Participatory Forestry as a Strategy for Reforestation in Bangladesh

Participatory Forestry as a Strategy for Reforestation in Bangladesh


This article describes Bangladesh's history of reforestation programs, notes the rarity of their success, and provides suggestions for future programs.

Conclusions & Takeaways

Under British rule, much of the country's forestland was managed by the Forest Department; illegal cutting and encroachment onto forestlands left only 44% of national forests with forest cover.  After independence in 1985, a plan was laid out to encourage participatory forestry programs by rural communities. The programs offered support for tree plantings along roads and highways, on slopes around ponds and other water bodies, in woodlot areas, and in agroforestry areas. In agroforestry stands, timber and fuelwood species such as Swietenia mahagoni, Eucalyptus camadulensis, and Leucaena leucocephala (all exotic) were grown,  as well as fruit-bearing plants. Additionally, NGOs, such as the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), POUSH, Rangpur-Dinajpur Rural Service (RDRS), Swiss Development Corporation (SDC), and Proshika, have encouraged active participatory forestry programs. The authors suggest that participatory forestry is relatively new in Bangladesh and may offer the rural poor the benefits of reforestation, however social constraints must be factored into these programs.



Rasheed KBSajjadu. Participatory forestry as a strategy for reforestation in Bangladesh. GeoJournal. 1995;37:39–44. doi:10.1007/bf00814883.


  • Department of Geography, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh