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Impacts of Co-Management Activities on Livelihoods in Satchari National Park

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Sultana, Mahmudah Roksena
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/7233
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): co-management
impact assessment
livelihoods
local participatory management
Abstract: "Under the Wildlife Preservation Amendment Act (1974), Bangladesh has declared nineteen protected areas including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and game reserves. To reduce the dependence of local people on protected areas the Forest Department initiated the Nishorgo Support Project (NSP) in 2004. NSP identified local stakeholders and formed forest users groups (FUGs), community patrolling groups, and community management committees to provide local people with alternative income generating activities consistent with conservation. This paper seeks to assess the effect of collaborative management activities on rural livelihoods in four villages outside Satchari National Park by comparing the livelihood status of FUG members to non-members; and to assess any change in the forest dependence of the four communities or in the condition of the forest following NSP activities. Drawing on data gathered through household surveys, focus group discussions, and key informants interviews, as well as secondary data, I show that FUG members received support to invest in alternative income generating activities such as plant nurseries, livestock rearing, and fish culture. These activities had a positive impact on the livelihoods of participants while reducing forest resource extraction. However, only 508 out of 17,836 households living in and around the park were FUG members, and among these only 189 households received support for alternative income generating activities. These results raise the question of whether alternative income generating activities can ever be sufficient to have a significant impact on forest conditions."

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