Sustainable management of the Sundarbans: stakeholder attitudes towards sustainable mangrove policy and management

Mondal, Trishita (2019) Sustainable management of the Sundarbans: stakeholder attitudes towards sustainable mangrove policy and management. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The world’s largest contiguous mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, is not only rich in biodiversity but also provides ecological, economic and cultural services to people surrounding the forest. The Sundarbans is one of the oldest systematically managed mangroves in the world, providing numerous benefits and services to local communities and the environment. The natural resources of the forest remain under threat from population pressure, over exploitation, natural disasters and lack of practical policy regimes. This study attempts to assess attitudes of stakeholders towards sustainable management and conservation of mangrove forests as a means to assist planners, policy-makers, and decision-makers. Improving attitudes of local stakeholders towards conservation of natural resources is one of the strategies for sustainable forest management. A mixed method approach was conducted to fulfill the objectives of this study. The study reveals that the people of Sundarbans Impact Zone (SIZ) are closely associated with the Sundarbans and are highly dependent on it for their livelihood. Collecting resources from both aquatic and terrestrial areas within the Sundarbans has been considered a traditional right for people within the SIZ. As such, people are increasingly becoming more conscious about government policy and associated laws and regulations. Most of the villagers participate in government and NGO’s sponsored programs and they want the forest to be managed in a sustainable way. Generally, the language of government policy is very strong, but implementation of policy is difficult because of competing policies, weak infrastructure, inefficiencies, illegal approaches and corruption. Recognition of property rights along with education and more sustainable approaches to management is required.Good governance and favorable policies along with financial, administrative, and institutional support are needed to ensure the resilience and ecological integrity of the Sundarbans. Moreover, increased collaboration and sharing of information between government and stakeholders would facilitate planning, management, and ultimately, wise decision making. Finally, efforts should be made to develop and advance coupled human–environment (socio-ecological) systems that call for more participatory approaches to management and thus permit stronger voices from the local community. Wider participation and ‘empowerment’ of stakeholders would improve governance of the Sundarbans and ensure common priorities and levels of agreement on both conservation and livelihood issues.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14371
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 88-112).
Keywords: sustainability, conservation, forest, livelihood, policy, management
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Science and the Environment > Environmental Policy Institute
Date: November 2019
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Sundarbans (Bangladesh and India)--Government policy--Public opinion; Sundarbans (Bangladesh and India)--Management--Public opinion.

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