upon the availability of project assistance and there have been virtually no plantations in some years due to the shortage of funds. In view of the importance of tree cover for Bangladesh, in view of the frequency of climate change induced disasters, GoB has to start investing its own resources in afforestation and reforestation programmes to enhance the country s resilience. 30 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

53 1.4 State of biodiversity and ecosystem services State of biodiversity Given its small size, Bangladesh has an impressive variety of ecosystems, which support and equally varied flora and fauna. The characteristics of landscapes determine the dispersion of the country's wildlife. The principal factor is water availability, although temperature, rainfall, physiography and hydrological conditions are also involved in that process. Ecosystems may be categorized as either land-based or aquatic. The land-based ecosystems include forest, hill, and homestead ecosystems, while aquatic ecosystems include seasonal and perennial wetlands, rivers, lakes, coastal mangroves, coastal mudflats and charlands, and marine ecosystems. The country is divided into 12 bio-ecological zones and 25 sub-zones. Map 1-2 depicts the classification and locations of these zones. Map 1-2: Bio-ecological zones of Bangladesh (IUCN, 2002). Source: IUCN Bangladesh Red List of Bangladesh: A Brief on Assessment Result IUCN, Bangladesh The position of Bangladesh in the Indo-Burma region ensures that it is one of the world s top ten biodiversity hotspots of the world, with about 7,000 endemic plants species, including 5,700 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 31

54 species of angiosperms, 28 species of woody legumes, 130 species of fibre yielding plants, 500 species of medicinal plants, 29 species of orchids, 3 species of gymnosperms and 1,700 pteridophytes. The country has a rich density of fauna, as well, as the result of its extensive plant biodiversity. There are 113 species of mammals, more than 628 species of birds, 126 species of reptiles, 22 species of amphibians, 708 species of marine and freshwater fish, 2,493 species of insects, 19 species of mites, 164 species of algae, and 4 species of echinoderms that have been recorded throughout the country (Mukul 2007). However, according to NBSAP 2006, the species of plants and animals found in Bangladesh are as given below: Table 1-20: Recorded and Estimated Number of Wild Plant Species of Different Plant Groups Categories Recorded Estimated Algae 3,600 6,000 Bryophytes Pteridophytes Gymnosperms 5 5 Angiosperms 3,000 5,000 Table 1-21: Number of Animal Species Belonging to the Major Taxonomic Groups Major Taxonomic Group Number of species mentioned in this document Monera (Eubacteria, etc.) 166 Protista (Protozoan, Viruses, et 341 Animalia: Invertebrates Poriferans 7 Cnidarians 68 Platyhelmiths 23 Nematodes 105 Annelids 62 Arthropods 1547 Molluscs 347 Echinoderms 6 Animalia: Vertebrates Fishes 735 Amphibians 23 Reptiles 136 Birds 778 Mammals 125 Total Species 4, SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

55 Map 1-3 depicts the distribution of major wildlife species in the country. In the Hill Forests, located in the districts of Chittagong, the CHT (Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachari), Sylhet, Habiganj and Moulvibazar regions, fauna is found that includes the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), Spotted deer (Axis axis), Barking deer, Bear, Monkey, Langur, and numerous snakes, and birds. In the Plain land Sal forest, located in the districts of Gazipur, Mymensingh, Tangail, Comilla, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Dinajpur, wildlife is found that includes the Rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta), Barking deer (Muntiacus muntjac), Spotted deer (Axis axis), Langur, Fishing cat, Marbled cat, Jackal (Canis aureus), as well as numerous snakes and birds; in the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans, wildlife is found that includes the Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris), Spotted deer (Axis axis), Wild boar (Sus scrofa), Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), Estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), and numerous snakes, birds (300 species) and fish; and in the Wetland ecosystem, the fauna is characterized by various species of birds (208 species) and fish (144 species). The fresh water fauna has some exotic introduced species, as well, including 98 migratory species, 34 mammals, such as otters, the Gangetic dolphin, 11 amphibians, 34 reptiles, and 12 butterfly species. Map 1-3: Wildlife distribution in Bangladesh (Library of the Prime Minister s Office). SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 33

56 Sundarban is the most biodiverse habitat in Bangladesh now. According to UNESCO 7 The property is the only remaining habitat in the lower Bengal Basin for a wide variety of faunal species. Its exceptional biodiversity is expressed in a wide range of flora; 334 plant species belonging to 245 genera and 75 families, 165 algae and 13 orchid species. It is also rich in fauna with 693 species of wildlife which includes; 49 mammals, 59 reptiles, 8 amphibians, 210 white fishes, 24 shrimps, 14 crabs and 43 mollusks species. The varied and colourful bird-life found along the waterways of the property is one of its greatest attractions, including 315 species of waterfowl, raptors and forest birds including nine species of kingfisher and the magnificent white-bellied sea eagle. Some 13 globally threatened and near-threatened bird species live in the Sundarbans. For the masked finfoot, brown winged kingfisher and the mangrove pitta, Sundarban is considered to be the largest and the safest home in the world Royal Bengal Tiger, lesser adjutant stork, Indian skimmer, Gangetic dolphin and Erawathy dolphin, saltwater crocodile are some of the most threatened species of wildlife found in Bangladesh IUCN Red List IUCN (2015) has recently carried out an assessment of the conservation status of various groups of wildlife found in the county. According to IUCN (2015): Among 1619 assessed species, 50% of species are found as Least Concern (LC), 2% as Regionally Extinct (RE), 3% as Critically Endangered (CR), 11% as Endangered (EN), 9% as Vulnerable (VU), and 6% as Near Threatened (NT). Thirty one species are categorised as extinct from the country, while 390 species (29% of the total species assessed) are under the threatened categories (CR, EN and VU). Besides, 17% species are as Data Deficient (DD) due to a lack of appropriate data and information required to justify the criteria used for categorizing. No such endemic species is available in Bangladesh to be assessed at the global scale. Extinct Species of Bangladesh A significant outcome of the current assessment is the updating of extinct species list of the country. Thirteen species were marked as extinct from the country in the Red List of 2000 which were reassessed along with all other species under this project. Among 1619 species of Bangladesh of seven faunal groups, 31 species are assessed as extinct from the country which is termed as regionally extinct (RE). Among these 31 species, 11 are mammals, 19 are birds, and 1 is reptile. No species are found as regionally extinct from other four groups (Amphibian, Freshwater Fish Crustacean and Butterfly). Ten species of mammals were evaluated as Extinct in the previous Red List. Among these extinct species Gaur and Hog Deer have been rediscovered during the last decade. However, the recent edition of Red List enlisted one species of mammal, Sloth Bear as Extinct from the country. On the other hand, two birds were assessed as extinct in Red List 2000 which are also included in the present assessment. According to the present assessment, 17 bird species are newly declared as regionally extinct. Marsh Crocodile (Reptile) was listed in the Red List 2000 extinct list, which is also assessed as extinct from Bangladesh in Red List The updated list of extinct species of the country is as given below: SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

57 Table 1-22: Extinct Wildlife Species of Bangladesh Mammals Birds Birds/Reptiles Striped Hyena Bar-tailed Tree Creeper Pink-headed Duck Black Buck Spot-breaseted Parrotbill Rusty-fronted Barwing Sumataran Rhinoceros Green Peafowl White-bellied Heron. Swamp Deer Swamp Francolin White-winged Duck Banteng Bengal Florican Black-breasted Parrotbill Indian Rhinoceros Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill Indian Peafowl Blue Bull Greater Adjutant Grey Francolin Wild Buffalo Lesser Florican Spot-billed Pelican Grey Wolf Rufous-throated Partridge Marsh Crocodile (Mugger Crocodile) Javan Rhinoceros Sarus Crane Sloth Bear Red-headed Vulture The conservation status of important groups of wildlife in Bangladesh is as follows: Mammals Among 1619 species of seven wildlife groups, 138 mammalian species were considered; of which, 11 are Regionally Extinct, 17 Critically Endangered, 12 Endangered, and 9 Vulnerable. Apart from those, there are 39 Data Deficient, 34 Least Concern, 9 Near Threatened, and 7 Not Evaluated species. Birds Bird as a group has the highest number of species that were evaluated, 566 species. Among them 19 have been evaluated as Regionally Extinct and 39 species as under Threatened Category, of which 10 Critically Endangered, 12 Endangered and 17 Vulnerable. Close to this, there are 39 species under the Near Threatened Category; the highest number, 424 had been evaluated as Least Concern. Reptiles Reptiles have 167 species and one has become Regionally Extinct, the Mugger or Marsh Crocodile that used to live in the freshwater river ecosystem of the country and possibly it disappeared by the 1960s. Of the 38 threatened species17 are Critically Endangered, 10 Endangered and 11 Vulnerable. The remaining species have been evaluated as: 18 Near Threatened, 63 Least Concern, 27 Data Deficient, and 20 Not Evaluated. Amphibians A total of 49 Amphibians were evaluated. There are 2 species Critically Endangered, 3 Endangered, and 5 Vulnerable. Apart from the threatened categories, 6 species are Near Threatened, 27 species are Least Concern, and 6 species are Data Deficient. Freshwater Fishes Two hundred fifty three Freshwater Fishes were assessed. Threatened Categories are concerned nearly one fourth (64 species) of the species are under threat, among them 9 Critically Endangered, 30 Endangered, and 25 Vulnerable. This has been followed by 26 species as Near Threatened. Outside the purview of the Threatened and Near Threatened Categories, there are 123 species that were assessed as Least Concern and rest of the 40 as Data Deficient. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 35

58 Mammals Birds Reptiles Amphibians Fresh-water Fishes Crustaceans Butterflies Total Crustaceans As one of the new animal groups for the first time included in the national Red List of Bangladesh, so far, 141 species of Crustaceans were evaluated. This group has no species that are registered as Regionally Extinct or Critically Endangered. Eleven species are fallen under the threatened categories of which Endangered includes only 1 and Vulnerable 10. Out of the rest, 48 species were evaluated as Least Concern and 79 as Data Deficient. Butterflies Butterfly is another new group included in the current process of evaluation that included 305 species. As newly assessed group, 62% species (188 species) are under Threatened Categories of which only one Critically Endangered, 112 Endangered, and 75 Vulnerable. The rest 85 are Least Concern and 32 Data Deficient Regionally Extinct (RE) Critically Endangered (CR) Endangered (EN) Vulnerable (VU) Figure 1-6: Endangered animal species of Bangladesh A summary of the threat status of various groups is given below: Categories Table 1-23: Summary of the Red List of Bangladesh 2015 Regionally Extinct (RE) Critically Endangered (CR) Endangered (EN) Vulnerable (VU) Near Threatened (NT) Least Concern (LC) Data Deficient (DD) Not Evaluated (NE) Total , SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

59 As can be seen, a large number of species of mammals, birds and reptile groups are threatened while 31 are already extinct locally. In view of the growing population and prosperity of the people, the pressure on natural resources is going to mount further in future. Therefore, if special efforts are not made to preserve the threatened species, the losses in future may be even more severe Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation The conservation of biodiversity in Bangladesh is informed by the National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) 2004, which is currently under revision. The NBSAP has identified the conservation of megaflora and megafauna as one of the priorities in the country. While sustainable forest management is itself founded on the principle of conserving biodiversity, the Wildlife (Protection and Security) Act 2012 is the principal legal instrument that regulates the conservation of biodiversity in the wild. That legislation empowers the state to designate protected areas in which representative biota and their habitats are protected against overexploitation and destruction. The current protected area system of Bangladesh includes 18 National Parks, 20 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 1 Marine Protected Area, 2 safari parks, 10 eco-parks, and 10 Ecologically Critical Areas (Bangladesh Wildlife Master Plan 2015) that collectively cover ha, accounting for nearly 15.2% of all legally constituted forests in the country (Table 1-24; Map 1-4). Table 1-24: Protected Areas, Ecologically Critical Areas and several important conservation sites in Bangladesh. 8 Sr. Since Name Class Location Area (ha) No Himchari National Park NP Cox's Bazar Modhupur National Park NP Tangail/ Mymensingh Bhawal National Park NP Gazipur Lawachara National Park NP Moulavibazar Kaptai National Park NP Chittagong Hill Tracts Nijhum Dweep National Park NP Noakhali Ramsagar National Park NP Dinajpur Satchari National Park NP Habigonj Khadim Nagar National Park NP Sylhet Medha Kachhapia National Park NP Cox's Bazar Baraiyadhala National Park NP Chittagong Shingra National Park NP Dinajpur Kadigarh National Park NP Mymensingh Nababgonj National Park NP Dinajpur Kuakata National Park NP Patuakhali Birgonj National Park NP Dinajpur Altadighi National Park NP Naogaon Inani proposed NP NP Cox's Bazar Char Kukri-Mukri Wildlife WS 40 Bhola Sanctuary Rema-Kalenga Wildlife WS 1796 Hobigonj Sanctuary Sangu Wildlife Sanctuary WS Bandarban Pablakhali Wildlife Sanctuary WS Chittagong Hill Tracts Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary WS Chittagong Sundarban (East) Wildlife WS Bagerhat Sanctuary 8 BFD 2015: Bangladesh Wildlife Master Plan (draft) SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 37

60 Sr. No. Since Name Class Location Area (ha) Sundarban (South) Wildlife WS Khulna Sanctuary Sundarban (West) Wildlife WS Satkhira Sanctuary Fashiakhali Wildlife Sanctuary WS Cox's Bazar Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary WS Cox's Bazar Hazarikhil Wildlife Sanctuary WS Chittagong Dudh Pukuria-Dhopachari WS 4717 Chittagong Wildlife Sanctuary Tengragiri Wildlife Sanctuary WS Barguna Sonarchar Wildlife Sanctuary WS Patuakhali Dudhmukhi Wildlife Sanctuary WS Bagerhat Dhangmari Wildlife Sanctuary WS Bagerhat Chadpai Wildlife Sanctuary WS Bagerhat Madhutila Ecopark Ecopark Sherpur Bashkhali Ecopark Ecopark Chittagong Kuakata Ecopark Ecopark Patuakhali Tilegar Ecopark Ecopark Sylhet Barshijhora Ecopark Ecopark Moulavibazar ? Rajeshpur Ecopark Ecopark Kumilla Madhabkunda Eco-Park Ecopark Moulavibazar Ratargul Special Biodiversity Ecopark Sylhet Conservation Area Baldha Garden other Dhaka National Botanical Garden other Dhaka Sitakunda Botanical Garden and other 808 Chittagong Eco-park Dulahazara Safari Park other Cox's Bazar Bangabandhu Safari park other Gazipur Najirgari Dolphin Sanctuary WS Pabna Shilanda Nugdomra Dolphin WS Pabna Sanctaury Nagorbari Mohanganj Dolphin WS Pabna Sanctuary 52 Hail Haor other Moulvibazar Marjat baor ECA Cox's Bazar Strip of 10 km. outside the Sundarbans Reserved Forest ECA Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira Sea Front of Cox s Bazar and ECA Cox s Bazar Teknaf St Martin s Island ECA Cox s Bazar Sonadia Island ECA Cox s Bazar Hakaluki Haor ECA Moulvibazar Tanguar Haor ECA Sunamganj Marjat Baor ECA Jhenaidaha Gulshan Lake ECA Dhaka city Buriganga, Turag, Sitakakhaya, ECA 7607 Dhaka city Balu rivers Swatch of No Ground Marine MPA Bay of Bengal Protected Area Total Note: NP=National Park, WS=Wildlife Sanctuary, ECA=Ecologically Critical Area, MPA=Marine Protected Area. ECAs are under the control of the Department of Environment, not BFD. Bangladesh does not allow hunting or trapping of wild animals for consumption or trade. However, wildlife is declining rapidly due to the loss of habitat and illegal exploitation. Royal Bengal Tiger, found in only Sundarbans now, is the most important wild animal of the country, both from the threat as well as popularity points of view. The species is under severe threat 38 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

61 from poachers feeding the Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. Its current population is estimated to be only about 106 animals. Although Bangladesh is not an important source country for international wildlife trade, it is an important route for smuggling South Asian wildlife and products to the eastern markets. Most animals are killed for food, large volumes of birds and reptiles are also captured for the pet trade. Forest Act, 1927 and the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act 2012 are the two main legal instruments for protecting wildlife and its habitat. Apart from the creation of protected areas and reserve forests, the country has set up a Wildlife Crime Control Unit which needs to be further strengthened. A wildlife forensic lab for aiding prosecution is under development. There are seven wildlife divisions whose main job is to control wildlife crime. Despite the proactive approach adopted by BFD for controlling wildlife crime in the country, several institutional issues militate against success in this area. Both the laws have some serious flaws which need to be urgently rectified. For example, the Wildlife Act has no provision for empowering forest officers to arrest wildlife criminals while the Forest Act is not applicable outside the forests where most of the wildlife offences are registered. The wildlife Act is not yet fully operational because several important rules and notifications are not yet in place. Field officers are handicapped in providing effective protection to wildlife due to the lack of funds for patrolling, travelling and prosecution. As a result, only a small proportion of the wildlife offences are detected. Nearly 60% of the registered cases, criminals are not identified (UDOR cases) and 78% of the prosecuted cases take more than 8 years for decision in the courts 9. Thus, the wildlife laws have very limited deterrence against offences. 9 Source: Bangladesh Forest Department, 2015: NATIONAL WILDLIFE CRIME CONTROL STRATEGY (DRAFT) SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 39

62 Note: Further discussion on issues related to wildlife management can be found in Chapter 10. Map 1-4: Protected Areas in Bangladesh. State of ecosystem services Ecosystem services or ecosystem goods and services (EGS) encompass all provisions of nature. The EGS can be divided into the following categories for the sake of simplification: Provisioning Services: Food, raw materials, fresh water, medicines. 40 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

63 Forests Agro-ecosystems Wetlands Rivers Mangroves Regulating Services: Moderation of climate and extreme events. Erosion control, pollination, carbon sequestration, waste water. Treatment, biological control, soil fertility. Habitat or Supporting Services: biodiversity, wildlife, genetic diversity. Cultural Services: Recreation, tourism, spiritual value. As can be seen, most of the ecosystem services provided by nature are intangible, hence immeasurable, but are critical for the survival of life on the planet. However, continuous progress is being made to quantify the bounties of nature in order to understand their importance to human existence and progress. (Please see section for more details) In Bangladesh, there are five primary ecosystems that provide the various provisioning and regulating services listed in Table Table 1-25: Ecosystem services in Bangladesh (Chowdhury 2008). Component Services Sustaining Services Goods Regulating Services Oxygen production Nutrient cycling Primary production habitat provision Water cycling Carbon sequestration Pollination Food and drink Fibre/construction Medicinal/cosmetic resources Ornamental products Renewable energy products Genetic resources Filtration of air pollution Detoxification of water and sediment Local climate regulation Erosion control Flood risk mitigation Storm protection Maintenance of surface water stores Groundwater replenishment Crop pest regulation Human disease regulation Shore stabilization SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 41

64 Forests Agro-ecosystems Wetlands Rivers Mangroves Component Services Cultural Services Sediment trap Paleo-environmental records Recreation and Ecotourism Physical health - well being Spiritual and religious values Note: The check marks indicate linkages discussed in the situational analysis of the source in relation to poverty alleviation. The cells that are shaded in gray indicate a possible linkage although no evidence based on publications was found. Mangroves Like all ecosystems, Sundarbans mangroves provide both tangible as well as intangible services. Among the tangible or provisioning services, the mangroves provide food such as honey, fish, shrimp, and crabs, wood, cane, herbs, and ornamental plants, as well as other ecosystem services, including nutrient production, water purification, sediment trapping, and surface water storage. Non-timber forest products are also used for medicinal, cosmetic, and cultural purposes as well as fibres, resins, gum, plant, and animal products. Sundarbans is one of the most important ecotourism destinations in the country. Major contributions of the Sundarbans to ecosystem services include breeding and nursery ground for a large number of aquatic organism including fish and crustaceans. Nypa, honey and wax are the other critical goods provided produced by the mangroves. But the more critical role of the Sundarbans is the protection it provides to the coast and coastal communities against the sea storms, tidal surges and other sea borne vagaries of nature, the habitat it provides to hundreds of species like tigers, crocodiles, fishes etc. and the maintenance of the oxygen and carbon cycles in the region. Sundarbans holds the largest stock of sequestered carbon in the country. This ecosystem has experienced some deterioration, however, because of the overexploitation of resources. The construction of Farraka Barrage, in particular, has decreased the amount of freshwater that reaches the Sundarbans, which has increased the salinity in coastal mangroves affecting trees in the southeast part of the country. Apart from that, water withdrawal, diversion etc. upstream also make major contribution to the reduction of inflow. Water management by authorities in the area adjacent to the Sundarban causes water retention inside the embankments and this largely contributes to water logging and increased salinity in agricultural areas. The resulting reduction in tree density has made these areas more vulnerable to cyclones. Some local people have, nevertheless, responded to the changes in the ecosystem to intensively farm shrimp in the Chakaria Sundarbans. Others have been affected by the increased salinity, especially poor communities who are unable to afford tube wells to collect drinking water and in some areas it is not possible to grow vegetables and livestock because of the saline water. This situation has affected the health, nutrition, workload, and livelihood strategies of surrounding communities. 42 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

65 Upland and Lowland Forests The upland forests is located in the Sylhet, Chittagong hills and Chittagong Hill Tracts. Timber, fuelwood, non-timber forest products, and bamboo are the principal resources provided in this ecosystem. These forests also support aquaculture farms, provide irrigation water and generate electricity, such as in Kaptai Lake, which is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. Due to being the single largest area under forests in the country, the hill forests are home to a large number of animal and plant species, particularly the Asiatic elephant. The watershed services provided by the hill forests feeds the perennial rivers and recharge the aquifers and provide protection against flash floods. However, due to the degradation and deforestation in these areas, the services provided by them are dwindling. Due to the moratorium on the exploitation of natural forests, the production of timber has stopped but the degradation of the forests has not stopped. Due to the deforestation, most of the NTFP production has also declined or stopped. The establishment of monoculture tree plantations has affected this ecosystem by increasing erosion risks and degrading forest soils. Some people interviewed have asserted that the expansion of plantations has also marginalized ethnic minorities, such as the Khyang, that depend on forests, but have had their access to these forests limited and have little opportunity to access credit to establish agroforestry plantations. Lowland forests of sal, including the plantations that have replaced the natural forests, provide many goods and services, as well, such as timber, fuelwood, non-timber forest products, root foods, wild fruits, berries, medicinal plants etc. The Sal forests have been disappearing, however, because of high deforestation rates to establish illegal plantations of pineapple, rubber, and other exotic species like Agar (Aquilaria agallocha). Thus, it is obvious that the ecosystem service in general are on a declining trend due to the socioeconomic stresses on the ecosystems. The only reasonably intact natural ecosystem is the mangroves while the sal forest has almost disappeared and the hill forests are in a much degraded condition. As a result, the production of ecosystem goods and services has come down drastically. The provisioning services such as the production of wood and non-wood products have suffered tremendously while the other services such as flood control, water recharge etc. are equally badly affected. While the ecosystem goods can either be produced elsewhere or imported, but there is no alternative to ensuring the uninterrupted supply of services as life will be difficult without them, if not impossible. Although the agro-ecosystem is still reasonably healthy and production is still growing, but the increase in chemical inputs as well as overexploitation of ground water has started telling on its health. If the pesticides affect the populations of pollinator insects and birds, the impact on agricultural production may be disastrous in the absence of adequate forest cover to replenish those populations. Inland waters and floodplains One of the most important ecosystems for human wellbeing is inland waters and floodplains, or rivers, which cover 35% of the surface area of the country. This ecosystem is the primary source of freshwater used for irrigation and drinking water. These rivers and wetlands also supply fish and other aquatic resources. The quality of water in some parts of the country has deteriorated as the result of, especially, the discharge of industrial pollutants into canals and rivers and the lack of appropriate water SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 43

66 treatment systems. The most affected rivers are the Buriganga, Sitalakhya, Turag and Karnaphully. These developments not only degrade water quality, but the resulting alterations in ecosystems also affect the quality of health, agriculture, and fisheries. Since a large part of the population is poor, their access to health care services is limited and their capacity to recover from water-borne diseases is low and they are unable to afford potable water, which leaves them with no other alternative than to drink contaminated water. This ecosystem is also affected by sedimentation, especially as a result of deforestation in the Himalayas, which reduces its capacity to transport excess water and results in flooding, which can impact up to 60% of the households in the country. River erosion, which affects about 2,000 3,000 km of river banks every year, is considered to be another serious problem because it erodes living spaces. The largest part of this erosion is natural, but the extraction of sand from riverbanks contributes to that erosion. The WB, UNDP, and USAID, in collaboration with the GoB, have established a FAP to minimize the impacts of flooding and riverbank erosion by stabilizing embankments to provide shelter during the flooding season. Agro-ecosystems Agro-ecosystems contribute up to 10.64% of the country s GDP (BBS 2016) and account for about 54% of the total land area of Bangladesh. The increasing population of the country and the resultant increased demand for food has promoted the use of high yielding variety crops, especially cereals, in these ecosystems that have allowed production to reach self-sufficiency in food production. The need for continuously increasing yields, however, has led to the excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers that pollute the environment and with the decreased effectiveness of these inputs over time has further increased their use. The unregulated use of ground water for irrigation, moreover, has also adversely affected water tables underlying these ecosystems. 1.5 Current forest data generation and dissemination policies and institutional arrangements Forest inventory, RIMS and monitoring arrangements While forest inventory has been an integral part of different donor-supported projects at subnational levels, there is currently no regular forest inventory mechanism at the national level. Forest inventories have been undertaken in the hill forests in and ; in the plains land Sal forests in and ; in the state reserved forests in , and ; and in the coastal plantations in The principal objectives of those inventories were the preparation of management plans and assessment of growing stock. FAO, under the aegis of the global Forest and Tree Assessment initiative, conducted a national forest inventory, as well, that included private tree growing areas and state forests. It is now important for the BFD to develop an appropriate methodology for objectively assessing the enhancement of forest carbon stocks resulting from the conservation and sustainable management of natural forests. That development should encompass suitable modalities and procedures for transparent and verifiable assessment and inventory and will require developing suitable common strategies, approaches and modalities for assessing forest changes over time. There is a national forest inventory process to support these efforts 44 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

67 that has been initiated in under the USAID-supported National Forest Inventory project with technical support from FAO. The Resource Information Management System (RIMS) does not have adequate capacity to implement the technical components of these various endeavours, however, so in virtually every activity associated with forest inventory and monitoring, use has to be made of external resources, usually on a project basis and dependent on external financing because of inadequate financial resources available under regular BFD budgets. Forest resource information is made available through these project reports, as well as in the general reports of the BFD, but there is no on-demand system for presenting information, such as a web site with interactive mapping, to the general public or even to other BFD wings or field offices. Lack of timely planning, adequate and skill manpower, capacity and funds the forest inventory has become irregular and losing its importance. Apart from data required for preparation of forest management plan, adaption of appropriate forest policy, amount of carbon stored in forests and quantification of release of carbon from forests needs to be assessed which is required for international reporting such as for UNFCCC. Due to lack of Forest Inventory Unit the task of forest inventory has been severely impeded. Currently it is not possible to carry out forest inventory without external support. It becomes an urgency to remove all sorts of limitation and institutionalize the National Forest Inventory (NFI) Process in BFD to achieve sustainable development goals Carbon stocks and inventory Forest carbon inventories are becoming increasingly important because of the expanded global emphasis on developing afforestation/reforestation, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and REDD+ activities. The development of national forest inventory institutions and processes for objectively assessing baseline scenarios and reference emission levels is essential for developing proposals to receive carbon payments available under these programmes. A seminal effort in Bangladesh was initiated in the Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary in 2007 when the BFD conducted a carbon inventory for developing a CDM reforestation proposal under the Nishorgo Support Project. Field inventory design, formats and methods were established in accordance with the guidelines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the GOFC (Good Practices for AFOLU - Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use). The nature of carbon pools, including above-ground biomass, below-ground biomass, on-ground necromass, and soil carbon, was assessed by following the carbon inventory manual developed by the BFD. Carbon stock changes over a project activity area of 5,000 ha were estimated to be 2.78 MtCO 2e over a maturity period of 40 years. The carbon inventory programme conducted in the Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary provided the means for planning and conducting a mangrove carbon assessment in the state reserve forest for developing a REDD+ proposal under the USAID-supported Integrated Protected Area Co- Management project (IPAC). The Collaborative REDD+IFM Sundarbans Project (CRISP) is an AFOLU activity with an emphasis on REDD+ and Improved Forest Management (IFM) in the project area through avoiding unplanned frontier deforestation and degradation and improved forest management through conversion of logged forests to protected forests, including the protection of currently logged or degraded forests from further logging. A manual on carbon inventory methods was developed for the mangrove forests based on the experiences of the SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 45

68 Chunoti project. The project forest area of 412,000 ha was estimated to generate an average of 213,115 tco 2e annually over a 30-year project period for total project enhanced removals of 6.4 MtCO 2e (an average of tco 2e/ha, excluding soil carbon). This effort was succeeded by another REDD+ proposal developed by the BFD, the USAIDsupported "REDD+ARR (Afforestation, Reforestation, and Revegetation) Protected Area Project (BRAPAP), for which a forest carbon inventory was conducted in six Protected Areas. The proposed project is calculated to generate annual net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions from reducing deforestation and carbon stock enhancement of MtCO2e for 40 years over a mere 33,344 ha, or an annual average of 3,110 tco2e/ha. This estimate is very obviously impossible and is indeed due to methodological errors 10 ; this proposal is therefore not further considered. In 2014, under the USAID-supported Climate Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods project (CREL), a forest carbon inventory was also completed by the BFD in 17 Protected Areas, including the 6 Protected Areas covered under the BRAPAP. Carbon stocks varied from 146 to 381 MtCO 2e/ha. Unlike the CRISP and BRAPAP projects, however, there was no REDD+ proposal developed under this initiative. Various current activities are striving to produce a national coverage of forest resource information and carbon densities and dynamics. The NFI project is preparing a national land cover classification and will sample all land cover classes in such a way that carbon densities will be established and the National REDD+ Programme will establish a national forest monitoring system that should envelop all the sources of forest resource information in a unified format. Apart from the generation of forest information through internationally-funded programmes, the BFD has no in-house system or policy of data collection, storage, retrieval and analysis. The data related to forestry activities such as afforestation, reforestation, and extraction are not systematically collected and information is generally collected from field offices on an ad hoc basis. Even though standard formats for submitting periodic performance reports from field offices exist, the information is prepared and transmitted manually and it is virtually impossible to compile or access this information at the central level. The BFD will have to review not only its resource inventory systems, but the establishment of an effective, operational database on forest management activities, as well. The BFD is in the process of creating a web-based database on wildlife crime management and similar information management systems are urgently required for managing data on forest crimes, as well as forest resources management. 10 The main methodological issues are two-fold. First, reduced emissions from reducing deforestation and forest degradation is calculated over the entire area of the PAs for each of the 40 years. This clearly violates the principle of permanence: deforestation and forest degradation is avoided only once and thereafter the forest is considered to be protected from further threats. Effectively, the emission reductions are overestimated by a factor of 40, in addition of which the project implementation period has to be considered (not all forest is protected right from the beginning). Second, the ANR uses a rather high MAI of 4.95 m3/ha/yr over the 40-year span of the project. Such a high MAI can be attained in a plantation where trees are optimally spaced, but in a natural forest crowding reduces the MAI, while the natural growth rate of forests over a 40- year period gradually declines to SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

69 2 Forest production and economic value 2.1 Assessment of the linkage between the forestry sector and poverty alleviation Forests have a very important role to play in alleviating poverty, worldwide, in two respects. Firstly; they serve a vital safety net function, helping rural people to avoid poverty, or helping those who are poor to mitigate their plight. Secondly; forests have untapped potentials to actually elevate some rural people out of poverty. These characteristics are unknown in many cases to policy makers and planners because the safety net functions of forests are, in some respects, poorly understood and recognized. The reason is that the scientific community has not explained the implication of forest resource management for sustainable development well. Other reason for this is that the contribution of forests to poor households is largely unrecorded in national statistics; most of it being for subsistence or for trade in local markets. In addition, the lion s share of wealth from timber goes to better-off segments of society while some aspects of timber resources actually inhibit their potential to assist marginalized people. Despite these obstacles, forests play significant role in alleviating poverty of marginalized people. Poverty reduction is the primary development goal of the Government of Bangladesh (GoB). It was designated as such in October 2005 in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) developed by the General Economic Division of the Planning Commission, the National Poverty Focal Point (IMF 2012). Choudhury and Hossain (2011) have mentioned that Bangladesh has experienced a modest reduction in the poverty rate of about 1.5% annually since the 1990s with a lower rate for people living in areas in and around forests. 11 There has been a significant decline in seasonal deprivation and the number of people going without sufficient food has substantially declined, the access to adequate clothing has increased, and the homeless population has dramatically decreased. GoB intends to bring down the current poverty level to 13.5% by 2021 and eliminate extreme poverty by 2018 through various social safety net programmes, which have been very effective in this regard 12. In response to the growth in the demand for forest products that has paralleled these declines, the GoB embarked on a participatory programme for reforestation and afforestation on government land, which encompassed degraded sal forests, roadsides, canals, and railways, and the conservation and management of remaining natural state forest. The Forestry Sector Project supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in collaboration with the BFD, with a budget of USD million was intended to not only reinforce the government response to this increasing demand, but also to demonstrate connections between the forestry sector and poverty alleviation. Under the project, Tk. 104 crore was distributed to 68,372 beneficiaries. In providing those distributions, the opportunity was used to streamline the community participation process through well-designed technical packages and refined participation arrangements, along with organizing community-based organisations (CBO) and institutionalizing the role of non-governmental organizations (NGO). (Choudhury and Hossain 2011, ADB 2008, ADB 1999). Coupled with the establishment of tree farming funds at the CBO SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 47

70 level, these approaches were expected to pave the way for eventual self-financing of participatory forestry activities that would lead to long-term sustainability and enhanced community livelihoods. In the process, the BFD was to acquire significant experience in implementing participatory afforestation and natural forest management interventions, which were supported by policies that were responsive to the Forestry Sector Master Plan. (ADB 2008, ADB 1999) 13 Proceeds generated through the sale of timber and fuelwood of about Tk crore were distributed to 23,561 participants. Social Forestry Rules were revised to provide the legal basis for facilitating community participation and an equitable benefit sharing system. Tree farming funds were established by setting aside 10% of sale proceeds to create new opportunities on the same pieces of land involving the same participants, to ensure sustainability. Participants received payments from the BFD for their labour inputs into plantation activities, as well as periodic income from the agricultural crops grown between the trees that were planted, both on forest land and on marginal land, and as the result of thinning and pruning operations, which contributed to improvements in their livelihoods (Hossain et. al. 2008). Even though the BFD s institutional capacity for people-oriented approaches to forestry had been strengthened through previous projects and assistance provided by development organizations, the Forestry Sector Project was the first major intervention following approval of the Forestry Sector Master Plan in 1995 and it was expected to catalyse further strengthening of the BFD and accelerate institutional reform in the process of improving local livelihoods (ADB 2008, ADB 1999). The project was designed to be consistent with the government s policies and priorities for the forestry sector, especially with respect to the optimization of the sector s contributions to environmental stability and economic and social development. It was expected to assist the government in bringing 20% of the country s land under tree cover by 2015, increasing overall wood production and managing forest resources sustainably through local community participation, institutional capacity building, and policy reform (ADB 2008). The project resulted in the following achievements (ADB 2008): 8,000 ha of degraded natural Sal forest were brought into production under a long-term timber management program, as was wasteland alongside roads, canals, and embankments by planting trees along more than 25,000 km with local participation. Over 7,800 ha, including 750 km of.creeks and canals, of Khas land and char land were planted to increase industrial tree production and establish agroforestry plantations where economically and technically appropriate. On-farm planting was promoted through the improvement of extension activities and the provision of an adequate supply of seedlings from the government and institutional and private nurseries. The settlement of 500 families, previously shifting cultivators, was achieved in accordance with the participatory national forest management plan and encouragement was offered to utilize 1,000 ha of estate land for tree planting in areas not suited for agricultural crops, with an emphasis on the distribution of benefits for the labour provided in establishing estate plantations. 48 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

71 The population of Bangladesh is primarily rural, with large families of 5-7 members per household. The design of the project recognized that widespread poverty and landlessness provided a substantial base of potential beneficiaries in afforestation programmes. The project was preceded by a social analysis of the requirements of local residents, along with an assessment of the constraints that preclude development (ADB 2008, ADB 1999). The criteria for selecting project interventions included interest and willingness of community participation; presence of poor, landless, and vulnerable groups; potential for investments in woodlots, agroforestry, linear plantations, and homesteads; existence of forest land, other government land, natural forests, and the potential for participatory development and management; possibilities for small scale wood-based enterprises; and lack of overlap with other development interventions (ADB 208, ADB 1999). The project benefited over 177,000 people and each participant will continue to receive a share of remuneration at the end of each rotation, apart from 100% intermediate returns from thinning. Outputs were generated that were worth USD million, 50% of which were distributed directly to the poor. With the establishment of the Tree Farming Fund, those distributions will remain sustainable and in every rotation there will be increasing income for participants. Thus, over 177,000 people will no longer have to remain poor (Choudhury and Hossain 2011). Although the role of trees, forests and forestry-based professions in alleviating poverty and generating employment opportunities is generally recognised, concrete and consistent data on the subject is hard to find. However, the following statements/assessments bring home the importance of forestry in employment generation adequately: The significance of the linkage between forestry and poverty alleviation is reflected in the recognition that the most important activity of the poor, rural population in Bangladesh is agriculture and in forestry areas, almost 25% of the people practice forestry as their main activity. 14 Forestry employment in the country is highlighted in Table 2-1. Table 2-1: Employment in forestry from (FRA 2015). Category Employment (000 full-time equivalents) Total employment in forestry 1,650 1,520 1,480 1,500 of which female % 20% 39% 40% Despite the decline of 9% in full-time employment in forestry between 1990 and 2010, it is of some significance that women's participation in forestry-related activities increased by more than 30% during that same period. The Statistical Year Book Bangladesh 2014 (BBS 2014) lists the Employed Persons Aged 15 Years and Over by Detail Industry/Occupation, Sex and Residence, /2010, but various occupations/industries related to wood/forestry are scattered all over the book. The following picture emerges if we put them all together: 15 Source: BFD records SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 49

72 Table 2-2: Forestry Based Employment (Source: BBS, Statistical Year Book Bangladesh 2014) Sr. No. Profession/Industry Total Male Female Year 1 Felling of trees and shaping of timber Wooden furniture and fixtures Growing Nursery Products ( ) Fisheries Workers, Hunters and Trappers 5 Bamboo and cane products (products of wood, corek, straw and plaiting materials) 6 Timber and lumber Wood, cane and bamboo handicrafts Forest Planting, Replanting and Conservation 9 Manu. Of builders carpentry & joinery Sawmilling and planing of wood Structural products made of bamboo Handicraft workers in wood, textile, leather and related materials 13 Wood Treaters, Cabinet Makers and related trade workers 14 Corrugated paper, paper board containers 15 Wood products machine operators Fuelwood and charcoal Manu. Of pulp, paper and paper board Manu. Of chicks (bamboo curtains) Unani Ayurvedic Physicians Wood processing, paper making plant operators 21 Gathering uncultivated products Furniture and fixtures in household Manu. Of matches Manu. Of cane and bamboo furniture Forestry rel. services, activities n.e.c Manu. Of furniture and fixtures n.e.c Transportation of logs within forests Carpentry repair Manu. Of ayurvedic medicines Manu. Of unani medicines Traditional Medicine and Faith Healers Other articles of paper and paper board Manu. Of wooden containers Total As can be seen from the above table, there are 33 types of occupations or industries that employ 2.14 million persons out of which 40% are women. Although the employment figures given in the statistical year book are impressive enough, the Household Based Forestry Survey (BBS 2014) of private and homestead forests of Bangladesh shows much higher employment intensity in this sub-sector of forestry as shown below: 50 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

73 Table 2-3: Employment by type and gender in forestry sub-sector in Type of employee Full Time Part Time Total Male Female Male Female Male Female All Working Owner/Self employed Employee Unpaid family worker Guard Others Total This table shows that 5.8 million persons find full time or part time employment only in private forestry sub-sector while the year book says that only 2.4 million people are employed in the entire forestry sector and forestry-based occupations and industries. According to Technical Report: Furniture Sector Includes Value Chain Analysis and Proposed Action Plans January 2013 sponsored by European Union, the furniture industry alone provides employment to approximately 1.8 million persons. These figures may be inconsistent with each other, but they indicate the huge value of the forestry sector as a means of creating jobs and alleviation of poverty. Employment in collection and processing of non-timber forest products (NTFP) is very high, especially in comparison with that of the wood sector although it represents only about 6% to 8% of the total revenue of the BFD. Nearly 60% of the employment generated by the BFD which centres on NTFPs is associated with less affluent groups. NTFPs, as a result, assume a rather important role in supporting the economic activities of at least 600,000 people only in Sundarbans (Choudhury and Hossain, 2011). Box 2-1: Economic contribution of participatory agroforestry programme to poverty alleviation: a case from Sal forests (Islam 2011). In the Forest Department of Bangladesh, a Participatory Agroforestry Program (PAP) was initiated at a denuded Sal forest area to protect the forest resources and to alleviate poverty amongst the local poor population. We explored whether the PAP reduced poverty and what factors might be responsible for poverty alleviation. We used three poverty measurement methods: the Head Count Index, the Poverty Gap Index and the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke index to determine the extent of poverty reduction. We used a linear regression model to determine the possible differences among factors in poverty reduction. Data were collected through semi-structured questionnaires and face to face interviews within the study area. PAP proved effective at poverty alleviation, considerably improving the local situation. The linear regression model showed that PAP output explained the income differences in poverty reduction. Participants identified bureaucracy and illegal money demands by forest department officials, an uncontrolled market system, and underdeveloped road infrastructure as the main obstacles to reduction of poverty. Overall, PAP is quite successful in alleviating poverty. So this programme might be of interest at other degraded forest areas as a tool to alleviate poverty. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 51

74 As mentioned before, forests act as economic safety nets for the rural poor as a large number of free, or virtually free, goods are available to the neighbouring communities from the forests. If nothing else, forests make poverty a little more bearable by providing residual support to the poor in times of extreme desperation, in the form of food, fodder, fuelwood and medicines. It is extremely difficult to correctly estimate the value of forest products to the local people due to the varied access, use and disposal approaches applied by the beneficiaries. Although the overall contribution of the forestry sector to employment in Bangladesh is not fully estimated yet (0.1% in 2011 FAO 2014), its significance is much higher than the apparent estimates as these benefits reach that category of the population which is often deprived of most other poverty alleviation solutions. Moreover, all the goods produced by forests and trees are primary goods which generate wealth and employment as they circulate through the economic fabric of the country. For example, the contribution of Forests and related services which includes only timber, fuelwood, bamboo and minor products, to the GDP of Bangladesh in , is recorded as Tk million (1.43% in 2014), but the contribution of the wood-based manufacturing businesses worth Tk million (this figure will go up significantly when estimates are finalised) has not been included in the forestry sector contribution. These contributions are shown in the manufacturing sector. Even if a part of this contribution is credited to the forestry sector, the recognition of the sector as a source of GDP and jobs will at least double. Thus, unless a thorough analysis of the contribution of the forestry sector to the nation s economy and poverty alleviation efforts is done, it is difficult to unravel it completely. 2.2 Production of biomass: timber, fuelwood, and NTFP There are more than 25.5 million households living in about 88,000 villages across the country that collectively control, through their homesteads, a significant quantity of tree growth. These are the principal suppliers of wood for the country (NFA 2007). Production estimates of biomass in the country are discussed below: Roundwood No reliable estimates of production of roundwood (all wood, including fuelwood) are available for the country. Available data is inconsistent and none of the available estimates fits into the ground realities satisfactorily. However a rough assessment of the situation can be attempted by synthesising the core elements of various studies/assessments into a logical collage, as shown below: Total growing stock (gross volume) in the country, within forests and outside, was estimated by NFA 2007 as 212 million m 3. Any roundwood, (timber and firewood) can be produced by this mother stock only. In order to ensure a sustainable harvest of wood products from this growing stock, an approximate rotation (felling cycle) of 20 years looks reasonable, At this rate, existing trees can produce about 10.6 million m 3 per annum. FMP 1995 indicates 5.8% cut every year from homesteads, meaning thereby a theoretical felling cycle of 17.2 years. As against this, FAOSTAT says that the annual production of roundwood (which includes fuelwood) in the country is approx million m 3 in 2014.This rate of extraction seems impossible on the basis of the estimates of gross growing stock in the country. FAOSTAT data is often based on regression equations and may not represent 52 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

75 the real situation. However, a survey of private forests by BBS (2014) estimated the total production of timber from private forests, in , as only 1.02 million m 3 and production of firewood as 5.2 million tons (approx million m 3 ). Thus, total roundwood produced from private forests (homesteads and planned forests) is approximately million m 3. As private forests are virtually the only source of wood in the country at present, in view of the bad condition of state forests, and the prevailing moratorium on felling, only 1.02 million m 3 of timber cannot meet the requirement of the country even remotely. There are at least sawmills in the country (including unregistered units), as reported by DFOs. Average consumption of roundwood by sawmills was assessed as 438 m 3 /annum in a survey of Chittagong sawmills (Islam et al. 2007). Using this rate of consumption of timber, the total wood consumption by the saw mills comes to be 6.96 million m 3 /annum. Actual production of timber in the country must be more than this, as all timber does not necessarily reach sawmills. Some is used in the form of poles. However, this number can be treated as the minimum level of consumption (or production) of timber in the country. Although every piece of wood, howsoever small, can be used as firewood, we are more concerned with the volume of a tree trunk or large branches (traditionally recognized as over 10 cm girth) which is used as fuelwood. This volume is the difference between the gross volume and commercial volume of a tree. According to NFA 2007, approximately 28.5% (or say 30%) of the gross volume of a tree is fuelwood (4 out of 14 m 3 ). This means total production of roundwood in the country, on the basis of the result of the sawmill survey, should be approximately 9.05 or 9 m 3. This volume is produced by felling of trees. Yield from standing trees, in the form of lops and tops and natural fall of twigs, on a continuous basis, is in addition to this and makes up the figure of 26.9 million m 3 projected by FAO. This volume (9 million m 3 ) is well within 10.6 million m 3 considered sustainable on the basis of estimated growing stock in the country. This outturn amounts to an extraction rate of approx m 3 per ha per annum. Average gross volume per ha in Bangladesh is only 14 m 3, as per NFA This means an annual removal of 4.35% of the mean gross growing stock, i.e. a mean rotation or felling cycle of 23 years. This obviously seems quite sustainable. The actual production/ha may be slightly different from this, due to the prevailing moratorium on felling in natural forests. However, the difference is likely to be only marginal as the moratorium is perhaps effective only in about ha of surviving forest (including Sundarbans) while other government forests may be still subject to illicit removals which have brought these areas to their current degraded condition. On the other hand, the gross growing stock in the country seems to have increased considerably since the last assessment of 212 million m 3 in 2005, due to the expansion of tree cover outside forests. The growing stock in the homesteads had gone up from 54 million m 3 in 1991 (FMP 1995) to 139 million m 3 in 2005 (NFA 2007).Therefore, loss of production from natural forests, due to the moratorium, and degradation/deforestation, may not make any significant difference to the above estimates. This scenario seems to explain the production and consumption scenario of timber SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 53

76 reasonably well but firewood supply, based on this scenario, seems to be grossly inadequate. Most studies indicate that over 80% of wood is consumed as firewood, while only 30% of the growing stock is treated as firewood by FAO in the last NFA. However, keeping in mind that firewood has many substitutes, even smaller pieces of wood (we have taken into account only those pieces which are more than 10 cm in girth at the thin end), which are consumed in parallel, getting an exact estimate of fuelwood consumption and production is difficult. Most studies on fuelwood show a huge variance in their results. Significant proportion of timber waste, after conversion to sawnwood, is also consumed as fuelwood. Small twigs, used as fuelwood, are produced continuously, as against the production of larger pieces only once in the life of a tree. This constitutes a considerable supply of additional fuelwood which is difficult to assess. Therefore, a reasonable timber production and consumption scenario should be adequate to explain the fuelwood scenario reasonably well. As mentioned above, most of the wood production happens outside the state forests. Production of timber and poles (industrial roundwood) by the forest department in recent years is given below: Figure 2-1: Trend in the production of industrial roundwood (logs and poles) by Forest Department (m 3 ). The volumes shown above also include quantities seized by BFD for being illegally removed from government forests. As can be seen above, production of timber (logs and poles) by the forest department is very limited compared to the total production and consumption in the country and is declining sharply. The level of production varies from year to year on the basis of the areas of social forestry plantations available for harvesting. Large volumes of timber are produced by farmers from their private land holders, mostly in the hill districts, under jote permits from the authorities. However, there is a common belief that a large proportion of this timber comes from reserved and USF forests illicitly. Timber transported to various markets under the jote permits in recent years is given below: 54 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

77 Chittagong Rangamati Dhaka Total Linear (Total) Figure 2-2: Trend in the production of logs through jote permits (m 3 ). As can be seen, the total volume extracted under these permits has almost doubled since The number of jote permits issued each year runs into thousands in the Rangamati circle. In addition to large timber, some quantities of poles are also extracted under these permits. On an average, 226,000 pieces of bamboo are also extracted under these permits, each year, in the Sylhet forest division, although the numbers are declining slowly. As against this extraction from private forests, government operations produce only about 30,700 m 3 timber from social forestry plantations each year. According to BBS (2014), the total volume of timber produced from homestead and private forests was approx million m 3 in A steep rise, though fluctuating, in the import of timber in the country is an indication of the falling production and increasing demand for industrial roundwood. The Import of timber crossed 157,000 m 3 in The largest forest produce trade in Bangladesh, including imports, is handled by the timber traders of Chittagong. The remainder of the big timber traders are located in Dhaka. Thus, going by the available statistics the total availability of industrial roundwood in the country, from all sources, measures up to only m 3 ( ). This figure is nowhere near the estimated consumption of approx. 6.9 million m 3 of timber by the sawmills existing in the country. Thus, the inadequacy of data underscores the need for a detailed study of production and consumption of timber in the country. Fuelwood It is difficult to estimate the production or consumption of fuelwood without a detailed study. No study of fuelwood production in the country has been attempted in the recent past. FAO s FAOSTAT database shows a declining trend in fuelwood production in the country and estimates the current production in the country around 26.6 million m 3 in 2014, out of total roundwood production of 26.9 million m 3, on the basis of past trends. However, BBS (2014) estimated the total production of fuelwood from homesteads and other private forests to be approximately metric tons ( m 3 ). Fuelwood produced by BFD, primarily from its social forestry operations, is almost insignificant, although large volumes may be extracted by the local people from neighbouring forests informally. As fuelwood is mostly produced from standing trees, it has no direct relationship with timber (industrial roundwood) production, which is produced by felling trees. Therefore, a more reasonable estimate for the annual production of fuelwood in the country would be approximately 19.9 million m 3 (total roundwood 26.9 minus industrial roundwood 7 million m 3 ) instead of 26.6 million m 3 as estimated by FAO. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 55

78 Despite the increasing availability of alternate sources of energy, firewood continues to be the principal cooking fuel in the country although its popularity is decreasing. However, according to the 2011 national census estimates (BBS 2012), the proportion of people using wood fuels for cooking decreased from 44.27% in 1991 to 34.8% in This conforms to the FAO s indication of a declining trend in the production of fuelwood. Of the total fuelwood, nearly 85% is used in rural areas and 15% in urban areas (FMP 1995). The reason for the decline in production and consumption may be the easier availability of alternative fuels as well as changing demography of the country Forest product industries The forest product industries in Bangladesh include: sawmills; manufactured wood products, including furniture, hardboard, particleboard, and chipboard; manufacture of pulp, paper, newsprint, and other paper and paper packaging products; match factories; and the production of miscellaneous products from wood and bamboo, such as handicrafts, through cottage industries. However, apart from the construction industry, sawmilling, furniture and paper and pulp industry are the largest consumers of wood products. Sawmilling Industry Sawmilling is essentially an unorganised industry, spread in all corners of the country. There is no credible information on the number of sawmills or their capacity in the country. According to Chowdhury and Hussain (2011), there were 11,262 sawmills in the country with a capacity of approximately million m 3. However, the updated tally of sawmills, based on reports from all DFOs, comes to units. This is perhaps the minimum number of sawmills in the country as many unregistered mills may not be known to the reporting offices. A survey of 65 saw mills by Islam et al. in Chittagong found the average annual consumption of roundwood by saw mills to be 438 m 3 in Using this norm for estimating the total volume of sawlogs consumed by sawmills of the country, gives an estimate of m 3 consumption per annum. This is a conservative estimate as the survey attempted by the consulting team gives much higher estimate which does not look plausible. Nearly all of the mills contacted for the survey reported to be using supplies from homestead and private forests for their operations. However the total annual production of timber (industrial roundwood) from homesteads and other private forests is estimated to be only about m 3 (BBS 2014). Perhaps another survey of production and consumption systems is urgently required to understand why the production of wood seems to be far less than what is actually being consumed by the saw mills. As all wood produced does not reach the saw mills, the actual production must be much higher than indicated by these production or consumption figures. FMP (1995), Wood Processing report mentions that there were 4,838 sawmills in the country in 1992, indicating a sharp increase in the number of sawmills since then. Based on the these studies, estimated consumption (sale) of roundwood by saw mills falls anywhere between 5 and 28 million m 3 per annum. Almost all sawmills reported getting their supplies from homesteads and jotes although a few mentioned using imported timber also. Although the species used by sawmills varies from area to area, the most common species are mahagani, akashmoni, rain tree, garjan, and mango. A sawmill cannot be established within 10 km of the boundary of any forest, as per the Sawmill (Licensing) Rules, Although all sawmills are required to be registered with the BFD, it is commonly believed that a large number of unregistered sawmills exist in the country. In fact, it is virtually impossible to patrol so many 56 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

79 sawmills and the country has to think why such rules are required now that most of the natural forests, which could have been at the risk of plundering by unscrupulous sawmills, are already gone. Most saw mills are reported to be using obsolete machinery and are poorly managed and inefficiently run. Islam et al. reported 67% recovery rate of sawn timber, although the byproducts such as saw dust, off-cuts, scantlings etc. are also saleable. Furniture Industry The furniture industry in Bangladesh consists of approximately (Anon. 2013) small and medium enterprises and is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. The furniture industry has been declared as one of the thrust areas by the government and it has been growing at an annual growth rate of approximately 19% for the last few years. The total size of the industry was estimated to be Tk. 67 billion and employs nearly 1.8 million persons, as per the EU study cited above. The sector has seen an export growth rate of 104% between and and the value of exports is estimated to be USD million in (Bangladesh Export Promotion Board). The furniture industry is highly diversified and uses a range of raw materials such as solid wood, processed wood products (mainly boards) and wrought iron. Most of the raw materials, including wood, are imported and the share of local timber is estimated to be only about 20%. The growth of the industry is primarily limited by the availability of skilled and trained labour, lack of modern machinery, shortage of local supplies of suitable timber as well as the high rates of import duty on processed wood, 92.3% as against 10.72% on solid wood. Timber from Acacia auriculiformis, which is now being extensively produced under social forestry programme, is considered good for furniture making, primarily in view of its grain similarity to teak. However, for the high-end urban market, mahogany, jack fruit, teak and mango are also popular with the manufacturers. Some big manufacturers use only imported wood and exporters to the west use FSC certified timbers only. Paper and Pulp Industry According to Qader (2011), the paper industry in Bangladesh consists of more than 80 enterprises with an annual capacity of nearly 5,00,000 to 6,00,000 tonnes. Out of these, the state owned Karnafuli Paper Mills Ltd. (KPML) is the only integrated unit which makes its own virgin pulp. All other units use imported pulp and recycled fibre (paper and cloth). KPML, set up in 1953, was earlier a major player in the industry but now produces only 5% of the total paper production in the country. According to this study, paper industry globally uses 90% wood based raw materials (wood and bamboo) while in Asia, including Bangladesh, 80% of the raw material used is non-wood (recycled material). The industry is suffering from an acute shortage of raw materials. Despite the fact that only one paper mill in the country uses wood/bamboo based raw material, even that mill is not getting adequate raw material. The mill is usually running below its installed capacity of 100 tonnes per day. Total production of newsprint in the country is estimated to be 7771 ADT in (BBS 2016), the latest year for which data is available. Forest department supplies a very small proportion of their need (8000 m3 of timber and 22,00,000 pieces of bamboo to KPML in ). As the demand for paper and other pulp products is likely to grow exponentially, in view of the growth in population, prosperity and education, the country has to find the means of sustainable supply of wood based raw materials to the paper industry. On an average one tonne of paper consumes wood from 17 trees and this rate varies between 12 and 24 trees depending on the category and quality of paper produced. Thus the current capacity of the country needs approximately one crore trees or 20,000 ha of a well-stocked plantation (500 mature trees per SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 57

80 ha) per annum. As the current plantation targets of the BFD rarely reach that level, the only way this demand can be catered to is through agroforestry and homestead forestry which have already developed strong roots in the country. Other Industries In addition to the above principal wood based industries, several other products are produced using wood as a raw material. There are thousands of rural artisans who make small household goods and wooden handicrafts. There are 18 match factories and at least two pencil factories in the country (Chowdhury and Hussain 2011). As per FMP 1995, there were three large scale plywood plants and 12 small-scale plants manufacturing tea chests. No up-to-date list of industries in this sector is available with any agency. The country produces very few categories of processed wood boards (particle boards, medium density fibre board, hard board, plywood) in the country and most of the requirement is met through imports. Total production of particle board in the country is reported to be 76,79,000 m 2 in and 740,000 m 2 of hardboard was produced in the country in the year (BBS 2016). Country lacks adequate wood treatment and seasoning facilities as there are very few service providers. As a result, most of the local timber used in the manufacture of various industries and businesses is just sun dried, although most of the major manufactures of furniture or other products have their own seasoning and treatment plants. The durability and stability of untreated timbers is much lower than treated woods and thus increases the timber demand. Problem of raw materials for the industry is both from quantity as well as specifications angles. The small quantity of timber coming out from short rotation government plantations is essentially of small size which cannot support industries like plywood manufacturing. Most of the medium to large size timber comes from private sources, mainly homesteads. Due to the contribution made by the homesteads, total production of wood in the country seems to be sufficient for most needs, except specialised ones, for which they have to depend on imports Secondary Wood Products Table 2-4 summarizes production of wood charcoal and various other wood products, including sawn wood, wood-based panels, veneer sheets, and fibreboard in Bangladesh during the period The most important products in terms of production are sawn wood and wood charcoal. The current production of sawn wood averages about 388,000 m 3 /yr. However, because of inadequate data, the estimates need to be refined to be useful. Table 2-4: Production of wood products, (FRA 2015). Product Production (000 m 3 ) Wood charcoal Sawn wood Wood-Based Panels Veneer Sheets Fibreboard The production of pulp for paper and paper production during the last 20 years shows an irregular trend, although decreasing. As per available information, only one paper mill, the 58 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

81 Karnafuli Paper mills, produces its pulp from wood products for paper making. All other units are reported to be using the imported or recycled fibre. Table 2-5: Production of pulp and paper (tonnes) (FRA 2015). Year Pulp Paper Year Pulp Paper , , ,000 58, ,000 90, ,000 58, ,000 70, ,000 58, ,000 46, ,000 58, ,000 46, ,000 58, ,000 46, ,000 58, ,000 46, ,000 58, ,000 46, ,000 58, ,000 83, ,000 58, ,000 58, ,000 58,000 BFD supplies raw material to the Karnaphuli Paper Mills but government supplies meet only a small portion of their requirement as shown below: Table 2-6: Raw Material Supplied by BFD to Karnafuli Paper Mills 15 Division and Material Year Rangamati North (Bamboo no.) 1,901,775 2,528, , ,250 1,595,500 Rangamati south (Bamboo no.) 1,007, , , , ,000 Pulpwood, Bandarban (m 3 ) Pulpwood, Kaptai (m 3 ) 16, , ,336 9,816 8, Non-timber forest products Resources other than timber and fuelwood are considered to be non-timber forest products or non-wood forest products (NTFP), also called non-wood forest products (NWFP). NTFPs play an important role in the economic and socio-political arenas. While NTFPs were previously branded as "minor forest products" (MFP), but they are certainly not "minor" products in the context of the local economy. Ironically, NTFPs have again become MFP as their production have declined with the general decline in the health and extent of forests in the country. However, as many products are also found outside the forests or are cultivated (e.g. medicinal plants), their overall significance to the economy of the country, particularly the rural economy, has not declined over time. The principal NTFPs from different types of forests include the following products: Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world and it grows well on a variety of sites. Bamboos grow throughout Bangladesh with the exception of the Sundarbans. They are divided into two groups, Forest (Hill Tracts) bamboos and village bamboos. Seven different species are reported to occur in the forests out of which muli bamboo (Melocanna baccifera) is the predominant species. Bamboo has multifarious uses both 15 Source: BFD records SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 59

82 in domestic and commercial sectors. It is used as a construction material, as a raw material for paper and pulp industry as well as for producing handicrafts. Due to the degradation of natural bamboo forests, most of the bamboo supplies now originate from the villages. Natural bamboo is found in the hill forests of Bangladesh although some underplanting has also been done in the sal forests. The extent of bamboo forests was estimated to be 148,880 ha in 1993 (FMP 1995) but it has declined to approximately 15,000-16,000 ha in 2013 (FIGNSP 2013). The principal reasons for the decline of the bamboo forests is overexploitation, lack of reestablishment after gregarious flowering and damage due to shifting cultivation. No exact estimate of the production of bamboo is available in the country. Most of the bamboo is now produced outside the forests as indicated by BBS (2014) survey, which shows that pieces of bamboos were produced in the homesteads and other private forests while only bamboos were supplied by BFD to the Karnafuli paper mill. Cane or rattan is a climbing plant, primarily grown in homesteads and in the low-lying areas of reserved forests. Many species of canes (Calamus and other genera) are found in the country. Cane (Calamus viminalis, C. guruba) is used by rural people for domestic purposes. It is also used for making sophisticated furniture and luxury souvenir articles. It helps in developing cottage industries even in the rural areas. Their major use is in the furniture and handicrafts industry. Due to the loss of non-mangrove natural forests, most of the supplies now come from India through regular trade or smuggling. BFD has been carrying out plantation of canes in the natural forests to strengthen their conservation. Its economic significance can be gauged from the fact that in , there were 46,386 units employing 138,556 persons and had been showing significant growth in the previous years (FMP 1995). As shown in Table 2-2, persons are employed in manufacturing bamboo and cane products while persons are employed in making cane and bamboo handicrafts. Furniture industry, which employs nearly 2.00 million persons, uses significant quantities of cane in its operations. All this shows that the cane and rattan, including bamboos, have significant position in the economy and employment of the country. Sungrass (Imperata spp.) is the most common roofing and thatching material used for temporary low-cost housing in villages. Sungrass grows naturally, especially in the forests of low-lying areas, or around the denuded and barren hills unfit for growing highquality timber trees. But due to the easier availability of commercial roofing materials, its use has been declining. According to FMP 1995, number of persons engaged in sungrass extraction, across 12 forest divisions declined from 49,306 in to 37,096 in No recent data on this item is available. Hantal (Phoenix paludosa), another palm species growing in mangroves, is welldistributed on relatively raised land of the Sundarbans. It grows on the raised dry banks of khals as well as an undergrowth in the interiors. It is an important construction material for the rural areas and its stems are used as rafters and purlins in house construction, as posts in the betel leaf cultivation and has many other sundry uses. However, due to the moratorium on harvesting in Sundarbans, it is no longer harvested although it used to be an important product until the nineties. Approximately 6-8 metric tons of hantal 60 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

83 were extracted from Sundarbans in the eighties and nineties (FMP 1995). No data for any later period is available. Hogla (Typha elephantiana) grows in marshy areas and newly accreted land, along the khals and creaks in the coastal areas and Sundarbans. Large quantities of hogla leaves, used for cheap mats, used for various purposes, are available on private lands, its value as a NTFP is not very high. In Sundarbans, it appears to be declining in extent. Honey and Beewax are produced naturally in the beehives of the Sundarbans forest where it is collected in large quantities every year. Some wild honey is also harvested in the forest regions of Chittagong, Sylhet, Cox's Bazar, and Mymensingh. It is a major produce in the Sundarbans where thousands of people depend on it for a living. Tragically, many also become victims of tiger attacks. Forest department issues permits for honey extraction. The quantities extracted in the eighties were close to 250 tonnes per annum in the eighties while the current production is less than 200 tonnes per annum. The reason for decline needs to be investigated. It may be because of unscientific collection methods in which the queen bee is harmed or killed or may be because of the decline in the availability of nectar bearing plants in the Sundarbans forest. Beewax is a by-product of the honey harvesting activity which itself has significant economic importance as it is used in many industries. In the eighties, the production of beewax was nearly tonnes while latest data on this product is not available. Looking at the quantity of honey produced, it should be approximately 40 tonnes per annum. Fish, Prawns and Shells: Fish and associate aquatic products, such as shrimp post larvae, mainly tiger prawn, shells, oysters etc. is one of the most important NTFPs of the Sundarbans. Conch shells, oysters, and related materials are collected in large quantities in the coastal forest. Furthermore, rivers flowing inside forest areas like Sundarbans, Chittagong Hill Tracts and Sylhet (as well as in the coastal belts and offshore islands) are rich in fish resources of different types, in both freshwater and saline environments. Although the revenue received by BFD from fishing permits varies with the rate of royalty imposed from time to time, the quantities of fish and related products have declined marginally in the last five years. However, fish production has improved tremendously in the last 30 years as only 9.33 tonnes of fish were caught in (FMP 1995) while current production is slightly over 7000 tonnes per annum (see table). Golpata (Nypa fruticans) is a very popular and essential thatching material for poor people in Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira districts and fetches revenue for the BFD. It grows in abundance in Sundarbans and some coastal areas. The leaves of the plant are mainly used as thatching material but are also used for many other sundry purposes in rural households. The sap of the plant can be used to make alcohol, sugar or vinegar. Ripe fruits are also edible. Permits for golpata extraction are issued in Sundarban divisions but the demand for this product is declining due the availability of better commercial roofing materials such as GI sheets, FRP sheets etc. Production has declined from tons in to a mere tons in (see table below). SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 61

84 Table 2-7: Production of major NTFP in Bangladesh (Tonnes) 16 Product Fish Honey Golpata Pati Pata, Murta (Clinogynae dichotoma) is an excellent material for making handicrafts, particularly sleeping-mats (Pati), popularly called shitalpati, which is extensively used by poor villagers and also as a luxury item for rich people. This is also exported by the cottage industry as a finished product. The species grows naturally in the marshy forests and rural areas in many districts of Bangladesh. It is one of the important forest products of the Sylhet forest division. Although the industry is on a decline due the shortage of raw materials and diversion of traditional workers to other professions, BFD still issues harvesting contracts for the extraction of Murta from the forest areas. Due to the degradation of the Murta forests, most mahals are not bought by the contractors. Commercially viable Murta is found only in two ranges (Sari and Sylhet) of the Sylhet division. Table 2-8 shows the latest commercial value of forest Murta of Sylhet forest division. Table 2-8: Murta Production in Sylhet Forest Division 17 Years No. of Murta Mahals Murta Mahals Sold Revenue Above table shows that the demand for Murta has shown a constant decrease in the last five years. Total extent of Murta distribution in the division was estimated to be 2460 ha in FMP 1995 but it has declined significantly due to encroachments and overexploitation. Estimated production of Murta sticks from the forest areas was nearly 25 million sticks and nearly 12 million sticks were estimated in the villages. Medicinal Plants: Wild medicinal plants are one of the most important NTFPs in the country although many of them are now cultivated. Wild plants are the very foundation of many ancient medicinal systems such as Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy etc. and a large proportion of the rural population depends on home remedies and traditional healers who use various parts and extracts of wild plants for treating common illnesses. The Ethnobotany Lab, Department of Botany Chittagong University ( has a database of 900 medicinal plants used in Bangladesh. There 16 Source: Conservator of Forests, Khulna Circle 17 Source: Divisional Forest Officer, Sylhet Forest Division 62 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

85 are about 297 Unani, 204 Ayurvedic and 77 Homeopathic drug manufacturing industries where the medicinal plants are extensively used in both raw and semi processed forms of medicine in various pharmaceutical formulations. These plants also serve as important raw materials for many modern medicinal preparations. No recent data on the status of medicinal plants, wild or cultivated, is easily available. In a landmark study commissioned by the South Asia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) of the World Bank and Swiss Intercooperation (IC), Dixie et al. (2003) summarised the status of medicinal plants in the country as follows: The total size of the medicinal plant market at wholesale prices was estimated at some $14 million p.a. corresponding to 17,000 tonnes of product. Local supply accounts for about 70% by volume and 40% by value. Demand has been increasing and is set to accelerate. The industry is modernising, both by its own efforts & with the entry of corporates. Raw material demand is likely to increase by Tk 300 m. over next 5 years. Most of this growth (+50%) is expected to occur with the major processing companies. Imports are increasing, local wild harvest is unsustainable & quality poor. Companies are considering using imported herbal extracts & /or developing their own production to improve their raw material supply. Beparis and pikers are reliant on traditional techniques & knowledge. The study estimated the size of the market opportunity for the supply of medicinal plants as raw materials for the medicinal herb sector over the next five years, for selected plants, as below: Medicinal Plants Table 2-9: Estimated market size for some key medicinal plants in 2003 USD M Amloki 1.35 Haritaki 1.00 Arshwagandha 0.74 Bahera 0.47 Pepul 0.34 Cheerota 2.00 Mutha 0.60 Agar 0.40 As per the trends indicated in this study, the market size of these plants is likely to be much larger at present. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 63

86 The study concluded that Unless improvements are made in the supply chain, at best, Bangladeshi producers will not be able to benefit from the continued growth in demand for raw medicinal plants, and, at worst, it could further lose market share from its existing 40% by value. The key changes suggested in the study were: improved quality; commercialisation of production; market orientated production and closer linkages between producers and processors. Basing their conclusions on Dixie et al. (2003), Lammia (2004) conclude that The Bangladeshi herbal medicine market is valued at Tk. 3,300 million (approximately US $60 million) at trade prices. The turnover figures for the Ayurvedic sector is around Tk. 1,000 million, Unani around Tk.1,800 million, and homeopathy around Tk. 500 million. (Lammia 2004) The value of the industry must be much higher at present. Khar (2010) quotes various authors on the volumes of various medicinal plants in trade as follows: Chowdhury at SAARC workshop (16-18 June, 2002): Ashwagondha (Withania somnifera) - 56,000 kg, Anantamul (Hemidesmus indicus) - 50,000 kg, Kurchi (Holarrhena antidysenterica)-1,00,000 kg, Gulancha (Tinospora cordifolia) - 127,000 kg. According to Hamdard Laboratories (WAQF), in Bangladesh the annual demand for a few medicinal plants are---- Satomuli (Asparagas racemosus) 800 tons, Sarpagondha (Rauvolfia serpentina) 1,000 tons, Ghritokumari (Aloe vera) 24,000 tons, Kalomegh (Andrographis paniculata) 1,000 tons (Hassan, 2003). Every year Bangladesh imports a large quantity of raw materials belonging to medicinal plants mostly under the banner of spices and spends more than 64 crores Taka annually for this purpose. Ironically, 70% of this imported raw materials can be met from the indigenous sources from Bangladesh 18. As can be seen, this study has revised the estimates significantly upwards in comparison with the 2003 study by Dixie et al. indicating that the interest in the production of medicinal plants has been growing. As the interest in herbal medicines is growing globally, production and processing of medicinal plants offers good scope as a rural economic activity. Figure 2-3 gives the locations of major production centres of important medicinal plants in the country (copied on ) 64 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

87 Figure 2-3: Major areas producing medicinal plants (Dixie et al. 2003) Lac is one of the most versatile industrial ingredients and used to be an important NTFP in the past. However, with the degradation and deforestation in the country, its production from the forest areas is negligible. The only source of lac in the country at present is its cultivation by farmers in the districts of Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Pabna, Jamalpur and Jessore (FMP 1995). Current production is reported to be approximately 1000 tonnes against a demand for tonnes per annum 19. Although the profitability of lac cultivation varies with wide fluctuations in market price, in general lac is a very potent poverty alleviation intervention for rural areas. There is no NTFP inventory or monitoring programme. Consequently, little information is available regarding stocks, abundance, and marketing of NTFPs. As most NTFPs are collected by the local people from the forests without any permits or regulation, no estimates of their volumes are available. However, permits for the collection/extraction of fish, honey and golpata in Sundarbans are mandatory, which helps in attempting an assessment of the extracted volumes. Murta forests are auctioned for extraction in Sylhet forest division. Apart from these two areas, no authentic information on NTFP collection is available The principal collectors of NTFP are women, especially adults, who collect about two-thirds of the NTFPs (Figure 2-4). Most of the NTFPs are collected from natural forests (65%), but they are also collected from plantations (15%), residential areas (11%) and wetlands (9%). In pdf SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 65

88 practice people from different communities collect NTFPs irrespective of ownership of the lands (Khar 2010). Figure 2-4: Main collectors of NTFPs in Chittagong Hill Tracts. Figure 2-5: Land types from which NTFPs are collected in the Chittagong Hill Tract Production of bamboo in 2010 was approximately 63 million culms, down from a high of nearly 79 million culms in 2000 and with a projected production inching upwards to about 66 million by The previous chapter pointed out this diminishing trend and degradation of natural and bamboo forests. Virtually all the supply of bamboo is now from homesteads due to the ban on felling in natural forests as well. Complementarily, the primary reasons for degradation of NTFPs are overpopulation and unsustainable exploitation. Table 2-10: Primary reasons for degradation of selected NTFPs (Khar, 2010). NTFP Bamboo Wild vegetables Medicinal plants Bamboo shoots Broom grass Menda bark Primary reasons for degradation Overpopulation and exploitation, increased bamboo shoot cutting and harvesting, increased bamboo trade, and various other reasons. Overpopulation and exploitation, land clearing for jhum, or shifting cultivation, and/or plantations, financial crisis of forest-adjacent households. Overpopulation and exploitation, increased medicinal plant trade, lack of domestication initiatives. Overpopulation and exploitation, financial crisis of forest-adjacent households, land clearing for jhum and/or plantations. Overpopulation and exploitation, land clearing for jhum and/or plantations, and financial crisis of forest-adjacent households. Land clearing for jhum and/or plantation, increased trade in menda bark, lack of awareness. 66 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

89 As stated earlier, NTFPs are an extremely important part rural livelihoods, as shown by the following case studies. As most of the NTFPs are collected and disposed of informally, and most do not need any permits for collection, it is extremely difficult to estimate their total production or consumption in the country, although their value to the rural communities is well recognised. Box 2-2: Role of non-timber forest products in sustaining forest-based livelihoods and rural households resilience capacity in and around protected area (Mukul et al. 2015). Our study has reiterated the critical role of NTFPs in providing subsistence and cash incomes to local communities, especially to the poorer groups, and as a provisioning option during unforeseen events that improves households resilience capacity. Recent renewed emphasis on conservation in Protected Areas sometimes lead to restrictions on extraction of NTFPs. Such restrictions need to be viewed and considered within the broader context and reality of the high degree of dependence of poorer communities on NTFPs. A degree of flexibility in existing PA management may be warranted, such as by setting an allowable resource extraction limit for deserving community members in the light of both ecological and economic sustainability. Some species are particularly vulnerable to over-exploitation, and require special attention from PA managers. L. monopetala, in our study, for example, has experienced serious depletion due to unsustainable bark collection and rampant illegal removal. Policy makers and park managers should consider improving awareness of local communities about sustainable harvesting of NTFPs. They could also allow them to cultivate commercially important NTFPs in buffer zones to reduce pressure on core PAs. Another important issue is the lack of organized and equitable market outlets and facilities for local forest dependent communities to sell the NTFPs they collected. It makes them entirely dependent on an exploitative network of intermediaries. PA managers could therefore also facilitate direct and wider access of the poorer HHs to markets. Box 2-3: Honey Hunting in Sundarbans Reserved Forests of Bangladesh (Gani 2015) The Sundarbans Reserved Forest (SRF) is one of the largest contiguous mangrove forests of the world. The Bangladesh Forest Department since 1884 has managed the SRF. A number of forest products such as timber, fuelwood, leaves, grasses, fish, shells, honey and beeswax are harvested from Sundarbans where honey is considered an important non wood forest product. Here, giant honeybee is the principal honey producing species. Honey hunting from giant honeybee colonies has been practised for centuries in the Sundarbans mangrove forests. Around two thousand honey collectors work in the forest to collect honey and beeswax from giant honeybee colonies. About 200 tons of honey and 50 tons of beeswax are harvested annually under the supervision of Forest Department. The Sundarbans produces about 50 percent of the honey produced in Bangladesh. The honey collectors are known as Mouwali and they collect honey and beeswax every year mostly during the months of April, May and little in June. The major honey flow starts with the flowering of plants in the Sundarbans mangrove forest in mid-march and continues into June. There is an inward migration of giant bees from the countryside from January and outward migration from June. The Mouwalis collect ripe and unripe honey in a traditional way as they move in the dense swampy jungles. They harvest all colonies encountered as SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 67

90 their return to same place is a hard work and hazardous too. Mouwalis kill large numbers of bees while collecting honey due to the lack of training and awareness. There is a need to improve the security and safety of Mouwalis. An initiative is necessary to plant up honey and nectar bearing plants in the Sundarbans to increase the yield of honey. Box 2-4: Bangladesh: Queen of natural beauty. 20 Golpata (Nypa fruticans) is by far the most important NWFP in the region. Every year, from December to May, thousands of "bawalis" (traditional forest users) collect an average of 60,000 metric tons of fronds from throughout the SRF. This number, however, could be a fraction of the actual amount harvested. The fronds are sold at several trade depots in the adjoining districts and used as a traditional roofing material throughout the country. The fruits are used to make a local wine. Other species are important as well. Hantal (Phoenix paludosa) is a palm used in construction as rafters and framework. It is not as popular as golpata and is harvested in much smaller quantities at an average of 3000 metric tons per year. An average of 3000 metric tons of a variety of grasses are annually harvested from the SRF as well. This includes malia (Cyperus javanicus), nal (Eriochlea procera) and ulu (Imperata cylindrica). Malia is used for making mats, nal for making baskets and fences, and ulu for thatch. 2.3 Economic value of products, biodiversity, and ecosystem services Value of roundwood timber The timber prices in Bangladesh are shown in Table 2-11, which show an increasing trend of around 175% for the period to Discussions in Chittagong saw mills in May 2016 indicate that the average selling price of several different species of industrial timber in the local market is approximately Tk. 35,000 per m 3. Using a conservative rate of Tk per m 3 in all markets, the total value of nearly seven million m 3 of timber (minimum estimate, wood consumed only by sawmills) produced in the country comes to around Tk cr. (USD 1.75 billion) per annum. Timber prices have been growing at an annual rate of approx. 13% per annum as shown below, which indicates the prevailing gap between demand and supply. As timber is a primary product which supports many industries and artisans, its real economic value is much more than its estimated price. Table 2-11: Timber price development (Hossain 2015). Year Price (Tk./m 3 ) Annual change , ,000 25% ,000 20% ,000 17% ,000 14% ,000 13% SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

91 2.3.2 Value of fuelwood Year Price (Tk./m 3 ) Annual change ,000 0% ,000 11% ,000 10% ,000 0% The price of fuelwood shows an increasing trend in the period to (Table 2-12). There seems to be no clear trend in the prices of fuelwood, although the prices have gone up in line with general inflation. Table 2-12: Wholesale price of fuelwood (BBS 2006, 2010). Year Price (Tk./tonne) Annual change , ,017 4% ,046 1% ,083 2% ,034-2% ,549 25% ,103-17% ,670 75% ,619-1% ,476 24% ,031-10% ,482 11% The price of fuelwood varies widely between rural and urban areas and between forested and non-forested areas. Presuming one metric ton is equal to two cubic metres, the estimated value of fuelwood produced in the country comes to nearly Tk. 6,006 crore (USD 751 million) per annum in This shows the importance of fuelwood in the rural economy. Although the prices have more than doubled over the period of nearly ten years shown above, the fluctuating prices indicate a reasonably stable supply of firewood in the country. As the popularity of fuelwood as a cooking fuel has been going down over the last two decades, indicating a slowing demand growth, the price movement seems to concur with the consumption trend Value of non-timber forest products 21 A complete assessment of the economic value of NTFP has not been attempted in the country since 1991, although the value of various wild plants in the lives of the rural people is well recognised. A broad idea of the economic importance of NTFP can be had from the following statements: 21 See section for more details. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 69

92 In Bangladesh, the collection, processing, and selling of NTFPs provide important employment opportunities for nearly 300,000 people in the poorest segments of the rural population with an annual contribution of about Tk. 132 crore (USD 17 million) to the country s economy. The operation of small-scale enterprises and the manufacture of secondary products from NTFPs such as bamboos and rattans is a low-cost, but effective strategy for employment generation for semi-skilled labourers in urban-rural fringes in Bangladesh. 27% households (HHs) of the area received at least some cash benefit from the collection, processing and selling of NTFPs, and NTFPs contribute as HHs primary, supplementary and emergency sources of income. NTFPs also constituted an estimated 19% of HHs net annual income, and were the primary occupation for about 18% of the HHs (Mukul et al. 2015). Bamboo, fish, the leaves of trees and other materials have a collective commercial value greater than Tk crore (USD 1.4 million) annually. Table 2-13: Commercial value of collected NTFPs in 2010 (FRA 2015). Class of NTFP Key species Commercial value (Tk. lakh) Bamboo Melocanna bambusoides, Bambusa tulda, B. spp % Fish Hilsa, Harpadon nehereus, Lates calcarifer, % Polynemous indicus, Trichiurus lepturus Leaves of trees Nypa fruticans % Crab Scylla serrata % Broom Stick Thysanolaena maxima % Sungrass Imperata cylindrica % Bark of trees Dechasia kurzii, Terminalia arjuna, Saraka indica % Rattan Daemonorops jenkisianus, Calamus latifolius, C. spp % Honey Honey % Wax Wax % Total 1,153.9 Although based on official reports, this seems to be only a partial assessment of the value of NTFPs. Further, these primary products are the basis for a range of cottage industries and small and medium enterprises that support hundreds and thousands of families. Thus the real value of these products to the economy of the country is hundreds of time more than the revenue earned from them by the Government. For example, bamboo is a raw material for paper and pulp industry that provides thousands of jobs in the country. As per FMP 1995, there were nearly bamboo and cane products industries in the country in Although current data on the subject is not available, but the number must be much more now as the production of bamboo in the homesteads has gone up significantly, as per the observed trends persons were employed in the collection and processing of NTFP. 400 companies were involved in the herbal drug industry and there were units, employing persons in the handicraft and furniture industry based on bamboos and rattans in According to BBS (2016) the number of persons involved in bamboo and cane related occupations is as follows: bamboo and cane products , handicrafts , structural products 83164, manufacturing of chicks 11543, and manufacturing of cane/bamboo furniture 3227, total SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

93 FMP 1995 also projected the likely number of farmers involved in lac cultivation to be in 2013 while the number of persons involved in processing lali and catechu were estimated to be in Medicinal plants industry alone is estimated to be worth more than Tk. 300 crore per annum. According to BBS (2016), there are Unani/Ayurvedic doctors, 1803 persons are involved the manufacture of Unani/Ayurvedic drugs and more than 400 companies involved in the manufacturing or trading of herbal drugs. The industry processes nearly tons of herbal material each year out of which 70% comes from local sources. Thousands of artisans and families are involved in earning a living out of Murta, hogla, golpata based crafts. As discussed before, Sundarbans is the most productive source of NTFPs in the country today. Fish and other marine products, honey and wax, golpata, hogla, hantal etc. all provide livelihoods to thousands of families around Sundarbans. Villagers in the CHT, who are representative of the rural poor in Bangladesh, depend on NTFPs to a significant extent. Villagers in the lower income groups realize a relatively higher proportion of their income from NTFPs; in the higher income groups, dependence on NTFPs gradually declines with increasing household income (Table 2-14). Table 2-14: NTFP and forest income against total household income by income group (Khar 2010). Income quintile Mean NTFP income Mean forest income Mean household income NTFP share of income (%) Forest share of income (%) 1 6,343 12,935 39, ,351 16,274 56, ,890 19,168 70, ,930 18,954 90, ,963 47, , As can be seen in the above table, NTFPs are a very significant source of employment and wealth creation in the country, especially in the rural areas. Bamboos, canes and medicinal plants are the most important NTFP items from economic importance point of view. Promotion of NTFPs, both in situ as well as ex situ can go a long way in dealing with rural poverty in the country Value of ecosystem services Valuation of all goods and services provided by nature is not possible as many of the services such as protective, regulatory and cultural services are intangible and immeasurable. Although methodologies for estimating the intangible services are still evolving, efforts to estimate the value of all the tangible provisioning services have been successful as shown below. Emerton and Aung (2013) reported the value of ecosystem goods and services provided by the million ha forests of Myanmar as USD 7.3 billion, giving an average figure of approx. USD 2297/ha. They included the value of forest ecosystems in mangrove coastal protection, terrestrial forest watershed protection, mangrove fisheries nursery and breeding habitat, forest carbon sequestration, timber & wood products, non-timber forest products, forest elephants, nature-based recreation and tourism and insect pollination in their valuation. The study SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 71

94 mentions that only 15% of this value comes from forest utilisation while 85% comes from comes from forest ecosystem services that maintain the productivity of other sectors, add value to their output, and help them to avoid costs, losses and damages. They also modelled the future value of ecosystem services of the forests under scenarios of degradation and conservation and indicated that the country would incur a loss of USD 17 billion under the degradation scenario but would earn USD 22 billion under the conservation scenario, by the year A WWF (2013) study on the countries of the Mekong Basin pegs the value of ecosystem goods and services of the terrestrial forests at USD 1281 and that of mangrove forests at USD 2670 per hectare per annum. These values do not include the value of ecotourism and recreation. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is a global initiative focused on making nature s values visible. Its principal objective is to mainstream the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision-making at all levels. It aims to achieve this goal by following a structured approach to valuation that helps decision-makers recognize the wide range of benefits provided by ecosystems and biodiversity, demonstrate their values in economic terms and, where appropriate, capture those values in decision-making. Some examples of the findings of the TEEB work are given in Table In another study (MoEFCC & GIZ 2014) on the value of ecosystem services, in India, covering forests, biodiversity, inland wetlands and marine and coastal ecosystems, TEEB estimated the economic value of the forests of Western Ghats, which are broadly similar to the hill forests of Bangladesh, as USD 4,151 per hectare per year, based on sustainable rates of extraction, household survey and timber and fuelwood market analysis. The items covered in this valuation include timber, fuelwood, non-timber forest produce, carbon and recreation. Similar values can perhaps be applicable in the hill forests of Bangladesh, depending upon the health of the forests. Although it is not possible to apply the results of these studies to the Bangladesh situation, as the results depend on many variables, crude estimates of the ecosystem services provided by the forests of Bangladesh can still be arrived at by using these values. Using the Indian valuation rate, the approximate value of the ecosystem services provided by the surviving natural forests of Bangladesh (approx. 0.7 million hectares in hill and plains forests), is USD 290 million on the basis of sustainable rates of extraction. However, if the norm is applied to the total area under tree cover at present (2.49 million hectares), both within and outside state forests, the value shall be close to USD billion. Although the trees on homesteads and croplands, included in the total area, would not provide exactly the same ecosystem services as the trees in an intact forest patch, perhaps the difference can be compensated, at least partially, by the contribution made by vast areas of degraded forests (almost a million ha, both reserve forests as well as unclassed state forests) situated in the hill regions of the country, which have not been included in the tree covered area. If the results of the Myanmar study are applied the estimated value of ecosystem services of the forests and treelands of Bangladesh shall be nearly USD 5.7 billion, which, again, is no mean sum. As in most other countries, so far, total value of ecosystem services provided by forests in Bangladesh is not considered in national income accounting, resulting in a low contribution of 72 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

95 the sector to national gross domestic products (GDP). During the year , official estimation of forestry sector contribution to national GDP stood at 1.43% (BBS, 2014). But if the value of ecosystem services provided by the forests and tree lands of Bangladesh (USD billion or Tk. 826 billion) is considered, the contribution becomes more than 6.6% of the national GDP of the same year ( ). This clearly indicates that the real value of the total forest resources is not being appreciated and recognised by the society, resulting in poor attention to this vital sector of economy and ecology. Sundarbans and coastal forests The Sundarbans and coastal forests are of particular interest when assessing ecosystem services (and goods, but to a much lesser extent). Mangroves and other coastal forests provide invaluable services in the form of coastal protection, land accretion due to sedimentation of fine particulate matter, protection against the forces of cyclones (wind moderation, absorption of storm surges), biodiversity and gene pool, wildlife habitat and carbon sequestration. Mangroves and coastal forests tend to be highly productive due to the sediments rich in nutrients. Furthermore, the mangroves and coastal areas have a large potential for tourism. IUCN-Bangladesh developed a Vision to the year 2050 and the assessment of all EGS yielded an estimate of USD to $1, per hectare per year or $273 to $714 million per year for the entire Sundarban (IUCN 2015). The above estimate does not include carbon sequestration by the ecosystem. The CRISP project estimated that over a forest area of 412,000 ha in the Sundarbans an annual average sequestration of 213,115 tco 2e over a 30-year project period could be achieved. At current prices for REDD+ projects, this would generate approximately USD 1.1 million per year. In coastal plantations the sequestration rate would likely be much higher, but the proceeds would be generated only over a single rotation, due to the requirement of permanence of the sequestered carbon (after harvest it is assumed that the area will be replanted). Coastal protection from wave erosion and storm damage are difficult to assess and valuate. In a recent study in Myanmar (MOECAF 2013), the benefits provided by healthy mangroves was estimated to amount to USD 940 per hectare per year for coastal erosion and USD 620 per hectare per year for storm protection. Combined, this would amount to USD 936 million per year, largely in the form of avoided loss of property and lives. The Sundarbans, which is the world s largest contiguous mangrove area, is a prime attraction for tourism. The BFD has gradually acceded to the demands of tourism to allow the entry of visitors under a payment of a small entry fee. In the recent past, however, private tour operating companies have started to take tourists inside the Sundarbans on package tour programmes. In 2002, the BFD established a small visitor centre at Karamjal, where large numbers of daily visitors, especially domestic tourists, participate in day trips into the Sundarban mangroves. In , over people visited the Sundarbans for recreational purposes, generating thousands of jobs in the hospitality sector (IUCN 2015). Similarly, several lac visitors patronise Bhawal National Park and Lawachara National Park each year. Many other protected areas, though not as popular as these more famous PAs, contribute significantly to the nature based recreation offering in the country. Tourism produces more jobs per unit expenditure than any other industry (Pabla 2015). As the result of large-scale urbanization and improving prosperity in the country, forest-based recreation continues to gain momentum in the country, creating jobs and wealth along the way. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 73

96 Box 2-5: Value of Sundarbans ecosystem goods and services. 22 The Sundarbans Reserve Forest, the world's largest mangrove covering 6,000 km 2 in Bangladesh, provides a variety of ecosystem services. The real contribution of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest to the national economy has not been evaluated so far. Official records of revenue collected by the Forest Department were the sources of information used in the economic valuation of the forest. The major provisioning services of the Sundarbans are timber, fuel wood, fish, thatching materials, honey, and waxes. And, the main culture service is tourism. The provisioning and cultural services provided by the Sundarbans contributed to revenue of the Forest Department on an average USD 744,000 and USD 42,000 per year respectively during financial year to The revenue collection from the forest products and tourism showed increasing trend over the study period, except for the timbers. What may be clear from the examples provided, the estimates for the value of EGS vary widely Furthermore, many of the EGS are intertwined and not easily assessed independently. 2.4 Summary of land use status and policy (Please refer to section 2.5 for land use status and section 7.3 for a discussion on the land use policy) 2.5 Summary of current land-use pattern Figure 2.6, which provides a pictorial representation of the percentage distributions of six categories of land use in 2011, indicates that arable land represents more than half (59%) of the total area of the country, while other land, including infrastructure, urban land, building, and others, represents 18.8%, and forest accounts for only 11.1%. Figure 2-6: Land use proportions in 2011 (FAOstat 2015). About 15% of land is administered by the BFD as forest land. The products from these lands are varied and include timber, fuelwood, and poles, as well as bamboo, cane, thatch leaves, fish, honey, and wax, among other products SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

97 Bangladesh is one of the most populous countries in the world with an annual population growth rate of 1.43% and a density of 1,131 persons per km 2. Consequently, land for agriculture, forest, infrastructure, and urban development compete against each other in various respects. Cropland, which includes land under cultivation, cultivable waste land, and current fallow, was estimated to be 9.8 Mha in 1976, 9.4 Mha in 2000, and 8.8 Mha in 2010, corresponding to 67.4, 65.0 and 60.0%, respectively, of total land area (Map 2-1). Cropland decreased more rapidly during the period compared to the period This accelerating rate of decrease, unless compensated by comparable increases in productivity over the long term, is of concern because food security is the primary economic and political preoccupation in Bangladesh. Forest land includes the semi-evergreen / evergreen hill forests, deciduous Sal forests, and coastal forests (including Sundarbans mangroves) of the country. The demand for products from these forests has been steadily increasing, while supply has been decreasing. Forested area was nearly 1.8 Mha in 1976, representing 12.1% of the country's land area, but had decreased to 1.3 Mha in 2000, accounting for just 9% of the country's land area, although it subsequently increased to 1.4 Mha in 2010, representing 9.8% of the country's land area, during the period from , which denotes a decreasing trend. The annual average decline in forested area was 18,492 ha (1.1%) during the period from , while between , the annual average increase was 12,302 ha (0.9%). Forest cover remained relatively stable during the period from as the decreasing trend in natural forested area was offset by increases in the establishment of plantations (Hasan et al. 2013). Map 2-1: Cropland area of Bangladesh in 1976, 2000 and 2010 (Hasan et al. 2013). The decline in the extent of cropland as well as forested area indicates the expansion of human habitation and infrastructure into these areas. As the cities and villages expand, they do so into the neighbouring agricultural land while agriculture keeps expanding into neighbouring forests, as pressure on agricultural land increases due to the increasing rural population. Moreover, pressure for releasing forest land for public sector infrastructure projects is quite high as it does not cost the project proponents anything. The GoB has released approximately ha of land for various non-forest uses since SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 75

98 2.6 Evaluation of demands on land The primary source of food (fruit and vegetables), timber, fuelwood for households, and household income is homestead lands. These lands are critically important in the economic dynamic interchanges of the country, but are under intense pressure because about 75% of the timber and 85% of the fuelwood produced in the country is provided from homestead lands. Although, it is generally believed that area under homestead vegetation has increased in the past bub some studies cast a doubt on this belief. It is estimated that about 10% of homestead forests are removed every year, which implies that the area of homestead forests is continuing to decline, while the increasing demand of the country's growing population for the products provided from these lands is unable to be completely satisfied. The sustainability of the homestead forest ecosystem has, as a result, been adversely affected (Zaman 2010, Kamal et al.). Between 1990 and 2010, the largest components of forest area were under public ownership of the state (Table 2-15). There was a smaller, but significant, portion under private ownership of local and indigenous communities, as well. In the 20 year period since the release of the Forestry Master Plan of 1993, there has been a decrease in forest area in terms of the area under public ownership, private ownership and unknown ownership, which reflects the pressure these lands are under. Most of the private ownership is under the control of local, tribal, and indigenous communities, which underscores, as well, the importance of communities as owners of forest where timber and non-timber forest products are harvested and collected. Table 2-15: Categories and proportions of forest land ownership (FRA 2015). Categories Forest area (000 ha) 1990 % 2000 % 2005 % 2010 % Public ownership Private ownership of which owned by individuals of which owned by private business entities and institutions of which owned by local, tribal and indigenous communities Unknown ownership Total 1,494 1,468 1,455 1,442 Table 2-16 presents the availability of agricultural land during the period from to It is notable that cultivable land has decreased since the 1990s, which corresponds to the reduction in forest lands and increases in other land uses, including infrastructure, settlements, and industry. 76 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

99 Table 2-16: Availability of agricultural land (BBS, 2011). Year Land area Cultivable land (000,000 ha) % Note: Agricultural land includes cropped land, current fallow land and cultivable waste land. Between 1985 and 2007, net cropped area decreased by 11%. Eroded land accounts for yearly losses of about 80,000 ha, while another 1% of land is converted every year to non-agricultural uses, including settlements and infrastructure. Some 220 ha of arable land is also lost every day as the result of other uses, including road construction, industrialization, and housing and at least 86,000 ha of land were lost by river erosion between In Barisal and Khulna divisions, almost 70% of land is now affected by different degrees of salinity that is reducing agricultural productivity. In 2003, per capita agricultural land was ha in these divisions and this extent is expected to decrease to ha by 2050 because of the change in land use attributable to aquaculture, especially shrimp farming, which was initiated during the 1980s. The declining trend in agricultural lands without comparable increases in productivity will have an effect on the ability to sustainably reach and maintain self-sufficiency in food and agro-based livelihoods. The changes in land uses from agricultural land to nonagricultural uses pose important challenges with respect to food security and crop production. The rate of transforming productive lands into unproductive ones, moreover, may accelerate because of more rapid economic growth and infrastructural development (Alam 2014). Bangladesh has experienced rapid land use changes during the past several decades. Districts in the southwest have been affected by increased salinity intrusion and natural disasters. The primary causes of land use changes in Khulna and Satkhira districts are natural, including global warming, climate change, sea level rise, coastal flooding, salinity intrusion, and water logging, as well as anthropogenic, including population growth, unplanned cultivation, political unrest, illiteracy of local people with regard to the effects of land cover changes, poverty, and higher expectations. Important innovations have been introduced into the agricultural sector, which are intended to offset the loss of cultivable land. These include new production structures, the use of high yielding seed varieties and more effective fertilizers, pesticides, mechanized cultivation and irrigation. In the southwest, the primary land uses include agriculture, shrimp and fish farming, forestry, urban development and other settlements because of increasing demand and growing populations. Similarly, the loss of forest land is being offset by planting trees outside forests, both in private lands (homesteads) as well as on government lands (roadsides, canal sides, railway lines etc.). As natural forests become more and more important for ecological functions, the production of timber and fuelwood will depend more heavily on trees outside forests. As mentioned before, forest lands are under pressure from society for many reasons. Farmers tend to push boundaries of the neighbouring forests with the intention of increasing their croplands. Poor SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 77

100 people find degraded forest lands attractive for illegal occupation, both for habitation as well as for cultivation. Bangladesh is also reported to be suffering from the menace of land grab by the rich and mighty as they get away with these ingressions on the strength of tedious court proceedings, if at all any action is taken against them. According to BFD records, 1,04, ha of forest land is under illegal occupation of various kinds as reported in Forests are also under threat from the expansion of infrastructure in the form of roads, railways, canals and industries. The Armed Forces are also expanding their border bases which often eat away pristine forests. As per the records of the BFD, 1,25, ha forest land has been converted to other uses in the last 50 years. 2.7 Review of current land use policies in the context of forestry Forests and the use of forests in Bangladesh have been impacted by the emergence of various national and international issues and developments. These include the establishment of Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals, ongoing climate change negotiations, the shift toward participatory and collaborative forest management, the increased emphasis on forest ecosystem functions and services, the appearance of the green economy, the increased recognition of private sector participation, the expansion of forest certification, concerns with wildlife poaching and other forest-related crimes, and the expanded use of information and communication technologies. 23 The extent of the uses of the country's forest lands is determined within the context of several cross-sectoral land use policies, as well, particularly the National Forest Policy, the National Land Use Policy, the National Agriculture Policy, the National Rural Development Policy, and the Coastal Zone Policy, as well as within established tenurial arrangements. Its relatively small area and the rapid increase of its population have resulted in Bangladesh possessing the lowest per capita land ratio in the world, estimated to be 0.06 ha per capita. That situation is expected to deteriorate further with the expanding demand for non-agricultural land uses. Concerns with land conversion, deforestation and land degradation, as well as the impacts of climate change, are increasing efforts to safeguard the sustainable use of the country's scarce land resources. The establishment of a sustainable land administration and management system has, as a result, emerged as an important consideration in the development of the country's Seventh Five Year Plan, The current administrative structure of land management in Bangladesh is administered through the Ministry of Land, which is responsible for most land-related activities - including surveying, collecting land development taxes, and mediating arbitration procedures - and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, which is responsible for recording land changes and transfers. The existing methods for surveying, preparing and upgrading land records, and maintaining relevant information for each parcel of land have, however, been characterized as inadequate and inefficient. It is maintained that the alleged distortion of land records at various stages not only hinders control of land development, but also affects property tax collection. The National Land Use Policy, 2001, recognizes the importance of conserving the country's forests and forest cover, but observes that this is to be primarily achieved by protecting agricultural land (Chowdhury and Hossain 2014). The primary thrusts of the National Land Use 23 Source: Draft National Forest Policy, SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

101 Policy are to ensure the use of appropriate criteria in the determination of land uses and to provide effective directives for the use of land for not only agriculture, including crop production, fish cultivation and the raising of ducks and chickens, but also housing, afforestation, commercial and industrial establishments, rails and highways, and tea and rubber gardens (plantations). The principal objectives of the policy are to: Reform the land administration system by introducing Certificates of Land Ownership to provide comprehensive records of the land holdings of each household in a single document Update legislation related to proposed land administration reform Prevent the loss of agricultural land required to increase production to meet the food demands of the population. Increase crop intensity through the optimal use of available agricultural land Prevent soil degradation Protect state-owned land to meet the requirements of development projects Zone land for commercial and other purposes Prevent wasteful use of acquired land Establish a data bank for khas land, fallow land, acquired land, char lands, and other lands to ensure their proper use. While these objectives appear to promote a sustainable and planned utilization of the country's land, the policy apparently lacks an effective plan of action. There are a draft National Zoning Act and a Village Improvement Act, which were prepared in 2010, that are compatible with the National Land Use Policy, but these have yet to be officially adopted. Moreover, while the preparation of a nation-wide Land Zoning Map implemented by the Ministry of Land is proceeding under the National Land Zoning project that was initiated in 2012 to complement the results of the preceding Coastal Land Zoning project to produce upazila-based land zoning maps and detailed zoning reports, its progress has been reported to be slow. In consideration of the country's extensive landlessness, historical record of inequities, and widespread land grabbing, the National Land Use Policy provides inadequate direction regarding the means to coordinate cross-sectoral interests and plans related to the use of land. It is recommended to revise the policy to establish principles to direct appropriate and sustainable uses of land, facilitate sectoral and cross-sectoral land uses, and to recognize environmental concerns. The establishment of those directives would be informed by the preparation of the land zoning maps, particularly with respect to concerns associated with the multi-sectoral nature of land use, the inevitable frictions that develop between and among different sectors as the result of competing uses of land, and the environmental impacts of different land uses. There is compelling reason, as well, to rationalize the institutional practices for recording or registering property rights to avoid mandates that are either overlapping or difficult to coordinate to ensure the preparation of conclusive Certificates of Ownership. Land is a particularly scarce resource in Bangladesh and its distribution, as well as the country's prevailing tenurial arrangements, are important considerations in establishing development strategies. Bangladesh has an extensive history of inequitable access to land and, currently, about 52% of its rural population, which accounts for almost 75% of its total population, is landless or holds less than 0.2 ha of land. It is especially notable that 89% of landowners own less than 1.0 ha and 39% own less than 0.2 ha. This inequitable distribution SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 79

102 of land exists despite a series of land reforms in the 1950s and 1960s that included tenancy reforms, imposed ceilings on landholdings and provided for the distribution of public land to the landless (Nasrin 2011). One of the major causes of forest encroachment is the widespread landlessness among the rural poor. Such people are attracted towards the relatively poorly protected forest lands, with arable patches. Once they occupy forest land, they are able to defend their possession on the basis of their contribution to the vote banks of various political parties. The state of these land tenure arrangements has direct and indirect effects on agricultural productivity by restricting the efficient use of inputs and the adoption of modern technologies. It is the rate of the changes in agricultural productivity that determines, at least in part, prevailing pressures to convert forest land to agricultural land. In spite of the steady progress that has been accomplished in industrialization, agriculture continues to remain the most dominant sector in Bangladesh. Over the past decade or more, significant improvements have occurred in the agricultural sector to increase productivity and reduce pressures on forest land. Those innovations include, especially, the use of high yielding seed varieties supported by the use of fertilizers, pesticides, mechanized cultivation, and irrigation. Notwithstanding that those and other advances have contributed much to the increased production of food grains, however, the land available for crop cultivation has been decreasing, as has the average size of farms, with concomitant increases in fragmentation, the subdivision of land holdings and the conversion of forest land to agricultural lands (ibid.). The agricultural orientation of the National Land Use Policy is reinforced in the National Agriculture Policy, 2013, which responds to the requirements of the expanded scope of modern agriculture. While agriculture used to be more narrowly associated with the cultivation of land for producing crops, applied activities incorporating the sustainable utilization of natural resources that are related to the production, development, preservation, processing, marketing and extension of not only crops, but also other agricultural commodities such as fish, meat, eggs, and forest products, are now also considered to be integral components of agriculture. The objectives of the National Agriculture Policy thus encompass several elements that are associated with forest land and forest uses but include, especially: the preservation and development of land productivity; reductions in the excessive dependence on single crops to minimize production risks; maximum utilization of land through promotion of inter-cropping; increases in production and supplies of more nutritious food crops to ensure food security while improving the nutritional status of the population; the preservation of the biodiversity of different crops; ensuring environmental protection, as well as environment-friendly sustainable agriculture; and the establishment of agriculture as a diversified and sustainable income generating sector through the strengthening of Farming System agricultural production and agroforestry programmes. The National Forestry Policy, understandably, exerts the most direct influence on forest land and forest uses. The current draft of the policy addresses: recognized concerns with ensuring sustainable forest management, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and enhancing community wellbeing, integrated forest management and strengthened forest governance, the establishment and maintenance of forest management practices based on field evidence and applied research, increased political and civil society engagement in forest-related decision making processes and effective enforcement to ensure forest conservation and wildlife 80 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

103 protection. The policy promotes climate-resilient reforestation and afforestation with community participation in efforts to raise the country's forest cover to 20%. The Coastal Zone Policy, 2005, is of particular relevance to the management of the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans. It emphasizes equitable pro-poor growth with balanced consideration of forest land and environmental concerns, especially with regard to meeting essential requirements and providing livelihood opportunities among coastal communities, ensuring sustainable natural resources management, and protecting and enhancing critical wetland ecosystems. The National Rural Development Policy, 2001, incorporates a range of mutually supportive programmes that are also designed to increase the incomes of rural communities and alleviate poverty. One of its most relevant aspects underscores the importance of increasing the productivity of rural land by engaging reduced numbers of labourers, especially in the food crop sector, through the introduction of modern technologies that would result in facilitating the movement of surplus labour in the agricultural sector to non-agricultural sectors of the economy, thus alleviating some of the pressure on forest land conversion. Thus the dynamics of forest lands depends on several state policies, primarily related to land use. The survival of forest lands against various pressures depends on the value attached to the forests and the cost of acquisition of forest lands, as well as on the productivity of neighbouring croplands. As the forest land comes free for government projects, there is a tendency of various development agencies to locate their projects in the forests as far as possible. If they have to pay for the land, they can easily consider alternative locations. Similarly, the profitability of agriculture can reduce the pressure on forest lands. Thus the Land Use Policy and Agricultural policies can play in important role in protection of forest land against conversion and diversion. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 81

104 3 Forest economics, industry, estimates of current and future socio-economic demands on the forest sector 3.1 Timber, fuelwood, industrial wood and non-timber forest products, current consumption The demands for timber, wood fuel, and industrial wood depend on various variables, including the price of the timber, wood fuel or industrial wood which is under consideration, the price of substitute products, and the values of demand shifters, such as the rate of growth of per capita gross domestic product (GDP) and other related measures of end use, including the level of construction activity. Demand is not a single measure, but rather a schedule that describes the amounts of a product that consumers are willing and able to purchase at different market prices in the same manner that supply is a schedule that describes the amounts of a product that producers are willing and able to supply at different market prices. The classical economic depiction of the intersection of a consumers' demand curve and producers' supply curve determines the equilibrium quantity of a product that is exchanged, or consumed, as well as the equilibrium price at which that product is bought and sold, in a market. If there is an increase (decrease) in the market price of that product as the result of the shifting of either the supply and/or demand curves, that shift will lead to a corresponding decrease (increase) in the quantity of the product demanded. The standard econometric processes for estimating a demand curve, or a supply curve, requires the application of procedures that ensure access to sets of consistent time series data that extend over a reasonable period of time for each of the variables included in the specification of the demand curve or supply curve. That quantity of data is often not available, however, and, in those instances, other secondary measures are used to estimate not demand, but the equilibrium quantities expected to be demanded, or consumed, at different periods of times. Those measures represent substitute indicators, or proxy measures, of demand. These are the prevailing conditions under which this assessment was undertaken, in which the limitations on the availability of appropriate time series data were compounded because most of the production and consumption of wood fuel, which is the most common forest product produced and consumed in the country, occurs on homesteads where limitations on data become even more pronounced. The most credible source of time series data describing the production and consumption of forest products in Bangladesh is the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, which has maintained a worldwide countries' database of forest products in its Annual Yearbook of Forest Products Statistics for what is now approaching seventy years. That database was selected as the source of the production and consumption figures that are used throughout this report in the assessments of the major forest products in Bangladesh Industrial Roundwood As discussed in section 2.2.1, the production of industrial roundwood (timber) in the country is estimated to be at least seven million m 3 per annum, based on the consumption reported by sawmills. The actual production may be, in fact, more than this because all timber does not necessarily end up at sawmills. The records of the Divisional Forest Officer of Utilisation in Chittagong indicate that annual imports averaged 157,000 m 3 between and SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

105 2015 and that imports had increased to more than 180,000 m 3 in Those increases were associated primarily with the increased consumption of sawlogs and veneer logs, which provide the raw material used in the country's processed wood products industries. No significant export of timber from Bangladesh is reported. Thus, the total consumption of industrial roundwood in the country is estimated to be more than 8.57 million m Wood fuel Based on FAO s projections for the production of roundwood, and estimates of industrial roundwood by the FMP planning team, as discussed in section 2.2.1, total production of fuelwood in the country in the country is estimated to be around 19.9 million m3 per annum. As there is no import or export of fuelwood, the annual consumption level is presumed to be the same. According to the 2011 census report (BBS 2012) during a period that the proportion of the population using wood as a cooking fuel declined from 44.27% in 1991, to 34.8% in This is in conformity with FAO s projections about the production of roundwood in the country. The fall in the consumption of fuelwood is an indicator of the changing cooking fuel preferences in the country due to the expansion of cooking gas facilities as well as the increasing urbanisation Pulpwood Pulpwood is defined by the FAO as industrial roundwood "... that will be used for the production of pulp, particleboard or fibreboard. It includes: roundwood (with or without bark) that will be used for these purposes in its round form or as splitwood or wood chips made directly (i.e. in the forest) from roundwood. It is reported in cubic metres under bark (i.e. excluding bark)." There are no recent data available regarding variations in either the production or the consumption of pulpwood. FAO's production estimate has remained constant at the nominal level of 18,000 m 3 since The quantities supplied by BFD to the Karnaphuli Papermills are given in table Wood charcoal The current trends in the production and the consumption of wood charcoal in Bangladesh are depicted in Table 3-1. Table 3-1: Production and consumption of wood charcoal (tons). Year Production Imports Exports Consumption , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,155 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 83

106 The production and consumption of wood charcoal has been advancing steadily. Its annual production currently consumes almost 2 million m 3 of wood fuel using FAO's relationship of 6 m 3 of wood required to produce 1 tonne of charcoal. There are other specialised forms of charcoal, as well, that are made from jute sticks, coconut shells, and bamboo powder, as well as lemon scented charcoal, which are manufactured for use in barbecues, smoking in hookahs, and other related purposes Paper and paperboard Paper and paperboard is defined by the FAO as "the sum of newsprint; printing and writing paper; and other paper and paperboard. Products in this category are generally manufactured in strips or rolls of a width exceeding 15 cm (36 cm for HS and 48.19) or in rectangular sheets with one side exceeding 36 cm and the other exceeding 15 cm in the unfolded state. It excludes manufactured paper products such as boxes, cartons, books and magazines, etc. It is reported in metric tons." The pulp and paper sector in Bangladesh is primarily dependent on paper and paperboard imports. The current trends in the production and the consumption of paper and paperboard in Bangladesh are displayed in Table 3-2. Table 3-2: Current trends in the production and consumption of paper and paperboard in Bangladesh (tonnes). Year Production Imports Exports Consumption , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,000 The production of paper and paperboard according to these trends has been stagnant, as reflected in the lack of data, since the late 1990s during the same period that consumption has been increasing rapidly (Figure 3-1). The consumption of paper and paperboard has increased by more than 96% and imports have increased by more than 106% in that period during which the per capita consumption of paper and paperboard rose from 2.03 kg per capita in 2001 to 3.34 kg per capita in The significance of imports in the sector is reflected in the development under which while there may be some 80 paper mills in the country, production in each of those mills remains small and there is only one mill - the Karnafuli Paper Mill Limited (KPML) - which accounts for less than 5% of the production of paper and paperboard in the country - that is integrated and produces its own pulp from wood and bamboo. Each of the country's other paper and paperboard mills is dependent on using imported pulp consisting of recycled fibre (Quader 2011). 84 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

107 Production and Consumption of Paper and Paperboard 000 tonnes Production Consumption Year Figure 3-1: Bamboo Production and consumption of paper and paperboard in Bangladesh from 1979 to There were assessments of bamboo conducted in several countries between 1981 and 2000 that were reviewed by the FAO. That review indicated that over 700 million bamboo culms - corresponding to almost 1 million tonnes - were removed annually in Bangladesh and that, of those 700 million culms, some 200 million culms originated on state forest land and 500 million culms were logged in village forests. The categories of reported uses included food, medicine, ornamentals, crafts, utensils, construction, basketry, furniture, tools, fuel, and fodder. 24 Consumption was projected to increase from over 700 million culms in 1993 to more than 900 million culms in 2013 (FMP 1995), but that projection cannot be confirmed because as the FAO had concluded in its review, "... bamboo resources statistics are inconsistent, fragmented and scattered" and that situation has remained much the same (Table 3-3). Table 3-4: Consumption and Demand for bamboo (million culms). Year Domestic* Urban housing Industrial** Total * Rural house construction, agricultural implements, community building. ** Pulp and paper, cottage industries? transport (boat, rickshaw hood, bullock cart. Source: Kibria et al 2000 from Forestry Master Plan 1992, Forest Directorate. 24 ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/010/a1243e/a1243e04.pdf SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 85

108 While the extent of bamboo remaining in the country's forests has declined as the result of overexploitation, its extent in and around villages has increased with the community forestry activities that have been promoted by the government, as well as non-governmental organizations, over the past two decades. There is now a substantial area over which bamboo grows on homesteads and agricultural land Non-timber forest products The most recent, reliable country-wide data available on the output of some of the more important non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in Bangladesh are presented in Table 3-5. Indeed, the availability of country-wide data on the collection of NTFPs in Bangladesh remains severely constrained, although there is more recent data available on the collection of some of the more important of these NTFPs in the Sundarbans, which is the primary centre for the collection of NTFPs in the country. Table 3-5: Production of Major NTFPs in Khulna Circle Product Fish Honey Golpata The figures indicate that while the production of fish and honey in the Sundarbans is relatively stable, the production of golpata has gone down significantly. The most probable reason for that decline is considered to be the availability of better commercial thatching materials. There were also more than 180,000 tourists who visited the Sundarbans in (IUCN 2014). 3.2 Biomass demand Timber and Fuelwood In the absence of a time series data of past consumption levels, it is difficult to make projections of future demand. However, a reasonable guess about future demands can be made on the basis of various demographic features and the changing socioeconomic conditions of the country. The factors that may affect the future demand for timber and fuel wood are as follows: Demand will go up in proportion with the rise in population but the changing preferences for cooking fuel, which is the largest factor which will affect total demand for roundwood, will affect the overall scenario. Demand will be affected by changing prices and income levels. With increase in GDP, the demand for industrial roundwood may go up, but the demand for fuelwood will go down as people are able to afford more convenient fuels like cooking gas. With the increase in agricultural production, more agricultural residues will be available for use as cooking fuel. This is likely to depress the demand for fuelwood. FAO has indicated a gradually declining trend in the production of roundwood in the country which is in agreement with the decline in the proportion of the population 86 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

109 using wood as a fuel from 44.27% in 1991, to 34.8% in The same trend is expected to continue in future. Availability of substitutes for timber products such metal and plastic furniture, various kinds of composite boards are likely to depress the demand for timber depending upon comparative prices. Current consumption of timber and fuelwood in the country is m 3 and m 3 respectively. Per capita consumption of timber in future is expected to remain the same as now, while the per capita consumption of wood fuels is expected to go down in future, in proportion to the population switching over to alternative fuels. Based on these factors and assumptions, the demands for industrial roundwood and fuelwood in the future are estimated as follows: Table 3-6: Projections of demand for timber Year Estimated Population (millions) Estimated Demand (million m 3 ) Table 3-7: Projections of fuelwood demand Year Population (millions) Population % using wood fuel Population using wood fuel (millions) Estimated Demand for fuelwood SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 87

110 millions Years Total Population (millions) Population using wood fuel (millions) Estimated Demand for fuelwood (million m3) Figure 3-2: Projection of fuelwood demand Above tables and graphics show that while the demand for timber or industrial roundwood would continue to grow with the rise in population, the demand in fuelwood is likely to fall from the current consumption of million m 3 per annum to million m 3 in 2030 and 11.5 million m 3 in 2050, despite the rise in population, due to the impending demographic and socioeconomic changes. This trend augurs well for the country as it will go a long way in helping to regenerate its forests Paper and Paperboard The estimated consumption of paper and paperboard was determined using a standard economic estimation approach that proceeded through a series of sequential steps that included: determination of the historical series of per capita consumption of paper and paperboard and the real GDP in Bangladesh between 1979 and regression of the historical series of per capita consumption of paper and paperboard on the historical series of the real GDP. estimation of the real GDP in 2020, 2030, and 2050 by assuming annual increases of 6% between 2014 and 2020, 5% between 2020 and 2030, 4% between 2030 and 2040, and 3% between 2040 and 2050, which are intended to replicate representative patterns of development. determination of the estimates of the per capita consumption of paper and paperboard in 2020, 2030, and 2050 using the regression relationship. converting the estimated per capita consumption of paper and paperboard in 2020, 2030, and 2050 into the total consumption of paper and paperboard using estimates of population in 2020, 2030, and 2050 that were constructed by assuming annual population increases of 1.2% between 2014 and 2020, 1.1% between 2020 and 2030, and 1.0% between 2030 and Those estimates are contrasted with the actual measures in 2014 in Table SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

111 Table 3-8: Estimated consumption of paper and paperboard in Bangladesh in 2020, 2030, and Year Per Capita Consumption (kg) Total Consumption (000 tonnes) , ,221 These per capita consumption estimates are well within the range of comparable per capita paper and paperboard consumption measures in the other countries of Asia, where current per capita consumption of paper and paperboard, outside of more developed countries such as Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, is 23 kg per capita. 25 Since under foreseeable conditions, it is rather unlikely that there will be much consideration of investment in large-scale, integrated pulp and paper mills in Bangladesh because of the limited amounts of pulpwood raw materials, most of the increased consumption of paper and paperboard, which is estimated to increase more than four-fold by 2050, will continue to be provided by means of imports Bamboo and Non-Timber Forest Products The data that are available on bamboo were too little and too fragmented to support a meaningful assessment of its production and consumption, although it seems to be apparent that barring a decline in its production, the consumption of bamboo will continue to increase with the growth in the population and in real GDP. The scarcity of reliable data also precludes the development of sound consumption forecasts for non-timber forest products, but prima facie, the consumption of some non-timber forest products such as honey is expected to grow, especially as the purchasing power of the country expands. The consumption of other nontimber forest products such as Golpata may decline, however, as commercial housing materials become more available and affordable. (See sections and for information on production and economic value respectively, of various NTFP items.) 25 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 89

112 4 Review of the existing Forestry Master Plan 4.1 Introduction Bangladesh inherited its forest management culture from the British India where 10-year working plans, prepared after a strenuous exercise of inventorying and assessments, guided the annual cycle of activities in a forest division. Although the primary objective of the working plans, to begin with, was to ensure sustainable supply of timber, but over time, these documents started catering to multiple objectives. However, with the increase of population in South Asia and the consequent rise in biotic pressures on forests, the traditional working plans gradually became irrelevant as their implementation became more and more difficult due to ever deteriorating stand condition. Beginning in the seventies in the sal forests, the Government of Bangladesh started imposing moratoriums on exploitation of natural forests, in view of their importance for environmental purposes. At present, no felling is allowed in any natural forest in the country. As a result, the need to have forest working plans, which used to provide stand level treatment prescriptions, disappeared. No forest division in Bangladesh has a traditional working plan at present although forest planning in one form or the other has been going on. Many protected areas have management plan and Sundarbans Reserved Forest has an Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRMP). Bangladesh was one of the first few countries which started long term perspective planning in forestry at the national level. The Forestry Master Plan (FMP) was prepared by the BFD in 1993 but it was approved by the government in Although not fully implemented, the FMP has guided the course of forestry in the country since then, as several investment projects and policy initiatives, have been launched in accordance with the recommendations made in the FMP. As the FMP was meant to cover a period of 20 years, its tenure was over in 2015, although the vast change in circumstances and the emergence of new environmental and socioeconomic challenges, in the meanwhile, have also made a review of the FMP imperative. This review looks at its relevance in the current context and examines its strengths and weaknesses in order to derive lessons for the future. Although the recognition of the value of the FMP is proved by the fact that the country is already in the middle of a fresh master planning exercise, a detailed examination of the contents and performance of the FMP shall help in making the new FMP more realistic and grounded in realities. 4.2 Relevance of the Forestry Master Plan 1995 in the current context A plan, of whatever duration, is inherently grounded in the realities of its times and the best possible projections of the inevitable changes in circumstances in times to come. As circumstances rarely, if ever, unfold as they are foreseen, especially in the fast changing new world, most plans look misfit, inadequate or irrelevant towards the end of their tenures. As the FMP-1995 has already run its course, it is, naturally, no longer relevant to what Bangladesh does on the ground today or now onward. However, the relevance of the plan has to be judged not entirely in the current context, but in the context of the circumstances prevailing during its currency. Looking at the FMP-1995 in this perspective, it has been eminently successful in giving a sense of direction to forestry in the country and the principles on which it was founded are as relevant today as they were in the nineties. The environmental concerns, as we know them now, were 90 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

113 not fully developed at the time, although concerns about the accelerating loss of biodiversity were better understood. The socio economic dimension of forestry was pretty well appreciated, and as a result, a strong focus of the FMP was production of biomass for the masses as well as for the industry, on the basis of a well-articulated demand and supply scenario. The value of public participation in forestry was fully evident by then and the plan had a strong focus on strengthening social forestry and homestead forests. As only an emphasis on production was unlikely to be enough to deal with the shortage of timber and fuel wood, programmes for conservation of energy and wood substitution were provided in the plan. The plan recommended the expansion of the protected area (PA) network for providing special focus on the conservation of biodiversity and wildlife. Although it did not elaborate adequately, the plan did mention the impending climate change and global warming as one of the concerns of the future. The plan also dealt with institutional issues and recommended far reaching changes, some of which have already been implemented. It provided a strong emphasis on human resource development and research. All this shows that the principles and practical considerations on which the FMP was founded are still relevant and our future programmes are likely to be founded primarily on those factors, although emphasis on specifics may vary. Bangladesh is a developing country and there is a strong competition for resources. In order to provide resources for forestry, the country has to reduce allocations in some other sector. Similarly, even external resources, coming from donors and lending agencies, have to be shared between different sectors as per the priorities of the government and the donor/lender. The existence of a long term development plan for the forestry sector can strengthen its claim on scarce resources much better than otherwise. The country has received several externally aided projects (listed in report 8) specifically aimed at implementing the recommendations of the FMP. Donors and lenders are always concerned about the risk of their contribution being used for some ad hoc purposes and not having the desired long term effect on the well-being of the target people. The existence of a long term sectoral development plan assures the donors that they are contributing to the goals which the local society has already set for itself and with which the donor agrees. Although several factors affect the availability of resources for an enterprise, but the existence of a comprehensive plan goes a long way in this regard. Forests of Bangladesh have suffered tremendously under the impact of biotic pressures resulting from poverty and traditional rural lifestyles heavily dependent on forests, as well as due to burgeoning construction and industrial demand. The FMP evaluated these pressures very carefully and gave the country a clear picture of the demand and supply situation, highlighting the unsustainable levels of exploitation of natural resources. The plan proposed an increase in production and productivity of biomass in forests and outside, proposed programmes for conservation of biomass through promotion of alternative energy sources. It advocated the modernization of forest harvesting and forest industries to minimize wastage. Thus, although we need to devise newer and bigger programmes, but the course set by the FMP is still relevant. Although the FMP did not discuss the impact of climate variability on forests and the role of forestry in risk mitigation in detail, it did recognize the upcoming threats, as shown below: Global climatic change poses a potential danger to the development efforts, ecosystems and the productive capacity of Bangladesh. Major harmful global factors are fossil fuel emissions, industrial activities and deforestation. For example, a one-metre net rise in sea level would SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 91

114 inundate 15% of the total area of Bangladesh, particularly low-lying floodplains and coastal areas. Floods, cyclones, and tidal surges, as well as seasonal droughts in winter are recurrent natural phenomena. Much damage is done to wildlife and vegetation cover in coastal areas as well as homesteads and forest reserves. Planting disaster proof species on affected sites becomes a matter of importance in lessening risk of damage. (FMP, p.30) Despite clearly spelling out the dangers of climate change, and indicating some potential mitigating measure, it did not go all the way to develop programmes to deal with the issue. As it did not elaborate any programmes specifically aimed at dealing with climate variability, such as coastal plantations, climate resilient species and silviculture, as we know it today, we can say that FMP-1995 is not fully relevant in the current context. However, as stated before, the FMP has played a strong role in consolidating forest conservation and development efforts in the last two decades and the principles it espoused are going to be relevant in the future as well. 4.3 Review of FMP-1995 Forests are receiving increasing attention globally due mainly to their role in addressing climate change and conserving biodiversity. At the local level, forests are increasingly being valued for promoting conservation-linked livelihoods for the poor. Bangladesh is one of the countries with limited forest resources but with a huge population. This limited forest cover is facing innumerable socio-economic and environmental pressures. Further, climate change is also likely to adversely impact the forest resources and forest dependent communities in future. Thus, a country like Bangladesh requires a comprehensive assessment of the forestry sector and development of a FMP addressing the current and future challenges. Bangladesh was one of the few countries to have had a FMP prepared by the BFD in 1993 (approved by the GoB in 1995) with the assistance of the ADB, UNDP and FAO. The FMP provided an overview of the country s forestry sector, identified sectoral strengths and weaknesses, and presented an understanding of the steps required to enhance the sectoral development. The FMP-1995 preparation process involved investigation into forestry institutional aspects, environment and land use concerns, forest management requirements, forest-based industry projects and the economic base of the sector. The outputs included : i) Main plan, , Volume 1, ii) Five-Year Action plan, Volume 2, and iii) Executive summary, Volume 3. In addition, 19 specialist reports, 6 sub-team reports and 6 administrative reports were also prepared. Thus, in all, there were 31 reports which contributed to the 3 volumes of the FMP-1995 developed by the GoB considering two broad scenarios, namely: Scenario 1: Reflects the range of development possible within existing system constraints and technology Scenario 2: Development potential possible by removing existing constraints imposed by current institutions and methods Scope of Forestry Master Plan 1995 The FMP-1995 identified main forestry sector goals as environment protection and stability; participation of people in forestry plans and programmes; increased productivity; reduced 92 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

115 wastage; and institutional restructuring. The FMP-1995 main plan consisted of the following 4 sections: 1. Background assessment: Forestry sector status and sectoral outlook. 2. People-oriented forestry: Environmental management, participatory forestry, woodbased energy conservation, non-wood forest products, and bamboo development. 3. Production-directed forestry: Forest production and management, and forest industries 4. Institutional strengthening: National forestry policy, legal system, sectoral organization, human resource development, forestry research and extension, and programmes and costs. The three broad programmes identified in the FMP for addressing various issues, and a summary of the strategy outlined for addressing the same, are outlined in the following sections. People oriented programmes: Issues related to the environment such as declining floral and faunal diversity, unsustainable exploitation of forest resources, low and declining forest productivity, unresolved social equity, absence of environmental monitoring, energy from wood, non-wood forest products, and bamboo development were identified as main issues to be addressed. The FMP-1995 also outlined strategies to address other issues including: Environmental management Participatory forestry Energy conservation Non-wood products Bamboo development Production oriented programmes: These were envisaged to address issues of forest management and the manufacturing industry. Issues of forest management include increasing deforestation and encroachment rates, low net productivity and utilization, lack of participation and benefits to local population, serious gap between forest products supply and demand, unsustainable management practices in natural forests, unreliable data and poor service conditions for departmental staff. Strategies suggested for addressing the above-mentioned issues included: Forest management Industry development Redirecting the public sector wood industry Institutional strengthening programmes: The broad range of issues outlined in the FMP included inadequacies of the National Forestry Policy of 1979; inadequacy of forestry regulations to address forestry concerns; weaknesses, shortcomings and functional conflicts in public forestry organizations and institutions; lack of attention paid to positive and coordinated human resource development, poor impact of forestry research; and inadequate forestry extension efforts. Proposed strategies for addressing these issues included: SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 93

116 Formulation of a new national forestry policy Changes in the legal system Sectoral reorganization Strengthening research, education, training and extension Evaluation of FMP-1995 The structure of FMP-1995 lacked a logical flow, and people-oriented forestry and production forestry were treated separately, even though they are linked to one another. The FMP-1995 did not provide overall vision for the sector, and clear goals for the country were also missing. The FMP-1995, however, presented a good review of the sector status and outlook. In the environmental management section, the environmental issues were treated in a cursory manner, without going into the details of factors contributing to biotic pressures on forests and its degradation. In this section conservation, sustained management, productivity, equity and management of the environment were dealt with, but each of the sections covered only a few paragraphs. However, participatory forestry received adequate attention. But energy conservation of non-wood products and bamboo development were treated separately from industrial forestry development. The action programmes for environment management in FMP-1995 had a focus on creating a watershed management wing, increasing Environment Impact Assessment capacity, upgrading technical equipment and conducting inventories in selected forest divisions. The environmental management component was developed the least in FMP-1995, with insignificant budget allocation. However, today's environmental challenges for the forest sector are enormous and require significant additional investment and technical capacity. Wood-based energy conservation component of FMP-1995 was a minor component of the project, which aimed to increase fuel wood supplies and promoted fuel-efficient and alternative devices such as improved cook stoves and biogas plants. There was, however, a need to assess the adequacy of fuel wood conservation programmes alone in addressing the cooking energy needs of growing rural population. The NTFP development component of FMP-1995 aimed at provision of coordinated institutional support, introduction of high quality technical management, advanced processing technology and research. But the focus should have been on addressing all the ecosystem services, where the provisioning of NTFPs would be one of the components. It was also necessary to highlight the sustainable modes and rates of extraction of NTFPs. Forest protection and management was a major component of FMP-1995 under which important issues such as deforestation, hill forests and mangrove forests were addressed. The focus on raising commercial plantations to meet the needs of urban and industrial sectors was, however, missing, though the component included large forest plantation programmes. In fact the plan proposed only Tk billion investment in a total plan outlay of Tk billion for forest production programmes while increase in production to meet the growing demand should have been the main focus of the plan. This component did not address the biodiversity issues and the delivery of multiple ecosystem services. The commercial forest plantations for meeting the industrial and urban need should also have considered some of the concerns of biodiversity conservation, delivery of ecosystem service, and improvement of livelihoods as pure commercial forestry may not be sustainable in the long-term. 94 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

117 Research, monitoring and evaluation were insignificant components of FMP-1995 with a meagre allocation of resources. Private forestry, communications and outreach were not emphasised adequately. Role of remote sensing and GIS in monitoring did not find place in the FMP. The institutional strengthening component of FMP-1995 was comprehensive and addressed many of the limitations of technical, institutional, policy and legal aspects. It was based on good analysis of the institutional structures that existed during that time. However, several new challenges have of late emerged, particularly with respect to addressing climate change, biodiversity conservation, halting deforestation, carbon-stock enhancement, building resilience to climate change, sustained delivery of ecosystem services, ecotourism, and meeting the obligations under the multi-lateral environmental agreements. Focus on critical ecosystems including the Sundarbans, coastal plantations as shelterbelts, and Chittagong Hill Tracts was missing. Addressing such environmental and socio-economic concerns would require significant technical and institutional capacity and policy support. As some of these disciplines had not adequately developed at that time, lack of focus on these issues is not entirely unexpected. However, many challenges identified even in FMP-1995 remain to be addressed and new challenges are emerging both nationally and globally. Some of the important current issues which were not or were inadequately addressed in FMP-1995 include the following: Sustainable forest management practices: The term Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) can be traced to the Forest Principles and Chapter 11 of Agenda 21, which were prominent outputs from the UNCED held at Rio in The guiding objective of the Forest Principles is to contribute to the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to provide for their multiple and complementary functions and uses. The forests have to be managed according to forest principles, aimed at sustainability of management. An updated FMP should consider the SFM criteria and indicators, as developed by the FAO and the ITTO. Based on the global criteria and indicators, it is necessary to develop Bangladesh-specific SFM criteria and indicators. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services: Forests are a storehouse of biodiversity and provide multiple ecosystem services. Most future scenarios project continuing high levels of extinction and loss of habitats throughout this century, with associated decline of some ecosystem services important to human well-being. The Biodiversity Convention aims at "Conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding". Well-targeted forestry policies focusing on critical areas, species and ecosystem services, are essential to prevent the most dangerous impacts on people and societies. Thus, it is necessary to assess the status of current biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services from the forestry sector and develop strategies to conserve and enhance them. Climate change mitigation through forest carbon sink conservation and enhancement: Addressing or mitigating climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the 21 st century. Forestry sector, in particular deforestation, contributes to between 14 to 20% of global CO 2 emissions. Thus the forest sector is very critical to mitigate climate change by reducing the SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 95

118 CO 2 emissions and enhancing the carbon stocks in forests. There are new mechanisms such as afforestation and reforestation through Clean Development Mechanism and REDD+. There is a need to estimate carbon stocks and develop carbon baseline for Bangladesh, and assess various CO 2 emission reduction and carbon stock enhancement options in the forestry sector, for incorporation into an updated FMP. There is a need to recognize that carbon stock enhancement in forests has several co-benefits such as increased biomass production and supply, reduced pressure on forests and biodiversity, improved watershed protection services, biodiversity conservation, and improved employment and livelihood. Climate change impacts, vulnerability and resilience: Climate change was just emerging as a global environmental issue in the early 1990s. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has produced five Assessment Reports and the science of climate change has enormously advanced. Studies show that projected climate change will have significant adverse impacts on tropical and coastal forests in the subcontinent. There is a need to consider the impacts of projected climate change on the forests, and quantify the vulnerability of forest ecosystems and forest dependent communities. The ultimate goal of climate change projections, impacts and vulnerability assessment is to enable development of resilience enhancement practices and strategies to enable the existing forests, the proposed areas for afforestation and reforestation, and the forest dependent communities to cope with the projected climate change. In the absence of such an approach, the forests could undergo changes in biodiversity, species dominance, biomass production, delivery of ecosystem services; and loss of carbon stocks, leading to irreversible loss of forests and ecosystem services. Forestry research may be required to develop climate resilience strategies, in the perspective of forest ecosystems and communities, and terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity. Loss of wetlands and mangroves: Coastal and inland wetlands are critical ecosystems of Bangladesh. Whereas they provide sustenance to millions of people by providing food and other goods, they also protect the communities against the vagaries of nature. Any treatise dealing with forestry in Bangladesh must focus adequately on the conservation of mangroves but somehow the FMP missed out on it. Some of the local mangroves, especially Chakaria Sundarbans have almost disappeared, the extent of tree cover in the Sundarbans itself has come down from a notified forest area of nearly 575,000 ha to a tree cover of less than 400,000 ha. Haors are also reducing in size and depth. Country needs to take care of these critical ecosystems in all future planning initiatives so that they continue to be healthy and intact. International commitments to Multilateral Environmental Agreements, Conventions and Treaties: Bangladesh is a signatory to many multilateral environmental agreements. Under these agreements, Bangladesh will have to meet many of the targets agreed for the forestry sector and also periodically submit different reports and documents to the UN bodies. Some of the Multilateral Environmental Conventions include the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biodiversity, Ramsar Convention, and Convention to Combat Desertification. An updated FMP will address the needs of the various Conventions and Treaties to enable Bangladesh Government to meet its obligations. 4.4 Review of the Forestry Master Plan Implementation A number of forestry sector reforms and interventions were taken up in order to implement the policy, legal, institutional and technical programme level recommendations of the FMP SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

119 Revised national forestry policy was adopted by the GoB in 1994 based on the policy framework suggested under the draft FMP completed in Main goal of the national forestry policy of 1994, which was a revision of the first national forest policy adopted in 1979 after the country s independence, was to achieve 20% of the total geographical area under forests by 2015 by controlling deforestation and forest degradation, and through social afforestation and reforestation on public and private unused lands. Although the investments envisaged in the FMP did not materialise, the country was still able to achieve this target mainly on the strength of the zeal shown by the people of Bangladesh for tree planting. As shown in the table 1-10 (in chapter 1), the current forest and tree cover, with at least 10% canopy cover (forest as defined by FAO), is 16.88% which is more than 20% of the dry surface area of the country: Unfortunately, the overall increase in tree cover is not reflected in the improvement in the condition of natural forests which have continued to follow the declining trend. It can also not be said that the increase in tree covered area outside state forests is entirely because of the programmes unleashed by the FMP. This movement is entirely self-driven, supported by thousands private nurseries, although many of the nursery owners owe their current enthusiasm to the exposure and training they had received under various extension programmes of BFD in the eighties and nineties. Strangely, BFD has had virtually no programme, for a long time, to strengthen forestry extension activities to promote tree cultivation. A revised national forestry policy is now being formulated in consultation with key stakeholders, keeping in view the national development planning goals and also in broader perspective of the relevant international conventions, protocols and treaties to which Bangladesh has since become a signatory. The new National Forest Policy is emphasising the densification of the existing tree cover to 50% canopy density, rather than expansion of low density tree cover, which most likely will continue to happen on its own steam. The FMP-1995 recommended the strengthening of the legal framework to institutionalize social forestry. This has been successfully implemented in Bangladesh. The revised Forest Act of 2000 under section 28A provides scope for the formulation of Social Forestry Rules, 2004 (revised in 2010 and 2011) for the implementation of people-oriented forestry. The new Wildlife (Preservation & Security) Act, 2012 provided for participatory and co-management approach for managing protected areas with key stakeholders. As a signatory to both the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, ratified in 1994) and the Kyoto Protocol (2001), the GOB has taken initial steps to prepare for the implementation of reduction of emissions through deforestation and forests degradation (REDD+) activities. A number of forestry development interventions were recommended in the FMP-1995 as shown below: Integrated management and development of the Sundarbans mangrove forests Development of social/participatory forestry in Bangladesh Industrial plantations in the USF and in hill forests Reed Land Afforestation in Sylhet Forest Division Mangrove Afforestation in Coastal Areas SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 97

120 Wildlife and habitat development including captive breeding of endangered species. Rehabilitation of landless families and social forestry in Chittagong Hill Tracts Continuous Forest Inventory and Development of RIMS Development of National Parks and recreational facilities Strengthening BFD through institutional development, e.g. M&E Cell; Planning Cell; Estate Cell; Policy, Rules and Regulations cell Development of Botanical Gardens in 6 Civil Division Inventory of Forest Resources Demonstration of Agroforestry, Woodlots and Energy Plantations Establishment of Wildlife Conservation Institution Ecological Conservation of Sundarbans Tigers Institutional Development for Biodiversity Conservation To implement Forestry Master Plan s recommendations, different development projects (Table 4-1) have been implemented successfully by the forestry sector organizations including the MoEF, BFD, BFIDC, BFRI and DoE. Table 4-1: Main Development Projects Implemented by Forestry Organizations Project Implementation Donor Development of Social/Participatory Forestry in Bangladesh Forestry Sector Project to ADB Coastal Greenbelt Project to ADB Social Forestry at the guide dam of Jamuna Up to Multipurpose Bridge Food assisted Rural Development Project (WFP supported social afforestation project) Up to WFP Integrated Management of Sundarbans Mangrove Forests Biodiversity Conservation in the Sundarbans to ADB Projects in the Hill Forests for Raising Plantations Forest Resources Management Project to World Bank Afforestation in the denuded hills of Ramgarh-Sitakund Up to GoB Afforestation in Cox s Bazar Sea beach area (Revised) Up to GoB Afforestation and Jhumia Settlement in USF Up to GoB Wildlife, Protected Area, Biodiversity Conservation and Recreational Facilities Development Development of Madhupur National Park 1999 to GoB Establishment of Eco-parks at Madhubkundo to GoB Muraichara Waterfall Areas Development of Kaptai National Park 1999 to GoB Development of Safari Park at Dulahazra (2 nd phase) to GoB Natural Environment/Biodiversity Conservation and to GoB Development of Bashkhali Eco-park Nishorgo Support Project for protected areas 2003 to 2008 USAID - GoB 98 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

121 Project Implementation Donor Development of Bhawal National Park, Bhaldha Garden and National Botanical Garden (2 nd phase) Establishment of Botanical Garden and Eco-Park in Shitakund, Chittagong. Establishment of Eco-Park at Madhutila and Gazni Recreation Centre (3rd revised) Restoration and Conservation of Biodiversity in the Denuded Hill Forests and Barind Sal Forests of the Country. Up to Up to GoB GoB to GoB USAID and Arannayk Foundation Special Goal Oriented Projects Pilot Project for Agar Plantation to GoB Development of Bamboo, Cane and Murta Plantation to GoB (Revised) Reed Land Afforestation in Sylhet Up to GoB Coastal Embankment Rehabilitation Project (Phase II) Up to GoB Nagar Banayan Prokolpo Up to GoB Mujib Nagar Complex Up to Countrywide Seedling Raising Program for Massive Afforestation to Mitigate Climate Change Adverse Impact. Study and Research Projects A study on behavior and ecology of tigers in Sundarbans Reserved Forests Strengthening capacity to generate quality information on forest resources Climate Change Trust Fund US Fish and Wildlife Service 18 months FAO Projects Implemented by other Agencies Biodiversity Conservation in St. Martin Island and Establishment of Marine Park and Eco-tourism development (MoEF implemented project) The Coastal and Wetland Biodiversity Management Project (DoE implemented project) Market Development of Bamboo and Raton Products and Potentials (BFRI implemented project) Transfer of Technology in Bamboo Shoot Production, Processing and Marketing from China to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka GoB UNDP-GEF INBAR-GoB ( Phase 1), Jan-Jun 2012 (Phase 2) INBAR -GoB In addition, a number of other forestry projects were implemented by forestry sector organizations including BFD, BFIDC and BFRI through GoB funding, albeit with comparatively less budget. Important institutional and legal reforms were carried out under the Forestry Sector Project (FSP) which was designed and developed as per the recommendations of FMP Under FSP, noteworthy is the institutionalization of social forestry by promulgating the Forest (Amendment) Act 2000 and enacting of Social Forestry Rules (2004, 2010 and 2011) which provided for usufructuary benefit sharing between the BFD and the local communities mobilized in groups of participants with whom participatory benefit sharing agreements were SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 99

122 signed. In order to provide for sustainability of the raised plantations and benefits under FSP and CGP a new concept of Tree Farming Fund (TFF) was implemented by retaining 10% of the total proceeds from harvests for future plantations. In order to conserve the country s environmental security the MoEF in 2009 finalized Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan the Plan is built on six pillars including mitigation and low carbon development. A National REDD+ Steering Committee was formed in July Under the USAID funded Integrated Protected Area Co-management Project (IPAC, ), one CDM and two REDD+ proposals were prepared for Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Sundarbans Reserved Forests and 6 PAs, respectively. As a result of such initiatives, Bangladesh was included as an observer under the UN-REDD Programme under which the REDD+ MRV Action Plan, REDD+ Readiness Roadmap and REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal ware prepared during , and endorsed by the National REDD+ Steering Committee in December Since then the required process for making Bangladesh a full-fledged member of the UN-REDD Programme was completed successfully. 4.5 Key lessons learnt from the implementation of the Forestry Master Plan 1995 The implementation of the FMP-1995 has been done successfully, albeit partially, despite a number of institutional, environment and socio-economic challenges that the country in general and the forestry sector in particular faced over the period. Although with substantial increase of the country s population, the state forests and forest land have, over the period, degraded, the quantity and quality of homestead forests have improved significantly: Almost 50% of the area of Bangladesh has some kind of tree cover and nearly 20% of the total geographical area had more than 10% tree cover in 2005 (NFA 2007). The GoB has developed extensive mangrove plantations along 610 km coastal frontier through a unique nursery raising and planting technology pioneered by BFD. Over the period important issues and perspectives have emerged nationally and internationally, including millennium development goals, sustainable development goals, climate change, participatory and collaborative forestry, biodiversity conservation, forest ecosystem functions and services, green economy with focus on low emission land use systems, private sector participation, forest certification, wildlife poaching and crime, and use of information and communication technology. A number of challenges have thus emerged over the period, which require modifications of forestry sector goals and objectives. In order to be able to cope with emerging challenges, a revised FMP will need updated and modified goals, objectives, and strategies. Sustainable management of forest ecosystems, contributing in the country s environmental, climate and food security for the peoples welfare was not highlighted in the FMP Conserving biodiversity through sustainably managed forests for floral and faunal species, and local communities has to be given priority. An updated Forestry Master Plan will aim at biodiversity conservation by managing forests and other ecosystems sustainably. Existing forests have been converted for non-forest use, whereas forest consolidation and planning process, with proper forest surveys and maps, and management plans were neglected. Biodiversity conservation could not be strengthened by mitigating identified threats and drivers of biodiversity loss and forest degradation, and sustainably managing landscapes 100 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

123 adjoining protected areas and wildlife corridors. Although a number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries have been declared, their management remains to be strengthened. Participatory public and private forestry has been a milestone achievement for enhanced forest productivity with positive climate change and socio-economic externalities for the nation and local community. But restoration and sustainable management of degraded and marginal areas including coasts and wetlands with co-benefits of meeting local community subsistence needs could have been emphasized. Although communication and outreach activities through tree fairs and campaigns were taken up, a country-wide, sustained conservation awareness building movement could not be taken up by involving women, youth and the masses to promote climate resilient private tree growing, and forging innovative conservation partnerships with the private sector, civil society and conservation NGOs for combating forest land encroachment, deforestation and forest degradation, and wildlife poaching and trafficking. Forest management systems evolved, meanwhile, through various modifications, including agro-forestry, woodlot plantations, homestead plantations, strip plantations, participatory forestry on encroached forest lands, mangrove afforestation on newly accreted coastal charlands, and protected area management to preserve wildlife habitat and biodiversity through co-management. Private nursery raising and tree growing are now taking shape of a social movement in Bangladesh. As a result homestead forests have expanded both in terms of area coverage and mixture of tree species. Area of homesteads has crossed a million ha in extent from a mere 270,000 ha in the 1980s. However, the state forests have depleted in terms of both forest land and vegetation cover due to several reasons, including conversion of forest land for non-forest use, heavy biotic pressure brought by sharply increasing population with huge forest produce demand, poverty, inadequate forest protection measures and investment. The current and emerging conservation challenges including climate change and threatened biodiversity are to be addressed through sustainably managed forest ecosystems to provide goods and services for community wellbeing and national socio-economic development. Other important issues not addressed adequately during the FMP-1995 designing and implementation include integrated forest management with improved forest governance and technology; innovative forest management based on applied research and field evidences; gainful conservation partnerships with communities and private sector based on social equity and gender equality; and strengthened political and civil society commitment, collaboration and enforcement for forest and wildlife protection. It should be recognized that human well-being in long-term is dependent on healthy and regenerating forests and protected areas, and that durable socio-ecological and economic development gains are not possible unless forest ecosystems, including wetlands, and PAs are effectively conserved and properly valued. Effective implementation of the FMP-1995 was constrained by a number of factors and lack of resources. Forest sector in Bangladesh faced multiple challenges-environmental and socioeconomic- and some of these challenges should have been foreseen to be at the heart of any long-term Forestry Master Plan. Despite increasing realization on the need to conserve and regenerate forests, biodiversity and ecosystem services, the forests were subjected to multiple environmental and socio-economic stresses. Financial outlays under both revenue and development budgets have been much less when compared to the total budget required for implementing rather ambitious recommendations as made in the FMP An outlay of Tk billion in scenario 1 and Tk billion in SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 101

124 scenario 2 were estimated under the FMP-1995 over a period of 20 years. It was projected that of the total budget requirements a substantial part of more than 60% will come from different donors. However, the desired level of forestry investment could not be made available to various forestry sector public agencies. As per available information, only a sum of Tk billion (38.3%) was invested in the forestry sector between and (For details, see chapter 8: Resource mobilisation) Two tier system of forest service recruitment was adapted as a result of which recruitment of forest staff was done only at the level of foresters and cadre officers. Yet no recruitment of cadre officers was done for long 18 years. In the absence of adequate staff, capacity building efforts could not be implemented at desired level. A number of sanctioned posts are still lying vacant in all the public forestry sector organizations. Important institutional reforms as recommended by the FMP-1995 could not be implemented due mainly to inadequate financial outlays. For example, the FMP s recommendations to set up a Social Forestry Directorate, a Watershed Management Wing, a separate authority for managing Protected Areas, and a National Forest Board have remained unimplemented. Although a Social Forestry Wing within BFD was established, it has not functioned effectively due mainly to lack of financial autonomy. Given its favourable and enabling environment, Bangladesh is a good case for forest restoration and conservation in partnership with local communities, which depend on neighbouring forest and wetland resources for meeting their subsistence needs including conservation-linked livelihoods. Forests and wetlands, which act both as sink and source of greenhouse gases, are indeed in need of restoration and sustainable management. The protection and sustainable management of existing forests and PAs, and enhancement of carbon stocks through afforestation and reforestation, will improve forest quality and their ability to sequester and store carbon. Protection of dispersed and mosaic forests is in a poor and populous Bangladesh is a critical requirement but a very difficult task. Effective and gainful partnerships of local community will help protect forests. Co-management initiatives have proved successful as evident from the NSP, the IPAC, the CRPARP, and the Madhupur National Park project, proving that conservation of forests in a poor but densely populated country is possible by involving local communities. The forests under joint community protection can be sustainably co-managed locally by sharing benefits accrued as a result of enhanced forest productivity under an appropriate REDD+ strategy. Addressing institutional, socio-economic and environmental challenges requires long-term planning, increased technical capacity, additional financial resources, enabling policies, participation of the local communities, monitoring and reformed institutional structures. Revised FMP will assist in addressing the identified challenges both from the short- and longterm perspective. Updated FMP will provide higher focus on the environmental issues, compared to FMP In FMP-1995, environment management and protection programmes accounted for only 3 4% of the plan investment, which may have to be significantly enhanced in future planning. In conclusion, the FMP-2015 has set the course for planning the future of forestry in Bangladesh. Although it could not be fully implemented due to shortage of resources, considerable investments on the lines espoused by it have been delivered to the sector since then. Despite the expiry of the term of the FMP, the principles promoted by the FMP are still 102 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

125 valid and shall continue to be relevant in the future although many additional strategies shall be required to deal with the emerging challenges. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 103

126 5 Monitoring and assessment, including remote sensing, socioeconomic survey and MIS/GIS database management, reporting and mapping by RIMS 5.1 Introduction The Resource Information and Management System (RIMS) was established in the mid 1980 s with the objective to establish a computer-based resource information system. Its design was based on a similar system in use in Sri Lanka. The emphasis was on forest inventory and mapping in order to give decision-making information to Management Plan divisions. Initially, maps with forest formations and drainage patterns were prepared from aerial images using digitizing boards. Gradually, more advanced surveying and mapping techniques were introduced, largely through externally funded projects. Under the Forest Resource Management Project (FRMP) GIS and remote sensing software were introduced to RIMS in the period Natural forests by major forest types and plantations were mapped down to the block level. Some of the maps have been updated in the 2000 s. Maps were made of the following Divisions: Chittagong Cox s Bazar Sylhet Sundarbans to compartment level; height class and density also mapped, as well as range and sanctuary boundaries; updated in 2002 under the SBCP. Under the FSP in 2006 the sal forests were surveyed and mapped (but not the entire sal forest). A database system was set up in RIMS and the BFD s web site set up and hosted, as well as other office networking infrastructure including LAN connection and for staff. The Nishorgo Support Project undertook mapping of 5 Protected Areas Lawachara, Satchari, Rema-Kalenga, Teknaf and Sitakunda on the basis of satellite imagery and a time-series analysis was undertaken for Modhupur National Park. In the National Forest Assessment covered the entire country with 14 Landsat images to arrive at a forest cover in Bangladesh of 9.8%. This project was supported by FAO and implemented jointly with SPARSSO. Under the IPAC project, , a large number of activities was undertaken: Preparation of SRF and other 7 carbon inventory maps ; Teknaf WS, Inani- Bangabondhu NP, Fasiakhali WS, Medha-kachhapia NP, Sitakundu, Dudpukuria WS & Rema-Kalenga WS. Capacity building on carbon inventory and GPS use. Conducting carbon inventories and analysis. Change analysis of above 7 PAs using Landsat satellite images of 1990, 2000 and Change analysis result shows little increase of forest in Dudpukuria and Sitakundu. Other 5 area showed decline. Bhawal National Park land use map prepared using SPOT satellite image. 104 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

127 Observed forest dynamics varies from gradual increase in biomass to alarming forest loss Teknaf WS and Inani-Bangabondhu NP, both showing a 46% loss in forest cover over the period The Forest Information Generation and Networking System project (FIGNSP) had as key objective to map forest coverage and related land cover of Sundarban Reserved Forest, Sal Forests, Hill Forests and Coastal afforestation from 1m Ikonos and 5m RapidEye satellite images in Bangladesh. The areas largely overlap with previous projects, but the resolution of the imagery is much better. A serious issue that emerged is that not all forest administrative boundaries are available in digital format. Even when available, all the available spatial datasets (forest boundaries) have irregular shifting problem and does not match with the ground. 27 This is probably caused by discrepancies between the accuracy of boundary and feature mapping (such as historical surveying and mouza map production), land/water dynamics over longer time scales and the detailed satellite imagery. Other activities undertaken by RIMS include: SRF Sidr damage assessment using ASTER images Chakaria Sundarban monitoring using Landsat images Dhaka division forest monitoring using Landsat image Nijhum dip monitoring using Google Earth Banskhali eco-park mapping 5.2 The Resource Information Management Unit RIMS is operated by the Resource Information Management Unit (the Unit is commonly referred to as RIMS, which practice is also adopted here) Staff RIMS has the following approved staff resources: DCF (1) ACF (3) Research officer (1) Assistant Computer Programmer (1) Draftsman (2) Office Assistant (2) Data entry operator (1) Computer operator (1) Driver (1) MLSS (4) Nine staff members have formal training in GIS, ranging from basic and intermediate trainings, post-graduate training and in-house training; and they therefore have the necessary skills to operate GIS software. Seven staff members have similar training in analysis of remotely sensed imagery, with skills to operate RS software. The Assistant Computer Programmer and 26 Integrated Protected Area Co-Management (IPAC) Project, Final Report, August Satellite Data Processing, GIS Analysis and Map Preparation, FIGNSP, March 2013, p.69. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 105

128 Computer Operator positions are currently vacant, however, and RIMS therefore lacks capacity to undertake general IT tasks such as server and network management Facilities Hardware RIMS has several offices and operates a GIS/RS laboratory at BFD Headquarters. The main GIS laboratory has 13 basic computers connected in a local network. 28 There is one professional workstation with dual large-screen monitors and which is being used for image analysis. There are also large format plotters, printers and uninterrupted power supply. The workstations can share GIS data sets, but there is no server computer to control data access and version control. For field work there are two laptops and a collection of GPS devices. Many of the projects that RIMS implements set up separate labs for GIS or RS work. Most notable in this respect is the Silva Carbon project: two professional workstations have been set up, each having dual quad-core Intel Xeon processors, 128 GB RAM, 10 TB of local RAID storage and dual wide-screen monitors for satellite image analysis. These workstations, however, are also stand-alone due to the lack of a proper intranet for RIMS. 29 Software RIMS has three licences for GIS analysis (ESRI ArcInfo, up-to-date versions) and three licences for satellite image analysis (2x Erdas Imagine, 1x PCI Geomatica). In addition, there are some licences for older versions of the same packages but these have limited usability due to lack of functionality and compatibility with current operating systems. Forest Resources Management Information System RIMS currently lacks the infrastructure to support a Forest Resources Management Information System (FRMIS). As a minimum, BFD should have an intranet in the main buildings, connecting all Wings and offices to the web sites with dynamic content from databases to be established in RIMS. Remote offices should also be equipped with computers and internet access to enable their use of the FRMIS both for consulting the information in the FRMIS and for uploading new data into the FRMIS. Facilities management RIMS has no adequate budget allocated for maintaining the facilities. While hardware prices continue to fall, the requirements of new software is requiring ever more capable and thus expensive hardware; the professional workstations from the Silva Carbon project being a prime example. Software licences from commercial partners are prohibitively expensive, making RIMS dependent on external support for maintaining the GIS and RS capability operational. 28 The workstations are relatively recent commercial-grade PCs with a 19 screen, without any specific hardware additions to support GIS or RS analysis. The workstations were acquired in 2012 under the FIGNS project. 29 The workstations are networked and can access the internet, but there are no local services like a central database, user management or file storage. 106 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

129 5.3 RIMS activities Remote Sensing capability and products RIMS currently has limited capacity to undertake large-scale satellite image analysis and mapping. Such mapping is typically undertaken with external support, using one of two modalities: 1. RIMS is operating in the capacity of project coordination, with RIMS staff partaking in the activities and external support for specific tasks and procurement of imagery, etc. 2. The image analysis is outsourced to another organization in Bangladesh, such as SPARSSO or CEGIS. Examples of current and recently past projects and products based on satellite imagery where RIMS has been involved: SPARSSO has classified Landsat TM data and analysed changes in mangrove plantations between 2000 and RIMS is currently implementing the Silva Carbon project, in collaboration with the University of Maryland s Global Land Cover Facility, to produce a map of forest cover in 2000 and 2014 and forest cover change over the same period. A draft report has been produced. BFD is implementing a 4 year project with technical support from FAO, from August 2015 until early 2019, which is funded by USAID: Strengthening National Forest Inventory and Satellite Land Monitoring System in Support of REDD+ in Bangladesh, also known as the Bangladesh Forest Inventory Project. Emphasis is currently on designing the new NFI, but a large remote sensing component to map all land cover in Bangladesh using SPOT satellite imagery will be undertaken from 2017 onwards Socio-economic surveys RIMS does not undertake socio-economic surveys as part of its core activities. Several of the projects that RIMS has implemented with external support, however, have included assessments of forest-dependent communities, livelihoods and rural economy MIS/GIS database management RIMS currently does not have any databases for MIS or GIS data 30. Neither is there any appropriate infrastructure (server computers, networking, etc.) to support the operation of databases for concurrent access. Currently, GIS data is not available to offices in BFD outside of RIMS, due to the lack of basic infrastructure (such as a modern office network capable of supporting intranet applications) and applications for use by BFD staff. The Monitoring and Evaluation Unit is collecting data from social forestry and compiling that into reports. The data that is being collected is compiled into reports like the Plantation Survey & Monitoring Report by Division, containing the following information: Range, beat names Location of plantation (GPS reading) 30 The available GIS data is managed in the form of individual shapefiles on regular computers, data is not integrated into a single platform for concurrent multi-user access. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 107

130 Year of planting Area (blocks) or length (linear strips along roads, canals) of planting Types of monitoring & date Survival and mortality, target assessment Species Health status Assessment of correctness of reporting, comments Beyond the social forestry data primarily areas of social forestry projects and harvesting of timber from those areas no other aspects of forest resources or forestry management are being monitored. The Monitoring and Evaluation Unit does not operate a monitoring system as such. The Planning Unit of BFD collects forest resource and industry data that is sent on to FAO for inclusion in National Reports for the Forest Resources Assessment. Box 5-1: MIS development in the SEALS project. The Sundarbans Environmental and Livelihoods Security project (SEALS) was financed by the European Union and implemented by BFD with the technical support of consulting companies over the period One of the major breakups to achieve the objectives of maintenance and improvement of Ecosystem Productivity of Sundarban Reserve Forest (SRF) and induce the Environmental and Social Integrity in the habitats around Sundarban was the establishment of sustainable Management Information System (MIST). By the third year of the project the improved monitoring system is put to practice, where FD staff follow standard protocols for patrolling and reporting, patrolling in the whole of SRF is carried out regularly and effectively, and having improved linkage between SRF management and MIST. It was foreseen that a system in use in Thailand would be adapted for the local conditions; the system was primarily based on reporting of data with the use of GPS devices. The MIST was designed for the following purposes : a. Development of standard data collection formats (paper-based forms) b. Identification of user-friendly GPS to be used during patrolling c. Development of the framework of MIST d. Identification of suitable platform (e.g. web based or standalone) e. Development of different modules/interfaces of the MIST f. Development of MIST g. Preparation of training manual h. Implementation of MIST i. Training to the FD officials and staff to use MIST j. Deployment or hosting of MIST k. Piloting of MIST in the Sundarbans l. Operationalization of the MIST at the FD. The MIST was eventually implemented by CEGIS, with support from IUCN. During the implementation of the project the MIST was made operational, using facilities of CEGIS, and reports have been generated in Chandpai, Khulna, Satkhira and Sarankhola Ranges in 108 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

131 , as evidenced by data extracted from the MIST server. The patrolling was done with GIS receivers with a graphical map interface, for so-called SMART Patrolling. Apart from the location as recorded by the GPS, the specific forms were paper-based and data entered in the field was transcribed into the MIST in the Range offices. The MIST server itself allowed for viewing of the data and downloading into a spreadsheet format; the server was not designed for any other operational business procedure such as monitoring, management, evaluation or planning. When the SEALS project finished, the MIST was shut down as well, with CEGIS requiring payment for use of its facilities (server computer, networking) where the MIST was located, money which the BFD did not have. Additionally, CEGIS claimed that the design and source code of the MIST is based on proprietary software and that it can thus not be supplied to BFD for implementation in an alternative setup. Effectively, the MIST was therefore only viable during the implementation of the project and the sustainability of the system has not been adequately considered during definition, contracting and design. Forest Resources Management Information System Under the CRPARP project a package was defined to undertake a Technical Study to Strengthen Forest Resources Monitoring and Assessment System and Forest Resources Management Information System in Bangladesh Forest Department. 31 Among other objectives, the study analysed the previous monitoring systems and protocols for data collection in the forestry sector, in order to define a new system for data collection and a management information system in RIMS. In the design report it is suggested to build the FRMIS around the OpenForis framework developed by FAO. 32 This implies that the FRMIS is built around open-source software, which would alleviate the budgetary requirements for RIMS, although data preparation and analysis, such as satellite image interpretation, is not adequately supported by OpenForis. Unfortunately, the study does not elaborate any of the business processes to be included in the FRMIS, such as how to collect, process, manage and report information on social forestry. Nor is there any technical requirements analysis (e.g. how much storage is required in function of the data sets to be analysed and databases to be developed? How to connect remote offices (e.g. DFO) to the FRMIS? How to establish physical (hardware) and logical (data access) security?). Effectively, the study does not reach beyond mentioning potentials and opportunities, and it cannot be considered to be a design document for a FRMIS that will satisfy the requirements of MOEF and BFD for monitoring of forest resources and management of information in function of the objectives of the National Forest Policy or the new FMP Package BFD/S At the time of writing of this document, only draft final document of Package 4 were available. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 109

132 Map 5-1: Typical map of a Forest Division produced by RIMS. 110 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

133 5.3.4 Mapping and reporting RIMS has produced the following mapping products over the years: The only national forest cover map produced by RIMS, using Landsat TM data, is based on forest cover data. The NFI included trees outside the forest. All these maps are based on Landsat TM with ground truthing. The mapping is based on a grid of 300 plots, a lot of which had no forest. No sal nor coastal plantation are included in the 300 plots. RIMS has maps of coastal plantations, hill forests, Sundarbans, part of CHT, Sylhet, and Barind Tract (including sal forest). See Map 5-1 for a sample of a Forest Division map. Historical data is available for the Sundarbans (1995 (hard copy only) and 2013), and Chittagong, CHT, Sylhet, and Cox s Bazar (1997 and 2012). A nation-wide inventory was done in 1960 divided over three regions; maps are available in hard copy only. RIMS can prepare vulnerability maps down to Upazila level, but most realistic at district level. Map 5-2: Mouza map from A problem with GIS mapping in Bangladesh is that the historical mouza maps are still being used today, such as by DLRS for land surveying. These mouza maps show parcels of forest land and agricultural fields. The maps are drawn on sheets of papers by surveyors, but they lack a coordinate system or other geo-registration information. Nevertheless, these mouza maps are the one cartographic product that is accepted by government agencies and the population alike. BFD is also producing similar paper-based products, such as the map of the SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 111

134 Map 5-3: Detail of mouza map, with annotation of land use in parcels. Bhawal National Park available in the DFO office. The preference among map users in Bangladesh to continue to use the mouza maps makes development of a geo-spatial database more complicated because the products from the GIS system will not be easily accepted by people in the rural areas. An additional complication with GIS mapping is that offices at division, range and beat level have no IT infrastructure that would allow for the use of mapping products that RIMS can produce, such as printers and field computers, or even regular office computers and GPS receivers. As a consequence, use of spatial data is restricted to the BFD Headquarters in Dhaka and to distribution of printed maps to field offices Additional tasks RIMS is undertaking many activities in BFD in addition to its primary task of resource information and monitoring: The BFD web site is hosted and system maintained. Maintaining CCF s and Departmental info accounts. Maintaining internet connection of the Department. Generic business databases (e.g. human resources) maintained. Equipment and infrastructure inventories General ICT activities and reporting, digital innovation fair; troubleshooting of Computers, LAN and Internet Employment, higher scale examination of officials Preserve & Supply of forest related photos; National Tree Fair information and photos since SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

135 6 Environmental challenges and multilateral environmental agreements 6.1 Introduction Being a delta with good rainfall and fertile soils in plain lands means that most of the forest areas in Bangladesh are suitable for agriculture as an alternative land use in a land-scarce agrarian economy with increasing population. The main forestry sector challenges facing the country relate to forest degradation, deforestation and forest land diversion in a growing economy. The proximate drivers of deforestation and forest degradation are: high population growth with severe poverty; expanding cultivation, urbanization, industrialization and other land-based development activities; and inadequate forestry investment and consequent inappropriate biodiversity and forest land protection measures. In particular, constraining forest governance including local political economy with inadequate institutional capacity provides disincentives for sustainable management of forest ecosystems. Rapid loss of resilience in forest ecosystems not only adversely affects communities dependent on natural resources but also adversely impacts soil fertility, water quality and quantity, air quality, carbon sequestration, biodiversity including wildlife, and wetlands and fisheries all leading to declining natural resource capital with emerging environmental concerns such as climate change, forest land conversion and biodiversity loss. Main forestry sector challenges can be categorized under institutional, environmental and socio-economic issues, which need to be considered and resolved in the country s forestry sector planning and strategic implementation. Key environmental challenges for the forestry sector the topic of this chapter include: Climate change Biodiversity loss Deforestation and forest land encroachment, diversion of forest land for other land use Forest degradation Invasive species Wildlife poaching and trafficking Soil erosion Low forest productivity Given her favourable and enabling environment, Bangladesh is a good case for forest restoration and conservation in partnership with local communities who depend on nearby forest and wetland resources for meeting their subsistence needs including resourcedependent livelihoods. Forests and encompassing wetlands, which act both as sink and source of greenhouse gases (GHG), are in need of restoration and sustainable co-management. Bangladesh is a low-carbon emitting country (GHG emissions result mainly from the energy sector, but with substantial emissions from the LULUCF sector too) due to its low level of industrialization: total emissions for Bangladesh are estimated at 59.1 MtCO 2e of which 18.2 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 113

136 MtCO 2e (30.8%) is coming from the LULUCF sector. 34 The protection and sustainable management of existing forests and PAs and afforestation and reforestation will improve forest quality and their ability to sequester and store carbon. Providing effective protection to dispersed and fragmented forests is key to reducing further deforestation and forest degradation. Effective and gainful partnerships with the local community and coordination with other relevant mechanisms will help protect forests. Participatory approaches have proved successful as is evident from the IPAC, CRPARP and Madhupur National Park projects, proving that conservation of forests in a densely populated country is possible only by involving local communities. The forests under joint community protection can be sustainably co-managed by sharing benefits accrued as a result of enhanced forest productivity under an appropriate forest management strategy. 6.2 Environmental challenges facing the forestry sector Bangladesh is considered to be a hot spot for biodiversity due to its unique geo-physical location at the intersection of the Indian sub-continent, the montane environments of the Himalayas and the Yunnan plateau, and the humid environment of the Indo-china region. Being the delta of some of the major rivers of Asia, the soils are fertile from continuous depositions of sediments, with the coastal fringe experiencing continuous interaction with the saline environment of the Bay of Bengal. At the same time, the rich environmental resources of Bangladesh are under constant threat from a variety of drivers, most of whom have the elevated population density and low institutional and technical capacity of the GoB as proximate causes. Some of the potential challenges in forests are listed in Table 6-1 below. Table 6-1: Environmental and socio-economic challenges facing the forestry sector in Bangladesh. Environmental challenges Adverse impacts of climate change, including sea level rise Increasing vulnerability of forest ecosystems to global change pressures Declining biodiversity and wildlife Deforestation, forest degradation and fragmentation CO2 emissions from deforestation and forest degradation Incidence of pests and fire Decline in ecosystem services Non-sustainable management of forests Low productivity of the forests and plantations Socio-economic challenges Increasing demand for forest land for agriculture and infrastructure Increasing biomass demand fuelwood, timber, grass and non-timber forest products Increasing livestock grazing pressure Increasing demand for industrial raw material Increasing vulnerability of forestdependent communities Inadequate community role in management of forests 34 Second National Communication to the UNFCCC, Government of Bangladesh, Data are for the year It should also be noted that approximately 96.6% (!) of net emissions are estimated to be due to decomposition of soil carbon, with net emissions from Forest Land conversion (deforestation) and carbon sequestration in existing forests being a very minimal 0.6 MtCO2e/yr. 114 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

137 Addressing these socio-economic and environmental challenges requires long-term planning, increased technical capacity, additional financial resources, enabling policies, participation of the local communities, monitoring and reformed institutional structures. The new FMP will assist in addressing these challenges both from the short- and long-term perspective. It will provide better focus on the environmental issues compared to the previous FMP. Local, national and global environmental considerations to be addressed in the new FMP include the following: Local environmental issues: Watershed protection, enhancing productivity, halting deforestation and forest degradation, forest and mangrove restoration, sustainable extraction of fuelwood and non-wood forest products, disaster preparedness. National environmental issues: Biodiversity conservation, increasing forest cover, sustainable timber supply, protected area management, sustained flow of ecosystem services, climate change adaptation, disaster mitigation. Global environmental issues: Climate change mitigation, conservation of genetic resources Enhancing the resilience of forests to climate change Characteristics of Bangladesh that make it extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change In the BCCSAP Bangladesh indicated to be one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world and it will become even more so as a result of climate change. As a lower riparian country with an extensive coast line, water-induced disasters, including floods, storms and cyclones with tidal surges, are frequent and intense. Climate change impacts are expected to be substantial on the country s predominantly agrarian economy, as a large majority of her huge population (158 million in 2015, with population density of 1,203 persons per km 2, making it one of the world s most densely populated countries) is reliant on land-based primary production as a major source of income. Bangladesh has a unique climate system dominated by the monsoon. The major physiographic features that drive this monsoon are its location (in terms of latitude, longitude and altitude), the Himalayas to the north, and the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean forming its southern boundary. Climate change impacts on forests have been highlighted in a number of studies including various reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Climate change projections include sea level rise, temperature rise, and increased frequency of drought, cyclones, storms and other water-induced extreme events. Bangladesh s long coastline is predicted to be impacted by climate change at medium-term and long-term scales. Recently the country experienced Sidr (2007) and Aila (2009) cyclones, indicating that climate change is already impacting the country and future climate change will aggravate this situation. The regional variations in sea-level rise in Bangladesh with respect to global sea-level rise are manifestations of tectonic changes and ocean density. For instance, a significant number of cyclones have occurred in the Bay of Bengal as compared to the Arabian Sea (at the ratio of 4 to 1). Cyclonic disturbances are 5 to 6 times more frequent over the Bay of Bengal than over the Arabian Sea, with one third of the Bay disturbances and half of the Arabian Sea disturbances intensifying into tropical storms. This may be due to the fact that the surface sea temperature over the Arabian Sea is cooler than over the Bay of Bengal. The shallow depth of SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 115

138 the Bay of Bengal and the low flat coastal terrain produce much larger storm surges than in the Arabian Sea and take a very heavy toll of human and animal life. Moreover, Bangladesh s coasts have a gentle topography and as a result are more vulnerable to sea-rise and the adverse impacts of cyclones and storm surges. Possible impacts of climate change on the forest sector and forest-dependent communities Natural land-based ecosystems, including forests and wetlands, are highly sensitive to temperature rise. Possible changes may include shifts in the boundaries of forests and wetlands, changes in species composition or types of forests and wetlands, changes in net productivity of forests and wetlands, forest die back, and loss of forest and wetland biodiversity. Climate change impacts are expected to be substantial in the country s predominantly agrarian economy, as a large majority of its population is reliant on land-based primary production as a major source of livelihoods and income. Climate change induced natural hazards such as cyclones, storms, flood, salinity, and drought may affect the country s forest ecosystems, and as a consequence forest dependent communities, by inducing changes in forest types and distribution, net primary productivity, and composition in terms of flora and fauna. Sea-level rise will submerge coastal ecosystems such as the mangroves, wetlands and charlands. 35 Sea-level rise will also increase the salinity of coastal wetlands on which local communities depend for meeting their subsistence consumption needs. This will favour salinity-tolerant plants but may reduce vegetation and aquatic diversity. On the other hand, increased snow melt in the Himalayan glaciers could bring a large quantity of fresh water via transnational rivers to the coastal areas, with consequences for the composition of the mangroves and coastal fisheries, favouring species that have lower tolerance to salinity. Changes in local temperature and rainfall will also influence the wetlands salinity and aquatic plant composition. Although climate change is global in its causes and consequences, its adverse impacts are being borne inequitably by natural resource-dependent communities in the country s riparian regions. While sea-level rise will submerge coastal forests and settlements, in winter high evapotranspiration combined with low water flow will increase the salinity of forest soil and coastal waters. This will adversely affect freshwater dependent floral and faunal species in particular, and forest productivity and biodiversity in general. This will eventually shift forest boundaries and change vegetation characteristics as the species offering dense canopy cover are expected to be replaced by non-woody shrubs and bushes. Conspicuous changes in annual trends in both minimum and maximum temperatures have already been noticed both globally and nationally. Variability in monsoon rainfall has been recorded in recent years. Most of the observed increase in global average temperature is due to the observed increase in anthropogenic GHG emissions (Climate Change 2007). A study by the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment (Climate Change and India) concluded that discernible human influences now extend to other aspects of climate including ocean warming, continental average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns. Global 35 Charlands are sandbars that emerge as islands within river channels or as land deposited along riverbanks as a result of accretion. 116 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

139 mean sea level change results mainly from two processes, mostly related to recent climate change, that alter the volume of water in the global ocean: i) thermal expansion, and ii) the exchange of water between reservoirs (glaciers and ice caps, ice sheets, other land water reservoirs) and oceans, including through anthropogenic changes in land hydrology and the atmosphere. Regionally, oceanographic factors such as changes in ocean circulation or atmospheric pressure cause changes in sea level. In addition, sedimentation and vertical land movements influence local level sea variations. Fisheries ecosystems including coastal wetlands and the Sundarbans play an important role in the food supply, food security and livelihood security of the country s millions of fishermen and other stakeholders. Temperature is known to affect fish distribution and migration. Increasing temperatures may have negative impacts on the physiology of fish because oxygen transport to tissues will be limited at higher temperatures, and this constraint in physiology will result in changes in fish distribution, recruitment and abundance. Fish have strong temperature preferences to spawning as the process of spawning is known to be triggered by pivotal temperatures. Enhancing resilience of forests and forest-dependent communities to climate change The forest ecosystem is generally able to tolerate some level of climate change and so will continue to persist in the short-term as it has done in the past. However, whether its resilience will be sufficient enough to tolerate anthropogenic climate change in the long-term is not known. By definition (Climate Change 2014): Resilience is the capacity of social, economic and environmental systems to cope with a hazardous event or trend or disturbance, responding or reorganizing in ways that maintain their essential function, identity and structure, while also maintaining the capacity for adaptation, learning, and transformation. As stated in the BCCSAP, the vision of the GoB is to eradicate poverty and achieve economic and social well-being for all people through a pro-poor climate change management strategy. Adapting to climate change would not only involve reducing population exposure and sensitivity, but also increasing the adaptive capacity of both land-based ecosystems (including forests and wetlands) and local communities. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 117

140 Box 6-1: Concepts related to resilience. Vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is a function of exposure to climate variables, sensitivity to those variables and the adaptive capacity of the affected ecosystem and community. Adapting to climate change involves reducing exposure and sensitivity and increasing adaptive capacity. Vulnerability is the propensity or predisposition (of a system) to be adversely affected. Vulnerability encompasses a variety of concepts and elements including sensitivity or susceptibility to harm and lack of capacity to cope and adapt. Vulnerability can be due to biophysical hazards (e.g. cyclones, sea level rise), but also due to socio-economic, policy and institutional factors. For example, poor governance can result in mangrove forest being cut down, leaving coastal areas more prone to sea surge and winds during a cyclone. Exposure is the nature, degree and extent to which a species or system is exposed to significant climatic variations. Exposure is comprised of climatic variables which are derived based on temperature and precipitation. Exposure can be due to the direct impacts of climate change (ex. warmer temperature, change in precipitation) or indirect impacts of climate change (ex. shifting habitat due to changes in vegetation). A wide variety of factors, ex. wealth, social status and gender, determine vulnerability and exposure to climate-related risk. Sensitivity is defined as:... the degree to which a system is affected, either adversely or beneficially, by climate variability or change. It contains biophysical variables which indicate the phenological and physiological characteristics of the forests, ex. evapotranspiration, occurrence of forest fires and net primary productivity. The effect may be direct (e.g., a change in crop yield in response to a change in the mean, range or variability of temperature) or indirect (e.g., damages caused by an increase in the frequency of coastal flooding due to sea level rise) (ibid). Adaptive capacity is the ability (or potential) of a system to adjust successfully to climate change (including climate variability and weather extremes,) to: (i) moderate the potential damages; (ii) to take advantage of opportunities; and/or (iii) to cope with the consequences. 36 Adaptive capacity comprises of variables related to plant species richness and forest structure. The greater the capacity of a system to adapt to the impacts of climate variability and change, the less vulnerable the system is. Possible climate change adaptation options include: Reforestation of degraded/denuded forest lands Anticipatory planting of threatened species In-situ and ex-situ conservation of threatened species Increasing the efficiency of conversion of forest raw material Shifting the geographical areas of production to more closely match areas of optimal potential 36 ibid., p SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

141 Coastal afforestation programme Wetland afforestation programme Expand the social forestry and co-management programmes Provide / identify alternative livelihood strategies for forest-dependent households to reduce their reliance on forest products A reforestation and afforestation programme is one of the elements identified in Bangladesh s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009 under the Mitigation and Low Carbon Development theme (T5/P7). The programme has five components of which the following two are related to climate change adaptation: A1. Provide support to existing and new coastal afforestation programmes taking into account the future rise in salinity levels due to sea level rise. A2. Develop an extensive wetland afforestation programme to protect settlements against wave erosion. The coastal forest plantation ecosystems of Bangladesh are vital as they provide goods and services that are essential for healthy land-based ecosystems and the well-being of the communities living within the landscape, as well as protecting the communities from climatic hazards such as cyclones and storm surges. Designing and implementing coastal afforestation and reforestation programmes under the CRPARP, will enhance coastal ecosystem resilience, while also benefiting communities. Community partnership with forest dependent communities is the key to adaptation to climate change, for both forests and local people. Mainstreaming adaptation to climatic variability and change into the design and implementation of participatory natural resources management will enhance the health of forest ecosystems as well as benefit local communities. The land-based natural resources in Bangladesh, such as forests and wetlands, have traditionally been intimately interspersed with human habitations and are heavily relied upon by the neighbouring agrarian communities to help meet their needs. But these ecosystems are being severely degraded mainly due to heavy biotic pressure brought on by increasing population, concentrated in a comparatively small geographic area. The vulnerability of forest-dependent communities needs to be reduced by providing them with coping mechanisms. The climate change adaptation role of an ecosystem, including forests and wetlands, stems from the fact that local people depend on nearby ecosystems not only for their protective functions (i.e. protection from cyclones and storm surges) but also for their livelihoods. A large portion of the population living within /adjacent to important ecosystems such as the Sundarbans is dependent on climate-dependent activities such as fisheries, agriculture and forestry. Climate change adaptation programmes need to consider ecosystem management and develop appropriate value chains and conservation-linked livelihood options that will be implemented in partnership with local communities. Additional benefits mobilized through offforest activities, including value chain development and alternative income generating activities, generate both wages and self-employment. A number of livelihood opportunities can be identified and conservation-linked interventions designed to provide alternative income to local communities in order to reduce extractive harvesting from forests. Many of the community SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 119

142 activities helpful in reducing forest degradation are in fact labour-intensive, cost-effective, efficient and equitable with large employment and income gains expected to accrue to local communities. In the process local surplus labour resources can be utilized to restore degraded forest landscapes. Value chain mapping can be done by identifying all possible actors and factors. An increasing population with few alternative livelihood opportunities poses a serious threat to forest ecosystems. The livelihood dependence of local people on the country s forest ecosystems is high and in future this dependence is expected to increase as the population continues to increase. There are a large number of people directly involved with extraction of resources from forest ecosystems. The pressure from resources extraction has increased tremendously as the number of collectors has increased many-fold over the last decades, resulting in a huge reduction in per capita of resources collected. Alternative livelihood strategies, e.g. in-land fisheries and private tree nurseries, may be promoted as climate change adaptation initiatives, especially among forest-dependent households. Additionally, a number of adaptation policy measures may be suggested for taking up appropriate interventions by different government agencies including BFD. Such interventions may require a multi-sectoral approach wherein resources would be ploughed in from different funding sources. The vital life supporting and provisioning role of forest ecosystems needs to be properly mainstreamed into national planning and decision-making. By conserving forests and developing plantations, forest landscape degradation can be halted, biodiversity and water conserved in-situ, and communities benefit through gainful partnerships. Sustainable forest management can be promoted by upgrading the institutional capacity of BFD field staff and local community organizations to conserve biodiversity and restore forests. Sustainable forest management in densely populated Bangladesh would provide substantial socio-environmental and economic benefits to local communities, whose population is mainly made up of subsistence farmers and labourers. In a populous and poor country such as Bangladesh, effective forest protection is not possible without the partnership of local communities. Such a co-management initiative has proven successful as evident from the Nishorgo programme and Madhupur Project of BFD. The forests under community protection can be sustainably co-managed locally by sharing benefits accrued as a result of enhanced forest productivity. Forests should no longer be treated strictly as revenue generators, but also valued for the services and functions they provide as explained above. Resilience-based management is needed to enhance the capacity of both forest ecosystems and local communities to adapt together and be resilient to changes and disturbances. Due to the failure in valuing the intangible socio-economic benefits of forests, their significant contribution in social welfare has not yet been captured. This means more research is needed in quantifying and monetizing the vital values and services of forests to local communities and beyond Enhancing carbon stock for mitigation of climate change Most of the forests in Bangladesh have experienced some form of degradation such that the vegetation is below its climax state, up to outright deforestation, and there is therefore scope to increase the carbon stock in forests as a climate change mitigation measure. In response, the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009 lists Afforestation and Reforestation programme as one of the elements of the Mitigation and Low Carbon 120 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

143 Development theme (T5/P7). The programme has five components of which the following three are related to climate change mitigation: A3. Study the scope for carbon credits under REDD and invest, if appropriate, in reforestation of degraded reserve forests. A4. Provide support to existing and new homestead and social forestry programmes and enhance carbon sequestration. A5. Research the suitability of various tree species for their carbon-locking properties for designing various forestry programmes keeping in mind other environmental and socioeconomic functions of forestry. Bangladesh has made considerable progress in the establishment of a National REDD+ Programme. Bangladesh is a partner country of the UN-REDD Programme and it has been awarded a grant by the Forest Investment Program (FIP) administered by the World Bank to develop a Forest Investment Plan which is aimed at mitigation measures in the forestry sector. As per decisions of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, all Forest Land in Bangladesh has to be included in the National REDD+ Programme. 37 It is up to Bangladesh, though, to determine what constitutes Forest Land 38 ; it should include all legally gazetted Reserve Forest land whether they currently support tree cover or not but it may also include forested areas outside of the RF, such as homesteads and private forests. In terms of generating results-based finance under the REDD+ mechanism, a more inclusive approach would be favoured, but care has to be taken with areas outside of RF areas because once covered under a REDD+ activity their enhanced carbon stocks have to be preserved (permanence). In plantations the scheduled harvests of timber may continue as planned, but results-based finance can only be awarded once up to the average carbon stock over the rotation and new rotations have to be implemented on the land to ensure permanence of the carbon stock. Following up on the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009, the GoB has made institutional preparations for the implementation of the National REDD+ Programme. In July 2011 the National REDD+ Steering Committee (RSC) was established. A REDD+ Readiness Roadmap was adopted by the RSC in December Finally, in November 2013 Bangladesh was admitted into the UN-REDD Programme and awarded a grant of USD 2.3 million to prepare the country for participation in the REDD+ mechanism, with technical assistance from FAO and UNDP. The UN-REDD Bangladesh Programme has four main outcomes to support the National REDD+ Programme in achieving its goals of enhanced forest carbon stocks: 1. Improved stakeholder awareness and effective stakeholder engagement 2. National REDD+ strategy preparation supported 37 UNFCCC Decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 71, and elsewhere. Reference (emission) levels should have national scope, as does the national forest monitoring system. The only exceptions to this would be those areas of Forest Land covered under some other GHG mitigation scheme but there are currently no such schemes in Bangladesh. 38 Forest Land is one of the main land use categories used in the IPCC Guidelines. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 121

144 3. Preparation of national forest reference emission level (REL) and/or forest reference level (RL) supported 4. Establishment of national forest monitoring system supported The UN-REDD Bangladesh Programme is currently in operation and will finish by March The REDD+ mechanism has five so-called eligible activities 39 : 1. Reducing emissions from deforestation 2. Reducing emissions from forest degradation 3. Conservation of forest carbon stocks 4. Sustainable management of forests 5. Enhancement of forest carbon stocks The five eligible activities are mutually exclusive for any specific forest area at any specific time; only one of the activities can be implemented at any time in a single forest area. The activities can be seen as a logical sequence, with optional application of each of the activities; see the Figure below. Initial phase: Reducing emissions from deforestation Reducing emissions from forest degradation Intermediate phase: Enhancement of forest carbon stocks Final phase: Sustainable management of forest Conservation of forest carbon stocks Figure 6-1: Phases in REDD+ implementation There are large numbers of possible pathways of development through these phases and many are highly dependent on the initial condition of the forest and the interventions undertaken. A few examples: Hill forest with low timber stock Reduction of emissions from forest degradation, followed by enhancement of forest carbon stock through enrichment planting with native species of the CHT, followed by sustainable management of forest. Mangroves Reduction of emissions from deforestation (e.g. conversion of mangrove into shrimp farms), followed by enhancement of forest carbon stock (also on newly accreted land), followed by conservation of carbon stocks. Bare land Enhancement of forest carbon stock through climate-resilient afforestation or reforestation, followed by sustainable management of forest. Activities under the National REDD+ Programme need to be carefully designed such that local community engagement is feasible over a period of decades; otherwise the efforts of the local communities may result in benefits that accrue to other actors. The table below gives a rough indication of how REDD+ activities might be applied on forests having a certain condition and how suitable local community participation is relative to these combinations. When designing a REDD+ scheme a pathway through this matrix should be defined, hopping from one darkly- 39 UNFCCC Decision 1/CP.16, paragraph SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

145 Plantation Bare land Severely degraded Slightly degraded Mature forest Pristine forest shaded cell to the next, moving generally from the right to the left (although plantations and pristine forest are special cases that are typically treated separately). Such a pathway may be traversed over a very extended period of time perhaps even as much as 40 or 60 years such that the forest may evolve from one condition to the next. It is important to recognize that only one REDD+ activity may be developed on a single piece of forest within a single reporting period (currently two years; the cycle of the REDD+ Technical Annex to the National Communications to the UNFCCC applies, see section 6.4 for details). In subsequent reporting periods the area of forest land may be assigned to a different REDD+ activity. Some examples of combinations of REDD+ activity and forest condition are (numbers refer to Figure 6-2): Forest condition REDD+ activity Reducing emissions from deforestation 1 Reducing emissions from forest degradation 1 Conservation of forest carbon stocks 2 Sustainable management of forest 4 5 Enhancement of forest carbon stocks 3 3 Figure 6-2: General applicability of REDD+ activities as a function of forest condition. Shaded cells indicate suitability for certain REDD+ activities. Darker shades indicate higher degrees of applicability of the activity to the condition. For numbers in the cells, please refer to the main text. 1. Where forests are severely degraded there are likely processes such as (illegal) logging, fuel wood extraction and grazing that can be halted or reduced. REDD+ activities might include the development of alternatives or better use of forest resources, patrolling of the forest area, etc. 2. Pristine forests, such as in the Sundarbans or portions of the CHT, have undergone no significant human impacts, but they may be at risk due to encroaching population centres or agriculture. REDD+ activities might focus on eco-tourism and extraction of non-timber forest products (fruits, medicinal plants, rattan, thatch, etc.). 3. Bare lands or severely degraded forests may be replanted with native species for regeneration. The benefits from timber or other products cannot be expected for a considerable period of time. In the meantime, local communities may monitor the development of the forest and claim benefits for the enhancement of carbon stocks. 4. Mature stands of managed forest may be harvested in a sustainable way to produce timber. While the timber is often reserved for the forest owner on private land or the BFD, communities may participate in assessing the carbon stocks of the forest pre- SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 123

146 and post-harvest. If harvested wood products (HWP) are reported by the country, the communities may help assess this parameter as well (in particular losses during harvest). 5. Forest areas may also be planted with a single species for commercial exploitation, such as is the case in social forestry plantations. Communities may assess carbon stocks for such plantations. From the perspective of REDD+, this is the least challenging environment, but also one of the least promising in terms of the potential to generate results-based finance: after harvest the carbon stocks are back to 0 and the carbon sequestered in subsequent rotations cannot be claimed again. Due to the lack of detailed information on forest stocks it is impossible to make an assessment of the potential for carbon sequestration in the forests throughout Bangladesh, although some efforts have been made. It has been estimated that the Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary has the potential to sequester about 7.85 tco 2e/ha/yr. in above-ground and below-ground biomass. 40 In other forest areas of Bangladesh this rate may be substantially different. Bangladesh is currently lacking in skills and expertise to collect the basic information needed to estimate biomass and carbon sequestration at a level of detail that would be required to make national estimates of reduced emissions of GHG. Such skills and capacity are being established with the assistance of development partners, for instance through the USAID-funded project on the National Forest Inventory (basic data collection and estimation of emission factors), the UN- REDD Bangladesh Programme (national forest monitoring system and REL/RL development) and the CRPARP project (Forest Resources Monitoring and Assessment Protocol), but the education and research programmes in forestry need to include the development of these skills in a new generation of foresters as well. The Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009 is explicit about the engagement of local communities in carbon sequestration efforts and this is also a central design in the National REDD+ Programme. Considering that local communities are both one of the drivers of forest degradation and deforestation on the one hand, and a direct beneficiary of restored forest cover and co-benefits on the other hand, this makes a lot of sense. To actually achieve this, however, requires a paradigm shift in the operations of the BFD including how benefits from forestry management are assessed, generated and shared with local communities and an awareness campaign on the many benefits of the forest including carbon sequestration but extending to a much larger array of ecosystem goods and services to effectively engage the local communities and partner with them to protect and regenerate the forest resources of Bangladesh Biodiversity conservation The decline in biodiversity in Bangladesh goes hand-in-hand with the loss of forest and forest degradation and fragmentation mentioned previously. In addition to the general forestry environmental and socio-economic challenges mentioned in section 6.2, the following challenges relate specifically to the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity: Forest management 40 Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Co-Management of Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary, p SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

147 Introduction of exotic/invasive species in place of indigenous species Greater importance given to planting commercial species over native species in forests and plain land Improper protected area management for nature conservation Wildlife management Destruction of natural forest habitat and wildlife environment Lack of wildlife conservation and natural habitat management Poor management of natural forests for shelter of wildlife Illegal hunting, poaching and destruction of animal habitat Scientific method of wildlife protection and ecosystem management lacking Institutional, regulatory and scientific challenges Inadequate law enforcement for the protection and conservation of animals Inadequate attention to eco-tourism and lack of public awareness on the value of nature Lacking political commitment for the protection of natural forests and biodiversity External factors Removal of natural vegetation and degradation of homestead forests Industrial and agro-chemical pollution affecting aquatic and semi-aquatic organisms Salinity intrusion due to reduced freshwater flow in the Ganges and its tributaries is affecting the vegetation of the Sundarbans Destruction of the mangrove forest of Chakaria and Teknaf for conversion into shrimp culture The challenges related to the loss of biodiversity are exacerbated by the lack of adequate knowledge of all of Bangladesh s biological resources. There is an urgent need to extensively study floral and faunal diversity of different forest types. During the past century, substantial depletion and degradation of biodiversity occurred due to over-exploitation, improper management, poor protection and lack of people s awareness, very likely resulting in the loss of species that were never properly identified. The population size of many plants and animals has declined and to ensure viable populations this deterioration has to be arrested. Declining trends in the densities of important plants and animals is a serious threat for the survival of the species and needs to be addressed. Bangladesh has 18 National Parks, 20 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 1 Marine Protected Area, 2 safari parks, 10 eco-parks, and 10 Ecologically Critical Areas (ECA) 41 ; see Map 1-4 on page 40. These areas are critically important to conserve biodiversity, when properly managed. Unfortunately, most of these Protected Areas (PA) are subject to the same processes of degradation as are other forests. Furthermore, many of the PAs are isolated from other PAs and the gene pools of the species in the PAs are therefore small and at risk of deterioration or 41 Wildlife Master Plan for Bangladesh SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 125

148 extinction due to small population sizes. A system of biological corridors between the PAs needs to be set up to enable the exchange of genetic material between the otherwise isolated populations of animal and plant species in the PAs. It is not possible to conserve wildlife and biodiversity only by promulgating some rules. Effective implementation of rules for protecting animals and protected area management will not be possible without the cooperation of the people. So, motivating the people and developing their awareness are essential for the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity, and protected area management Sustained delivery of ecosystem services In recent years the concept of ecosystem goods and services (EGS) has gained much traction in the areas of natural resources management and natural resource economics. Four categories of EGS are generally distinguished 42 ; they are listed in Table 6-2 together with examples of goods and services generated by the forestry sector. Table 6-2: Categories of goods and services and their relationship to forests. Category Forestry goods and services Supporting Primary productivity Soil formation Gene pool, biodiversity Provisioning Production of timber, fuel wood Production of NTFPs, including bamboo, rattan, (medicinal) herbs, etc. Production of fodder, grazing Mineral products, sand, clay Wildlife, game (hunting), fish (wetlands, mangroves) Regulating Habitat for plant and animal species Climate regulation Carbon sequestration and storage Rain water retention, infiltration, flood control and other hydrological services Soil protection, erosion control Cultural services Holy places, shrines Sedimentation, water purification, in wetlands Coastal protection against erosion and storm surges, in mangroves Air purification, particularly in urban environments where trees trap particulate matter and absorb nitrous oxide Aesthetic value of forests and landscapes 42 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005, UNEP. 126 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

149 Category Forestry goods and services Eco-tourism Recreation The production functions of the provisioning category are well understood, quantified and economically valued, for instance through the classical National Forest Inventory focused on assessing harvestable timber volumes, collection of data on harvest and transportation of timber, and timber revenue collection systems. While most other goods and services in the remaining categories are recognized at least among professional foresters, natural resource economists and environmental researchers their (qualitative, quantitative) assessment and (economic, financial) valuation are often lacking, and Bangladesh is no exception to this. There is however one exception: under the UNFCCC REDD+ mechanism, proper estimation and reporting of carbon fluxes on forest land emissions from deforestation and sequestration from forest restoration can receive results-based finance if Bangladesh can reduce emissions and enhance removals of greenhouse gases. Assessing ecosystem goods and services Assessment of EGS is not an easy undertaking due to at least three circumstances: 1. Some services are not quantifiable but only have intangible properties (such as the aesthetic value of a forest) or are perceived differently by different (groups of) people. 2. While goods are typically measurable (harvest of timber, catch of fish), many services cannot be measured (gene pool) or are very difficult and expensive to be measured (air purification, climate regulation). 3. Many goods and services are inter-related and these relationships are often not well understood. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 127

150 Figure 6-3: Assessing ecosystem goods and services. Source: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, India initiative, interim report. In many cases the use of proxy indicators can be an adequate approach to assess the EGS. These proxies can be physical (such as monitoring the ground water table to assess the hydrological regulation service of a forest, counting indicator species for general biodiversity) or survey-based using an approach like the Delphi method whereby in-depth interviews with stakeholders reveal their dependency on and use of EGS 43 ; see also Figure 6-3. Over time the assessment methodologies could be improved, particularly for those goods and services that are critical for a certain area or development. Valuing ecosystem goods and services After assessing the EGS they have to be assigned a value. In some cases this is a straightforward undertaking, especially for goods like timber, NTFPs and fish. Other services might be valued on a negative basis: how much damage from the cyclone is avoided due to the presence of a mangrove forest? Yet others may require a proxy valuation such as value of groundwater resources for domestic or agricultural water use, or the reduction in pulmonary disease due to urban forestry. Once EGS are assessed and valued, they need to be integrated in policy making to develop rational policies and programmes that consider all EGS and to identify intervention areas to safeguard, promote or enhance the delivery of EGS. See Figure 6-3 for an example of such policy integration in India. One useful tool to evaluate policy options with consideration of all EGS is opportunity-cost analysis (OCA), as it allows quantifying foregone costs of EGS no longer delivered due to some development (such as planning a road through a forest), to evaluate the merits of alternatives (spending more money on road construction for a deviation and additional transportation costs, offset against maintained value of EGS), and to include the additional SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

151 benefit of enhanced EGS as a function of some development (e.g. protect a wetland, roadside plantations, urban forestry). Current situation in Bangladesh In terms of EGS in the forestry sector of Bangladesh, the primary attention is given to the establishment of tree crops for harvesting, either through programmes for social forestry with communities or in the context of coastal protection. Other potential benefits from the forest, including goods and services, largely remain unmanaged and underutilized. Both terrestrial and aquatic animals suffer from environmental pollution. Indiscriminate use of chemicals for agriculture and drainage of sewerage from cities to water bodies causes heavy water pollution resulting in the decline of many valuable organisms. There is demand for outdoor recreation, by way of visiting the emblematic natural environments of the country, both by local and foreign tourists. Bangladesh has some unique places for attracting tourists if proper facilities are extended. Efforts need to be made to develop forest based eco-tourism for the mutual benefits of human beings and the natural environment. Box 6-2: Economic valuation of ecosystem services in the Sundarbans. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Bangladesh, and (IUCN-B) developed the Bangladesh Sundarban Delta Vision 2050 in 2014, with the collaboration of BFD and WWF. In the Vision a first-level economic valuation of the EGS of the Sundarbans is undertaken. Given the lack of adequate data on the availability and value of all EGS in the Sundarbans a Delphi approach was adopted, with in-depth surveys with local communities participating in 22 activities developed by IUCN-B in the Sundarbans to determine the perceptions of those communities with regards to self-identified EGS and their abundance and intrinsic value for these communities. A total of 24 EGS were identified by the local communities. Experts were then consulted to attach an economic value to the identified goods and services. The results, for different projects and different areas, varied from USD per hectare and per year. When factoring in some services not identified by the local communities, such as protection against cyclones, these values rise to USD 456 1,192 per hectare and per year, or USD million per year for the total Sundarbans. Strategies have to be developed not only in the forestry sector, but also in agriculture and urban and industrial waste management systems in order to maintain the carrying capacity of the natural ecosystems of Bangladesh. A strategy for maximizing multiple benefits from forests is required and an assessment of all ecosystem goods and (especially) services needs to be integrated into government decision making at all levels. Adequate tree cover, especially at some critical locations, such as the coastal belt and watershed areas, is essential for ensuring the continuity of most of the EGS in Bangladesh Mangrove conservation Bangladesh manages a substantial part of the largest mangrove forest in the world, the Sundarbans. Further east and south, there are also some mangrove areas but of a much smaller extent and importance. The mangroves play a very significant role in the coastal area as a hot-spot of terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity including providing habitat for some SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 129

