A wetland in the hands of the people
From 2006 to 2016, the Government of Bangladesh, with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and IUCN, has managed Tanguar Haor, a Ramsar site, together with local communities. The government recently decided to continue to support the co-management of this important wetland through a new programme.
Over the past decade, the improvements made to the governance of this crucial wetland have been considerable.
Here are the programme's TOP 10 ACHIEVEMENTS:
- 1 -
Since the 1930s, fisheries access had been exclusively restricted to wealthy elites.
Through a locally-managed permit
system under the decade-long project,
7,800 rural fisherfolk now have access
" We could change the status quo,
and for the first time, we were able to address
the social deprivation aspect of poverty. "
- Raquibul Amin
Senior Operations Manager
for Mangroves for the Future and
former Programme Coordinator
for IUCN Bangladesh
- 2 -
Community organisations, with help from district administrations,
have made over BDT 24 million
(US $300 thousand) from
" When you were born and brought up in Tanguar Haor, its waves, trees, fish and birds are part of
your life − these make you who you are. "
- Haseeb Md. Irfanullah,
Programme Coordinator for
- 4 -
A 3-tier governance structure has been implemented with 57% citizen participation at village, union (comprised of several villages)
and district levels
- 5 -
Income source diversification and
money saving has reduced pressure on the haor and improved people's livelihoods
- 6 -
OUT OF 4,377 LEADERS WHO UNDERWENT
CAPACITY TRAINING IN SOCIAL CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, ORGANISATIONAL SKILL AND RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT,
34% WERE WOMEN
Women lead a courtyard
meeting on resource conservation
- 7 -
AND MONITORING SYSTEMS
ENSURE THE PROTECTION
AND SUSTAINABLE USE
Tanguar Haor offers valuable
resting and roosting places
for species such as the
vulnerable Pallas's fish eagle
- 8 -
Five fish sanctuaries and two bird sanctuaries have been established, and 85 hectares of land have been protected for afforestation
- 9 -
35,000 reeds have been replanted, along with amphibious hijal and koroch tree seedlings
"The project has initiated a new
wetland management paradigm in Bangladesh."
- Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmad,
for IUCN Bangladesh
- 10 -
An eco-tourism plan has been developed for Tanguar Haor and 85 members have
been trained as tour guides
The programme is currently in its bridging phase, which will end in December 2017; an extension has been proposed for the following five years. Much progress has been made, but local governance structures are not yet mature enough to stand fully on their own, and require a few more years of support from IUCN before they are entirely self-sufficient. Pending approval from the Bangladesh Ministry of Environment and Forests, IUCN, in collaboration with the government of Bangladesh, aims to build upon its successes over the last decade and will continue to strive to "give Tanguar Haor back to the people of Tanguar Haor" over the next five years.
For more information on this initiative, please visit our project website.