Perceptions of Biodiversity, Environmental Services, and Conservation of Planted Mangroves: A Case Study on Nijhum Dwip Island, Bangladesh
This research provides an overview of mangrove restoration in Bangladesh. Scientists have estimates that of the three coastal ecosystems (coral reefs, sea-grass beds, and mangroves) that mangroves are the most feasible habitat to restore. However, due to ecological and social factors many mangrove plantations fail. In the Nijhum Dwip Island of Bangladesh, the two species most often used (85%) in plantations are the native species Sonneratia apetala and Avicennia officinalis. Occassionally other species are used such as Bruguiera gymnorhiza, Ceriops decandra, Excoecaria agallocha, and Nypa fruticans. Repeated planting has to occur for the first 3 years of establishment, however, once established they often face encroachment and illegal felling.
Research Goals & Methods
For this research, the authors conducted 110 interviews to evaluate socio-economic conditions, human connection to mangroves, and the identification of species diversity in mangrove areas. Respondents identified 38 plant species and 64 animal species that depend on the mangroves.
Conclusions & Takeaways
Respondents expressed a conflict between humans and the incursions of wildlife onto their farms and households. Approximately one-fourth of the respondents felt dependent on the mangrove ecosystem with benefits including: protection against natural disasters, soil retention, and the provision of resources. Many respondents expressed that the conversion of the mangrove lands into farmland, timber plantations, settlements, and aquaculture would be a more profitable way of using the land. Over 80% of respondents felt that the mangrove ecosystem is actively being degraded by encroachment, illegal logging, and other factors. The authors suggest that there are shifts in opinions about mangroves. They recommend adaptive co-management to allow stakeholders to participate in the management of mangroves.
Perceptions of biodiversity, environmental services, and conservation of planted mangroves: a case study on Nijhum Dwip Island, Bangladesh. Wetlands Ecology and Management. 2007;16:119–137. doi:10.1007/s11273-007-9060-8..
- School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia
- Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Oxford Office, United Kingdom