152 globally important emblematic species such as the Bengal tiger and provisioning of multiple ecosystem services, not least of which is the protection against the destructive force of cyclones and storm surges. Despite their importance in many ways, the mangroves are subject to a large number of threats: Conversion to shrimp ponds Agricultural expansion Salt production Mining Urbanization Inadequate management Diversion of fresh water, leading to increased salinity Construction of infrastructure which impedes flow of water Pollution Socio-economic conditions of local population 44 Predicted sea-level rise by the year 2100 is somewhere between 37 cm and 123 cm, depending on the scenario used. At a sea-level rise of just 50 cm about 12% of the Sundarbans will be flooded; at 100 cm this rises to 43% 45. While the Sundarbans may trap more sediment during periods of flooding, it is not expected that the rise of the sea level can be compensated through additional sediment deposition. In the mangroves of Bangladesh, and in particular in the Sundarbans, very many projects have been implemented ranging from conservation of biodiversity and habitats, to infrastructure development, socio-economic development of the local population, to coastal protection and disaster preparedness. One of the larger recent projects in the Sundarbans was the Sundarbans Environmental and Livelihoods Security project (SEALS), financed by the European Union and implemented over the period The objectives of the project were to maintain and improve the ecosystem productivity of the Sundarban Reserve Forest (SRF) and to induce environmental and social integrity in the habitats of the Sundarbans. Activities focused on enhancing the capacity of the BFD to manage the SRF, to ensure sustainable extraction of resources from the forest and develop alternative income generation options, and to mitigate the effects of natural disasters such as cyclones. IUCN-B developed the Bangladesh Sundarban Delta Vision 2050 in 2014, which gives a detailed overview of the current situation in the Sundarbans, the challenges to be addressed and six strategies for implementation: 1. Improve governance structures 2. Enhance appropriate mechanisms and information systems for sustainability of the Sundarban ecosystem services 44 Mangrove forestry in Bangladesh, N. Siddiqui, IFESCU, See the Task 4 report for further details. 130 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

153 3. Increase fresh water availability in the Sundarban delta 4. Reduce pollution threats from all sources in the Sundarban delta 5. Put appropriate measures in place in order to reduce adverse impacts of climate change 6. Enhance alternative livelihood options 6.3 Climate financing for forestry Since the establishment of the UNFCCC in 1992 several instruments for financial support to non-annex I countries 46 have been established. Under the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force in February 2005, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was launched with a specific sectoral scope for forestry: Afforestation and reforestation. In the following years, the REDD+ mechanism 47 was proposed such that sustainable management of natural tropical forests could be included in the new climate agreement then under negotiation, with financing coming through the newly-established Green Climate Fund (GCF). Natural tropical forest management can also be covered under the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) and more recently also under the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) mechanism, with financing in both cases coming through ad-hoc arrangements on a bilateral basis between the host country and a donor country or some International Finance Institution (IFI). Outside of the UNFCCC process there are other options as well. The Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009 estimates that all mitigation and adaptation plans would cost approximately USD 5 billion for all sectors for projects started in the first five years, without being specific on costs per individual activity. Development partners should channel their financial contributions through the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund. In the forestry sector, one project is foreseen under the strategy and action plan: T5-P7 Afforestation and Reforestation Program, consisting of multiple sub-programmes including afforestation, REDD+, homestead forestry and research into carbon pools Climate finance options for forestry under the UNFCCC The various options that are available through the UNFCCC process are presented in more detail in Table 6-3 below. Table 6-3: Climate finance options for forestry in Bangladesh Mechanism Characteristics CDM Clean Development Mechanism Overview The CDM of the Kyoto protocol has as objective to reduce emissions of GHG through provision of financial and technical assistance from Annex I countries to non-annex I countries in the establishment of projects. Under the CDM Scope 14 is for Afforestation and Reforestation. 46 Non-Annex I countries are those countries not included in Annex I of Parties to the UNFCCC; they may also be referred to as developing country Parties. Annex I countries are mostly industrialized countries, such as members of the OECD. Bangladesh is a non-annex I country. 47 Formally, in the context of the UNFCCC, REDD+ stands for Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. It is commonly referred to simply as Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 131

154 Mechanism Scope Characteristics CDM has fairly elaborate administrative, reporting and validation requirements, reasons why afforestation and reforestation projects have not been many because the overhead costs erode the financial viability of the project. As a result, small scale activities were allowed, with reduced administrative requirements and hence lower overhead costs. More interestingly, a Programme of Activities (PoA) can be defined which acts as an umbrella for multiple small projects in a country, with its concomitant benefits of scale. For instance, a PoA for social forestry could include all new plantations on degraded RF land throughout the country and then be registered as a single CDM project. For afforestation projects only that land can be included which did not support actual forest in the past 50 years. For reforestation projects only that land can be included which did not support actual forest since 1 January The minimum area would be several tens of thousands of hectares 48 for the project to be financially viable. Requirements Financing Feasibility Bangladesh needs to formally submit the CDM proposal to the UNFCCC. Local stakeholders need to be consulted and detailed assessments need to be made of additionality, persistence and leakage. CDM projects always need a donor country that provides technology and financing of the project. Any issued Certified Emission Reduction (CER) certificates will be assigned to the donor countries to offset their domestic GHG emissions with the reductions achieved in Bangladesh. The Kyoto Protocol, of which the CDM is part, is currently in its second commitment period and it is doubtful if the Kyoto Protocol will be extended following the adoption of the new climate agreement at COP-21 in December 2015 and which will become operational from 2020 onwards. Individual afforestation and reforestation projects are not likely to be financially viable, but bundling them into a PoA is a more tenable option. Nishorgo developed a CDM project for the Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary in 2007, but this has not been submitted to the UNFCCC. REDD+ Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation Overview The REDD+ mechanism was proposed in 2005 to enable the incorporation of GHG emission reductions from natural forests in non-annex I countries into mitigation programmes. The REDD+ mechanism is still under negotiation as of June 2016, although most elements of the mechanism have been defined in a series of decisions from the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. The REDD+ mechanism has five eligible activities: 1. Reducing emissions from deforestation 48 A regular CDM project should have a minimum projected annual emission reduction of 16 ktco2e/yr (decision 9/CMP.3), for a small-scale CDM project the amount is less than that. Given the administrative overhead and low price of Certified Emission Reduction certificates, projects tend not to be financially viable unless much higher annual emission reductions are achieved. 132 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

155 Mechanism Characteristics 2. Reducing emissions from forest degradation 3. Conservation of forest carbon stocks 4. Sustainable management of forests 5. Enhancement of forest carbon stocks Scope Requirements If Bangladesh opts for the REDD+ mechanism then all Forest Land 49 in Bangladesh will have to be included in the National REDD+ Programme. The only exceptions will be made for forests included in other climate finance agreements, such as the CDM, FCPF, FIP, etc. Decision 1/CP.16 defines the four required elements of a National REDD+ Programme: 1. A national strategy or action plan 2. A national forest reference emission level and/or forest reference level, in accordance with national circumstances 3. A robust and transparent national forest monitoring system for the monitoring and reporting of the eligible activities, in accordance with national circumstances 4. A system for providing information on how the safeguards are being addressed and respected throughout the implementation of the eligible activities In effect, the safeguards require Bangladesh to have full and effective engagement of all local stakeholders, specifically also indigenous peoples and local communities in all relevant aspects of any activities implemented under the National REDD+ Programme. Financing Bangladesh has to prepare a Technical Annex to the National Communication (see next section on reporting requirements) with full details of the REDD+ Programme and activities. This Technical Annex will be assessed through the International Consultation and Analysis process organized by the UNFCCC Secretariat. If the Technical Annex is found to be compliant with UNFCCC decisions, then Bangladesh can apply for results-based finance at the Green Climate Fund. The current (June 2016) price for REDD+ GHG emission reductions is approximately USD per tco2e. Any amounts awarded would accrue directly to Bangladesh and are expected to be applied towards the operation of the National REDD+ Programme and otherwise be distributed to the stakeholders of the REDD+ activities in a form deemed appropriate by the government. Feasibility Once the system is properly set up it is rather straightforward and many current programmes and activities could be brought under the National REDD+ Programme with limited additional work, such as the social forestry programme. However, establishing the reference (emission) levels and the national forest 49 Forest Land is a land use category under the IPCC Guidelines. In principle it contains all land that is currently forested, but it should also include land that is designated as forest even though it is not currently forested, such as degraded RF land and land accretion in RF areas. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 133

156 Mechanism Characteristics monitoring system are complex undertakings and a continuous system for forest resources assessment has to be set up and maintained. Bangladesh is actively participating in various REDD+ initiatives and a project is currently being implemented with support from the UN-REDD Programme. NAMA Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions Overview Scope Requirements Financing Feasibility Under the NAMA mechanism non-annex I countries like Bangladesh can develop projects that reduce GHG emissions enhance removals of GHGs from the atmosphere and register these with the UNFCCC Secretariat to solicit funding for further development and/or implementation There are limited guidelines on the scope of projects that can be proposed, implying that a wide range of projects and activities is eligible. There are no specific requirements for NAMA proposals or projects. Reporting on NAMAs is largely voluntary (see next section), but emissions reductions or enhanced removals should be accounted for in national greenhouse gas accounts. Donor countries or IFIs can browse the NAMA registry and decide to support a proposal for further development and/or implementation. Otherwise there are no standards, guidelines or requirements for financing. In the forestry sector Bangladesh has not developed any NAMA proposals. While such proposals can be developed and submitted, there is no guarantee of financing. INDC Intended Nationally-determined Contributions Overview In decisions 1/CP.19 and 1/CP.20 the UNFCCC invited all Parties to communicate to the Secretariat their Intended Nationally-determined Contributions well in advance of COP-21 where the new climate agreement, of which the INDCs are part, was to be adopted. The INDCs are an intention of the Parties to reduce GHG emissions and enhance GHG removals. Individual activities identified in the INDC of non-annex I countries can attract funding from Annex I countries or IFIs. Scope Requirements Financing Feasibility The INDCs are completely open-ended. There are no specific requirements for INDC activities. Donor countries or IFIs can browse the INDC Portal and decide to support a proposal for further development and/or implementation. Otherwise there are no standards, guidelines or requirements for financing. Bangladesh submitted its initial INDC in September 2015 with the following mitigation activities for the forestry sector: Coastal mangrove plantation Reforestation and afforestation in the reserved forests Plantation in the island areas of Bangladesh Continuation of Social and Homestead forestry 134 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

157 Mechanism Characteristics In adaptation the priority activity of Biodiversity and ecosystem conservation has been identified. Box 6-3: CDM project development for the Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary. In 2007, Nishorgo with BFD and BFRI developed a proposal for Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Co-Management of Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary, to be submitted as a CDM project under sectoral scope 14 Reforestation and afforestation. The objective of the project was to restore the forest landscape of the Sanctuary by reforestation through block and enrichment plantations of indigenous species by attracting revenue generated in carbon offset trading. By conserving forests through reforestation, biodiversity and water were to be conserved in situ, and rural poverty alleviated by utilizing surplus labour and land resources locally. Mitigation opportunities in the Sanctuary were deemed to have significant potential to transfer investment funds and technology to Bangladesh. The document was developed for potential investments, to generate carbon credits through conservation of biodiversity in a dense agrarian economy characterized by food deficit and low per capita income. Block plantations and enrichment planting were planned over 5,000 ha, yielding a total sequestration of 2.78 MtCO 2e over a period of 42 years. Total revenue of USD 7.58 million was foreseen, with a cost of project implementation of USD 2 million, both over the same period of 42 years. This works out to USD 36 /ha/yr. The proposal has not been registered by the UNFCCC and it has therefore not been implemented. Box 6-4: UN-REDD Bangladesh Programme overview. Bangladesh is a Partner Country of the UN-REDD Programme, a collaboration between FAO, UNDP and UNEP 50. Over the period June 2015 March 2018 the national programme will be implemented with a USD 2.3 million grant. By February 2016 the programme had not yet started due to delays in the development and approval of the Technical Project Proposal. The outcomes of the programme are: 1. Improved stakeholder awareness and effective stakeholder engagement 2. National REDD+ strategy preparation supported 3. Capacities to develop and test National Forest Reference Emission Level (REL) and/or Forest Reference Level (RL) are in place 4. National Forest Information System can be used to develop a National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the Forest Sector When the above outcomes have been realized, Bangladesh should have all the skills and capacities in place to produce the materials necessary to comply with the requirements of 50 In Bangladesh the UNEP is not participating in the National REDD+ Programme. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 135

158 the UNFCCC for participation in the REDD+ mechanism (see information on REDD+ mechanism above) Climate finance options for forestry through IFIs The International Finance Institutions are also providing climate-related financial instruments for forestry projects, in particular in support of the REDD+ mechanism. Bangladesh is not currently participating in any of these programmes, although the Forest Investment Program administered by the World Bank awarded a grant of USD 250,000 to Bangladesh in July 2015 to develop a Forest Investment Plan which may lead to further financing. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) acts as the finance institution of the UNFCCC 51 and has been allocated funds to provide assistance to developing country Parties to undertake mitigation and adaptation projects. For REDD+ programmes, this is the main conduit of results-based finance, but other forestry activities might also be eligible for funding, especially in the area of adaptation to climate change. By June 2016, the GCF had not yet published its modalities for financing mitigation and adaptation projects Bilateral climate finance options for forestry Various donors have established funding programmes to support developing countries to undertake mitigation or adaptation projects in the forestry sector, mostly focusing on up-front financing of REDD+ readiness activities prior to the availability of results-based finance. Some examples of such bilateral opportunities are: Norway International Climate and Forest Initiative NICFI has provided large amounts of money to several countries, including the highly publicized USD 1 billion pledges to Brazil and Indonesia, with smaller but still substantial amounts going to Guyana and Tanzania. NICFI is also a major donor to the UN-REDD Programme and IFI programmes. 52 Germany REDD Early Movers Program The REM supports REDD+ pioneer countries who are taking initiatives in forest conservation for climate change mitigation. The programme rewards the climate change mitigation performance of those countries by buying up verified emission reductions and promotes sustainable development for the benefit of small-scale farmers as well as forest-dependent and indigenous communities through fair benefit sharing. Technical support is provided by GIZ and finance is managed by KfW. 53 United States USAID, Forest Service and Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA) The United States is providing substantial support to forestry operations through the Tropical Forestry Alliance In addition, its regular forestry programmes through USAID and the Forest Service are strongly focused on REDD+. 51 Decision 1/CP.16, paragraph id / SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

159 6.3.4 Voluntary carbon market In anticipation of the conclusion of the negotiations on REDD+ at the UNFCCC, the voluntary carbon market has developed methodologies for REDD+ projects in any country in the world. 54 Project proposals can apply these methodologies and apply for registration with certification bodies such as Voluntary Carbon Standards (VCS). 55 Projects have to be verified by independent auditors and, if successful, carbon credits can then be registered on an international market for purchase by others, usually companies or public entities in industrialized countries who want to reduce their own net carbon emissions as part of their corporate social responsibility. The supply of carbon credits in the voluntary carbon market has been growing rapidly in recent years, but there is an imbalance with demand, leading to uncertainties for project developers and a reduced market price for carbon credits, which in 2014 reached a historical low of USD 3.8 per tco 2e Reporting requirements to international conventions Bangladesh is signatory to a number of international agreements that require regular reporting on issues related to forests, forestry and general land use. Such international agreements and commitments include the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC; including REDD+), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), the Ramsar Convention, the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and FAO s Forest Resource Assessment (FRA). All of these reports have a forestry component, with the REDD+ Technical Report and the Forest Resources Assessment National Report being exclusively about forestry. Other agreements have a significant component on forestry, ecosystem goods and services, and biodiversity situation and commitments, etc. This reporting can become quite onerous when every report is produced on an ad-hoc basis, as is currently the common situation. Even though much information is similar between different reports, collecting the right data and presenting it in the right format can be a major task requiring much effort. Furthermore, maintaining consistency in report series and between reports to different entities is a real challenge. The reports to international Conventions should not be seen in isolation, but instead in a broader context of reporting and information dissemination to all relevant entities and stakeholders, including the general population of Bangladesh. National reporting requirements for instance to the Bangladesh Statistical Yearbook published by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics should be organized in the same fashion and indeed the international reports should follow the national reporting, for consistency and correspondence to reporting in other sectors of the nation. In this Forestry Master Plan policies are developed (Task 2, section 9) and institutional and technical measures are included to facilitate the production of the reports (Task 6 and 7, various sections), through the use of a unified information system that collects and maintains 54 Technically speaking, projects in the voluntary carbon market cannot be REDD+, because the decisions by the UNFCCC define REDD+ as a national programme with requirements that can not be met by project-based activities State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2015, Forest Trends. uploads/sovcm2015_fullreport.pdf SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 137

160 core data sets of the MOEF and the BFD (package BFD/S4) such that consistent reports can be produced with relatively limited effort. However, attaining this goal requires that a good understanding is developed of at least the following areas: 1. What are the reporting requirements to each of the Conventions? The assessment should not only include international reporting requirements, but also those at the national level. 2. What basic data is required for the various reports? Many reports will have partially similar information requirements, such as extent of forest, while other data is specific to a report (like biomass change data for REDD+ reporting, or biodiversity indicators for the CBD). 3. Where does the data come from, how is it collected, by whom and when? Data collection should be integrated into regular MOEF and BFD procedures as much as possible in order not to overburden the staff. Specific data should have data collection protocols developed such that data is collected in a systematic manner. 4. How can the data be analysed and the quality of the reported information be ensured? Basic data from field operations and research needs to be analysed and transformed into the format required by the reporting guidelines. How can MoEF and/or BFD set up a system of quality control to ensure that reported information is indisputable? 5. How can the institutional process be optimized to facilitate the production of high-quality reports? Clear mandates and procedures have to be confirmed or established to produce the reports, especially when moving from an ad-hoc process to a continuous process that is integrated with the other tasks of MoEF and BFD. 6. How are the data and the report production managed? Data from the field and research should be stored in a central database system capable of storing large volumes of data for all perpetuity. Forest researchers and data analysts should have access to this database to analyse and transform the data for use in the reports being produced by forestry officers with expertise in the subject matter of reporting. The first two issues are elaborated in detail in Table 6-5 at the end of this section. Issues 3 and 4 are addressed in Task 7, institutional aspects in Task 6 and the system for information management and report production in package BFD/S4. Virtually all reports identified in Table 6-5 make use of the following table of parameters. An information system will be established that can produce these parameters in a consistent manner and without much effort. Table 6-4: Common parameters used in reporting of forestry activities. Parameter Description Source Administrative division Boundaries and areas of Circles, Divisions, Ranges and Beats. RIMS database Forest cover and type Areas of forest cover, by type of forest and possibly by canopy Remote sensing assessments, field observations, project 138 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

161 Parameter Description Source Forest status Forest harvesting and timber production closure or other condition of the forest. This should include forests outside of BFD jurisdiction such as homestead forestry and private plantations. Description of the status of the forest, such as Protected Area, Wildlife Reserve, National Park, etc. Volume of timber harvested and locations, both within BFD forest land and from private land. reports. All to be integrated into the RIMS database. RIMS database Timber measurement notebook, transport logs, records of harvesting on private land Most reports also have specific content, such as emissions or removals of GHGs for REDD+ reporting, biodiversity indicators for CBD reporting, etc. While such information is specific to a certain purpose, it should equally be integrated into an information system like the common data. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 139

162 Table 6-5: Reporting requirements to international Conventions and other bodies. Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility UNFCCC United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change National Communication (NC) Once every 4 years, as per decision 1/CP.16, paragraph 60(b). Bangladesh submitted its first National Communication in 2002 and its second National Communication in Since Bangladesh is a member of the Least Developed Countries group in the UNFCCC, it can submit its NCs in accordance with its national circumstances and capacities. Overview of national circumstances; emissions of various greenhouse gases in 5 sectors of the national economy, including Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF); projection of emissions over the next decade. Data on forest land and forestry is very summary only, but land use categorization requires detailed information on forest (land) areas. MOEF is assigned by the GoB to act as Focal Point to the UNFCCC. MOEF therefore produces the report. Information has to be delivered by many other government agencies. Biennial Update Report (BUR) Once every 2 years, as per decision 2/CP.17, paragraph 41(f). In a 4 year cycle, one BUR coincides with submission of a NC, in which case the BUR is a summary of parts of the NC, the other being a stand-alone update report. By June 2016, Bangladesh had not yet submitted any BUR. Contents are defined in Annex III to decision 2/CP.17: National circumstances and institutional arrangements National inventory of emissions and removal of GHGs Mitigation actions Constraints and financial, technical and capacity needs Level of support received to produce the BUR Information on domestic MRV Any other relevant information Same as for the NC. As with the NC the content is for all sectors of the national economy, but emissions and removals from forest land and forestry activities have to be reported. 140 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

163 Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility Technical Annex The Technical Annex is part of the BUR, as per decision 2/CP.17, Annex III. The Technical Annex can contain information on multiple topics. For forestry, it contains information on REDD+ (decision 14/CP.19) and then specifically: Summary information on RLs/RELs: MOEF formally prepares the Technical Annex, but most of the data should come from BFD databases. o o o o o Amount of the RLs/RELs in tco2e REDD+ activity related to the RLs/RELs Forest area covered Date of the RLs/RELs Period for which the RLs/RELs are valid Results or REDD+ activities in tco2e/yr. Demonstration that the methodologies used to produce the REDD+ results are consistent with those used to establish the RLs/RELs Description of the NFMS and the institutional roles and responsibilities for MRV Necessary information to reconstruct the results Description of how REDD+ requirements have been taken into account This report contains the substance of all REDD+ activities, with full details on individual programmes, interventions and activities. If Bangladesh decides to implement a national REDD+ programme as seems to be the case then this report will be the principal conduit to report on mitigation actions on forest land. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 141

164 Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) Submission of proposals for mitigation actions seeking international financial and technical support are optional. If a proposal is submitted then Bangladesh is invited to submit information on a voluntary basis (decision 2/CP.17, paragraph 46) through the NAMA Registry maintained by the UNFCCC Secretariat. By June 2016, Bangladesh had not yet submitted any NAMAs. The NAMA Registry records the following information on proposals seeking support: Description of the mitigation action and the national implementing entity Time frame for implementation Cost of the preparation Cost of the implementation Amount and type of support (financial, technology and capacity-building) to prepare and/or implement Estimated emission reductions Other indicators of implementation Other relevant information, including the cobenefits for local sustainable development NAMAs can be submitted for any sector of the national economy. The GoB should identify priorities if it decides to submit NAMAs. NAMAs in the land use and forestry sector will have to be submitted by the MOEF and/or the Ministries of Agriculture and/or Livestock. Projects receiving support should report on the following topics: Support is for preparation and/or implementation Source of the support Amount and type of support, and whether it is financial, technical and/or capacity-building support Status of delivery Supported actions and the process for support 142 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

165 Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) Once every 5 years, as per decision 1/CP.19. Bangladesh submitted its first INDC in September 2015 The INDC contains a pledge of the GoB to undertake mitigation and adaptation actions, partially on the condition that support is made available. For the forestry sector, the following mitigation activities have been identified: MOEF Coastal mangrove plantation Reforestation and afforestation in the reserved forests Plantation in the island areas of Bangladesh Continuation of Social and Homestead forestry In adaptation the priority activity of Biodiversity and ecosystem conservation has been identified. National Adaptation Plan of Action (NAPA) Submission of a report is optional. Bangladesh submitted its first NAPA in 2005 and that was updated in The NAPA programme is open to members of the Least Developed Countries group in the UNFCCC, of which Bangladesh is a member. The NAPA process is specified in decision 28/CP.7. There are no specific reporting requirements for NAPA programmes or activities, but individual activities will have reporting schedules to both the UNFCCC and the sponsor of the activity. National NAPA Team established by MOEF Bangladesh submitted its latest NAPA in 2009, containing the following priority activity in the forestry sector: Reduction of climate change hazards through coastal afforestation with community participation. Given its age, a new NAPA may be produced if sufficient priority activities can be identified. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 143

166 Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility CBD United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity National Report Once every 5 years. Bangladesh submitted its 5 th National Report in October Article 26 of the Convention requires Parties to submit National Reports. The contents are organized by sections: MOEF Biodiversity status, trends, and threats and implications for human well-being National biodiversity strategy and action plan Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Millennium Development Goals National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) Once. By June 2016, Bangladesh had not yet submitted its NBSAP. According to Article 6 of the Convention: National strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity or adaptation for this purpose of existing strategies, plans or programmes MOEF Integrate the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity into relevant sectoral or crosssectoral plans, programmes and policies. In particular, the NBSAP should address the Aichi Biodiversity Targets 57 and plans to address them. While the targets mostly refer to biodiversity and genetic resources in a general sense, targets 5 (rate of loss of all natural habitats), 7 (areas are managed sustainably) and 15 (ecosystem resilience and the contribution of biodiversity to carbon stocks has been enhanced) refer specifically to forests SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

167 Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility Programme of Work on Protected Areas (POWPA) Ramsar Convention Once. This report may be updated occasionally. Bangladesh submitted its POWPA on 29 May The report contains the commitment of the Party towards the following topics: Establishment of a system of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity Development of guidelines for the selection, establishment and management of protected areas or areas where special measures need to be taken to conserve biological diversity Regulation or management of biological resources important for the conservation of biological diversity whether within or outside protected areas, with a view to ensuring their conservation and sustainable use Promoting environmentally sound and sustainable development in areas adjacent to protected areas. BFD / MOEF, with Department of Environment and Department of Fisheries National Report Bangladesh submitted its 6 th National Report for COP-12 in January The National Report is formatted like a questionnaire with 66 implementation indicator questions, mostly of a qualitative nature on topics like wetland inventory, policies and strategies, information management, wetland restoration, wetland management, international cooperation, transboundary issues and implementation capacity. Bangladesh has two Ramsar sites: the Sundarbans and Tanguar Hoar. MOEF / BFD SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 145

168 Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility CCD United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification National Report Bangladesh submitted its 6th National Report in The National Report contains updated information on: National circumstances of Bangladesh, including geo-physical and socio-economic data Land degradation and desertification processes Strategies and priorities, including information on afforestation and other forest sector projects Implementation arrangements and knowledge management Financial resources Monitoring & evaluation and information management Department of Environment 146 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

169 Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility National Action Programme (NAP) Once. Bangladesh formulated its NAP in The National Action Programme contains an overview of the geo-physical conditions of the country and plans to address droughts and desertification and its impacts: Department of Environment Land forms, land use patterns and socioeconomic conditions Drought monitoring and assessment and early warning systems Processes and impacts of droughts and desertification Mitigation measures Policies and strategies Planning, programmes and institutional framework Monitoring of implementation Technologies for implementation Conclusions and recommendations In the NAP, forestry issues are not a central issue but forest cover is typically presented as a mitigating measure against desertification. CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora National Report National Reports are supposed to be produced on a biennial schedule. The National Report is largely in the format of a questionnaire, with brief elaboration of details. BFD To date, Bangladesh has not yet submitted any National Reports. Specifically, an overview should be given of licences to trade in listed species, of which 344 are found in Bangladesh (244 Chordata, remainder mostly coral reef species and orchids; only tree species is agarwood). SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 147

170 Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility FRA Forest Resources Assessment Country Report Once every 5 years. Country Reports for have been prepared. The FRA Country Report is a comprehensive overview of all forestry data in Bangladesh. It covers the following topics: BFD, with technical assistance from FAO Extent of forest and wooded land Ownership and management rights Designation and management Forest characteristics Establishment and regeneration Growing stock Biomass stock Carbon stock Forest fires Disturbances Wood removals and value of removals NTFP removals and value of removals Employment Policy and legal framework Institutional framework Education and research Public revenue collection and expenditure 148 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

171 Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility UNFF United Nations Forum on Forests National Report Reports are produced on a voluntary basis. Bangladesh submitted its most recent National Report to UNFF-11 in October The National Report is a highly structured report to report progress on various topics since the adoption of the Forest Instrument in : Actions on policies for SFM Combating illegal activities MOEF / BFD Institutional strengthening and coordination Programs and activities on SFM Stakeholder engagement Private sector engagement Financing and Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) International cooperation Science and research Public awareness Criteria & indicators for SFM Contribution of SFM to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 149

172 Report Timing / Frequency Contents Responsibility SDG Sustainable Development Goals National Report on Sustainable Development Bangladesh has submitted one National Report in the context of the Rio+20 process, in May 2012 (so prior to the definition of the SDGs). The schedule for submitting National Reports has not yet been established. The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Seventeen goals have been defined of which goal 15 is of direct concern to the forestry sector: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Under this goal, the following topics are most relevant: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements. (15.1) By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally. (15.2) Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species. (15.5) Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products. (15.7) By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts. (15.9) The focal point for the SDG is the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations. MoEF has produced the National Report for the Rio+20 process, with involvement of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 150 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

173 7 Review and assessment of forest policies, land tenure, programmes and institutions 7.1 Review and assessment of forest policies The evolution of forest policy There is an extensive history of forest policy affecting the management of the forests of Bangladesh that extends to past British rule. Subsequent to the establishment of the British India Forest Department and the enactment of the first Forest Act in 1865, the government started to reserve the forests in the Bengal Presidency primarily on consideration of either their ecological condition or the importance of their watersheds. This policy resulted in the declaration of several reserved forests in the Sundarbans; the Sangu, Matamuhari, Kassalong, and Rankhiang headwater reserves and catchment areas of several rivers in the Chittagong Division; and the tropical evergreen and semi-evergreen forests containing significant levels of biodiversity in the Sylhet-Chittagong-Cox s Bazar region. It also resulted in proposed reserved forests in the plainland and undulating Sal forests in the central region of the country under section 4 of the Forest Act of 1927, some of which have been declared reserved as recently as 2016, although many have since also been encroached. Forest policy of 1894 British India s first forest policy was enacted through Circular No. 22-F dated 19 October Its sole management objective was to secure public benefit from public forests, primarily as a source of state revenue, by restricting and regulating the rights and privileges of users. 60 Several of the more pertinent directives of the policy were to: Maintain forests in hilly areas for the preservation of climatic and physical conditions, and for the protection of cultivated land in the plains below from siltation, soil erosion, and floods, as well as the general devastating effects of torrents; Convert forest areas into agricultural land wherever an effective demand for cultivable land existed, thus establishing the preference for agriculture over forestry; and Allow people to satisfy their requirements from second class state forests capable of producing only small timber, fuel wood and fodder with the recognition that the first objective of management should be the perpetuation of the forest and the second should be the continued supply of forest products for the greater advantage and convenience of the people. The 1894 policy was characterized by the progressive commercialization of forest use for maximizing revenue, expansion of agricultural land at the expense of forests for commercial farming, systematic alienation of local communities from forests, and the progressive diminution of traditional user rights. Forest policy of 1955 Since the forest policy of 1894 had been established under very different conditions in a more resource rich and developed, pre-partition India, it was incumbent to reassess forest policy to address more effectively the requirements of the contemporary forest situation in post-partition Pakistan. The 1894 forest policy was, therefore, reformulated on 12 November The 60 Millat-e-Mustafa 2002; Banik SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 151

174 resultant forest policy contained several policy statements, the most significant of which were the following: Forests should be classified on the basis of their utility and forestry should be accorded a high priority in national development plans; Provisions should be made to manage all forests under working plans; Canal banks, roadsides, railway tracks and wastelands should be brought under the new plantation program; The beneficial aspects of forestry should receive precedence over commercial motives; Timber harvesting techniques should be improved to reduce waste; Required powers should be granted to control land use under a coordinated program of soil conservation and land utilization in areas subject to, or threatened with, soil erosion; Habitat protection and improvement should be prioritized to protect and conserve wildlife; and A properly constituted forest service of fully trained staff should be made responsible for the implementation of forest policy. The 1955 forest policy continued to emphasize revenue earning from the forest sector and clear felling followed by artificial regeneration became common practice throughout the country. There were, nevertheless, several forest management plans that were developed using information provided from inventories of forest tracts that were conducted under the purview of the 1955 forest policy. Forest policy of 1962 The last piece of forest legislation issued while Bangladesh was still a part of Pakistan was promulgated in letter number F.4-30/62-P4 from the Ministry of Agriculture and Works, Food and Agriculture Division, dated 20 June The 1962 forest policy encompassed five aspects associated with forest management, including forestry, watershed management, farm forestry, range management, and soil conservation. The 1962 forest policy reaffirmed several provisions that: Forests should be managed intensively as commercial concerns; Plantations should be developed in government-owned wastelands by transferring those wastelands to the jurisdiction of the Forest Department; Soil should be conserved and prioritized in forests and on private lands; Research should be conducted on fast-growing commercial species for each ecological zone to encourage farm forestry; and Pilot projects to cultivate trees on saline land and in water-logged areas should be initiated. Forest policy of 1979 The first national forest policy of Bangladesh after independence was defined in Gazette Notification No. 1/For-1/77/345 of 8 July The development of the 1979 forest policy was informed, in particular, by discussions that were conducted at the first Bangladesh National Forestry Conference organized in Pivotal statements in the 1979 forestry policy asserted that: 152 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

175 Forests shall be carefully preserved and scientifically managed for qualitative improvement; Every government forest shall be designated as a national forest and national forests shall not be used for non- forestry purposes; Horizontal expansion of forests shall be accomplished on the new land formation along the coastal belt and offshore areas, on the depleted hills of unclassified state forest land, and on suitable khas lands; The tree wealth of the country shall be improved by large-scale plantations organized with mass participation; Optimum extraction and utilization of forest products shall be conducted to meet the requirements of the people and the country using modern technology; Measures to establish new forest-based industries and meet raw material requirements shall be adopted; Forestry research, education and training shall be organized to meet scientific, technological and administrative requirements; The forestry sector shall be organized to constitute a separate administrative unit of the government and relevant laws shall be updated for implementing forest policy; Effective measures shall be taken to ensure conservation of the natural environment and wildlife and for utilizing the recreational potential of forests; Mass motivation programmes shall be initiated and technical assistance extended to those practicing with forestry. The National Forestry Policy of 1979 was purported to be "... somewhat vague...", however, and not fully implemented. 61 Forest policy of 1994 The forest policy of 1994 was constituted as an amendment of the forest policy of It was enacted in 1994 and officially announced on 31 May 1995 in the Bangladesh Gazette, 6 July The policy was formulated in tandem with the initiation of the 20-year Forestry Master Plan (FMP 1994) to preserve and develop the nation s forest resources. The FMP provided a structure from which to optimize the forestry sector s contributions to the stabilization of environmental conditions and support economic and social development. It designated three imperatives - sustainability, efficiency, and people s participation - and it was developed in accordance with Agenda 21 forest principles that were adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development organized in Brazil in The principal objectives of the 1994 National Forest Policy were to: Afforest 20% of the area of the country by initiating various afforestation programmes in forest lands, fallow lands, lands not useful for agriculture, hinterlands and other 61 Choudhury, Junaid Kabir. National Forest Policy Review. n.d. 62 Khan SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 153

176 possible areas to meet the basic requirements of the present and future generations and to ensure greater contribution of the forestry sector to economic development; Enrich biodiversity in the existing degraded forests by conserving the remaining natural habitats of birds and animals; Strengthen agriculture by extending assistance to those sectors related to forest development, especially by conserving land and water resources; Fulfil national responsibilities and commitments by implementing various government ratified agreements associated with global warming, desertification, and the control of trade and commerce of wild birds and animals; Prevent illegal occupation of forest lands, illegal tree felling, and hunting of wild animals through promotion of the participation of local people; Encourage effective use and utilization of forest products at various stages of processing; Provide for and implement afforestation programmes on both public and private lands Review and assessment of the 1994 National Forestry Policy The 1994 National Forestry Policy has 29 statements of policy that have been consolidated for the purposes of this review and assessment into eight groupings of management priority programmes. Those priority groupings include the following: Reforestation, Afforestation and Plantation Establishment There are eight statements of the 1994 National Forestry Policy directed to reforestation, afforestation and plantation establishment. Those encompass policy statements 1 through 7 and 12 (Annex I). The purposes of those policies were to achieve a forest cover of 20% of the country's land area by accelerating the pace of reforestation and afforestation programmes undertaken in rural areas, as well as on newly-accreted char lands, in denuded Unclassed State Forest areas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, on the banks of ponds and homestead lands, the courtyards of rural organizations, roadsides, railroad sidings, dams, and khas tanks, in areas of denuded or encroached reserved forests, and in urban areas. Those efforts were to be facilitated "... through the coordinated efforts of government and NGOs and active participation of the people in order to achieve self-reliance in forest products and maintenance of ecological balance" (National Forestry Policy 1994). The lack of availability of reliable and consistent assessments of forest cover preclude accurate comparison of forest cover changes over time. There is, nevertheless, a consensus that affirms that the forest cover target of 20% was not achieved and that the increases in reforestation and afforestation activities throughout the country, as arresting as they might have been, especially in coastal areas, as well as along roadsides and other comparable lands, were not sufficient to offset losses in forest cover that occurred as the result of encroachment, urban expansion, industrial development, and the establishment of infrastructure, as well as the effects of illegal logging. The inability to achieve the policy target and, more particularly, to fall especially short of the mark in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, is sufficient reason to maintain that while there were significant achievements associated with this policy grouping on reforestation, afforestation and plantation establishment, the policies would still have to be considered to be merely moderately successful. 154 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

177 Protected Areas and Forests The Protected Areas and Forests management priorities' grouping encompasses policy statements 8 through 11. Their purposes were to increase the area of protected areas by 10% of the reserved forestland by 2015, ensure the multiple-use, sustainable management of the Sundarbans, set aside areas for conserving soil and water resources and preserving biodiversity, and maintain inaccessible areas, including the slopes of hillsides, fragile watersheds, and swamps, as protected forests. The area of protected areas has increased by considerably more than the 10% of the reserved forest land proposed through these policies even though there is no assurance that mere designation ensures sustainable management. There have been 196,216 ha of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, exclusive of other conservation areas, and 173,800 ha of marine protected areas established since the promulgation of the 1994 National Forestry Policy, representing 16% and 30%, respectively, of the 1,222,691 ha of the country's reserved forests. The areas of several of those national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are not very large, though, and twelve of those national parks and wildlife sanctuaries have areas of less than 1000 ha with an average area of only 335 ha. The development of Integrated Resources Management Plans to support the multiple-use, sustained management of the Sundarbans Reserved Forest have also provided a ten-year strategic program with specified goals and objectives, targeted outcomes and outputs with verifiable success criteria, framework activities, and appropriate guidelines for sustainably managing the Sundarbans Reserved Forests and its interface landscape. The multiple-use, sustained management objectives were to: Protect, restore, sustain and enhance the biodiversity of the Sundarbans Reserved Forests and its interface landscape. Provide for resilience-based food security through provision of a variety of subsistence uses, including fisheries, values, benefits, products and services, while ensuring the sustainable supply of those resources for future generations. Provide for and enhance ecotourism and visitor recreation opportunities. Support and improve community-based co-management approaches for the activities occurring in the Sundarbans Reserved Forest and its surrounding landscape. Provide for and implement appropriate climate change mitigation and adaptation options and opportunities. There have been increases in the areas set aside for conserving soil and water resources and preserving biodiversity during the period since the development of the 1994 National Forestry Policy Statements, as well. The area that has been set aside for conserving soil and water resources increased from 315,000 to 420,000 ha between 1990 and 2015, while the area that was set aside for biodiversity more than doubled from 110,000 to 271,000 ha during the same period according to the FRA 2015 Country Report for Bangladesh. Ecologically critical areas of more than 200,000 ha have also been designated in the Sundarbans. The increases in protected areas and other areas set aside for conserving soil and resources and preserving biodiversity and the development of the management plans and designation of SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 155

178 ecologically critical areas in the Sundarbans support the assertion that this policy grouping on protected areas and forests has by-and-large achieved its purposes. Forest Products and Labour-Intensive Small- and Cottage-Scale Industries Policy statements 10, 13 through 18, and 25 and 26 are contained in this management priorities grouping on forest products and labour-intensive small- and cottage-scale industries. The purposes of these policies were to promote profit-oriented business approaches in forest management, reduce waste by increasing the efficiency and employing advanced technologies at all stages of extraction and processing of forest products, promote state-owned forest-based industries to operate as profit-oriented businesses, encourage the establishment of forest resources-based, labour-intensive small- and cottage-scale industries, streamline and update the rules and procedures regarding the transport of forest products, and retain the ban on log exports. There is an active private sector segment of the wood products industries in Bangladesh that is composed of relatively small-scale, labour-intensive logging operations and homestead owners that operates in a competitive environment that accounts for an estimated 75-80% of the country's wood products industries' production. There are thousands of relatively inefficient small mills that have not registered with the Forest Department and operate somewhat independently of it with apparently small profit margins using old band saws that are, however, reputed by their owners to minimize conversion losses because of the small kerfs of the blades. There is also a much smaller public sector segment composed primarily of the Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation (BFICD) and the Chemical Industries Corporation (CIC) that has been progressively diminished, more as the result of the imposition of the logging ban on state lands that was initially imposed in 1989 rather than through the planned efforts of the Forest Department. The log and bamboo supplies, respectively, of these two quasi-government organizations had previously been subsidized to a much greater extent by the Forest Department, but with the imposition of the logging ban, each of these organizations has had to adapt to a more competitive operating environment, even though both the BFIDC and the CIC are still considered to be semi-autonomous if for no other reason than the industrial relationships that continue to be retained through captive Forest Department markets for their outputs. The rules and procedures regarding the transport of forest products, meanwhile, have apparently not yet been comprehensively reviewed and updated and those actions will have to continue to be retained in the National Forestry Policy The implementation of this policy grouping on forest products and labour-intensive small- and cottage-scale industries, even considering some of the advances that have been made with regard to the operations of public and private wood products industry sectors under more competitive conditions, would still have to be considered to be less than satisfactory because of the recognition that most of those advances have occurred independently without the active intervention of the Forest Department. Forest Conversion This management priorities grouping on forest conversion includes policy statements 19 and 20. Their purposes were to ensure that state-owned reserved forests cannot be used for nonforest purposes without the permission of the head of the government and that indigenous 156 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

179 local communities would be imparted with ownership of some forest land of undetermined ownership through the forest resettlement process. There are no reliable sources of information or consistent time series data sets that accurately depict the extent of the conversion of the country's state-owned reserved forests. There are estimates of annual forest loss of 10-15,000 ha, but those represent composite net losses and do not differentiate between the causes of those losses. It is, nevertheless, inarguable that there have been substantial transfers of forest land to other land uses that have occurred during the past two decades that are attributable to agricultural encroachment, the expansion of urban areas, industrial development, and the establishment of infrastructure that have been prompted by relatively rapid population growth and increasing rates of economic development, which have been compounded by the relatively scarcity of agricultural land. As per official records of the BFD, an area of 60, ha area has been converted to other land uses and another 104, ha is under encroachment of various kinds. However, the situation on the ground is very complex and it is difficult to get a correct estimate without a detailed survey. The programme to impart ownership of some forest land of undetermined ownership to indigenous local communities through the forest resettlement process has been unsuccessful, primarily because of the distrust of the government that has been expressed by the indigenous local communities living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Overall, the implementation of this policy grouping on forest conversion would have to be considered to be unsuccessful as the result not only of the extent of the conversion of forest land that has occurred, but also the inability to resolve the political misgivings that continue to deter government rapprochement with the indigenous local communities living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Legislation and Regulations There is only one policy statement (29) in this management priorities grouping on legislation and regulations, Its purpose was to provide provisions for amending forestry laws, rules, and regulations and, if necessitated, promulgating new laws in accordance with the goals and objectives of the National Forestry Policy. There have been several actions consistent with the intent of this policy in the period since the declaration of the 1994 National Forestry Policy. The most recognizable of those actions have been the use of provisions to amend the Forest Law through Forest (Amendment) Act 2000 and to establish Social Forestry Rules 2004 that have been amended in 2010 and 2011 to promote social forestry. These actions are regarded as important watersheds that have increased opportunities for local communities, including the poorer sectors of society, to participate in forestry activities; altered attitudes toward the participation of local communities in those activities; increased the transparency of government programs; and established within the Forest Department a Social Forestry Wing and appropriate technical positions. The Wildlife (Preservation) Order 1973 was also amended in 1973 and 1974 and through the Wildlife (Preservation) (Amendment) Act 2008, which was enacted to provide protection, conservation and management of protected areas and wildlife in Bangladesh. The Wildlife (Security and Safety) Act 2012 has also been promulgated and is now in force. The application of this policy on legislation and regulations, while perhaps somewhat equivocal regarding the extent to which other amendments and laws might also have been advanced, as SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 157

180 well, would, nevertheless, be regarded to be moderately successful as the result of the importance of the amendments attached to both the Forest Law and Wildlife (Protection) Act, and the establishment of the Social Forestry Rules. Institutional Development This management priorities grouping on institutional development encompasses policy statements 27 and 28. Their purposes were to strengthen the Forest Department and establish a new 'Department of Social Forestry' to achieve the goals and objectives of the National Forestry Policy and strengthen educational, training, and research organizations to contribute to forestry sector development. While there was a Social Forestry Wing established in the Forest Department in compliance with this management policy grouping to support the expansion of the social forestry program, there was apparently little other institutionalized strengthening of the Forest Department or its other affiliated educational, training, and research organizations since the release of the 1994 National Forestry Policy. Indeed, the current states of these institutions, which are discussed in section 7.4 of this report on institutional limitations, indicate that the Forest Department, Forest Research Institute, Forest Academy, and Forestry Science and Technology Institute may still require various differentiated forms of organizational restructuring and more technical specialists and sanctioned positions, and increased budget allocations, as well as other sources of sustainable funding, and more effective human resources development programmes to improve performance and motivate professional, as well as non-professional, personnel. It is on the basis of that assessment that the application of this management policy grouping on institutional development would have to be considered to be less than satisfactory. Livelihoods Improvement This management policy grouping on livelihoods improvement contains policy statement 23 with the purpose of recognizing and promoting ecotourism as a forestry-related activity. Bangladesh is rich in natural scenic beauty, but the tourism industry in the country has developed in a rather haphazard manner and it is only in recent years that the Forest Department has started to recognize the potential contributions of ecotourism to the enhancement of local livelihoods if it is well-managed according to the principles of long-term sustainability. In scenic natural sites such as those in the Sundarbans, ecotourism is now promoted as a forestry-related activity and although official statistics on ecotourism are rather sparse, indirect evidence obtained from visits to ecotourism sites administered by the Forest Department suggest that it is developing, albeit at a moderately slow pace. There is, thus, sufficient reason for the Forest Department to develop a comprehensive ecotourism policy as a prerequisite to further developing this niche market, attracting more eco-tourists, and enhancing local livelihoods through their increased participation in both cultural and recreational ecotourism activities. This policy on livelihoods improvement would have to be considered moderately successful in the sense that the Forest Department has recognized, and is promoting, ecotourism as a forestry-related activity, but it must also be understood that there was more that might have been accomplished to accelerate its development. 158 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

181 General The last general management policy grouping encompasses policy statements 21, 22, and 24. Their purposes were to ensure the most effective allocation of donor funding through private forestry organizations and tree farming, as well as for training; encourage women to participate in homestead and farm forestry and participatory forestry programmes; and promote a massive campaign through government and non-government media for raising consciousness about afforestation, conservation, and the use of forest resources. The most notable achievements associated with this general management policy grouping have been the increased participation of women in homestead and farm forestry activities, as well as the establishment and expansion of participatory reforestation and afforestation programmes, especially as integrated components of social forestry initiatives; the raising of public awareness of the contributions of conservation and the sustainable use of forest resources; and the programmed allocation of donor development funds to reforestation and afforestation programmes and targeted training activities. It is on the basis of those achievements that the implementation of this general management policy grouping is considered to be successful Summary of limitations of forest policies The assessment of the foregoing policy statements indicate that the implementation of several of its policies were considered to be either unsuccessful, less than successful, or merely moderately successful. That evaluation suggests that those policies will have to be either reconsidered or reconstructed, and/or the constraints that have been restricting their implementation either removed or lessened, in the formulation of the draft National Forestry Policy 2016 that will be presented in the Task 6 report on Financial and other resources needed for the implementation of the Forestry Master Plan, policies, institutional reforms and technical capacity required for implementing the Forestry Master Plan. Those policies that will receive renewed consideration in that formulation include those that are concerned, especially, with participatory social forestry reforestation and afforestation programmes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the promotion of profit-oriented business approaches in forest management and increased efficiency and use of advanced technologies in the wood processing industries, the passage of enabling legislation to support the effective implementation of established policies, and the enhancement of capacity, as well as the strengthening by different means of reforming and/or restructuring, of the Forest Department and its allied institutions. There are also several other policies that will have to be integrated into the draft National Forestry Policy 2016 to respond to various emerging concerns that have not yet been adequately accounted for in prevailing policies, particularly those associated with adapting to, and mitigating, the projected impacts of climate change, the growing acceptance of the principles, especially those involving the equitable sharing of benefits with local communities, associated with the co-management of forests and forest resources, the increased recognition of the importance of the societal contributions of forest ecosystem functions and services, and the means of ensuring compliance with international agreements and protocols. 7.2 Review of Forest Department programmes There have been several programmes that have supported the achievements of reforestation, afforestation, and plantation establishment policies, of which the Forestry Sector Project was SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 159

182 representative. It sustained and expanded the impetus that had been previously established through the Community Forestry Project that had been implemented in 23 districts, as well as that of the Upazila Afforestation and Nursery Development Project that had been implemented in 61 districts. The Forestry Sector Project was engaged in reforestation and afforestation practices in 29 of the country's 43 territorial and social forestry divisions with a budget of almost Tk. 400 crore (~USD 70 million). One of the more prominent achievements of the project in its efforts to ensure the sustainability of raised plantations, as well as to promote the equitable sharing of benefits with local community participants, was to secure a series of Memorandums of Understanding with land-owning public agencies, including the Roads and Highways Department, the Railways Department, and the Local Government Engineering Department. Those actions advanced social forestry practices, which were subsequently implemented by establishing participatory woodlots and agroforestry systems in reserved forests and protected forests. There have also been parallel programs with similar people-oriented objectives and mechanisms that have been embedded in coastal forest divisions through the Coastal Greenbelt Project; the Mangrove Afforestation Projects; the Integrated Resource Development of the Sundarbans Reserved Forest Project; the Sundarbans Biodiversity Conservation Project; and the Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project, which have been directed to the establishment of plantations and the conservation of biodiversity. It has been under these projects that large-scale plantations have been established on government lands in coastal areas, especially in reserved forests. There have also been several projects that have integrated social forestry into participatory forestry programmes in collaboration with the Forest Department. These have included the Sundarbans Environmental and Livelihoods Security Project, which used various comanagement structures established in the Sundarbans Reserved Forests under the Integrated Protected Area Management Project to implement its biodiversity conservation and livelihood programmes. Those actions represented initiatives in which the sustainability of comanagement structures and the integrated management of forests and wetlands were incorporated into a landscape management approach. The integration of social forestry into participatory forestry programmes has also been achieved in the Community Forestry Project; the Upazila Afforestation and Nursery Development Project; the Coastal Greenbelt Project; and the Forestry Sector Project. Those projects have generated benefits for local communities organized into labour groups in the establishment of plantations on unused public lands and forestlands. One of the most recognizable characteristics of those participatory programmes has been the implementation of the Tree Farming Fund, in which 10% of tree harvest proceeds are retained for establishing replacement plantations, which has contributed in an important manner to program sustainability by enabling the establishment of second and third, as well as succeeding, generation plantations subsequent to the completion of initial harvests. Project support for wildlife and biodiversity conservation in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to support protected areas and forest policies has been provided through several projects, as well, including the Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection Project and the Nishorgo Support Project, the latter of which was implemented in 5 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, and its successor, the Integrated Protected Area Management Project, which was implemented in 17 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, 4 ecologically 160 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

183 critical areas and 3 wetlands to conserve biodiversity using a co-management approach. Those projects were successful in establishing administrative and institutional precedents for the co-management of protected areas, which resulted in their expansion under the Climate Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihood Project. Each of those projects employed a comanagement approach in protected areas to conserve biodiversity in partnerships with local communities organized into co-councils and committees comprised of representatives of local communities, local government authorities, Forest Department field officers, and various other stakeholders from civil society and law enforcement agencies. Forest inventories and the preparation of forest management plans have been undertaken in select forest divisions and protected areas in the Forest Resources Management Project. Under that project, integrated forest management plans were prepared for 8 forest divisions, including the Sundarbans, and conservation management plans were developed for 3 wildlife sanctuaries in the Sundarbans. Nature conservation and environmental management were strengthened by the establishment of nature conservation and wildlife divisions and environmental management divisions, which contributed to the institutionalization of sustainable forest management processes. Important institutional and legal reforms have also been introduced under the Forestry Sector Project that was designed in consideration of the recommendations of the Forestry Master Plan. Those reforms have included the institutionalization of social forestry by promulgating the Forest (Amendment) Act 2000 and enacting Social Forestry Rules (2004, 2010 and 2011), which have provided for usufructuary benefits sharing between the Forest Department and local communities mobilized in groups of participants with whom participatory benefits sharing agreements have been secured. The lessons learned from these projects indicate that the effective implementation of planned programs to accommodate the National Forestry Policy 2016 will have to be not only predicated on recognition of prevailing policy, legislative, and institutional limitations, but also be effectively coordinated among international donor community development partners. 7.3 Review and assessment of land use, agricultural, and other relevant sectoral policies Its relatively small area and the rapid increase of its population have resulted in Bangladesh possessing the lowest per capita land ratio in the world, which is currently estimated to be 0.06 ha per person (Hossain 2015). That situation is expected to deteriorate further with the expanding demand for non-agricultural land uses. Concerns with land conversion, deforestation and land degradation, as well as the impacts of climate change, are increasing efforts to safeguard the sustainable use of the country's scarce land resources. The establishment of a sustainable land administration and management system has, as a result, emerged as an important consideration in the development of the country's Seventh Five Year Plan, The current administrative structure of land management in Bangladesh is administered through the Ministry of Land, which is responsible for most land-related activities - including surveying, collecting land development taxes, and mediating arbitration procedures - and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, which is responsible for recording land 63 ibid. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 161

184 changes and transfers. The current methods for surveying, preparing and upgrading land records, and maintaining relevant information for each parcel of land have, however, been characterized as inadequate and inefficient. It is maintained that the alleged distortion of land records at various stages not only hinders control of land development, but also affects property tax collection 64. The National Land Use Policy, 2001, has recognized the importance of conserving the country's forests and forest cover, but has emphasized that this would be primarily achieved by protecting agricultural land (Chowdhury and Hossain 2011). The primary thrusts of this policy have, therefore, been to ensure the use of appropriate criteria in the determination of land uses and to provide effective directives for the use of land for not only agriculture, but also housing, afforestation, commercial and industrial establishments, rails and highways, and tea and rubber gardens (plantations). The principal objectives of the National Land Use Policy have been to: Reform the land administration system by introducing Certificates of Land Ownership, which would provide comprehensive records of the land holdings of each household in separate documents; Update legislation related to proposed land administration reforms; Prevent the loss of agricultural land required to increase production to meet the food demands of the population; Increase crop intensity through the optimal use of available agricultural land; Prevent soil degradation; Protect state-owned land to meet the requirements of development projects; Zone land for commercial and other purposes; Prevent wasteful use of acquired land; and Establish a data bank for khas land, fallow land, acquired land, char lands, and other lands to ensure their proper use. These objectives appear to have promoted a sustainable and planned utilization of the country's land, but the policy apparently has lacked an effective plan of action. There are a draft National Zoning Act and a Village Improvement Act, which were prepared in 2010, that are compatible with the National Land Use Policy, but these have yet to be officially approved and adopted. Moreover, while the preparation of a nation-wide Land Zoning Map implemented by the Ministry of Land is proceeding under the National Land Zoning project that was initiated in 2012 to complement the results of the preceding Coastal Land Zoning project to produce upazila-based land zoning maps and detailed zoning reports, in an assessment by Hossain, progress was considered to be rather sluggish (Hossain 2015). The same report also concluded that in consideration of the country's extensive landlessness, historical record of inequities, and widespread land grabbing, the National Land Use Policy provides inadequate direction regarding the means to coordinate cross-sectoral interests and plans related to the use of land. Hossain has recommended revisions of the policy that would 64 ibid. 162 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

185 establish principles to direct appropriate and sustainable uses of land, facilitate sectoral and cross-sectoral land uses, and recognize environmental concerns. The establishment of those directives would be informed by the preparation of the land zoning maps, particularly with respect to concerns associated with the multi-sectoral nature of land use, the inevitable frictions that develop between and among different sectors as the result of competing uses of land, and the environmental impacts of different land uses. There is compelling reason, as well, to rationalize the institutional practices for recording or registering property rights to avoid mandates that are either overlapping or difficult to coordinate to ensure the preparation of conclusive land Certificates of Ownership. Land is a particularly scarce resource in Bangladesh and its distribution, as well as the country's prevailing tenurial arrangements, are important considerations in establishing effective development strategies. Bangladesh has an extensive history of inequitable access to land and, currently, about 52% of its rural population, which accounts for almost 75% of its total population, is landless or holds less than 0.2 ha (0.5 acre) of land. It is particularly notable that 89% of the country's landowners own less than 1.0 ha (2.5 acres) and 39% own less than 0.2 ha. This apparent inequitable distribution of land exists despite a series of land reforms in the 1950s and 1960s that included tenancy reforms, imposed ceilings on landholdings and provided for the distribution of public land to the landless (Nasrin and Uddin 2011). This widespread landlessness is one of the principal causes of forest encroachment among the rural poor, who are inexorably attracted to the country's relatively unprotected forestlands. Encroachers defend their expanded land 'possessions' by means of contributing to the voting segments that support the country's various political parties. The state of these tenurial arrangements exert direct and indirect influences on agricultural productivity by restricting the efficient use of inputs and the adoption of modern technologies. It is the rate of the changes in agricultural productivity that determines, at least in part, prevailing pressures to convert forest lands to agricultural lands. In spite of the steady progress that has been accomplished in industrialization, agriculture continues to remain the most dominant sector of the economy. Indeed, over the past decade or more, there have been significant improvements in the agricultural sector to increase productivity and reduce pressures on forest lands. Those innovations include, especially, the use of high yielding seed varieties supported by the use of fertilizers, pesticides, mechanized cultivation, and irrigation. Notwithstanding that those and other advances have contributed much to the increased production of food grains, however, and although there has been some recognizable progress in the achievement of crop diversification - it has been slow and it has, at best, been achieved in selected project areas (Miah H.) - the land available for crop cultivation has been decreasing, as has the average size of farms, with concomitant increases in fragmentation, the subdivision of land holdings and the conversion of forest lands to agricultural lands (Nasrin 2011). The agricultural emphasis underpinning the National Land Use Policy has been reinforced in the National Agriculture Policy 2013 and its subsidiary policies, including the New Agricultural Extension Policy 1996, National Food Policy 2006, National Poultry Development Policy 2008, National Livestock Policy 2007, National Fisheries Policy 1996, National Water Policy 1999, National Integrated Pest Management Policy 2002, and the overarching National Sustainable Development Strategy The principal objective of the National Agriculture Policy has been to ensure that the nation achieves and maintains self-sufficiency in food by increasing the SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 163

186 production of crops and establishing and maintaining a reliable food security system. Its objectives encompass several elements, moreover, that affect, especially, the encroachment and settlement of forest lands, as well as forest resource uses, and include the preservation and development of land productivity; reductions in excessive dependence on single crops to minimize production risks; maximum utilization of land through promotion of inter-cropping; increases in production and supplies of more nutritious food crops to ensure food security while improving the nutritional status of the population; preservation of the biodiversity of different crops; ensuring environmental protection, as well as environmentally-friendly' sustainable agriculture; and the establishment of agriculture as a diversified and sustainable income generating sector through the strengthening of Farming System agricultural production and agroforestry programmes. The resulting challenges in the agricultural sector are to: raise productivity and profitability; increase diversification of production consistent with consumption; expand diversification to promote nutrition and minimize trade imbalances; reduce the instability of production; increase the efficiency of resource use; reduce the loss of arable land; minimize the 'yield gap' between potential and actual farm yields, which are generally recognized to be about 30% in Bangladesh (Miah H.); maintain food safety and quality; expand irrigation and farm mechanization; and develop resilience to the impacts of climate change. Land is the most dominant farm level production input that impacts farm production in Bangladesh and the expansion of crop area was the primary source of agricultural growth in the country until the 1980s. The widespread adoption of the green revolution technologies, including modern seed varieties, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, ground water irrigation and farm mechanization, assisted in the transformation of the country from one of food-deficits to one that was self-sufficient in rice production. Government policy supports, primarily in the forms of input subsidies, price supports through procurements, import subsidies for machinery, tax exemptions on income from agriculture, credit facilities for farmers and agro-based industries, and export support in the form of cash incentives contributed to the growth of the sector (Miah H.). Cropland, which includes land under cultivation, cultivable waste land, and land which is currently fallow has since declined - from 9.8 Mha in 1976 to 9.4 Mha in 2000 and to 8.8 Mha in representing a decline from 67.4% to 60.0% of the country's land area during that period. Cropland had decreased more rapidly during the period from than during the period from , moreover, and that increasing rate of diminishment, unless compensated by comparable increases in productivity, is of some concern because food security is the primary economic and political preoccupation in Bangladesh 65. It is of some consequence that decreases in cultivable land have corresponded to reductions in forest land and increases in other land uses, especially infrastructure, settlements, and industry. There is only 4.1% of net cultivable land in the country that remains as current fallow, which means that there is very limited scope for increasing cultivable land. The cropping intensity in the country is currently around 185 percent. Land availability is shrinking, as well, and it has been estimated that during the first decade of this century ( ), the annual average loss of agricultural land in Bangladesh was 0.42% compared to an annual average rate of decline during the previous period from of 0.18%. 65 Hasan et al SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

187 There are, thus, important repercussions of agricultural policy in the determination of forest land uses, but there are also other representative cross-sectoral policies, especially the National Rural Development Policy and the Coastal Zone Policy, that also impact the country's forest lands. The objectives of the Coastal Zone Policy, 2005, emphasize equitable pro-poor growth with appropriate consideration of forestland and environmental concerns, especially with regard to meeting basic requirements and providing livelihood opportunities among coastal communities, the ensuring of sustainable natural resources management, and the preservation and enhancement of critical ecosystems (Marziya 2011). The National Rural Development Policy, 2001, introduces a wide range of mutually supportive programmes to increase incomes and alleviate poverty. It emphasizes the importance of increasing the productivity of land by engaging reduced numbers of labourers, especially in the crop sector, through the introduction of modern technologies that would compel surplus labour in the agricultural sector to be increasingly engaged in the non-agricultural sectors of the economy (Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific, web site). The dynamic, interconnected system that affects forest lands, thus, depends on several national policies that are related to land use. It is, however, inarguable that the maintenance of the country's forest lands against the pressures of various drivers of deforestation and forest degradation will depend ultimately on several interrelated factors, not the least of which will be the sustained pace of increases in the productivity of agricultural lands, especially those bordering on forests. 7.4 Review and assessment of institutional limitations The principal reasons for some of the unfulfilled policies associated with the 1994 National Forestry Policy are at least partially attributable to various institutional constraints. These are elaborated in the following discussion of the Forest Department and its allied institutions: Bangladesh Forest Department The Bangladesh Forest Department is the government organization that has been responsible for more than 150 years through evolving political alignments for managing the country's forests. Its management mandate originated in British India under the Imperial Forest Service and extended through the Provincial Forest Service, and the Sub-ordinate Forest Service. Prior to the partition of British India into Pakistan and India, the forests of Bangladesh were the responsibility of the Bengal Forest Department and the Assam Forest Department. Subsequent to partition, the East Pakistan Forest Service was established and comprised of the East Pakistan Senior Forest Service and the East Pakistan Sub-ordinate Forest Service and, on independence, the responsibility for forest management was passed to the Bangladesh Forest Department. In 1980, the Bangladesh Senior Forest Service was renamed the Bangladesh Civil Service (Forest) Cadre under Bangladesh Civil Service Cadre Rules and, in 1989, the Ministry of Environment and Forest was established. Prior to its establishment, the BFD had been administered under the Agriculture Ministry. The administrative head of the BFD is the Chief Conservator of Forests (Annex II). The BFD is divided into four wings - Forest Management, Planning, Education and Training, and Social Forestry - and each of those wings is administered by a Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests. There are 9 circles, including 5 management circles, 3 social forest circles, and 1 wildlife and SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 165

188 nature conservation circle, each of which is headed by a Conservator of Forests, as well as 44 forest divisions made up of 24 forest management divisions, 13 social forest divisions, 4 wildlife management and nature conservation divisions, and 3 management plan divisions, each of which is headed by a Divisional Forest Officer. The Vision of the BFD encompasses: Conservation of forests, environment and biodiversity and socioeconomic development through modern technology and innovation. The organization's mission extends to forest expansion, biodiversity conservation, poverty alleviation and wildlife conservation through active participation of people. The goals and objectives of the BFD are to: Protect the balance of the environment and forest ecosystems. Follow and implement the rules and procedure of international conventions, treaties and protocols related to forests, biodiversity and wildlife. Conserve and manage wildlife. Conserve biodiversity. Expand ecotourism. Manage and develop coastal and wetland biodiversity. Sequester carbon and promote carbon trading. Raise climate resilient plantations, create new forests, and collect and supply forest products. Protect the stability of land-based production systems. Improve natural and socio-economic conditions. Expand forest and social forestry activities. Manage protected areas, including wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, botanical gardens, eco-parks, and safari parks, properly. BFD does not seem to be a high priority organisation for GoB, as indicated by the staff position given below: Table 7-1: BFD staff position 66 Class Approved Existing Vacant Vacancy % 1st % 2nd % 3rd % 4th % Total % As can be seen 23.5% of the staff positions are vacant and the vacancies at the senior level are as high as 42%. With such a high level of vacant positions, expecting efficiency and quality of work from an organisation is not justified. 66 Annual Report of MoEF SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

189 The relatively high rates of vacancies associated with these more senior positions reflects one of the more recognizable aspects of the series of issues that will be considered in assessing options for restructuring the Forest Department and realigning its programmes in the revision and updating of the Forestry Master Plan. Several of the other representative issues that will also be considered include: The extent of the expansion of the number of sanctioned senior positions that will ensure that the Forest Department has sufficient manpower to respond in an effective manner to the emerging challenges affecting forest management, especially those associated with the shifts toward participatory and collaborative management, enhanced recognition of the contributions of forest ecosystem functions and services, and efforts to adapt to, as well as mitigate climate change. The extent to which the Forest Department should be expanded to accommodate possible incorporation of additional wings established to respond to emerging challenges. The manner in which the organization of the Forest Department would be restructured to ensure the integration of its wings more effectively to strengthen internal communications between and among its various divisions and departments and enhance collaborative planning. The means of securing and maintaining the organization's annual budgets to ensure that administrative costs, especially salaries, are accounted for in those budgets, as are the management costs directed to ensuring the sustainable management of the country's reserved forests and protected areas. The development of targeted training programmes to strengthen the capacities of BFD officers responsible for responding to the institutional, environmental, and socioeconomic challenges confronting the forestry sector, as well as reducing impacts associated with the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. The restructuring and realignment of a number of government, as well as quasi-autonomous government, organizations which are allied in some manner with the Forest Department will constitute another component to consider in the comprehensive assessment of options for restructuring the BFD and realigning its programmes in the revision and updating of the Forestry Master Plan. The state of several of those organizations are evaluated in the following sections. Issues and Constraints Despite being a premier organisation of the Government, BFD suffers from tremendous systemic constraints which need to be urgently looked into while devising the roadmap for the future of the organisation. The most important constraints and issues faced by the organisation in successful discharge of its mandate are briefly discussed below Shortage of Manpower The current sanctioned strength of the forest department is members but actual number in position has rarely been more than % of the posts are vacant at present, despite some bulk recruitment at lower levels in the last two years, the vacancies at the higher levels are nearly 50%. As against this current scenario, BFD has been pursuing a reorganisation proposal which requires to raise the staff strength to in order to improve its field presence as well as to facilitate the harmonious management of various cadres. BFD wants to SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 167

190 expand its presence to the upazila level so that coordination with other departments can be improved. Faulty Field Structure Traditionally, BFD has had a single tier field structure, in which territorial DFOs performed all the management, enforcement and administrative functions. Quite appropriately, some of these divisions have been named as social forestry divisions in view of the fact that these districts have little forests and the only job of the BFD in these areas is to promote social forestry i.e. plantation outside state forests. However, the only function that most of these divisions perform is that of issuing permits for cutting and transporting of private trees, apart from doing a little bit of their own plantation and nursery work. While their designated function is social forestry (forestry extension), there is no money for this work until an externally aided project is there. Thus, these divisions need to be more functional by providing extension funds. BFD has also created 7 wildlife and nature conservation divisions since 2001 but these divisions have also not been given any clear mandate. While many of them hold no territory (protected areas) at all, which they are mandated to manage, their official job is just to advise other DFOs in dealing with wildlife matters. They have no special qualification or capacity to render this service due to lack of training, staff, equipment etc. Their law enforcement activities, related to wildlife crime, are also not exactly legal as the wildlife Act is still not operational, due to the lack of proper notifications and rules, and, as a result, they virtually have no powers to enforce the law. Thus, the field structure of BFD needs to review to increase efficiencies and to ensure best use of available staff and other resources. Irregular Recruitments at All Levels Any large organisation has to plan its staffing needs keeping in view upcoming retirements and possible attrition due to other reasons. However, BFD has been recruiting its staff very irregularly, generally only when the number of vacancies becomes too large. As a result, it creates serious cadre management problems. For example, whereas a large number of vacancies reduce efficiency, bulk recruitments lead to dissatisfied cadres due to the government s inability to ensure equal promotion opportunities to all members of large batches. As one of the worst examples, members of the same/close batches, at present, range from DCF to CCF level. At present, most of the field staff, upto ranger level, is close to retirement and are busy planning and discharging their family responsibilities. Although the situation has improved a little at the field level due the recruitment of nearly 226 forest guards in 2015 and a few rangers and ACFs recently, but this will set in motion another cycle of the same problem as they will mature and retire at the same time. But many of these appointments are in a limbo due to the ongoing litigations. Currently, Officers of 1982 and 1984 batches are placed in the top management of the forest administration. No officer of 1982 batch will continue in the department after January, The last officer of 1984 batch is scheduled for retirement in December, Thereafter, officers of 2003 batch will occupy the senior positions in the department with only 16 years of experience. Moreover, the position of CCF as per recruitment rule of BCS (Forest) Cadre demands 18 years experience in the concerned service, including 3-years as Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests. Therefore, no officer of 2003 will be eligible for holding the position of CCF immediately after retirement of officers of 1984 batch. Even before December, 2019 many 168 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

191 positions will be vacant due to retirement of officers of 1984 batch and they need to be filled up with officers having lack of sufficient professional field experience in forest management and administration. This is the result of irregular recruitment of officers in the BCS (Forest) Cadre. Regular in-take of officers is the only possible way of maintaining professionalism in the department. The situation in most other ranks is similar. There has been no recruitment of forest rangers since 1995 and all the current rangers are promotes from the lower ranks. As a result, they neither have the education nor the modern technological skills required to perform their current duties. Most of them are old, infirm and worried about settling their family affairs before retiring. The decline in the condition of forests in the last few decades may be attributed, at least partly, to the loss of vigour and efficiency amongst forest rangers in the department. Thus, it is important that BFD should have a proper recruitment plan which ensures that trained replacements for potential retirements are available in time. Adhoc Recruitments 106 Assistant Conservators of Forests (ACF) were recruited as non-cadre officers under different development projects in 1990, 1993 and Sixty-four ACFs were transferred from development budget to revenue budget after reorganization of the Forest Department in Following recommendation of Bangladesh Public Service Commission these officers were regularized on 05 April 2003 and accordingly, the MoEF issued Government Order. Efforts have been underway for their inclusion in the cadre since November 2005 when the MoEF sent formal proposal to the Ministry of Public Administration (MoPA) for their encadrement. The matter is still pending and the fate of these officers has virtually been sealed. While they are one of the largest groups of officers in the department, they are also the most demotivated lot as any happy solution to their fate is unlikely. The reason is that even if the government tries to encadre them, it will affect the interest of someone in the cadre who will naturally seek safety in litigation. This situation is going to haunt BFD for many more years. These non-cadre officers have put in more than 20 years of service in the Forest Department and have acquired sufficient professional knowledge and experience in forestry. Moreover, their individual capacities have been developed through training programmes in different fields of forestry in home and abroad. Two officers have acquired PhD degree - one in Geo-Science and the other in Environmental Forestry Management and Education. Twenty-four officers have completed Masters Program abroad: 12 in Tropical Forestry, 5 in Natural Resources Management, 1 in Forestry, 1 in Ecotourism, 1 in Project Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, 1 in Conservation Ecology, 1 in Environment and Development, 1 in Geo-Information Science and 1 in Mangrove Management. Ten officers have received Post Graduate Diploma abroad. Fifty-five non-cadre officers have also participated in different short training programmes abroad. Dissatisfaction prevails among these trained and long experienced non-cadre officers due to their stagnant position in the department and loosing of seniority over very newly recruited BCS (Cadre) Officers. This is adversely affecting their morale, efficiency and effectiveness of the Forest Administration. This matter needs serious attention of the decision makers. The resolution of this problem is especially difficult due to the multiple litigations going on at any time. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 169

192 Similarly, a large number of staff at various levels, starting from wildlife scouts, wildlife rangers, biodiversity conservation officers, veterinary officers have been recruited under the ongoing Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection (SRCWP), but their fate is uncertain. Only a few of them are likely to be transferred to the revenue budget and these lucky few will face the same situation which the ACFs have been facing. Moreover, their designations have not been empowered to exercise any legal or financial powers. Therefore, they are unable to work at full efficiency (e.g. wildlife rangers are often not given forest advance by DFOs). Lack of Human Resource Development and Management Policy BFD has a training and education wing but there is no coherent training policy. The tradition of induction training, immediately after recruitment, has been discontinued ever since BFD started recruiting forestry graduates to the officer ranks. Even at lower ranks, there is no induction training. As a result, people are posted on field jobs without any training in procedures and field craft prevalent in the department. Due to irregular recruitments, and consequent nonavailability of trainees, the training institutions are also in a state of decay. Many of them have only skeletal staff and all their facilities are unused. All the current training programs are project driven short term training events which may have no relevance to the current job of a trainee. Many people do go abroad for training but very few return to the jobs where these qualifications are useful. Weak ICT Infrastructure Internet and computing capability is the backbone of any modern organisation. In BFD, computing facilities are, in general, limited to typing and level only. Very few offices below the division level have computers or internet. There is no system of networking even at the headquarters. There are no databases, apps or any other tools to facilitate efficiency. A limited GIS facility is available only in the RIMS and no other office uses or demands GIS support. Due to this limitation, it is virtually impossible for BFD to implement any modern program efficiently because all such programmes need reasonable levels of computer and communications support. Weak Monitoring and Evaluation Systems BFD has very week monitoring and evaluation systems, primarily, though not only, because of the week computing capacity. Although monitoring of forest resources is always a project driven activity in view of its intensity, there is no system of proper collection, collation and analysis even of routine management data. There is an office of ACCF (Monitoring), but all the reports it gets are in paper form which are virtually impossible to compile and analyse, what with the lack of even minimal computing facility. As forest cashbooks have traditionally been the veritable storehouse of all management information, digitisation of range and divisional cashbooks can be extremely helpful in collection of management data. There is no system of annual reports nowadays, at any level. Therefore, nobody feels the need to compile all the reports and any compiling and analysis is now done only on the basis of demand from higher offices. Weak Resource Information Management Systems Resource Information Management Systems (RIMS) is the unit, in the BFD, responsible for generating, managing and disseminating resource related information. However, due to the lack of resources and staff, resource surveys and inventories have become very infrequent. The last country wide assessment of forest and tree resources was done in 2005 although 170 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

193 another assessment is currently underway. The activities of RIMS unit are, like all other activities in BFD, primarily project driven. Therefore, as long as there is no project, especially with outside funding, no survey or assessment is generally undertaken. RIMS has sufficient computers and other equipment but no staff to implement. Many facilities developed under various projects stop functioning after the projects, end due to lack of sustainability planning. It is important that a reasonable and regular cycle of resource surveys should be carried out in order to ensure efficient planning and management. Without frequent assessments, there is no way to know the results of various investments and policies. Lack of Forest Management Planning Bangladesh had a long tradition of forest management planning in the form of 10-year working plans. These plans required a detailed survey and enumeration of forest stock every ten years. However, this system was abandoned in the late eighties and at present the only planning being done is for the preparation and implementation of occasional projects. As a result, intimate knowledge of the resource condition to the field staff, so common in the past, is missing. As there is no work to be done, there is no patrolling in many parts of the forest, as much of the forest patrolling is incidental to work. The accelerated loss of natural forests in the last few decades may be linked, to some extent, to this passivity in forest planning. Legal Issues Forest department is responsible for enforcing the Forest Act 1927 and Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act 2012, While the wildlife Act has completely replaced the 1973 wildlife ordinance, the Forest Act has also been amended many times to bring it in tune with the demands of changing times. One major amendment in the forest law was the institutionalisation of social forestry while several other amendments aimed at effective enforcement have been carried out from time to time. However, many of the notifications issued by the government to implement various provisions of the forest act have not been reviewed for a long time and many of them have become obsolete or unimplementable due to the changes in the organisational structure of the department over time. Three notifications numbering 2404, 2405 and 2406 dated 26th December 1959, which empower only gazetted officers to exercise powers invested in forest officers under section 72 of the Act, need to be urgently amended as all action against criminals is taken by the subordinate staff, not by gazetted officers. Moreover, many new designations in the department, such as wildlife scouts, wildlife rangers, do not fall within the definition of forest officer as defined by notification no dated 26th December 2016 and have no powers to enforce the Act. In fact, some courts have started refusing forest cases on the ground that the complainant officers (foresters) are not authorised to file cases in the courts. Similarly, the three sets of transit rules prevailing in the country need to be reviewed to create unified regulations that govern the whole of the country. In fact, these rules continue to be seen as an obstruction to the growth of tree cultivation in the country, as they have lost their relevance with the virtual disappearance of sal and hill forests and their only use at present is to harass the public. Although the wildlife Act was promulgated in 2012, it has still not been fully operationalized as the necessary rules have not been promulgated and empowering notifications have not been SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 171

194 issued. Moreover, the law has some serious shortcomings which need to be urgently addressed. For example, forest officers have no power to arrest wildlife criminals or to file cases in courts, under this Act. There can be many more such law-related issues which may need urgent attention. It is, therefore, necessary to conduct a comprehensive review of the current legal framework of the country in order to make it effective in meeting the current and emerging challenges faced by the forestry sector. Lack of Research Support Modern forestry is highly research dependent as the availability of modern tools and techniques make it possible to go deep into questions which brooked no answers a few decades ago. The appearance of new challenges such as climate change, and mandates, such as biodiversity conservation, valuation of ecosystem services etc. make it imperative for the forest managers to have access to researched information and knowledge for correct and efficient decision making. Due to the poor state of the BFRI, BFD has been deprived of the necessary research support in making management decisions. The country needs to find out, for example, climate resilient tree species suited to different habitats, new fast growing species for meeting growing demand for timber and other products, demands and markets for forest products, silvicultural and financial rotations for homestead trees which contribute bulk of the timber to the nation s markets, new combinations for agroforestry, ex situ conservation of species of NTFP and medicinal value, and so on. BFRI and a few universities are involved in limited forestry research in the country but not much research of applied nature has been done in the country so far. The country has to take stock of the situation and create a proper research environment to support the growth of forestry. Financial Constraints Bangladesh has lost most of her sal and hill forests and the pace of this loss has been quite fast in the last few decades. The country has made ambitious plans and policies for preserving its forest wealth in the past, but has not been successful, although the conservation of natural resources in such a densely populated and poor country is not an easy task. Although it cannot be said that this failure in conservation has been entirely due to lack of resources, the rate of loss could have been far less if BFD and other BFRI had been well funded. Apart from the shortage of development funding, to take new capital works, the sector has been chronically short of even maintenance level funds. For example, the junior staff never gets any travel funds, lack of funds for patrolling and prosecution inhibit action against criminals, staff housing, vehicles etc. are always ill maintained for want of funds. All these shortages damage staff morale and motivation and also encourage corruption which is ultimately reflected in poor delivery. Inadequacy of Field Infrastructure and Logistics There is a tremendous shortage of field infrastructure particularly in remote areas like Sundarbans and CHT. Staff accommodation is often not available or is of very poor quality. Transportation is often not available as there is hardly any money for fuel even if a government vehicle is available. Travel bills are never reimbursed. Staff working in remote areas have to maintain double or triple establishment in order to look after their families and aged parents. This puts tremendous financial burden on them and often initiates them into corrupt practices. Staff working in forest stations have no furniture, often no electricity, no facilities for keeping 172 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

195 government records safe. Of course no computers. Most agencies working under such circumstances, like police, BGB etc., are paid special allowances to compensate them for the difficulties. However, forest subordinates are paid nothing, despite the fact that the facilities they get in the field are much worse than what other agencies get Bangladesh Forest Research Institute The Bangladesh Forest Research Institute (BFRI) is a national institute under the administration of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, as well as a component of the National Agricultural Research System through which it collaborates with international forestry organizations and networks. It is the only national organization that has the mandate to conduct forest management and forest products utilization research and maintains the largest forestry library and documentation facilities in the country. It has published more than 1,360 research papers and 160 technical bulletins and trained more than 10,000 individuals in using the technologies that have been developed by the Institute's research scientists. The BFRI was established as the Forest Products Research Laboratory in 1955 while Bangladesh was still part of Pakistan. In 1965, the laboratory was provincialized as the East Pakistan Forest Research Laboratory with the mandate to conduct research under the management of the Forest Department. Its primary objective during that period was to conduct studies on the utilization of wood and wood products. The recognition of the relative paucity of forestry management research information occasioned by the rapid decline in stock density in forest lands, however, resulted in the establishment, with the assistance of FAO and UNDP, of the Forest Management Research Wing in 1968, which, after independence, was reorganized as the BFRI. In 1985, the BFRI was separated from the Forest Department and its administrative control was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture and subsequently retransferred once more to the Ministry of Environment and Forest in BFRI currently has two research wings - the Forest Products Wing, with six research divisions, and the Forest Management Wing, with eleven research divisions. There are also two other service divisions under the direction of the Director. The research responsibilities of the Forest Products Wing are the efficient utilization of forest products with quality improvement and maximum utilization, while the research responsibilities of the Forest Management Wing are to increase the productivity of forest land through measures that encompass improved management, conservation of soil and water, protection of trees from pests and diseases, and tree improvement. The BFRI is obligated to provide research support to the Forest Department and its affiliated government organizations, including the Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation (BFIDC), in conducting forestry activities. BFRI's current research program is directed to maintaining the sustainable productivity of the country's forest land and forest industries without resource depletion. Its primary goal is to reduce the expanding rift between the demand for and supply of forest resources. Its priorities are demand-driven research, including promotion of farm forestry and agroforestry, and sustainable management of the Sundarbans and other coastal forest land. The organizational structure of the BFRI is summarized in the accompanying figure. It does not, however, depict the Common Service Branch, which is under the administrative control of the Director. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 173

196 Chief Research Officer Forest Products Wing. (6 Divisions) Divisional Officer Senior Research Officer Junior Research Officer (Presently Research Officer) Director Administrative Division Service Engineering Division Chief Research Officer Forest Management Wing (11 Divisions and a section of wildlife) Divisional Officer Senior Research Officer Junior Research Officer (Presently Research Officer) Figure 7-1: Organizational structure of BFRI. The BFRI has established 21 research stations and sub-stations under five field divisions which cover forest types that spread over eight dendro-ecological regions of the country. Its principal mode of operation is for research study that is assessed by an in-house meeting and scrutinized by a Technical Committee of the Institute consisting of researchers and clientele representatives headed by the Director. The recommendations of that Committee are subsequently examined by a Coordination Committee consisting of researchers and clientele representatives headed by the Director. The BFRI's annual research programmes are ultimately finalized by a Research Advisory Committee headed by the Secretary of the MoEF. Irrespective of the various research contributions that have been made by the BFRI, there still remain several 'bottlenecks' that will have to be resolved in preparing the revised and updated Forestry Master Plan. Like other institutions, BFRI is also suffering from acute shortage of manpower, especially at the senior level. The latest available status of manpower the instate is as follows; Table 7-2: Staff position in BFRI 67 Class Approved Existing Vacant 1st nd rd th Total It is disheartening to note that 33% of the approved positions in the institute are vacant at present while the vacancies at the senior level (scientist level) are as high as 45%. During discussions, the faculty came across as highly aggrieved and demotivated due to the problems they are facing in the institute. 67 Annual Report of MoEF SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

197 The primary constraints, according to the BFRI, that restrict research activities are: No digitization of library, no library management software, no projects provide support to library. Journal (Bangladesh Journal of Forest Science) comes out off and on, last issue in 2013, before that in 2008, one issue under preparation: Lack of funds, lack of contributions from writers. No funds for library, SRCWP provided 5 computers under a sub project titled "Wildlife Corner in BFRI Library. No new books are purchased due to lack of funds. Last FMP did not contribute anything to BFRI, none of the recommendations were implemented. There is a need for a planning and evaluation division. No new divisions created since the creation of BFRI: original structure continues despite new challenges and areas of interest/concern, ex. Climate change, social forestry. A new project, modernizing of BFRI, worth nearly 109 crores under submission to MoEF. Shortage of manpower due to retirements, no new recruitments, recruitment process very slow (takes 2-3 years to fill a vacancy). Most recruits leave due to lack of career advancement. No promotions for years. Promotions are vacancy based (position must be empty before position can be advertised). Recruitment rules are outdated (1985 vintage), revision proposed several times but not finalized. Forestry as a qualifying subject for faculty recruitment still does not exist. Dependent on regular govt. funds only, no donor support except FRMP and ARMP (Agricultural Resource Management Project). Annual budget nearly taka 22 crores (incl. salaries), research budget approx. 1.6 crores/yr., Bamboo composites project is approved by GOB, 25 crores (5 years), mangroves project 1 crores taka. Recruitment rules outdated, forestry graduates cannot be recruited as forestry is not a qualifying subject even now. Infrastructure in bad shape, even worse in 20+ field stations, no modern equipment since 1955, except a few computers. No research planning division, so no planning. Internet: only 40 persons have access. FD wants research done, also university, individual farmers, sometimes industry, but no one provides funding. BFRI does not have a marketing channel, does not know how to get product to market, incl. NTFPs. Very unmotivated and listless faculty. No work on agroforestry in BFRI. No commercial nurseries of BFRI. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 175

198 BFRI administrators stress the difficulties the Institute experiences in coping with recent trends and challenges in the forestry sector for several reasons, but most especially the lack of adequate trained manpower; the shortage of modern research facilities; inefficient recruitment rules; the limited scope of the Institute; weak linkages with the Forest Department; the ineffective enactment of acts and guidelines; and the defined status of the institute, as well as its Director. The importance of removing those constraints is underscored by the recognition that there is a widening gap between the demand for, and the supply of, wood. That deficit, moreover, will be further aggravated in the coming years because of increasing population pressure and the consequences of climate change. In order to resolve those conditions, there appears to be no other alternative than to support intensive research to increase the productivity of forests, as well as conserve forest resources through proper management and utilization. In the recognition of the critical nature of addressing these research requirements and creating the facilities to cater to national demand, BFRI has recommended the reorganization of the institutional infrastructure, organogram and the reorientation of the research directions of the Institute. That reorganization and reorientation would encompass the: Giving BFRI the status of an autonomous organisation at par with other institutions in the BARC network; Modernization and restructuring of BFRI to increase capacities to respond effectively to field level demands required to ensure the sustainable management of forests, as well as emerging trends in the forestry sector; Modification of the recruitment process to secure scientists trained in graduate programmes in emerging disciplines that impact the forestry sector; Widening of the career scope of the professional scientists of BFRI; Development of disciplines, such as those of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, Planning and Development, and Information and Communications Technology, as well as a Technology Transfer Division and a Social Forestry Division and the establishment of a modern, wellequipped Geographical Information System (GIS) facility; Determination and upgrading of the status of the Institute and its Director; and Strengthening collaboration and coordination among BFRI, BFD and other stakeholders. Upgrading of the Wildlife Section to a Wildlife Research Division Bangladesh Forest Academy The Bangladesh Forest Academy, which had its origins prior to independence with the establishment of the East Pakistan Forest College in 1964, is the only in-service training institute of the BFD. The Forest Academy is located in Chittagong and is under the administrative management of the BFD and, as such, manned by service forest officers. The Director, an officer of the rank of Conservator of Forests, is deputed on a full-time basis and is responsible for the overall administration of the Academy with direct administrative control residing with the Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests (Training and Education) of the Forest Directorate in Dhaka. 176 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

199 The Forest Academy was affiliated with Chittagong University in 1977, at which time it had offered a two-year B.Sc. (Pass) Forestry Degree to newly-recruited Forest Rangers having a Bachelor of Science degree. The initial intake was 25 rangers in 1982 and the course continued until Subsequent to its affiliation with Chittagong University, 119 Forest Rangers have been trained who are currently posted as Forest Rangers, or as Assistant Conservators of Forests, with the Forest Department. Professional (Assistant Conservator of Forests) and sub-professional (Forest Ranger) trainees of the Forest Department had previously had to be trained at Dehra Dun in British India and thereafter at the Pakistan Forest Institute, Peshawar, until 1986 when the Bangladesh Forest College, which would subsequently be renamed the Bangladesh Forest Academy was established on 27 June Initially, a Diploma-in-Forestry was offered to Forest Rangers of the Forest Department, but soon thereafter professional and sub-professional programmes were introduced. Cadre officers of the Bangladesh Civil Service were offered in-service training courses after 1986 at the Forest Academy and in the 1st Batch, 28 Assistant Conservator of Forests were provided with M.Sc. Degrees in Forestry. In the 2nd Batch offered in , 30 Assistant Conservators of Forests received their Master of Forestry Degrees. The summary of the courses and programmes that have been offered through the Forest Academy, as well as the numbers of participants, is highlighted in the accompanying figure: Table 7-3: Courses and programmes offered by the Forest Academy. Degree/Course Period Participants Diploma in Forestry B.Sc. (Pass) in Forestry M.Sc. in Forestry Master in Forestry Short Courses * ** 2,428 * ** orientation, refresher, issue-based up to 24 March 2016 The infrastructure of the Forest Academy includes two well-furnished classrooms with air conditioning and two well-furnished classrooms without air conditioning, each room with a seating capacity of 30; a library; an auditorium with seating capacity for 300; a conference room with seating for 40 participants; and a dormitory for students participating in academic programmes; six computers with printers; and a full-time internet connection. The primary objectives of the Forest Academy are to broaden the understanding, strengthen the technical skills, and provide opportunities to obtain informed information on new and innovative developments required of BFD personnel through in-service training courses, as well as academic programmes. The following training courses have been previously offered through project and revenue budgets: Social Forestry Course for Deputy Conservators of Forests, Assistant Conservators of Forests, Forest Rangers, and Deputy Forest Rangers under the Forestry Sector Project. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 177

200 Watershed Management Course for Assistant Conservators of Forests under the Forestry Sector Project. Orientation Course for Assistant Conservators of Forests under the Coastal Greenbelt project. Biodiversity Management and Skill Development for Forest Rangers and Deputy Forest Rangers under the Sundarbans Environmental and Livelihood Security Projects. Ecosystem Management and Skill Development for Forest Rangers and Deputy Forest Rangers under the Sundarbans Environmental and Livelihood Security Projects. Assisted Natural Regeneration for Instructors, Forest Rangers, and Deputy Forest Rangers under the revenue budget. GPS for District Forest Officers, Assistant Conservators of Forests, Instructors, Forest Rangers, and Deputy Forest Rangers under the United States Forest Service. Basic Forestry Course for Biodiversity Officers, Wildlife Officers, and Wildlife Rangers under the Biodiversity Conservation and Ecotourism Development Project. Training on Protected Area Management and Ecotourism Development under the Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection Project. Wildlife Crime and CITES for Wildlife Officers, Biodiversity Officers, and Forest Rangers under the Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection Project Refresher Course on Forestry under the Strengthening the Environment, Forestry and Climate Change Capacities of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and its Agencies (Ministry of Environment and Forest support project). Refresher Course Related to Forestry for Deputy Conservators of Forests, Assistant Conservators of Forests, Senior Research Officers and other senior officers under the Strengthening the Environment, Forestry and Climate Change Capacities of the Ministry of Environment and Forest and its Agencies (Ministry of Environment and Forest support project). Training courses that are planned to be offered through project and revenue budgets will include the following: Capacity Building for Forest Department Personnel under the Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project. Short Refresher Course of Promoted Officers for Deputy Rangers with 25 participants in each of three batches, two offered in and one offered in under the Facilities Development of all Training Institutes of Forest Department Project. The principal constraints affecting the delivery of these courses, as well as academic programmes, offered through the Forest Academy to officers, rangers, and other professional and non-professional staff of the Forest Department include the following: The insufficient number of faculty available to offer sufficient opportunities for in-service training and refresher courses, as well as professional programmes, including: Professional Courses: Masters Program: one-year Master of Forestry (MF) and two-year Master of Science in Forestry (MSc). Sub-professional Courses: two-year Bachelor of Science (pass) in Forestry. Orientation Courses (3-6 months). Refresher Courses (1-3 weeks). 178 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

201 Project-related Training (1-2 weeks). Issue Based Training (3-10 days). The current faculty and teaching staff of the Forest Academy purportedly includes 1 Deputy Conservator of Forests; 2 Assistant Conservators of Forests; 1 Chief Instructor; 1 Senior Instructor 2 Instructors; 2 Forest Rangers; 32 other officers and staff. In discussions with Forest Academy representatives, however, it was affirmed that most of these positions continue to remain unfilled, which has necessitated the short-term hiring of local academics and others to ensure that even the minimum numbers of these courses are offered. Other related constraints include: Inadequate funds to support offering important courses and programmes. The lack of a permanent resource person. Inadequate infrastructure, including a gymnasium for students that reside at the Forest Academy while completing academic programmes, a prayer room, and a common room in the officers' dormitory. The absence of a medical officer. The prospect of the sustainable management and resource conservation of the country's forests that receives support through the offerings of the Forest Academy in strengthening the capacities and capabilities of Forest Department personnel would seem to warrant the immediate investments that would be required to be made to overcome these constraints Forestry Science & Technology Institute, Chittagong The Forestry Science & Technology lnstitute (FSTI), Chittagong, was established in 1994 under the auspices of the Forest Resources Management Project to provide students with Secondary School Certificates the opportunity to obtain a three-year diploma in forestry under the Bangladesh Technical Education Board. The purpose of establishing the Institute was to provide the Forest Department with trained foresters, who, although employed at the subprofessional level, would be prepared to assume meaningful roles in the conservation and development of the country's forest resources. The Institute, which was initially referred to as the Forester's Training School, started its academic activities the year after its establishment in the Bangladesh Forest Academy building. Those activities were under the administration of the Director of the Forest Academy, but two years later, the Institute shifted its offerings to its own building. ln 2001, the FSTI was attached to a government revenue budget allocated to the forest school in Chittagong and was headed by a Director of the rank of Deputy Conservator of Forests. The school was subsequently renamed the Forestry Science & Technology Institute, Chittagong, in 2009 and the three-year diploma course was upgraded at that time to a four-year diploma in forestry. The objectives of the Forestry Science & Technology Institute are to: Produce trained, skilled field-level manpower for the Forest Department through the offering of an academic Diploma-in-Forestry course; SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 179

202 Train skilled workers to contribute to programmes in forest conservation, forest production, and plantation raising in various sectors in the country; Provide up-to-date coursework and create skilled workers through suitable curricula that encompass balanced consideration of issues of national and international concern; Ensure the strengthening of the technical knowledge of students through study tours and field attachment assignments; Produce entrepreneurs in different sectors of the economy by involving environment and forest-related organizations, NGOs, other development organizations, and representatives of tea gardens, rubber gardens, and tourism organizations in the Institute's programmes; and Provide short-term training for Forest Department staff, NGOs, and other organizations according to their professed requirements. The Institute's course curriculum and examinations are controlled by the Bangladesh Technical Education Board and the four-year diploma in Forestry course consists of the completion of 50 required basic and forestry subjects. The students participating in the studies are initially selected by the Bangladesh Technical Education Board from on-line applications. The academic infrastructure of the FSTI is very good. It includes a four-storied building with classrooms, offices, laboratories, a conference room, a library, and a canteen. There is also a student's hostel with accommodations for 150 with 75 rooms for students, a dining room, a student's common room, and a prayer room. There is a computer lab; a training room to offer short-term, in-service training of officers and staff according to the requirements of the Forest Department and other organizations; three laboratories (physics, chemistry, and biology); a microbus for officials to perform official assignments; and a thirty-seat minibus for students to participate in field exercises and study tours; as well as student sports facilities. There are provisions, as well, for four-month field assignments through which each student is attached to a beat, range, or division office to enhance their understanding of field activities and management applications. The Institute's record of completed, as well as ongoing, offerings of the Forestry diploma course is provided in the next two tables, which indicate, as well, the numbers of student participants in each of those batch offerings, each of which provides opportunity to enrol up to 50 students. Table 7-4: FSTI courses and graduation numbers. Batch Academic Year Year of Final Examination Nº of Students Completed courses SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

203 Batch Academic Year Year of Final Examination Nº of Students Current courses Total Total 118 There have been 574 students who have participated in the Forest diploma program and, of those, 212 students have been accepted as Foresters in the Forest Department. In a survey of potential employers for forestry diploma holders, moreover it was revealed that there is considerable scope for employment, not only in the Forest Department, but also with tea gardens, rubber gardens, forest-based industries, the Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board, the Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation, the Bangladesh Forest Research Institute, Young Power in Social Action, Family Development Services and Research, the Cotton Development Board, banks, and NGOs. The most intractable problems that are currently restricting the development of the FSTI are the rather severe limitations on the current number of sanctioned, as well as filled, faculty positions, which also detracts from the incentives package that is available to those in permanent positions and the unavailability of a sufficient budget from the Forest Department, especially to allow increases in the number of guest lecturers. Indeed, the discussions with the Director of the Institute and his principal instructor revealed that there are currently only three instructors available to teach the panoply of diverse courses that are required to complete the program. The FSTI is the only institution to offer a diploma in Forestry to students of Secondary School Certificate or equivalent background. The primary attraction of the Institute is that during recruitment, the BFD only invites students who have a diploma in Forestry in the advertisement for the 'Forester' posts, which provides compelling reason for serious consideration of increasing funding, as well as the number of sanctioned posts of the Institute. There are two other FSTIs situated in Rajshahi and Sylhet providing refresher courses to foresters from time to time. As a course (2 year diploma) in FSTI is now compulsory for SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 181

204 promotion to the rank of deputy rangers, these institutions are running such course to meet this demand as well. Apart from the FSTIs, another institute called Forest Development Training Centre (FDTC) is situated in Kaptai, in Rangamati district. This school provides training in various subjects (refresher training) to forest guards. All these institutes are reported to be suffering from the same problems as the FSTI Chittagong and other institutions, namely, shortage of staff, funds and capacity development. Thus it can be seen, nearly all the organs of BFD are performing at sub-optimal level due to shortage of staff, funds and efficient systems. It is important to look into these issues before any major development programs are accepted by BFD as the programmes will run the risk of sub-optimal accomplishments in the absence of such reforms Bangladesh National Herbarium The Bangladesh National Herbarium (BNH), which is attached to the MoEF, is the national research organization for plant taxonomic research and museum of dried plant specimens. It is involved with the exploration, collection, identification, and preservation of the country's plants. During explorations, its scientists collect fertile plant specimens, as well as associated information on locations, local names, collection dates, phenologies, diversity, abundance, distribution, local uses, and risks. These endeavours have not only enriched the herbarium with recent collections, but also have contributed to the publication, as well as checklists, of the national flora. The BNH currently has a collection of more than 100,000 plant specimens accompanied by records that include the names of species and families, accession numbers, collection dates, names of collectors, collection numbers, ecology, and important notes regarding the plants. These specimens are used as the basis of plant identification and plant diversity assessments throughout the country that will be bequeathed to posterity and continue to be used as reference materials in plant taxonomic research and the conservation of biodiversity and the environment. The initial formation of the BNH occurred in 1970 under the development project entitled the Botanical Survey of East Pakistan implemented by the Department of Botany at the University of Dhaka. The project was renamed the Botanical Survey of Bangladesh subsequent to the country's independence and provided financial support from the Ministry of Agriculture and thereafter from the Ministry of Forest, Fisheries and Livestock. The BNH was officially established on 1 July 1975 and under the administrative order of the Cabinet Division was transferred the Ministry of Agriculture to the Ministry of Environment and Forests on 1 July 1994 when a permanent national herbarium building with modern facilities was established beside the National Botanic Garden at Mirpur on a plot of 1.24 acres. On 1 July 1999, the National Herbarium was transferred to a revenue budget and on 16 October 2004, it was declared as an attached department of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The vision of the BNH is Increasing and diffusing basic information about plant-related topics. Its mission is Exploring and preparing inventories of plant resources of the country. The principal purposes of the BNH are to conduct botanical surveys and identify, collect and preserve the country's plant species, including those associated with national traditions and culture. The BNH assumes an important role in the study of medicinal plants, the research and 182 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

205 development of economically important plants, the conservation of the environment and ecology of plants, and the conservation of biodiversity. The strategic objectives of the BNH are: Conducting botanical surveys throughout the country and collecting specimens of every plant species. Preserving collected plant specimens and associated information for the use of forthcoming generations. Conducting research on plant taxonomy and printing floristic publications. Ensuring proper use of the herbarium database and preserved plant specimens. Providing technical services associated with plant-related issues and assuming an effective role in the conservation of endangered plant species. Developing human resources and ensuring transparency and accountability. The herbarium is suffering from the same problems as other sectoral institutions, namely the shortage of staff, funds and capacity building initiatives. The latest available staff position in BNH is given in the table below: Table 7-5: Staff strength of BNH 68 Class Approved Existing Vacant 1st nd rd th Total The number of vacancies in BNH seems to be very large, especially at the senior level. Even the director s post is vacant. There is very limited mobility for the staff, consisting of just one car and two old jeeps, computer facility is very limited. The herbarium has never received any outside funding or any other development funds for conducting new surveys except last year when it received Tk. one crore for a new survey and specimen collection project. 7.5 Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation 69 The government of the then East Pakistan established this autonomous body under the name 'East Pakistan Forest Industries Development Corporation' in The name of the corporation was changed to Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation, with its headquarters at Dhaka, in The corporation is functioning on a commercial basis. The general direction, administration of the corporation and other affairs of the Corporation is vested with a 4-member Board consisting of Chairman and three Directors of BFIDC. The Board of Directors exercises all powers and performs all activities of the corporation under the guidance of the Ministry. 68 Annual Report of MoEF This description is largely based on the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Bangladesh, Situation Analysis and Capacity Needs Assessment in the Ministry of Environment and Forests and its Agencies, Government of the People s Republic of Bangladesh, 432p. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 183

206 Vision, Mission, Functions and Responsibilities Vision: To be a leading public sector corporation in the areas of rubber industry as well as furniture making industry for the benefit of the society. Mission: To enhance the competitiveness and viability of Bangladesh rubber and rubber-wood based industry through focused research, development, effective transfer of technology and quality support services. Functions and Responsibilities Currently, BFIDC s functions are confined to: Procurement of timber & other forest produces from forest land; Establishment of industries/factories for commercial uses of forest produces; Treatment and Seasoning of Timber; Manufacture of furniture and various wooden items for supply to Government offices; Raising of Rubber Plantations and rubber production; Promotion of Rubber cultivation in Bangladesh through Private Sector/Multinational companies. The organization is aimed at: Best utilization of forest produce by establishing factories / industries to meet the growing need of wooden items by facing market competitiveness; Raising of profitable & sustainable rubber gardens, promoting rubber cultivation in private sector, creating employment opportunities for poverty alleviation of the rural poor, caring for the environment, protecting degradation & erosion of land; Producing highest quality of natural rubber to meet the local requirement of rubber based Industries and to ensure value addition & creation of indirect employment; Participating in macro-economic activities of the country & playing vital role in augmenting GDP by generating economic activities in producing of natural rubber, addressing import & saving of foreign exchange. The Corporation s functions are divided into two sectors: Industrial Sector and Agriculture (Rubber) Sector. Organizational Structure The general direction and administration of the Corporation and its affairs are vested in a Board consisting of Chairman and three Directors. The Board of Directors exercises all powers and performs all activities of the corporation under the guidance of the Ministry. The Chairman, BFIDC is supported by Director (Finance), Director (Planning and Development), Director (Production and Commercial) and a Secretary in charge of Secretariat Division. The Director (Planning and Development) looks after Planning and Development Division, Rubber Division and Implementation Division, each headed by General Manager and a Coordination Branch headed by a Manager. The Rubber Division comprises 16 rubber gardens in three zones: seven in Chittagong Zone, 4 in Sylhet Zone and 5 in Tangail Sherpur Zone. 184 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

207 Each Zone is headed by a General Manager. One Manager/Deputy Manager is in charge of a garden. The Director (Finance) has two divisions and two branches under his control. These are Accounts Division and Audit Division, each headed by General Manager, and Finance Branch headed by Manager. The Director (Production and Commercial) is in charge of Production and Sales Division headed by General Manager, Market Survey Branch headed by Deputy General Manager (Marketing) and Coordination Branch headed by Manager (Coordination). The Director (Production and Commercial) also looks after seven industrial units, namely (i) Cabinet Manufacturing Plant (CMP), Dhaka, (ii) Eastern Wood Works (EWW), Dhaka, (iii) Sangu- Matamuhuri Timber Extraction Unit, Chittagong, (iv) Wood Treating Plants (WTP), Chittagong, (v) Cabinet Manufacturing Plant (CMP), Chittagong, (vi) FIDCO Furniture Complex, Chittagong and (vii) Lumber Processing Complex (LPC), Kaptai, Rangamati The Chairman, an Additional Secretary to the Government, three Directors, three General Managers and the Secretary are posted on deputation to BFIDC by the Ministry of Public Administration. Currently, three Co-ordination Branches remain as dormant units due to lack of manpower. The responsibilities of many of the positions are vested with officers of lower rank due to lack of sanctioned manpower for those positions. Human Resource The staff strength and vacancies in the BFIDC structure is given below: Table 7-6: BFIDC staff position 70 Class Approved Existing Vacant 1st nd rd th Labour Total As can be seen in the above table, 63% of the senior posts and 44% of the total staff positions are vacant which is a very serious disability on the part of the organisation. The corporation has proposed a reorganization and strengthening plan to the government which will give it a total staff strength of BFIDC s HRD programs are almost negligible. Occasionally some training in field operations is given to the field staff. Overseas training to senior staff is almost non-existent. 70 MOEF Annual Report SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 185

208 Industrial Sector Nineteen Industries were established by BFIDC. Of these, 01 Industry: Sylhet Pulp & Paper Mill was handed over to BCIC, 03 Industries: United Bobbins Factory (UBF), Narayangonj; Rahimanee Industries, Chittagong & Integrated Timber Industrial Unit (ITIU), Rangpur have been sold to the Private Sector by the Ministry of Industry, 07 Industries have been declared pay-off by the Govt. of which 4 units have already been sold by the Privatization Commission & handed over to the Private and 03 Industries are in under process of sale / handover. One Industry: Chittagong Board Mill (CBM), Kalurghat, Chittagong has been sold but possession has not yet handed over due to court case. Seven Industrial units are currently running under BFIDC: These are: (i) Cabinet Manufacturing Plant (CMP), Dhaka, (ii) Eastern Wood Works (EWW),Dhaka, (iii) Sangu- Matamuhuri Timber Extraction Unit, Chittagong, (iv) Wood Treating Plants (WTP), Chittagong, (v) Cabinet Manufacturing Plant (CMP), Chittagong, (vi) FIDCO Furniture Complex, Chittagong and (vii) Lumber Processing Complex (LPC), Kaptai, Rangamati. The Sangu- Matamuhuri Timber Extraction Unit, Chittagong and Lumber Processing Complex (LPC), Kaptai, Rangamati are engaged in procurement of timber from the forest department (seized material) as well as extraction of rubber trees after expiry of economic life cycle. Lumber Processing Complex (LPC), Kaptai, Rangamati is also involved in seasoning and treatment of timber. Cabinet Manufacturing Plant (CMP), Dhaka, Eastern Wood Works (EWW),Dhaka, Cabinet Manufacturing Plant (CMP), Chittagong and FIDCO Furniture Complex, Chittagong are involved in the manufacture and marketing of doors, widows, chairs, tables, benches, executive furniture and dunnage for food godowns. Wood Treating Plants (WTP), Chittagong carries out treating and seasoning woods. Shortage of wood is one of the constraints in the industry sector. As there is a moratorium on felling of trees in natural forests, the seized wood procured from the Forest Department does not meet the full requirement of BFIDC. Agriculture (Rubber) Sector First attempt to grow Rubber in Bangladesh was made in 1952 when Forest department initiated a pilot rubber plantation project in Chittagong for raising 710 acres of rubber plantation from seeds & budded stumps imported from Malaysia & Sri Lanka. In 1959 BFIDC (the then EPIDC) was established by the then Govt. In 1962, Forest Department handed over the pilot Rubber Planting project to BFIDC. Under an agreement signed between the Govt. of the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) & EPIDC (now BFIDC) on , BFIDC was mandated to get forest land on lease for 40 years to raise Rubber Gardens. BFIDC switched over to clonal plantation programmes in The corporation owns acres (14834 ha) of forest land. It has so far established 16 rubber gardens in 32,635 acres (13207 ha) of land by use of Malaysian clones. There are seven Rubber Gardens in Chittagong, 4 in Sylhet and 5 in Tangail Sherpur area. 2 million rubber trees in BFIDC s plantations are now under production. Old plantations are continuously being replaced with new plantations. The production figures reflect an annual average production of MT. The low level of production is attributed to loss of economic life (>32 years) of a large number of rubber trees as well as theft of latex. 186 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

209 As an Apex Body, BFIDC has been promoting rubber cultivation in the private sector. A total of 32,550 acres of hilly lands have been allotted to 1302 individuals (25 acres/ person) for raising rubber gardens in the private sector acres (5261 ha) of rubber plantation are under Chittagong Hill Tract Development Board. Tea gardens and other organizations have also raised about 20,800 acres (8418 ha) of rubber plantation. Private sector produces about 5500 MT of rubber annually. Rubber Sector is a promising sector but it is facing some acute problems: Shortage of skilled manpower, old dated machineries, factories, smoke houses etc. Low Yielding Factor, replantation/raising of new rubber plantation and disposal of trees over economic life cycle. Moreover, due to lack of appropriate technology in the treatment of rubber wood it has not been possible to popularize the extensive use of rubber wood in furniture making. In view of the low-level production in respect of both latex and timber, the corporation wants to switch over from old-dated production system to modern production technology and the use of high yielding latex-timber clones. Financial Resources BFIDC is a self-financed organization. The corporation prepares its budget and submits the same to Ministry of Finance through MoEF for its approval. The budget includes revenue income, revenue expenditure, profit and capital expenditure. Any surplus is saved as bank deposits. The corporation pays BDT million to the Government from its profit. The state of its finances varies from year to year depending on market conditions and the performance of its various units. It earned a profit of TK lakh in the year , mainly on the strength of its manufacturing operations while the rubber business suffered a loss of Tk. 875 lakh. The corporation consumed cft. timber in its manufacturing operations in that year, out of which cft. came from its own gardens in the form of old rubber trees. The corporation is reported to be suffering from over centralisation of financial decision making and decentralisation efforts have not been successful so far. The corporation has very limited IT infrastructure, its field units have no internet access, in general. The website of BFIDC is in a very poor condition. Looking at the overall forestry based and industrial nature of its operations, it is surprising to note that there is no forester or industry expert in its top management. Although, the corporation has been instrumental in spreading rubber cultivation to the private sector, it has shown no interest in promoting the development of forest industries in the country, beyond running its own businesses. As the forest based industries and occupations are one of the biggest employment generators in the country, the country needs a body to spearhead their growth and development. It will be in the fitness of things if BFIDC could take up this role. 7.6 Gender aspects of forest planning, implementation and management Women in Bangladesh are actively engaged in forestry programmes. The concept of social forestry started with loans from the ADB in the late 1980s that enabled women and local poor people to have access to alternative sources of income and to overcome the rural fuel crisis through the planting of fast-growing tree species. Some of the more prominent gender aspects that are associated with forest planning, implementation and management have been integrated into the strategic objectives of the SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 187

210 MoEF, particularly with respect to the relevance of those strategies to women's rights and advancement. The roles of women in those strategic objectives are considered in the following discussion points. Mitigating the adverse effects arising from climate change: Women suffer most from the adverse effects of climate change and will, accordingly, benefit most from their participation in different climate adaptation and mitigation programmes, especially the social forestry reforestation and afforestation activities that are implemented by the BFD. Women have demonstrated that they are more receptive to adopting activities such as homestead gardening and reforestation and afforestation, as well as the establishment of tree plantations, and are more responsible in the management and use of forest resources. Conservation and sustainable management of forest resources: The programmes for establishing participatory block forest strip gardens and coastal char and mangrove gardens to offset the contraction of forests will increase the income of poor communities, including women. Training programmes for those involved in social afforestation will also increase their awareness and contribute to the establishment of forest resources. Women, in particular, will have opportunities for self-employment and income generation as the result of their involvement in participatory plantations and training and the distribution of different fruit trees, commercial trees, and medicinal plants for homestead gardening. Their involvement in these programmes will also indirectly enhance women's social status and contribute to their empowerment. Conservation of biodiversity: The implementation of activities associated with ecotourism, awareness raising, and social forestry will expand employment, increase income, and contribute to the poverty reduction of a significant number of poor people. It is of some significance that at least 50% of the participants in biodiversity preservation activities are poor and destitute women. Moreover, 30% of the representation in local planning committees has been reserved for women, which will implicitly increase their income and promote their social status. Within the MoEF and the BFD: There is an emphasis on expanding employment opportunities for rural, poor women through expansion of social afforestation activities across the country to mitigate and develop low carbon emission initiatives and the implementation of these mitigating activities will have positive impacts on women and children s health. The implementation of participatory biodiversity protection activities will ensure the participation of poor and destitute women, as will their participation in forest resources local planning and management committees. There are provisions in the revised regulations for the social afforestation program, as well, that encourage the active participation of women in those forest management committees. Further initiatives have also been advanced to provide training on forest management and biodiversity conservation to beneficiaries under the social afforestation program and those involved in the co-management of reserved forests, 40% of whom are women. Those activities will act to empower women. There is one issue of particular concern to women that more directly involves the Forest Department. That concern is the recruitment process for promoting the hiring of women. 188 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

211 Women are currently considerably underrepresented in the Forest Department and that concern, as well as recommendations associated with institutional reforms and restructuring that would also improve hiring practices, will be further elaborated in the Task 6 report on Financial and other resources needed for the implementation of the Forestry Master Plan, policies, institutional reforms and technical capacity required for implementing the Forestry Master Plan. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 189

212 8 Resource mobilisation Forestry was once considered important only for socioeconomic reasons or for conserving soil, water and biodiversity. But with the advent of the concerns for climate change, and the role that good forestry can play in dealing with the impacts of climate change, has lent it a totally new sense of priority. While the consumables provided by the forests can perhaps be imported, at least to some extent, the role that forests can potentially play in protecting the country against the impacts of climate change cannot be outsourced. Action for that has to be here. As Bangladesh is considered to be one of the most vulnerable lands in the world, the sense of urgency cannot be overemphasised. To reinforce the defences against the impacts of climate change through forestry, and meeting the needs of the society for forest products, is going to need a tremendous amount of technical and financial resources. As the capacity of the country to generate these resources internally is extremely limited, BFD has to primarily look outward for development funding and technical support while the local exchequer comes forward to maintain healthy and efficient institutions that can spearhead future developments. Some important issues related to the mobilisation of resources and some salient constraints in mobilising and efficient use of these resources are discussed below. 8.1 Review of the resources available and mobilized from national and international sources for the forestry sector The flow of financial resources to the forestry sector has always been inadequate and has been mostly dependent on donor contributions. Availability of funds to the BFD since is given in Table 8-1. The existing Forestry Master Plan, , indicated a minimum investment requirement of Tk. 6,024 crore (scenario 1) during the 20 year period, for the fulfilment of the objectives of the National Forestry Policy However the total availability to the sector during this period was only Tk. 2,317 crore ( to ). This is only about 38% of the estimated requirement. Bangladesh has been getting significant Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) for the development of the forestry sector, since independence, both from multilateral donors, such as the WB, ADB, UNDP, FAO, UNESCO, GEF, EU and bilateral donors, such as, USAID, SIDA, DFID. But the forestry sector continued to suffer from the inadequacy of resources. Table 8-1 shows that in some years the contribution of donor-funded projects to the total allocation was even more than 90%. This shows the high dependence of the sector on outside sources. However, despite the generous donor contributions, the availability of funds to the sector continued to be far below the estimated requirements of the sector. ODA assistance declined sharply from Tk crore in to a mere Tk. 4 crore in 2010, but has picked up again since then. In , the contribution of donor supported projects to the total development kitty of BFD was more than two-thirds. 190 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

213 Table 8-1: Annual Development Programme (ADP) and Expenditure (in crore Taka; Office of the ACCF, Development Planning Unit, BFD) 71 Financial Year Revised ADP Expenditure (Net Grant) % Project Aid Table 8-1, however, does show that the utilisation rate of the available funds has remained relatively high since mid-nineties and has, in fact, improved significantly over the years. The utilisation percentage (net grant) was usually below 80% before 2000 but in recent years it has generally been above 90%. This shows the increasing capacity of BFD to undertake ambitious development programmes. 71 Office of the ACCF, Development Planning Unit, BFD. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 191

214 Although the apparent allocations to the forestry sector have gone up, year by year, the real value of the available funds have actually been going down. Table 8-2 shows the discounted value of all allocations, both development as well as revenue, for all the years since It is clear that the real allocations to the sector have in fact declined since then and the current allocations are no better than the allocations 10 years ago, despite the newfound realisation of the importance of the sector for coping with the impacts of climate change. Table 8-2: Budget Allocations of BFD (crore Taka). Year Development budget Revenue budget Total Real value of current allocation * * At 12% discount rate. Table 8-3 also shows the revenue budget, in the last ten years, which mostly covers staff costs and infrastructure maintenance expenditure. The revenue budget, or normal budget, as it is often called, showed more than three-fold rise in allocations in the ten years, although the growth trend has been very slow. Obviously, the allocations did not go up in real terms due to the effect of inflation and other economic factors. As mentioned before, the real value of the allocations in was even less than the allocation in (Table 8-2). About 85% of the revenue budget is spent on pay and allowances for the BFD staff. The supply and services head comprising municipal and land tax, post and telephone, water, electricity, fuel, stationary, training, legal affairs, survey, computer accessories, arms and ammunition, publicity and advertisement, uniforms, animal food, books and journals, photocopy, travelling allowance, etc. receives only about 7-8% share of the total revenue budget. This is a critical budget category which covers all the primary expenses of the department. The budget in this head was insufficient for an agency having more than 10,000 staff. Only a meagre part (approximately 4%) of the revenue budget is allocated for raising new plantations. The irregular allocation pattern of revenue budget causes serious field problems. It not only makes forward planning by field officers difficult, sheer lack of funding makes the organisation virtually ineffective in the lean years. 192 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

215 Table 8-3: Revenue budget (crore Taka). Year Budget sub-heading Pay and Allowances Supply and Services Plantation Others Total The low priority to the forestry sector is reflected in a comparison of the national ADP and the forestry sector ADP (Table 8-4). It shows that the sector received only 0.27% of the national development budget in the 9 years between and This is much below the 1.3% share of forestry in the GDP of the country 72, even if one ignores the intangible benefits of forests to the society. The forestry sector ADP also showed an irregular trend during this period. The figure declined sharply from Tk crore in to just Tk crore in , primarily due to the lack of donor contributions during this period. The period to was perhaps the worst period in recent history when the sector got the lowest allocations. Inadequate financing was one of the main challenges for the successful implementation of the FMP Table 8-4: Financial Resources for National ADP vs. Forestry Sector ADP. 73 Financial Year National Development Expenditure (Tk. millions) FD Expenditure (Net Grant) (Tk. millions) Forestry: National (%) , % , % , % ,940 1, % ,760 2, % ,390 1, % ,270 2, % ,080 2, % ,870 2, % 72 FAO Contribution of the forestry sector to national economies, , Forest Finance Working Paper FSFM/ACC/ ACCF Development Planning Unit, BFD SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 193

216 Any decline in budget to the forestry sector first affects the development programmes as the obligatory expenses like salaries and wages cannot be avoided. The country saw a sharp decline in expenditure on afforestation and reforestation programmes during the period from (Tk cr.) to an all-time low of Tk. 9.5 cr. In , before reversing the trend in again Financial gaps Figure 8-1: Trends in expenditure on afforestation and reforestation 74 Table 8-2 shows that over the last few years, the development expenditure has far outstripped the revenue expenditure. Prima facie this seems to be a good trend as revenue expenditure is generally considered a necessary evil to carry out the development. But revenue budget provides the money for core functions of the organisation (as listed before), without which the organisation just cannot be run. As the government cannot avoid paying salaries, the usual victim of austerity measures is the category called supply and services. Shortage of funds for these core functions of the department, can play havoc with the morale and efficiency of the staff. Without an efficient and motivated department, it is difficult to expect quality performance in development. As we have seen in Table 8-4, the share of supply and services in the total revenue budget is less than 8%. Even within this category, mandatory items like electricity bills, take priority. Usually there is little money for meeting the travel expenses of the field staff and people have not seen their travel bills reimbursed for years. Whatever money is there, is just sufficient to pay for the travel expenses of senior officers, unless a field unit is linked to a well-funded project. For this reason, either the field staff does not travel, or they have to eke out money from some other account through unfair means. Similarly, it was noticed that there was no money for dealing with crimes and court procedures. As a result, the field staff is wary of booking an offence because they have no money to feed the arrested persons, their transport to the court, and for various types of court expenses. Thus, hundreds of offences go unreported and unprosecuted due to the shortage of funds. 74 ACCF (Monitoring) 194 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

217 Quite often there are vehicles and boats but no fuel, unless a project pays for fuel. There may be many other such critical needs for which either no provision is made or only a cosmetic provision is made. These shortages slow down the department quite significantly but no steps have so far been taken to rectify the situation. The situation is well-known to senior officers but they find themselves helpless. Nearly all the development budget comes in the form of projects which are site specific and action specific. Including the donor funded projects. These projects usually focus on asset building but hardly ever provide for their maintenance. During the project period, some maintenance funds, such as for fuel, travel etc. may also be available. But when a project ends, or in an area where there is no project, the field staff faces a very critical situation. There is generally a gap between the end of one project and the beginning of the next. Quite often funds for the maintenance of the assets and for performance of normal functions of the department dry up. As a result, many of the gains of the development projects are lost. It is, therefore, important that the GoB recognises the fact that without keeping the department in peak condition, by toning up various internal systems, peak performance cannot be expected from the frontline staff Development partners Bangladesh receives international assistance from a large number of development partners. As mentioned before, several multilateral (the WB, ADB, UNDP, FAO, UNESCO, GEF, EU) and bilateral (USAID, SIDA, DFID, GIZ) donor agencies have been active in the forestry sector for long. With the emergence of the climate change as a major concern in forestry, flow of international funding in the name of mitigating and adapting to climate change has increased significantly. Although there have been a large number of internationally funded projects in the country, a list of the major recent projects, and the sponsoring agencies, is given in Table 8-5. Table 8-5: Donor Financed Projects (Completed, Ongoing and Committed). 75 Project Title Period Project Cost (Lakh Taka) Donor's Contribution (Lakh Taka) Donor Status Forest Resources ,472 19,337 IDA Completed Management Project Forestry Sector Project ,529 20,940 ADB Completed Coastal Greenbelt ,834 9,892 ADB Completed Project Nishorgo Support ,209 5,620 USAID Completed Project Support to Essential Management Capacity in the Sundarbans WH Site following the Passage of Cyclone Sidr UNESCO Completed 75 ACCF Development Wing, BFD SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 195

218 Project Title Period Project Cost (Lakh Taka) Donor's Contribution (Lakh Taka) Donor Status Integrated Protected Area Co-Management (IPAC)- Nishorgo Sundarban Environmental and Livelihood Security (SEALS) Sustainable Development and Biodiversity Conservation in Coastal (Protection) Forest (SDBC-Sundarban) Management of Natural Resources and Community Forestry (Chunoti) Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change through Coastal Afforestation in Bangladesh Biodiversity Conservation in the SRF Strengthening Regional Co-operation for Wildlife Protection Project Bangladesh Climate Resilient Participatory Afforestation and Reforestation Project Climate Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods (CREL) ,107 4,386 USAID Completed ,620 10,058 EU Completed ,182 4,000 GIZ Completed ,833 2,500 GIZ Completed ,158 4,142 GEF Completed ,886 23,862 ADB GEF Partly Completed ,620 25,495 IDA/WB Ongoing ,350 27,540 BCCRF and AF Ongoing ,967 10,291 USAID Ongoing BAGH Project ,188 9,426 USAID Ongoing Integrating Communitybased Adaptation into Afforestation and Reforestation Programmes in Bangladesh. UN-REDD Bangladesh Programme Expanding the Protected Area System to incorporate Important Aquatic Ecosystems ,520 4,520 GEF Prodoc Signed ,677 1,677 UNDP and FAO Prodoc Signed ,301 1,301 GEF Prodoc Signed 196 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

219 As can be seen from Table 8-5, a fair amount of international finance has been flowing into the forestry sector of the country. There have been no blank years for a long time. While several large projects have been completed, new ones are being signed and a considerable amount of funds have been lined up for the next few years. Apart from the traditional national and international sources of funding, several new avenues of finance have also opened up in the recent years. The GoB has created two new funds for financing climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes from where financing for the forestry sector can also be accessed. The Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) is resourced entirely from the government s own budget, while the Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) consists of funds pledged and provided by developed countries or groups (such as the United Kingdom, Sweden and the European Union). The two funds have differing governance and management arrangements, but both are meant to support the implementation of the BCCSAP. In addition to these new national vehicles for financing climate action, including forestry, Green Climate Fund (GCF) created by the UNFCCC is another promising source of funding for the future. The GCF is a fund within the framework of the UNFCCC, founded as a mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. The GCF will support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries using thematic funding windows. It is intended to be the centrepiece of efforts to raise climate finance of USD 100 billion a year by Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) of the UNFCCC are now well-known carbon finance mechanisms for generating international support for forestry and conservation. Bangladesh is well on its way to benefit from REDD+ as it has become a member of the UN-REDD Programme and has already prepared projects which are ready for submission. Similarly, activities proposed under Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAPA) and Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions (INDCs) can also attract international finance from developed countries on the lines of REDD+ and CDM. Although the carbon market is quite down at the moment but the concerted international efforts to revive the mechanism hold a good promise of recovery someday. Apart from these multilateral institutional sources, many developed countries also provide climate change mitigation and adaptation funding to developing countries through bilateral arrangements. Norway International Climate and Forest Initiative, Germany REDD Early Movers Program and United States USAID, Forest Service and Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 are some of the important agencies which provide climate change finance to developing countries on a bilateral basis (discussed in more detail in section 6.3 at page 133). 8.2 Major constraints in financial and technical resource mobilization As was discussed in the preceding discussion, the development budget in Bangladesh has really picked up in the last 5 years and there is no real shortage of funds for development expenditure, looking at the capacity of BFD to utilise these funds effectively and efficiently. However, in view of its extreme vulnerability to climate change related risks, the country is likely to attract even more international support in future and BFD has to gear up to benefit from these new opportunities. At present, the level of ODA infusion is primarily limited by the SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 197

220 capacity of BFD to utilise more funds effectively and efficiently. As the country needs much more ODA in the forestry sector, in order to be able to deal with the climate change related and socioeconomic issues, the systemic constraints that limit the capacity of BFD to utilise more funds need to be addressed urgently. The revenue budget of BFD, which is the core funding for maintaining the department, is perennially inadequate and some activities such as travel, forest protection etc. are seriously affected by this shortage, as discussed before. As the revenue budget is provided out of the national resources, it has to depend on the capacity of the national economy. As the overall size of the national economy is small, and claimants for these limited resources are many, shortage of funds is natural. Even then, forestry has been getting a disproportionately low share of the national kitty (0.27%) perhaps due to the lack of appreciation of the importance of forests to the rural economy and the environment. As revenue funds run the core systems of the government, adequate revenue funds are required to enable BFD and other institutions to use the development resources effectively and efficiently. The only constraint that seems to be inhibiting the sector from accessing a higher share of the national budget is perhaps its influence with the planners and financiers of the nation. One important requirement for efficient use of financial resources is the technical capacity of the organisation. Technology is one of the key ingredients of modern governance as it improves efficiency, and transparency. The country has been getting technical support bundled with the investments for a long time but most of the gains are often lost with time as the organisation does not encourage or reward technical excellence and the system does not show a hunger for technical excellence. It is often seen that persons trained for something are posted on other jobs, new equipment is not used because technical staff to use them is not available, or there is no money to maintain or upgrade the new acquisitions. While forestry is fast modernising in the world, on the strength of new technological infusion in the form of computers, communications, remote sensing, GIS technologies, but most of the BFD operations are still run the old way, using little or no technology. Some of the technological constraints of the forestry sector are due to the prevailing technological level of the Bangladesh society but agencies like BFD can become the harbinger of change as they can demonstrate the benefits of going hi-tech to the rest of the country and can thus help in fast tracking the country s development. Some of the weaknesses of the forestry sector that militate against faster growth and development area briefly discussed in the following sections. Low penetration of information technology and internet Due to the low use of information technology (IT) and internet, the availability and transmission of information is very badly affected. Although computers are now penetrating the offices of BFD, as everywhere else, the pace of their penetration and assimilation is quite slow. Most offices have computers but they are not networked, there is no culture of creating databases, there is just one facility (RIMS) in the department which uses GIS and remote sensing technologies to produce and store spatial information, and an MIS developed 10 years ago was never used because necessary staff could not be trained or recruited. No computers are available at the range level where all the primary data is produced. Obviously, internet in these offices is also not there. There is no unit within BFD which is responsible for upgrading the IT infrastructure and skills in the department. 198 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

221 Information technology is the backbone of every society or organisation. It can make work faster and better. Availability of computers and computing skills is a primary requirement to be able to absorb other new technologies. BFD cannot benefit from the increasing availability of local or international resources, if its IT capabilities are limiting its capabilities. Staff vacancies and erratic recruitment Table 8-6 below shows the current level of vacancies in important cadres in BFD. As can be seen, there are a large number of vacancies as a result of recruitments not keeping pace with retirements or attrition. While overall the department is 22% short of its staff, at the senior level the vacancies are a glaring 43.8%. The two critical levels for field operations, the deputy conservator (Divisional Forest Officers) level and ranger level, are short of staff by 50% and 39.5%, respectively. Due to such a huge vacancy level, the performance of the staff deteriorates. BFD has not recruited rangers and assistant conservators for decades. As a result most of the staff is past their prime and there is no young blood in the department to lend it the requisite energy and dynamism. Whenever these vacancies are filled, in future, there will be bulk recruitments, which will lead to new administrative problems as they will all become entitled to promotions at the same time and will retire at the same time. In the absence of regular recruitment, the training institutes also start decaying as there are no clients for decades. Unless BFD develops a proper human resource management system, the capacity of the BFD to attract and utilise resources shall always remain limited. Table 8-6: Vacancies at important levels in BFD. Name of the Post Total Posts In Position Vacant Positions Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests % Deputy Conservator of Forests % Senior Instructor % Sub-Divisional Forest Officer % Research Officer/Botanist % Assistant Conservator of Forests % Instructor % Total at Higher Level % Forest Ranger/ Field Investigator % Overall 10,240 7,992 2, % Utilisation of Training, Technical Reports, Equipment As mentioned before, Bangladesh gets a lot of technical support from international agencies, which always comes bundled with financial packages. Apart from the special technical assistance projects, most investment projects also have a strong component of capacity building in the form of overseas training and equipment supply. A large number of consultancy outputs are available, which were meant to help in preparing new investment projects, or developed training materials, conducted technical studies to improve knowledge and understanding of resources or reviewed the departmental systems, laws, policies etc. in order to improve the delivery of the system. However, most of these inputs are often not utilised for the benefit of the sector, for one reason or the other. Trained persons often do not get a chance to use their training because they are transferred to some other positions, technical reports are often not used for the purpose for which they are ordered because the systems are very slow SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 199

222 and bureaucratic. New equipment is not used because either the required staff is not there or the equipment becomes dysfunctional for want of maintenance and upgradation. BFD has to tone up its internal systems to ensure that the technical assistance it receives is utilised to the maximum extent. Lack of incentives for skill enhancement Another weakness that may affect the performance of the department adversely is the lack of systems that encourage skill development. As in most traditional organisations in South Asia, all professional staff is recruited at the same level and they all follow the same growth path until their retirement. The promotions are primarily on the basis of seniority and merit has only a marginal role in career advancement. Acquisition of an additional skill entails no advantage or incentive and the person may be required to do things which have nothing to do with his special skills. There is no system of lateral recruitment of inducting specially qualified technical staff to work in emerging areas. As a result, virtually every officer in the department has the same skill set and they are generally unable to cope with situations requiring to deal with anything other than afforestation, patrolling, office management etc. Perhaps it is time that BFD reviews its skill requirements in the context of modern forestry and develop appropriate staff strength either through lateral entry or by retraining existing staff through incentives and encouragement. Inefficiency, bureaucracy The ability of a government organisation to mobilise resources also depends on its reputation and name for delivery. If the government has the confidence that the resources provided to an agency shall be well spent, it may be more generous towards that agency, even in the middle of a competition for resources. Although BFD has done some wonderful work in the teeth of severe difficulties, but the public image of the department is not that of a clean and efficient organisation. As the frontline staff of BFD has to deal with poor resource dependent people, complaints of excesses and corruption keep appearing in the media. The public remembers these incidences more than the great work being done by the organisation in the worst of conditions. Although there is a clear realisation in the society that good forest management is critical for the wellbeing of the people of Bangladesh, but the country is not investing enough in keeping BFD healthy and efficient. Perhaps, BFD should mount a strong image building campaign and should also have a public relations office so that positive stories about the achievements of the department keep leaking into the media. 8.3 Other Organisations 76 Apart from BFD, Bangladesh Forest Research Institute (BFRI), Bangladesh National Herbarium (BHH) and Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation (BFIDC) are operating in the forestry sector. Out of these, BFIDC is not dependent on government finance and is almost self-reliant in resources. It makes a small annual profit from its operations which has been dwindling over the years. It made the highest profit of Tk crore in in recent years, while the profit in was only Tk crore, with a loss of Tk 8.15 in the previous year. BFRI is completely dependent on revenue budget and has no development funding at present. However, one project entitled "Establishment of Regional Bamboo Research and Training 76 Also see section 7.4 at page SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

223 Centre" at Domar, Nilphamari (Tk crore) has been approved in financial year under development budget. Their revenue budget in the year was Tk crore. Additionally, BFRI had a few small research projects funded by the GoB until (total budget Tk crore for 3 years) but currently they have nothing. Obviously doing any research in BFRI must be very difficult. BFRI has had no externally aided project in the recent past. 235 posts out of 792 are vacant, more in the technical category. A modernisation project worth Tk. 109 crore is said to be under discussion with the government. Recruitment of staff is very difficult due to outmoded recruitment rules and quality staff does not stay due to lack of career development opportunities. Organisation structure of the institute has not been reviewed ever since BNH, which preserves specimens of the vascular flora of the country, is in no better position than BFRI. It survives only on the development budget, which was only Tk. 2.4 crores in the year After nearly a decade, BNH has received development funding for the first time for a research project worth Tk crore, for two years and SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 201

224 9 Challenges, vision and goals for the FMP 9.1 FMP Vision and Objectives The Forestry Master Plan shall endeavour to achieve the vision enshrined in the National Forest Policy (draft) 2016, i.e.: Restore and maintain the country s environmental integrity; increase and stabilize its forest cover to at least 20% of the country's geographical area; address in the most effective manner the emerging challenges associated with climate change and the maintenance of sustainable flows of ecosystem goods and services; increase the contributions of the country's forests to national income and the enhancement of local employment and income opportunities; and support efforts to secure food security and alleviate poverty by enhancing biodiversity conservation through the sustainable management of forests, wildlife and other ecosystems, including those of protected areas, social and community forests, coastal forests of mangroves and charland plantations, wetlands, homesteads, and other tree cover. The principal objectives of the National Forestry Policy are to: 1. Reduce forest degradation and halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and conserve environmental services, biodiversity and wildlife, promote food and water security and enhance community livelihoods to mitigate the impacts of climate change. 2. Intensify efforts to ensure that 20% of the country's area is under forests and tree cover, including 100% of state forests, 80% of hill land areas, 30% of terrain land areas, and 10% of plain land areas, by 2035 through afforestation, reforestation, social forestry, and ecological restoration and sustainable forest management programmes involving the government, conservation and natural resources management non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector in partnership with local communities. 3. Enhance forest resilience through the conservation of forests and biodiversity, arresting forest fragmentation and degradation, establishing and linking forest corridors, encouraging participatory afforestation with climate resilient species, and strengthening forest resources patrolling activities by expanding the use of MIST and SMART monitoring and reporting systems and linking their applications with the actions of rapid response forest crime enforcement teams. 4. Strengthen biodiversity conservation by mitigating threats and drivers of forest degradation and the loss of biodiversity and expanding and sustainably managing protected area landscapes and wildlife, including forest corridors. 5. Increase contributions to revenue generation and the enhancement of local employment and income opportunities through the establishment of sustainable and profitable forest products enterprises, the development and expansion of nature- and 202 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

225 culture-based tourism, and the optimization of carbon credit and other related sources of conservation funding. 6. Promote innovative forms of collaborative, participatory forestry to increase forest productivity with positive implications on climate change mitigation, poverty alleviation and the equitable distribution of socioeconomic benefits to local communities. 7. Restore and sustainably manage degraded and other marginal areas, including coastal areas and wetlands, under climate resilient, participatory afforestation, reforestation, rehabilitation and ecological restoration processes to increase carbon sequestration consistent with the production and distribution of co-benefits that contribute to meeting local community requirements. 8. Launch and sustain a country-wide conservation movement by encouraging, especially, women, youth and indigenous people to promote climate resilient private tree growing and forge innovative conservation partnerships with the private sector, civil society and conservation and natural resources management NGOs to forestall forest land encroachment, impede deforestation and forest degradation, and control wildlife poaching and trafficking. 9. Ensure compliance with the requirements of relevant international agreements, conventions, and protocols to which the Government of Bangladesh is a signatory and establish appropriate enabling conditions to access international funds made available under those agreements, conventions, and protocols. 10. Monitor the state of forest, biodiversity and ecosystem services to provide relevant management and decision-making information required by the government and its departments and agencies, as well as by other stakeholders, through increasing manpower and the institutional strengthening of forestry research and analytical capacities and monitor the status of local community forest users and resource uses. Guided by this broad sectoral vision, and objectives, the FMP shall attempt to achieve the goals presented in the following sections. 9.2 Meeting growing biomass demands and socio-economic needs The population of Bangladesh is projected to increase from million currently to million in 2030 and million in Despite growing industrial and service-related sectors of the economy, the pressure on land to provide agricultural employment and to attain food self-sufficiency can be assumed to increase in step. The population growth will also lead to greater demands for biomass, predominantly in the form of timber for construction and wood fuel. Incidentally, recent trends show a decline in the consumption of wood fuel but the consumption of construction and industrial wood is still rising. Although detailed studies of the demand and supply situation are required, there is no doubt that demand for biomass in the future will continue to rise during the plan period due to the increase in population. Despite the apparent decline in demand for biomass in recent years (see section 0), the current production of woody biomass is happening at the cost of losing tree cover in the country. Bangladesh lost 71,906 ha of tree cover from areas with more than 10% canopy cover between 2001 and 2014, SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 203

226 making an average annual loss of approximately 5,136 ha 77. A large part of the natural forests is virtually treeless now. This indicates a very high pressure on forest and that the current demand is not being met sustainably. One of the important policies in the new FMP is to increase the capacity of the BFD to collect, interpret and manage information related to all aspects of forest management in Bangladesh, including the mapping and demarcation of all gazetted forest land. This should lead to better protected RF land. Over 32% of the geographical area of the country is already under significant tree cover and an approach to enrich the vegetative cover in this already available land shall help in meeting most of the goals of the forestry sector. In order to mitigate the pressures on (forest) land and to maintain or even increase production of timber and NTFPs, while enhancing the livelihoods and resilience of local communities, the following goals are defined: Undertake a massive reforestation programme in the denuded RF, PF and USF areas to boost biomass production and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Promote agroforestry in rural areas so that areas under forest cover directly contribute to rural livelihoods while producing biomass (mostly for wood fuel) and other goods and services (such as fodder for livestock, nitrogen fixation for soil fertility, micro-climate regulation). Introduce tree species that have a higher yield of biomass, specifically tailored or selected to match the environmental conditions of the major ecological regions of Bangladesh. Introduce payment schemes related to maintenance or enhancement of forest area and biomass, such as through the National REDD+ Programme and other schemes for payment for ecosystem services. Promote climate-neutral alternatives for forest-based products in construction, manufacturing and domestic use. Increase efficiency to reduce demand for biomass (e.g. brick kilns, improved cook stoves and solar cookers). 9.3 Addressing environmental challenges; climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services Climate change Combating climate change through mitigation and adaptation measures shall be an important goal of the FMP. The measures shall include: Preserving natural forests, undertaking plantation of climate resilient tree species for sequestering carbon, creating shelterbelts of climate resilient species of trees to protect coastal communities, infrastructure and natural resources, and protecting river catchments and watersheds. Equipping climate vulnerable communities with the skills and resources to undertake alternative income generation activities at times of climate related stresses on existing livelihoods. 77 Global Forest Watch 204 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

227 Effects of sea level rise and storm tidal surges are reduced by protection provided by existing mangroves and other coastal forests. Siltation in coastal and estuarine forests will be enhanced through the use of silt traps, to increase the rate of forest floor rise to help compensate for sea level rise. Where large infrastructural works are implemented along waterways, strip plantations will be integrated. Research into salt-tolerant species for planting in temporarily flooded areas will be strengthened. Plantations of trees will recognize the predicted rising temperature and changes in rainfall patterns, selecting species that are optimally adjusted to the local conditions predicted throughout the rotation period. Research into climate change patterns in Bangladesh and appropriate species selection will be strengthened. Natural forests will be monitored intensively to identify changes in ecology and biodiversity due to changing climate patterns early on. In particular, habitat effects for faunal species including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects will be monitored and remedial action undertaken as required. River discharge patterns will be monitored to assess impacts on freshwater (e.g. Tanguar Hoar) and estuarine forest ecosystems (Sundarbans, coastal forests). Biodiversity Biodiversity of Bangladesh is depleting as a result of forest loss and degradation as well as due to unsustainable, illegal, exploitation of many wildlife species. Climate change is likely to create new threats for many species of plants and animals. Apart from the measures indicated above, measures to conserve biodiversity shall include the following: The rich biodiversity in forest lands of Bangladesh will be preserved in a sustainable manner, including both flora and fauna species. The genetic diversity found in the forests has enormous potential to support sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products, including medicines and other rare chemical compounds, and to safeguard the forest resources against the effects of climate change (water availability, rising temperatures, prolonged flooding or exposure to high levels of saline water). Bangladesh has some natural areas of global ecological importance most notably the Sundarbans and Tanguar Hoar and emblematic fauna species such as the Bengal tiger. Areas of importance in maintaining a high degree of biodiversity will be protected, with buffer areas established around them. Measures to curb poaching and trafficking of wildlife products and derivatives shall be strengthened. A research programme will be established to continuously monitor the biodiversity of the forests, including minor flora and fauna species. Ecosystem goods and services Maintaining and monitoring the continuous supply of ecosystem goods and services shall be a challenge to be addressed under the FMP. These services are threatened by the climate change and socioeconomic pressures on all ecosystems. The goals and measures indicated before shall contribute significantly to the maintenance of ecosystem services. Additional measures to be taken for this purpose shall include the following: SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 205

228 BFD will continuously monitor and publish detailed information on yield of forest products, including their economic value. This includes timber and non-timber forest products for gazetted forest areas, but also from homestead forests, social forestry areas and other forest resources. The publication will be done in digital format and serve the multiple purposes of formal forestry statistics, forestry research and to educate the population on the goods that the forests of Bangladesh provide. Eco-tourism for domestic and international clients will be fostered, in particular in places of high interest due to proximity to cities or because of intrinsic natural values. Local communities will be engaged in eco-tourism activities wherever possible, to provide opportunities for socio-economic development and to foster local guardianship over forest resources. Ecosystem services, in particular those related to pollination, pest and disease control, micro-climate regulation, water and air purification and carbon sequestration need to be assessed (and quantified where possible) on a spatially-explicit basis. A comprehensive field-based monitoring system will be developed, as well as a research programme to analyse data and to develop approaches that optimize the generation and sustainability of ecosystem goods and services. All relevant information on ecosystem services will be shared with other sectors of government at central and local levels such that policies in other areas may be informed of the importance of safeguarding forest resources. Additionally, the information will be shared with the general public for education and awareness. 9.4 Adopting sustainable and participatory forest management systems The goals of participatory forest management include: (1) Developing the stakes of the local communities in tree farming and conservation of forests; (2) Empowering the weaker sections of the local community (poor, under-privileged youths, women); (3) Promoting a cooperative structure in the locality to articulate the interest and voices of local people; (4) Meeting the needs of local people for forest products ; (5) Improving the socio-economic condition of the local people: (6) Establishing self-reliance and selfdependency in the minds of the poor and distressed people; (7) Stopping or reversing the process of ecological and climatic degradation by improving the overall environmental condition of the country by increasing tree and forest resources. Improved participatory social forestry management programmes in place, on government and community lands, and expanded greenbelt coastal afforestation programme with mangrove plantings along the shoreline. The programmes will be extended by enhancing secondary benefits from plantations and co-management of natural forests, such as fruits, honey, mushrooms and other non-timber forest products that enhance the livelihoods of the participating communities. Expansion of community-based wildlife management and exploitation of eco-tourism ventures. Policies outside of forest land will be developed in collaboration with relevant government agencies to promote multiple-use species in agricultural landscapes and along roads and canals, for the provisioning of tree products to local communities, such 206 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

229 as fire wood, fodder (from leguminous tree species), poles, construction timber, fruit, etc. An urban forestry programme will be established in collaboration with local authorities to enhance the urban environment (e.g. air filtration) and provide spaces for leisure to the urban population, involving local schools and disadvantaged groups in establishment and maintenance. 9.5 Policies, institutions and resources to meet the environmental and socio-economic challenges The policies that will be required to meet the environmental and socioeconomic challenges that will increasingly be confronted over the planning period of the Forestry Master Plan will have to recognize the importance of (1) conserving and restoring forests and expanding forest areas; (2) adopting sustainable management practices; (3) conserving and restoring sustained flows of ecosystem services; (4) reducing vulnerabilities to current climate risks and climate change by enhancing the resilience of forest ecosystems and communities; and (5) ensuring participatory forest management, including meeting local biomass needs and enhancing local livelihoods. The strategies designed to facilitate the implementation of the National Forestry Policy to support the achievement of these national development priorities will strengthen: Sustainable Forest Management by means of forest conservation and ecological restoration and the use of modern forest technologies and innovative and collaborative management practices. The country's forest ecosystems will be managed sustainably to provide climate change- and socioeconomic-related benefits and resources for meeting local community requirements for timber, fuelwood, non-timber forest products, and other forest resources. Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation by means of demarcating protected areas into core zones and buffer areas and promoting the co-management of protected areas, including wetlands; International Conventions, Treaties, and Protocols by means of adhering to, and ensuring compliance with, the requirements of international agreements, including those to conserve biodiversity, ensure the sustainable management of natural resources, enhance carbon stocks, and sustain the flows of forest ecosystem goods and services; Climate Resilient Forestry by means of (1) promoting forest ecosystem-based natural disaster mitigation and risk reduction programmes and mainstreaming social and environmental safeguards, including the rights of indigenous communities expressed through 'free, prior and informed consent;' (2) prioritizing coastal afforestation and mangrove regeneration as an adaptation response in recognition of the prevailing high risks and vulnerabilities of coastal communities; and (3) supporting forest-dependent communities in coastal areas in conducting village level climate change vulnerability assessments and developing and implementing climate change adaptation plans. Forest and Wildlife Protection by means of strictly enforcing and regularly reviewing and amending applicable legislation and regulations to deter illegal tree felling, forest SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 207

230 fires, forest grazing, wildlife poaching and trafficking, and encroachment on forest lands and protected areas, as well as by strengthening institutional mechanisms and coordination with relevant law enforcement agencies, including the Coast Guard, Navy, Police, and the Bangladesh Border Guards. Commercial Forestry by means of discouraging the supply of subsidized forest products from state forests to forest-based industries and recognizing that the supply of wood for those industries will be increasingly provided from homesteads and other non-state forests and will be supported through the establishment of private plantations with an emphasis on employment-generating income growth for the rural poor; Forestry Research, Monitoring, Education, Training, Extension, and Communication by means of (1) strengthening the capacities of public forestry institutions, conservation and natural resources management NGOs, civil society organizations, and forest dependent communities through targeted training programmes; (2) incorporating forestry, environment, and climate change-related subjects into natural science disciplines in agriculture and other public and private universities and institutions; and (3) redirecting the perspective of the BFD from its previous prominence on maximizing timber revenues to climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, and environmental services management by strengthening human resources and restructuring forestry training institutions and education programmes; Legislation, Personnel Management and Administration by means of ensuring that state forests will not be converted to non-forestry uses without prior approval from the Prime Minister s office, updating the organizational structures of public sector forestry organizations to account for required personnel and emerging responsibilities, strengthening human resources, and ensuring that the primary basis for promotion and posting will be performance, professionalism, commitment, efficiency and integrity; and Indigenous Communities and Chittagong Hill Tracts by means of applying an integrated watershed conservation approach that incorporates indigenous community watershed protection, especially in the headwater reserved forests of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Institutions The institutional modifications supported under the National Forestry Policy required to meet the environmental and socioeconomic challenges that will respond to the emerging challenges associated with climate change and the maintenance of sustainable flows of ecosystem goods and services are primarily concerned with strengthening and reforming forestry sector public institutions. Those efforts will be supported through the establishment of a Wildlife and Nature Conservation Wing, as well as an operational crime control unit and international cooperation unit, in the BFD. The Resources Information Management System (RIMS) will be upgraded, as well, through the establishment of a new wing on Forest Resources Assessment and Monitoring with adequate skilled staffing that will be responsible for forest resources-related data collection, documentation and dissemination, as well as for planning and conducting periodic analyses of forest cover and forest resources inventories, and coordinating resource monitoring. The training facilities of the Forest Training Academy, Forest Development and Training Centre, and Forest Science and Technology Institutes will also be restructured and enhanced by increasing the numbers of qualified and skilled faculty members and ensuring the provision of adequate budgets and sufficient logistic support. 208 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

231 The BFRI will establish field research connections with the participation of public and private universities and other research institutions, as well as the private sector, to facilitate the design, development and implementation of research programmes that are responsive to the country's development requirements, as well as to those of sustainable forest management and resource conservation. In establishing those connections, forest research will increasingly encompass the investigation of emerging forestry, biodiversity, and climate change-related issues. Government policies regarding recruitment, posting and management of professional cadre and non-cadre foresters, forest scientists and public forest industry staff will be reoriented to ensure the provision of appropriate incentives to increase motivation and enhance professional competence required to assume increasing responsibilities with human resources planning conducted in every public agency active in the forestry sector. Forestry extension under the Social Forestry Wing will be enhanced to deliver information on forest functions and services supported by research linkages and field evidence and to expand access to silvicultural and forest management 'best' practices and nursery and plantation technologies. Agricultural extension facilities, including extension personnel, will be leveraged to support those activities whenever possible. Technical assistance and extension services will be provided to private nursery owners and investors in growing trees through Forestry Extension, Nursery and Training Centres (FENTC) and Social Forestry Plantation Centres (SFPCs). Sabuj Clubs at union parishads, or at the village level, will be developed as the principal civil society institution for the promotion of private nurseries and tree growing and for increasing awareness of climate change. Partnerships involving forestry extension and communication will be encouraged by establishing links with the private sector and conservation and natural resources management NGOs. Conservation-linked livelihood development will be strengthened, as well, by promoting forest and non-forest based enterprises and women, youth, indigenous communities and other marginal segments of society will be assured equitable representation and importance in forestry extension and management decision-making activities. Resources Providing human, technical and financial resources for the implementation of the revised FMP will be a huge challenge. BFD and all the other public sector institutions are suffering from huge manpower shortages due to obsolete recruitment rules, restrictions on fresh recruitments and attrition due to lack of adequate career development opportunities. Institutional structure of the institutions has not been reviewed in the context of contemporary requirements for a long time. Human resources development programmes of the institutions are almost nonexistent as the training programmes are neither linked to needs nor there is much scope for using new skills. BFD does get adequate technical resources in the form of equipment, software and overseas training, under programmes funded by donors, but the scope for using and retaining the technical knowledge is limited due to the non-existent manpower planning and deployment systems. Most of the equipment received under various projects is often nonfunctional due to lack of resources for maintenance and operators. Availability of financial resources for raising vast plantations and undertaking various other measures is going to be a huge challenge. FMP 1995 could get less than 40% of the estimated requirement. Availability of resources is likely to be largely dependent on the interest of donors, SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 209

232 including multilateral financial institutions, which will further depend, among others, on the ability of the BFD and other institutions to use the available funds responsibly. Even if the funds to undertake development work are available, providing revenue funds for the core requirements of the BFD shall be an equally big challenge. Without adequate revenue funds, the ability of the BFD and other organisations to undertake ambitious development programmes shall be seriously undermined. Following measures shall be required to enable the forestry sector to implement the FMP effectively: Manpower requirements of the forestry sector organisations shall be reviewed in view of the contemporary challenges and steps shall be taken to fill the vacancies expeditiously and regularly. Needs of the BFD and other organisations for technical resources such as training and equipment shall be reviewed and steps shall be taken to ensure that these resources are regularly provided through collaborations with national and international technical institutions. All avenues of international finance to provide adequate funds for the implementation of the FMP shall be accessed, in addition to the national resources. Government of Bangladesh shall regularly review the need for revenue funds of the forestry sector organisations and shall take steps to meet the needs regularly. 9.6 Strategies to address International Conventions MoEF/BFD will establish a monitoring system capable of producing the most common information that is required in the various reports to international conventions, such as the UNFCCC (National Communications, Biennial Update Report and Technical Annex (REDD+), Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, National Adaptation Plan of Actions, etc.), the UNCCD (National Reports, National Action Programme), the CBD (National Reports), the Ramsar Convention (National Reports), the Forest Resources Assessment (Country Report), etc. The information will be extracted as much as possible from existing operational procedures in BFD in order to reduce the resources required to produce and compile the required information. The entire process of reporting to the international conventions will be integrated in the general procedures of MoEF/BFD and resources allocated to it. Where necessary, institutional arrangements will be established to streamline the efforts of the relevant government agencies in producing the reports. An interinstitutional focal point will be established to coordinate efforts. Specific information for each of the conventions will be supported through a data collection protocol tied to the BFD monitoring system and directed research, in particular where complex analyses are required such as for the assessment of reductions in GHG emissions under the REDD+ mechanism. 210 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

233 10 Other Critical Issues The terms of reference of this assignment have not provided for a discussion and evaluation of some critical issues relevant to the development of the FMP. These issues are, namely, Land Management, Current Forest Management and Wildlife Management. As these issues are likely to form the core of the recommendations in the new FMP, it is important to review them and draw conclusions which can guide the development of proposals for the future Land Management Forest Department is the custodian of a huge estate which forms almost 13% of the landmass of the country. Land is a very precious and scarce and there are all kinds of demands, both legal as well as illegal, from the public as well as government agencies, for taking it away. Although BFD is very reluctant to share forest land with anybody, even for purposes of reforestation of degraded forests, it has still not developed proper land management and monitoring practices which can help it in keeping this resource secure and productive. The poor state of forest land records is reflected in the fact that the records of the headquarters do not tally with the records of the field offices. While the total area notified as forest, or otherwise under the control of the forest department is ha, as per the records in the BFD headquarters, the same estate is ha according to the records of the forest division offices. The area under encroachments, although it has never been surveyed, is occularly estimated to be ha while the area transferred to other agencies for various purposes is reported to be ha. Despite this land loss ( ha), BFD has not corrected its records and continues to report the notified figure as the forest estate. One reason for this sad state of affairs is that the forest estate has not been mapped and demarcated on the ground. As a result, the neighbours are free to push the boundaries, a few feet at a time and BFD does not have the capacity to map changes in the estate on a case to case basis. In the absence of authentic maps and demarcation, it is virtually impossible to prove the offence in a court. Therefore, the actual holding of the forest department is likely to be much less than what the records may say. Land survey used to be one of the basic skills taught to even the lowest of foresters in the past. But that skill has been completely lost now due to disuse. Although GPSs have become common place now but there is no move to use these modern tools to assess the condition of the forest lands. Due to the lack of boundary demarcation, even the FIGNSP (2013) exercise to map the forests could not give any assessment of the forest area under encroachments or occupation. Due to the absence of clear records and maps, hundreds of court cases related to land disputes are languishing in the courts. One primary requirement for land management of any kind is to have good quality maps. Every officer in charge of any parcel of land, starting with the beat officer right upto the conservator of forests, must have a clear idea of forest boundaries and must check them with the maps from time to time. Although the Survey of Bangladesh produces good quality maps but these maps are hardly ever seen with the foresters in the field. The only maps one sees with the field staff are the photocopies of the manual maps prepared in the sixties. It is reported that these are the only maps recognised by the courts in cases of disputes. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 211

234 Due to large scale encroachments and shifting of boundaries, surveying and mapping of forests will now be extremely difficult as the neighbours are likely to try to stall the process though litigation, if intimidation does not work. CHT area does not have even the cadastral maps of the area. Therefore, mapping and surveying CHT area is going to be virtually impossible, especially in the light of the law and order situation prevailing in the area. However, there is no option but to survey and map the forest estate, and update these maps regularly, if the country wants to preserve its natural forests. Paradoxically, the current social forestry policy also comes in the way of proper land management, as, rather than evicting forest encroachers, government recognises and respects their right to occupy government land by planting trees at government expense. As these encroachers can never be evicted now, evicting any new encroachers will cause a moral dilemma for the government. Thus the situation is likely to worsen if some tough decisions are not taken. Newly accreting char land is another major concern for the forest department. Government has notified all upcoming char lands as reserved or proposed reserve forests which need to be stabilised with the help of mangrove plantations. However, these lands become suitable for shrimp cultivation and other uses over time and the pressure to release these lands mounts. Despite notifying these areas as forest, government expects to get this land back for other uses at some stage, even if it has been planted up. The failed plantations are at an increased risk of being demanded for alternative uses. Approximately ha char land is expected to be available for plantations in the next 20 years, as per the assessment made by CEGIS. As coastal plantations have now become important more for their protective role against climate induced risks, than simple tree land, government has to change its policy of land diversion in order to have a permanent and effective shelterbelt of coastal plantations. Under the difficult circumstances faced by BFD, the only viable option for BFD is to strengthen its hold on the surviving forests wherever possible, in the first place, by surveying and mapping them urgently. In the CHT, even that is going to be difficult. Although Sundarbans have not faced any major land alienation in the past, but the pressures are going to mount in future, as many new development projects come up in the area. Therefore, it is high time that the boundaries of the SRF, both on land as well as on water are demarcated and mapped before the situation worsens any further. Modern equipment like the total stations and GPSs make the surveying and mapping job very easy. Irrespective of the fact whether anybody else recognises these maps or not, BFD must map their existing forests immediately for its own records and monitoring. In fact, the FIGNSP (2013) project has already mapped all the forests. The boundaries of these forests may not be clear in these maps but the boundaries of existing natural vegetation are clear. These boundaries can be immediately demarcated on the basis of these maps, especially wherever they are adjacent to private holdings or encroachments, so that further chipping away of the forest estate is prevented. Demands for diversion of forest land for other land uses is always going to be there. Therefore, Government must have a strict policy to release forest land only in extreme cases. As proposed in the new forestry policy, the demanding agencies must be asked to provide equivalent area of land and the cost of compensatory afforestation. A system of calculating and charging the 212 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

235 net present value (NPV) of the released land should be devised to make the demanding agencies pay for the lost land, in case they cannot provide land Forest Management Current status of the forest estate The condition of the state forests has been described in detail in chapter 1. In a nutshell, out of 1.87 million ha of notified state forests, only about lakh ha is in its natural condition at present, out of which approximately ha is in the Sundarbans (nearly ha is a water body in the Sundarbans). The remaining forest estate is either degraded or encroached or planted with teak and gamar (hill forests) or akashmoni (sal and hill forests). While the remaining sal and hill forests (natural) have a canopy density between 10% and 70%, most of the Sundarbans has better canopy density which improves as one goes from west to east. Although the hill forests are a part of the global biodiversity hotspot extending into Northeast India and beyond, but most of that diversity seems to have been lost with the loss of forests. Due to the degradation of hill forests, the village common forests (VCF) maintained by local people are more biodiverse than the state forests. Most of SRF is dominated by just three tree species, namely, Sundari, Gewa and Goran, in association with nearly 25 other mangrove species. Due to the ban on felling of trees in natural forests, limited natural forests that have survived, are mainly an ecological asset now. The only production forests in the country, in terms of timber production, are the plantations, both within and outside the state forests. Nearly all of the consumable wood products needed by the country now come from private forests. The remaining natural forests are extremely fragmented and vulnerable to further damage. A map of the Kassalong Reserve Forest, which is one of the best surviving reserve is give below as an illustration. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 213

236 Map 10-1: Kassalong reserve forest. Due to the ban on felling in natural forests, forest management in Bangladesh is now limited to afforestation and reforestation, apart from protection against illicit felling, encroachments etc. Salient features of the current forest management in Bangladesh are as follows: Protection against illicit felling, encroachments and wildlife poaching Protection of forests, forest lands and forest products, including wildlife, is the first and foremost job of the forest department. The forest laws and the para-military nature of the forest department are meant to help in the discharge of this responsibility. However, in a densely populated and largely poor countryside, protecting forests against socioeconomic pressures is a herculean task. Even the forest laws recognize the fact that forests have historically been 214 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

237 the resource grounds of the rural people, and any provisions for conservation of the forests can be only mildly coercive. Although the laws have been made tougher over time but without any effect. When the laws turned out to be ineffective in conserving the forests, foresters tried to protect them with the help of the people by sharing the benefits with them, through programmes like social forestry and co-management of PAs. But the results have been mixed, at best. Despite all the efforts, forests have continued to degrade and disappear under assault from encroachments, illicit felling and shifting cultivation. The sal forests are almost on the verge of extinction, while the hill forests are not far behind. Only 15% of the sal forests (17495 ha), ha bamboo forest and 11% of hill forests (79161 ha.) have been found to be intact in the satellite base mapping exercise in 2013 while the rest is either degraded wasteland, or agroforestry or akashmoni mono culture (on degraded forest land), or under encroachment or other uses. The remaining natural forests are so fragmented that they do not have much ecological value. Encroachments on forest land, especially are rampant even within protected areas (e.g. Madhupur National Park). Estimates of encroachments are always conservative, in the absence of a proper survey, still ha has been recorded as encroachments. Another ha has been transferred to other agencies for development works. Sundarbans, fortunately, have escaped degradation or deforestation to a large extent, perhaps due to natural reasons. While the enforcement of the forest act has its own problems, the new wildlife act has still not become operational as no rules have been promulgated nor notifications issued for its implementation. Wildlife poaching is rampant and Bangladesh has become a convenient transit route for wildlife and products on way to East Asia from South Asia. The iconic Royal Bengal Tiger is limited to just about 100 animals and the poorly equipped forest guards are no match for tiger poachers and other criminals. Other than the tiger, most of the poaching of wildlife is to feed the pet trade and the appetite for wild meats. Under the circumstances, the country needs to review its conservation strategies in the light of past experience. No liberties can now be taken with the remaining bits of sal and hill forests. They must be protected, if for nothing else, as symbols of the lost glory of the wilds of Bangladesh. Although it will be a tough decision, these forest patches must be declared as some kind of national monuments under a new law, if the forest laws are found inadequate, and must be protected really effectively, with or without the participation of the local people Moratorium on felling of trees in natural forests Government of Bangladesh took notice of the precarious situation of the forests when it gradually started imposing moratorium on felling of trees in natural forests in the seventies. The moratorium was first placed in the sal forest, then it was extended to Sundarbans and then to all forests. In the beginning, an exception was made in the case of gewa in Sundarbans, for supplying raw material to Khulna Newsprint Mills but even that exception was withdrawn, in Thus at present there is a complete moratorium on felling of trees in natural forests. There is no exception even for carrying out silvicultural operations such as thinning. Other than Sundarbans, this moratorium is only of an academic interest now. As the forests in the sal and hill areas have already disappeared except a few fragments, there is not much to debate about the effect of moratorium on forests. As official felling programs are always more guided by silvicultural considerations, than revenue earning, it is unlikely that forests could have been more harmed if the moratorium in the sal and hill forests had not been there. Now that the forests have disappeared despite the moratorium, it is obvious that the other drivers SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 215

238 of forest degradation and deforestation are more powerful and harmful than any wrong silvicultural operations. Although there is not much to be salvaged, some young sal crops in Mymensingh and Tangail divisions are suffering from high congestion as BFD is not carrying out badly required thinnings due to the prevailing moratorium. This has also resulted in the government going back on its signed commitments to the social forestry groups with whom the government has entered into agreements for benefit sharing. In fact, only those areas regarding which there is a social forestry agreement are standing intact while most of the other areas have already been destroyed. In the light of this situation, it may be advisable to revisit the moratorium in specific situations in order to carry out the tending operations as well as to strengthen the commitment of the people to protect their neighbouring forests, by implementing the promised benefit sharing. However, it seems the moratorium has had a positive effect on the health of the Sundarbans forests. This forest had been exploited for its timber resources at least since the Moghul period and had shown continuous decline in growing stock until the moratorium came into effect. Main thrust of management during and after the British period was on the exploitation of timber resources, particularly Sundri (Heriteria fomes). Several good timber inventories were carried out in the past (1959, 1983, 1996), in order to know the growing stock of this large mangrove forest (Choudury & Hossain, 2011). During this period of 37 years ( ) the growing stock had declined by more than 50%; for some species like Gewa, it even declined by 67% due to the enormous demands of this timber species for the Khulna Newsprint mill. Although the extraction of gewa has continued till recently, the positive trend in growing stock and number of stems per ha has been visible since the mid-nineties Hence, main reasons for this decline in stock were, obviously, over-exploitation, whereby the quantities in the forest management plans permitted for extraction, were exceeded. The following table shows the turn-around in the condition of the Sundarbans forests since the moratorium started taking effect: Table 10-1: No. of trees and growing stock per ha (trees over 15 cm dbh) in Sundarbans since 1959 (Source IRMP). It is obvious that the density and growing stock of trees of all species has improved since the introduction of the moratorium. Many people associate this change with the reduction in illicit felling done by the contractors in the name of contracted exploitation. Although subsistence exploitation, though illegal, is still believed to be going on in the SRF, but it is clear that it is far below the threshold level. As the main function of Sundarbans now is to provide protection to the coastal population against sea-borne calamities, and more the density better its effectiveness in absorbing the force of the storms, it seems logical to continue the current moratorium till the day when the country is able to devise a strategy which can ensure that any official felling shall be within the silvicultural limits and the resulting forest shall be as effective in protecting the coastal people and properties. 216 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

239 Reforestation of degraded forest through social forestry These are, mostly, akashmoni plantations in evicted encroachments or other degraded forests in the sal forest as well as hills, except CHT where social forestry has not been able to take root so far, due to the prevailing mistrust of the local people towards BFD. There are huge areas awaiting reforestation in the hills but the pace of the program is too slow to make any dent into the problem. As per BFD records, only ha of block plantations have been undertaken since until , while the extent of degraded area available for planting is at least ha, mostly in the hill districts, as per the forest mapping done in Thus, unless a special project focuses on this issue, the pace of reforestation will not be able to keep pace with the pace of degradation/deforestation. Another issue with social forestry programs is that it focuses only on exotic fast growing species, in order to generate maximum benefits for the beneficiaries. This is not good for the environment, particularly in the context of climate change resilience required from the forests of the future. Therefore, although social forestry is helpful in providing tree cover to denuded forests, some consideration for increasing the diversity of species in the afforestation programs will be required Agroforestry on encroached forest lands-social forestry Agroforestry is an important component of social forestry everywhere but in Bangladesh it is virtually synonymous with the planting of fast growing species on encroached forest land. It is an excellent approach which benefits both the farmer (encroacher) as well as the government (society). It generates cash benefits for the farmer (45% of income) while government is able to put more wood products in the market. The only problem with this approach is that it virtually rewards a criminal act, and may encourage further encroachment of the remaining forest land. However, in a complex socioeconomic environment, such compromises have to be made. Although the government does not have enough money to expand this program to all the encroached land (only ha planted till ), the occupants of the land are also reluctant to participate in the programme in the fear that the plantation may strengthen the government s claim on the land and weaken his. As more than ha land is officially recorded to be under encroachment, it will take a serious effort on the part of the government and development partners to be able to make any visible progress Strip plantations on the sides of roads, canals, railway lines, embankments etc.-social forestry Bangladesh had established 62, km (1000 plants/km) until This is an excellent program and the plantations are generally very successful. However, it is a very expensive programme (Tk /1000 plants), in comparison with the usual block plantations, and the progress is expectedly slow. Moreover, the land owning agencies are reported to be reluctant to hand over their land for this purpose as the plantation may interfere with their future development plans, such as road widening Harvesting of social forestry plantations The only production of timber and fuelwood from BFD programs comes from the harvesting of social forestry plantations. Despite the use of fast growing species, mainly Acacia auriculiformis, the yields from these plantations have not been satisfactory. While the average yield from all felling records since 1981 has been only 2 m 3 /ha on a ten year rotation, analysis of 10 recently harvested plantations in Mymensingh division also gave only 2.47 m 3 /ha, SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 217

240 including fuelwood, although a yield of 6.53 m3/ha was also noticed in one plot. Of course, the results do not include the thinning yields which the beneficiaries take home directly. Global experience indicates that akashmoni is capable of producing more than 15 m 3 /ha. Therefore, there is a dire need to carry out research as to why the yield in Bangladesh is so low. Either BFD should improve yields from akashmoni or discontinue the species in favour of other more promising species like Eucalyptus, Gliricidia sepium, Leucaena leucocephala etc Coastal Plantations (mangrove, non-mangrove, nypa etc.) Bangladesh is perhaps one of the pioneers in coastal plantations, particularly, mangrove plantations. These plantations are undertaken mainly on newly accreted lands when they have reasonably stabilised. As the plantation site matures, and becomes unsuitable for mangrove species due to reduction in inundation frequency, non-mangrove species are planted using mound and ditch technique. This is an excellent approach and is working very well except that the demand for land in the coastal areas is very high and there is pressure for encroachments and diversion for other land uses. Although almost all the upcoming accretions have already been notified as forest under the forest Act, but many plantation areas are diverted for agriculture and shrimp farms as per existing government policy of giving the land to BFD only for 20 years. More than ha land has already been given back to district administration for distribution to various interest groups. Although in a land scarce country, such compromises cannot be avoided, but in view of the impending climate change, this policy of converting coastal plantations into other land uses needs to be reviewed. As the coastal plantations can play a significant role as shelterbelts against cyclones and storms, the plantations have to be seen as more important than just land occupied by trees Core zone plantations, ANR, enrichment plantations for biodiversity conservation These are mixed plantations undertaken in the deeper parts of the forests and protected areas for the purpose of enhancing the biodiversity of the area. The species planted are the indigenous ones and there is no benefit sharing agreement with the local people. As the planted species are long rotation species, there is no chance of any cash benefits in the near future. In the assisted natural regeneration (ANR) variation, the existing root stock or advance growth is tended and cleaned and promising plants are adopted at suitable spacing, in addition to gap planting. However, these plantations suffer from the usual risk destruction due to local biotic pressures in the absence of any concern from the people due to lack of benefits. As in other cases, the progress of the program will depend on the availability of funds under some special projects. However, BFD must find its own resources to protect the plantations, with the help of community patrol groups if possible, even if externally aided projects are not there Regulated extraction of NTFP Although NTFP items are available in all forests, healthy or degraded, most of them are collected by the local people without any restrictions. However permits are issued for the collection of fish, honey, golpata and some other items in Sundarbans and for Murta in the Sylhet division. Whereas this system brings in only insignificant amounts of revenue to the government, this regulation is meant to bring sustainability to extraction and some much needed resource information to the BFD. While the collection of fish, honey, golpata, crabs and prawn larvae is a significant operation in Sundarbans, Murta extraction is a very small operation and is slowly declining. Demand for golpata is also going down. As the demand for 218 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

241 fish, honey and other food materials is never going to die, unlike other products, sustainability of their harvest is of utmost importance. Fish and honey harvests coming out of Sundarbans seem to be stable for the time being around 7000 tons and 150 tons per annum, respectively, BFD needs to be vigilant against overexploitation due to pressures coming from unrecorded extraction. BFD does not allow extraction from the three wildlife sanctuaries which also act as sanctuaries for fishes and other aquatic fauna. However, BFD has no staff with expertise in fisheries and aquatic/marine biology, to study sustainability issues. Therefore, while continuing to concentrate on regulation of harvest, BFD must carry out regular resource assessment with the help of relevant experts to warn against any unforeseen issues in sustainability. It will be better if specialist staff is posted in Sundarbans on a regular basis so that experts into BFD s aquatic operations are available in real time. As finding an independent expert permanently will be difficult to find and maintain, taking someone on deputation from the fisheries department may be a more viable option Capacity for management at the field level BFD is a very old institution with a strong work culture. Foresters are used to working in very difficult conditions. But with changes in the socioeconomic environment and technology, things on the ground are changing quite fast. Due to the deterioration in the training culture of the department, the skills and knowledge of the field staff is deteriorating. New staff entering the forest department is highly educated and is often used to urban facilities. Most have working spouses and want to send their children to good schools which are not available in remote rural areas. As a result, many field officials either do not stay in the remote stations or continue to try for transfers to more cosy locations. This affects their efficiency badly. As the staff does not go through proper training where a culture of physical fitness is imparted, many new recruits are not tough enough for their jobs. The vacancies in the field put extra pressure on the remaining staff. The accommodation and transportation facilities in the field are often not satisfactory. As mentioned several times in this report, travel bills are not reimbursed at all. There is now an emphasis on working with the people, rather than Just as a law enforcing force, as in the past. Although frequent trainings are imparted to the field staff on this aspect, they often find it difficult to combine their enforcement role with the need to communicate with the people at equal level. As a result, BFD s engagement with the people at the ground level remains weak. As mentioned before, the forest laws and the rules, and notifications issued to implement them, are not adequate in the current context. While non-gazetted staff has no powers to take action against criminals, contrary to popular belief, under the Forest Act, Wildlife Act has still not become operational although field staff is implementing it without proper authority. Wildlife divisions have no authority to enforce the wildlife law but they are doing it because territorial divisions think this is no longer their job. Forest case conducting officers (FCCOs) have been appointed to manage and argue cases in the courts, but most of them are also in charge of ranges and have no time to attend to the court business. Moreover little funds are provided for court expenses. Therefore, these rangers have to find money for court expenses from somewhere else. Such weaknesses of the system breed corruption and inefficiency. Under these circumstances, it is a miracle that BFD has been able to undertake large development projects. However, the rapid loss of natural forests is a clear reflection of the state SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 219

242 of affairs. A deep organizational study of the prevailing systems in BFD is urgently required in order to make BFD an efficient and responsible organisation Forest Dependent Communities Forests of Bangladesh are concentrated in three distinct belts. The three forest belts have very distinct tribal and non-tribal communities associated with them which have their distinct cultures and religious beliefs. The population of Bangladesh can be roughly divided into majority ethnic Bengali people (of any religion) and ethnic tribal people belonging to several tribal groups specific to the area and the forest that they are traditionally associated with. While the Bengalis are spread all over the country, the tribals are restricted to their special niche areas around the forest belts. As the ethnic communities have evolved with local forest resources, their cultures have heavy dependence on forest produce, both major and minor. Their houses are primarily made of timber, bamboo and thatch grass although this is now changing due to non-availability of local materials availability of alternatives. They cultivate forest land, jhum or otherwise, and use forest produce as a significant part of their food and medicines. With the increase in population, both tribal as well as non-tribal, forest resources have shrunk and degraded due to the resulting overexploitation. These tribes generally consider forests as their ancestral heritage and oppose the government s control over them. Forest areas traditionally have had low human density and tribal societies have thrived in the forest belts as long as the exploitation levels remained within the carrying capacity of the forests. However, with the increase in population, traditional lifestyles, rooted in liberal supplies of natural resources and products, have become unsustainable. Communities of the hill forests The hill forests are inhabited by tribes like Chakmas, Marmas, khasi, Jaintia. Chakmas and Marmas practice jhum over most of the forests of the area. There are many more smaller groups and sub-groups. Hill areas outside the CHT districts are predominantly populated by ethnic Bengali people. Following information culled primarily from Khan et al. (2012), sums up the socioeconomic environment of the CHT area as far as its relevance to forestry is concerned: Population of CHT districts according to 2001 census was which grew to by 2011, increasing the population density from 100 to 119 persons per sq km. The proportion of tribal population had gone down to 48.13% due to the migration of the plains people to the hills (under government sponsored programmes). Submergence area of the Kaptai dam is ha which included ha of agricultural land (40% of all arable land in CHT). The rest was forest land. Nearly families are involved in jhum cultivation. Illicit felling of trees in reserve forests is rampant and annual value of illegal timber is estimated to be Tk. 50 crore. Pablakhali wildlife sanctuary has been converted into a barren field due to illegal logging, 65% of Kassalong RF had been destroyed by jhum cultivation by Land degraded due to jhum cultivation was estimated to be one million ha in A very telling quotation from ADB 92001) sums up the condition of natural resources and the perception of the local people towards the agents of degradation: They have eaten the forests - the daroga (police) has eaten; the tila babu (forester) has eaten, the sodor (merchants) who bring the truck from towns (to carry the logs) has eaten. Trees are 220 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

243 all gone. Stones are also gone ---- Do you know why the water is dirty in the stream? Because there are not many stones in the river". As mentioned above, shifting cultivation or jhum has been the predominant land use in the CHT areas which was officially allowed in the forest areas outside reserve forests, i.e. in the USF areas. However, under the prevailing lawless conditions for several decades, it spread into the reserve forests. Due to the increase in population, the jhuming cycles have become progressively smaller and smaller and the damage to soil and vegetation has reached unsustainable levels. Current fallow periods are reported to be as short as 3-4 years only. CHT areas have been especially affected by the increase in population density due to the movement of the plains people into the hills as a part of the resettlement programme of the government. Apart from jhum, practices like tobacco cultivation which need a lot of firewood to cure tobacco have also impacted the forest resources. Illicit felling under the garb of jote permits has further denuded the hill forests. Local tribals used to extract sizable quantities of NTFPs like Haritoki, Amloki, Bahera etc. from the forests, but with the degradation of forests, the production of these products has also declined sharply. Communities of the sal forests Santal tribe lives in the northwestern districts of Dinajpur, Naogaon, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh etc. Garo tribe occupies central region of Tangail, Mymensingh Jamalpur, Sherpur and Gazipur. Both tribal as well as no tribals have extensively encroached upon the sal forest land. Even people from coastal areas are reported to have encroached land in the sal forests. There is a high demand for social forestry participation in the sal region and people from faraway places try to get enrolled, using political influence. Government has tried to build cooperation with the local communities through social forestry and co-management initiatives. Although social forestry has been able to return tree cover to encroached forest lands to some extent, co-management in protected area like Bhawal National Park and Madhupur National Park has not shown significant results. Community patrol groups are not effective because the patrollers are not paid due to non-availability of funds. Co-management committees are there in Madhupur but acres out of acres continues under encroachment, some covered under social forestry plantations in the pine apple cultivation. Coastal communities. Due to natural factors, the remaining Sundarbans has been less vulnerable to encroachments and overexploitation, although the current extent of the mangroves is only a small fraction of the original extent which extended deep into the mainland. The communities living around Sundarbans are more interested in its NTFP like fish, crabs, honey, golpata etc. and less in the land itself, because the lands are not suitable for habitation or cultivation due to regular inundation. Of course there is pressure for fuelwood and timber extraction along the rims of Sundarbans. With the moratorium on exploitation of forests, the forests have started recovering in the interiors but pressure on the peripheries continues to degrade the resources to some extent. However, with changing lifestyles, the pressures on forests are also changing. The demand for thatching materials like golpata has been reported to be going down due to the easier availability of commercial roofing sheets. With the spread of gas and homestead plantations, the pressure for fuelwood is also going down. The future drivers of degradation in Sundarbans may not be the local communities but the many new development projects proposed in the area. Apart from other things, this will increase the population dependent on SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 221

244 the SRF for timber and fuelwood which will have a cascading effect on all the ecosystem services provided by the SRF. Thus, it seems the mangroves are likely to remain relatively safe against socioeconomic pressures, if the upcoming development projects are carefully planned. However, the sal forests and hill forests are likely to suffer further damages due to increase in population around them and the inability of BFD to enforce the laws effectively State of reporting and information management Efficient management of forests requires a regular flow and management of information on the condition of the forest resource and the results of management. While RIMS is responsible for generating and managing resource information, various offices of BFD are responsible for generating and managing information on field activities and their results, and relevant financial and organisational information, on their own. The office of Assistant Chief Conservator of Forests (Monitoring) is responsible for compiling information from various branches and field offices on core issues. While generation and management of resource information is highly technical and expensive, this information is generated intermittently, in the form of various assessment exercises, whenever funds are available. There is no fixed periodicity at which information on the status of forests and associated parameters is to be generated78. Information on management issues is generated in three modes. One standard mode is the periodic (monthly, quarterly or annual) returns in standard forms sent by the field offices to the head office. Second method consists of monitoring formats and procedures designed as a part of the approval of a project. The third mode is need-based information generation whenever such a need arises. In BFD, range level and division level cashbooks are written in considerable detail and as a result, they become a veritable storehouse of management information. One problem of the modern age is that there is an information overload but it is generally not available in any easily useable form. As BFD has not yet stepped into the age of information technology, management of information at present is very poor. Most of the information is generate, stored and transmitted on paper and needs compiling at every stage of analysis and collation. This becomes cumbersome and is generally not done unless an urgent need arises. As a result, BFD suffers from a serious lack of authentic, verified and analysed information on nearly every aspect of forest management and urgently needs to modernise its affairs. It cannot be done without a strong IT backbone and culture. It is extremely important to create a national information grid through which information from important records/reports automatically continues to flow into a national database from which anybody who needs information can obtain it. It should be available at the click of a button. The new FMP should strongly recommend emphasis on information management as a core function of BFD. 78 Please see chapter 5 and task 7 report for more details. 222 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

245 10.5 Management of Wildlife and Protected Areas The status and the current approach to wildlife conservation in the country has been briefly discussed in section The principal elements of the approach to wildlife conservation in Bangladesh consists of three elements: Constitution of protected areas Control on poaching and illegal trade of wildlife specimens Management of human-wildlife conflict No consumption or utilisation of wildlife products and derivatives. Conservator Wildlife and Nature Conservation circle is responsible for wildlife management in the country. The principal threats to wildlife come from poaching and habitat loss. At present only sizable and secure habitat for wildlife is the SRF where reasonable populations of valuable species such as tiger, spotted deer, saltwater crocodile, dolphins, and hundreds of species of birds survive in sizable populations. However birds and reptiles, especially snakes and turtles, occur in sizable numbers in the huge water bodies (haors and baors) outside the forest and most of the trapping for food and pet trade happens in these areas Protected areas There are 53 protected areas, mainly national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, notified under the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act, 2012 with a combined land area close to sq km (see section 1.5.3). However, some of the PAs have sizable human populations inside and their protection is not satisfactory due to shortage of staff and other resources. The only PAs with significant tourism facilities and visitation are Bhawal National Park, Lawachara National Park and Satchari wildlife sanctuary. All protected areas are managed though a system of comanagement in partnership with local people, NGOs and local administration. The revenues from tourism are shared with the co-management committees. The committees are expected to patrol the forests in partnership with the forest staff. Although they are meant to be paid for their patrolling support, but most PAs have no money to pay them. As a result, patrolling by the community patrol groups are generally perfunctory, although the co-management is a good medium for the management for staying connected with the local communities. Although comanagement, at least formally, is currently being implemented in all PAs, but somehow, the new law provides for co-management only in wildlife sanctuaries. An important park, Bhawal National Park, however, has no co-management institutions Wildlife divisions There are seven wildlife divisions whose main job was meant to be management of protected areas and assisting territorial divisions in wildlife conservation. However, no wildlife division, except Dhaka, Sylhet and Chittagong has any PA under its charge. At present, the wildlife DFOs have taken over the job of enforcing the wildlife Act, although they have very limited staff and other resources. Although every territorial DFO is responsible for enforcement of wildlife law in his/her division, somehow the impression has gained ground that control of wildlife crime is the responsibility of the wildlife divisions alone. Although the detection rates of wildlife crime seems to have gone up since the constitution of wildlife divisions, at least in some areas, but these divisions are generally so poorly equipped that they are unlikely to have any significant impact on the ground, in the long run. DFO wildlife Sherpur has only one ranger and one forester on his staff while DFO wildlife Habiganj had just one forester on the staff. Although some divisions like Dhaka and Khulna have good staff strength, but most of their staff has SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 223

246 been hired under the SRCRP project or the Biodiversity Conservation and Ecotourism Development project which are closing in December If the services of this staff are not regularized, most of these divisions shall be incapacitated State of Wildlife Crime and Criminal Justice System Territorial divisions, wildlife divisions and the Wildlife Crime Control Unit (WCCU) are the agencies involved in controlling crimes related to wildlife trafficking and poaching. Other law enforcement agencies, such as mobile courts, police, RAB etc. also help from time to time. A snapshot of the cases which came recorded by the WCCU and other agencies (not the whole state) is given in the table below: Table 10-2: Wildlife crime cases recorded by WCCU (June 2012 to April 2016) Number of Cases Wild animals released/seized Year No. of Operat ions P.O. R U.D.O.R Mobile court Police RAB head office Mammals Birds Reptiles Trophie s Number of Criminals Total Among other things, this table indicates that only in about 25% of the cases detected by BFD, criminals are detected. The number of birds and reptiles involved is far higher than mammals. Some important conclusions recorded in the draft Wildlife Crime Control Strategy (2015) of BFD regarding the state of wildlife crime and criminal justice in Bangladesh are as follows: a. Birds (mynas, munias, parakeets, lorikeets, water birds etc.), geckos and turtles/tortoises are the most common seizures. Main objective of offences seems to be pet trade and meat. Indian star tortoises and Hamilton s turtles (Black pond turtle) are smuggled in from India, in very large numbers, for transmission to East Asian countries. b. Most offences seem to be committed outside the forests where presence of the forest department is minimal. Total detection percentage of offences is not known, but offenders are not identified in 60% of detected cases (UDOR cases). Only 24% cases are decided by the courts even after 8 years, although conviction rate is 70.65% of the disposed cases. (this relates to all forest offences, not only wildlife related offences) c. Nearly all the convictions are in Khulna circle. Six months imprisonment and BDT 5000 fine seems to be the modal penalty. Other divisions have had virtually no convictions, except the cases handled by mobile courts. d. Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act 2012 is not yet operational as no notifications have been issued and no rules have been framed. Field staff is taking a serious risk by taking unauthorized action. The law is very weak as the enforcement powers are 224 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

247 missing. There is no power to arrest suspects, issue search warrants or to compel presence of witnesses or material evidence. e. There is an erroneous impression in the department that the enforcement of the Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act 2012 is the responsibility of the Wildlife Divisions only. Wildlife divisions have been given no law enforcement responsibility by the Government, although they are enforcing the Act. f. Notifications related to section 72 of the Forest Act 1927, issued in 1959, are out of date. None of the new designations created to implement the Wildlife Act fits into the definition of Forest Officer and, as a result, have no powers to implement the Forest Act or the Wildlife Act, until they are specially empowered in this regard. g. No funds are provided to FCCOs for court related expense and there is no budget for travel expenses of investigators, arrestees and witnesses, in most divisions. Therefore, they avoid action to save expenses. h. Modal age of the frontline staff (Forest Guards, Foresters, Deputy Rangers and Rangers) is years and they are incapable of strenuous physical work. i. There is no system of training in law enforcement as the new recruits are not sent for induction training, except in the case of ACFs (who have not been recruited for many years). It is obvious from the above account that the criminal justice system, related to forest and wildlife crime needs serious strengthening Human Wildlife Conflict Human beings and wild animals have to share common resources, namely, space, water and food and conflict between them is quite natural. However, in the interest of conservation, it is important that this conflict is properly managed so that people suffer the least at the hands of wild animals and maintain a sympathetic and supportive attitude towards them. In view of the precarious condition of wildlife in Bangladesh, the conflict issues are not very pronounced except in some localities. The main theatres of conflict in the country are Sundarbans for human tiger conflict and southeastern hill forests and northern forests for human-elephant conflict. Apart from these, crop damage by monkeys, birds and wild pigs occurs in some localities. In Sundarbans, tigers attack human beings and livestock while people kill/injure tigers in retaliation or in self-defence. Nearly 50 attacks take place every year, both inside forests as well as in villages and the number of deaths is approx. 22 per year 79. Approx. three tigers die every year in this conflict while the loss of livestock is nearly 80 heads per annum. Most of the human victims are people entering the forests for resource harvesting such as honey collection and fishing etc. Forest department has tried various strategies in the past to manage the conflict. The current strategy focused on the constitution of tiger response teams, in collaboration with NGOs, in vulnerable villages seems to be working well and the level of conflict seems to have reduced significantly, especially the one resulting from tigers straying into villages SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 225

248 Human elephant conflict is expressed in the form of crop damage, house damage and human deaths and injuries. The conflict level in the hill area is much more pronounced than in the northern Sherpur area. The level of conflict has gone up significantly since 2000 perhaps due to the increase in human density in the hill areas. The increase in conflict level may also be the result of increase in tiger population in the adjoining areas of India as a result of successful conservation efforts. The number of persons killed by elephants is approximately 15 per year now while prior to 2000, it used to be 3-4 per year (Hossen 2013). The major strategy adopted by BFD is the constitution of elephant response teams, with the help of conservation NGOs, who help people in distress as well as try to prevent attacks by driving elephants away. Human wildlife conflict is generally a by-product of successful conservation and increasing human population. It can only be managed but cannot be completely eliminated. Apart from firefighting action, the country needs to look at some strategic options to minimize conflict. Moving people out of sensitive habitats, particularly from protected areas, in the conflict zone, fencing forest boundaries where possible and removing rogue and habitual animals expeditiously can go a long way in mitigating conflict. Encouraging affected people to adopt safe lifestyles, keeping the risk in mind, can also be helpful in lowering conflict Wildlife Master Plan BFD has prepared a Wildlife Master Plan ( ) for the conservation of wildlife in the country but it has not yet been approved by the government. The master plan has proposed very comprehensive strategies and actions for the conservation of wildlife in the country. The actions/programmes proposed under the wildlife master plan are as follows: Species Management Tiger conservation programme Deer conservation programme Elephant conservation programme Cetaceans conservation programme Marine turtle conservation programme Crocodile management Conservation programmes for birds Release and reintroduction of animals in protected areas (buffalo, swamp deer, sambar deer, hog deer, marsh crocodile) Habitat Management Wetland management Rural wildlife management Environmental management Ecological network planning Protected area system development Connectivity management Land use planning Establish Chittagong Hills and CHT biosphere reserve Promoting integration of conservation and development 226 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

249 Protected area management Management planning and zoning Boundary demarcation Fencing Resolving tenure and encroachment issues Control of domestic animals in protected areas Enhancing surveillance Organisational development and capacity building Review of policy and legal framework International and regional cooperation Supporting communities in wildlife zones Nature based tourism development Communication, awareness and education Wildlife research Thus the Wildlife Master Plan has 30 programs aimed at every aspect of wildlife conservation. The document provides details of the activities to be under taken under the master plan but does not provide cost estimates of the proposed programmes. Above account indicates that BFD does not possess what it takes to be able to conserve wildlife of the country over the long run. The laws are weak, organisational systems are weak, budget is short and the field staff lacks the capacity to do a good job due to lack of motivation and capacity. Rejuvenation of wildlife conservation in the country should be one of the main foci of the new master plan. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 227

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251 Dixie, Grahame, Imam S.A, Hussain M. J. (2003). Medicinal Plant Marketing in Bangladesh. South Asea Enterprise Development Facility and Swiss intercooperation. Emerton, L. and Yan Ming Aung The Economic Value of Forest Ecosystem Services in Myanmar and Options for Sustainable Financing. International Management Group, Yangon. FAO, FRA 2000: Forest resources of Bangladesh. Country report. FAO, Land use database. Developed under FAO funded project (TCP/BGD/3001) of the Bangladesh Department using Landsat TM imagery of FAO, 2014a. Contribution of the forestry sector to national economies, FAO, 2014b Country Report Bangladesh. Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA). Rome. FAO, Forest Products Yearbook ( ). FAO Forestry Paper 48. FAO, UNDP, Bangladesh REDD+. Readiness Roadmap. UN-REDD Bangladesh Programme. FAOSTAT Data base of Bangladesh. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Statistic. Division (FAOSTAT) Forest Department of Bangladesh Bangladesh Wildlife Conservation Master Plan Government of Bangladesh. Forestry Master Plan for Bangladesh 1995 FRA 2000 Forest resources of Bangladesh Country report FRA 2015: Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015, Country Report Bangladesh Rome, Gani, Md. O., 2001.The Giant Honey Bee (Apis Dorsata) and Honey Hunting in Sundarbans Reserved Forests of Bangladesh. Proc. 37th Int. Apic. Congress. Geekiyanage, N., R. Bir, S. Nissanka, Sarath, S. Mukherjee, State of Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry in South Asia. Chapter 1. Research Gate. Government of Bangladesh Map of wildlife distribution. maps/images/bangladesh/wildlife.gif Hasan, M., M. Hossain, M. Bari, M. Islam, Agricultural land availability in Bangladesh. SRDI, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hasan, M.N., M.S. Hossain, M.A. Bari, M.R. Islam, nd. Agricultural land availability in Bangladesh. Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI), Ministry of Agriculture. Hassan, D.Z Plants in Mangroves & Coastal Afforestation in Bangladesh. Publisher Saheli Begum, Naogaon. Hassan, M.K., Supply and demand of biomass based energy: rural people's perspectives in Bangladesh. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 229

252 Hossain, M., Improving Land Administration and Management in Bangladesh. Final report prepared for the General Economics Division of the Planning Commission to serve as a background study for preparing 7th Five Year Plan ( ). Hossain, M., Improving Land Administration and Management in Bangladesh. Hossain, M.K., M.K. Alam, M.D. Miah, Forest restoration and rehabilitation in Bangladesh. In: IUFRO World Series Vol.20-III-Keep Asia Green Volume III "South Asia" Hossain, Md., J. Dearing, M. Rahman, M. Salehin, Recent changes in ecosystem services and human well-being in the Bangladesh coastal zone. Reg Environ Change. 16: Hossen, Amir Human-Elephant conflict in Bangladesh; causes and intensity of fatalities. Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Huda, A., S. Mekhilef, A. Ahsan, Biomass energy in Bangladesh: Current status and prospects. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 30: IMF Bangladesh: poverty reduction strategy paper. International Monetary Fund, Washington DC, Islam S.S., Masum A.K.M., Hossain M.A.T., Waziullah A.K.M. Prospect of Sawmilling Products in Bangladesh An Exploratory Study. Islam Saiful, S.M. Feroz, Zahir Uddin Ahmed1, Amir Hosain Chowdhury, Rakibul Islam Khan And Abdullah Al-Mamun (2016). Species richness and diversity of the floristic composition of the sundarbans mangrove reserve forest, Bangladesh in relation to spatial habitats and salinity. The Malaysian Forester 2016, 79 (1 & 2), Islam, K. K.; Marjanke Hoogstra, M. O. Ullah, Noriko Sato Journal of Forestry Research June 2012, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp ). Islam, R., Z. Hassan, Land use changing pattern and challenges for agricultural land: a study on Rajshahi district. J. Life Earth Sci., 6: IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), Map of Bio-ecological zones. IUCN 2015: Delta Vision IUCN Bangladesh Red List of Bangladesh: A Brief on Assessment Result IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Bangladesh Country Office, Dhaka, Bangladesh, pp. 24. IUCN-Bangladesh, Bangladesh Sundarban Delta Vision 2050 Jaim, W.M.H., R. Begum, Changes in land use pattern in Bangladesh over the last two decades. Bangladesh J. Agric. Econs XXVI: Jerin, T., A. Ishtiaque, Detailing rural land use of Coastal Bangladesh: A micro-level study. GEOGRAFIA Online Malaysian Journal of Society and Space. 10(3): Kamal, M., A. Kahirul, D. Miah, Forest Restoration and Rehabilitation in Bangladesh. Khan Mamunl, Md. Abdul Aziz, Mayeen Uddin, Samia Saif, Sayam U Chowdhury, Suprio Chakma, Gawasia W Chowdhury, Israr Jahan, Rezvin Akter Aaung Hla Myant, Samiul 230 SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

253 Mohsanin 2012.Community Conserved Areas in Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh Editor Md. Anwarul Islam. Khar, S.P Non-timber forest product (NTFP) utilization and livelihood development in Bangladesh. A dissertation in forest resources. The Pennsylvania State University. Lammia Sharmin 2004: Cultivation prospect of medicinal plants in Bangladesh: experiences from Natore, BRAC Research and Evaluation Division Dhaka, Bangladesh ( Marziya, M., nd. Coastal Zone Management: Status of Bangladesh /Coastal_zone_management_Status_of_Bangladesh Matsuka, Y., J. Fujino, A. Kalam, M. Shawkat, Low Carbon Society Development towards 2025 in Bangladesh. Miah, H. Agriculture Sector Development Strategy: background paper for preparation of 7th Five Year Plan. n.d. Miah, M.D., M. Koike, M.Y. Shin, S. Akther, Forest biomass and bioenergy production and the role of CDM in Bangladesh. New Forests. 42(1): Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Bangladesh, Situation Analysis and Capacity Needs Assessment in the Ministry of Environment and Forests and its Agencies, Government of the People s Republic of Bangladesh, 432p Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Co-Management of Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary, p.46. MOECAF, The Economic Value of Forest Ecosystem Services in Myanmar and Options for Sustainable Financing MoEF, FAO National forest and tree resources assessment MoEFCC & GIZ The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity TEEB India Initiative: Interim Report - Working Document. 92p Mohammad, M., Drivers of land use change in Bangladesh perspective. KTH Architecture and Build Environment. Master s Thesis. Mukul S.A., Rashid A.Z.M.M., Uddin M.B., Khan N.A., Role of non-timber forest products in sustaining forest-based livelihoods and rural households resilience capacity in and around protected area: a Bangladesh study. Mukul, S., Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in Bangladesh. An overview of the present status, management problems and future prospects. Department of Forestry and Environmental Science. Nasrin, M. and M. Taj Uddin, Land Tenure System and Agricultural Productivity in a Selected Area of Bangladesh. Progressive Agriculture 22: Nasrin, M; Uddin, M.T Land Tenure System and Agricultural Productivity in a Selected Area of Bangladesh. NFA 2007: National Forest and Tree Resources Assessment Nishat, A., S.M. Huq, I. Barua, P. Shuvashish, A.H.M. Reza, M.A.S. Khan, Bioecological Zones of Bangladesh. IUCN Bangladesh Country Office, Dhaka, Bangladesh. OED Bangladesh: Forestry Sector Project. SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 231

254 Pabla H.S. 2015: Wildlife Conservation in India: Road To Nowhere. Quader, Dr. Engr. M A (2011). Paper Sector in Bangladesh: Challenges and Scope of Development Journal of Chemical Engineering, IEB, Vol. ChE. 26, No. 1, December 2011 Rahman Shah, Economic valuation of provisioning and cultural services of a protected mangrove ecosystem: A case study on Sundarbans Reserve Forest, Bangladesh. Ecosystem Services 5:88 93, August ( ultural_services_of_a_protected_mangrove_ecosystem_a_case_study_on_sundarbans_re serve_forest_bangladesh) Rahman, M., Forest resources of Bangladesh with reference to conservation of biodiversity and wildlife in particular for poverty alleviation. Forests for poverty Reduction: opportunities with clean development mechanism, environmental services and biodiversity. FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO-RAP), Bangkok pp. Rashid, A., nd. A Review of the Forest Status in Bangladesh and the Potential for Forest Restoration for Wildlife Conservation. Deputy Conservator of Forest, Divisional Forest Officer, Forest Extension Division, Dhaka. Shaheed, Md., H. Chowdhury, Forest Conservation in Protected Areas of Bangladesh. Springer. Sharif, A., R. Manzoor, M. Belal, M. Niaz, Role of non-timber forest products in sustaining forest-based livelihoods and rural households resilience capacity in and around protected area: a Bangladesh study. Siddique N Baseline Report for Forests and Biodiversity. Bangladesh Delta Plan. Uddin Md. Shams Uddin, E. de Ruyter van Steveninck, Mishka Stuip, and Mohammad Aminur USFS Integrated protected area co-management (IPAC). United States Forest Service. Zaman, S., S.U. Siddiquee, M. Katoh, Structure and Diversity of Homegarden Agroforestry in Thakurga District, Bangladesh The Open Forest Science Journal. (3): SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING

255 Annex I Organizational chart and staffing of BFD A: Organizational Chart of the Bangladesh Forest Department SECTORAL STUDIES FOR FORESTRY MASTER PLAN UPDATING 233

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