Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

Shifting Paradigm of Governance in the Natural Resources Management of Bangladesh: A Centralist to Pluralistic Approach in the Forest Protected Areas Management

  1. Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, School of Agriculture and Mineral Sciences, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet 3114, Bangladesh
  2. Environmental Law, School of Law, Western Sydney University, Sydney NSW 2751, Australia
  3. Tropical Forests and People Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC QLD 4556, Australia
  4. Tropical Forestry Group, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Autsralia
Version 1 : Received: 23 November 2016 / Approved: 24 November 2016 / Online: 24 November 2016 (11:25:34 CET)

How to cite: Rashid, A.; Craig, D.; Mukul, S. Shifting Paradigm of Governance in the Natural Resources Management of Bangladesh: A Centralist to Pluralistic Approach in the Forest Protected Areas Management. Preprints 2016, 2016110123 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201611.0123.v1). Rashid, A.; Craig, D.; Mukul, S. Shifting Paradigm of Governance in the Natural Resources Management of Bangladesh: A Centralist to Pluralistic Approach in the Forest Protected Areas Management. Preprints 2016, 2016110123 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201611.0123.v1).

Abstract

Good governance in natural resource management (NRM) is one of the most challenging issues in developing countries that often inappropriately embedded in national policies and political agendas. It is, in fact, even more important for countries like Bangladesh with exceptionally high pressure and dependence on its natural resources for sustaining rural livelihoods. Globally, nowadays, good governance is considered as one of the key factor for achieving the goal of sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. Bangladesh, of late has responded to that global zeal by involving local communities in the management of country’s declining forest and other natural resources. The colonial legacy of the forestry sector of Bangladesh was planned and, managed as interim projects through donors’ prescriptions. Thus, institutions, management processes and conservation outcomes were problematic. The conventional approach adopted by colonial and post-colonial regimes for forest management also proved to be inefficient due to its top-down management system. The absolute dependency on donor support, and their prescription sometimes worsened the situation both ecologically and socially. Global, regional and local trends supported the need for a different dimension in the governance paradigms. The introduction of a pluralistic approach, known as co-management in protected areas (PAs) is an example of an attempt whereby shared governance mechanism are implemented to attain the desired goals of conservation that will also address the livelihoods and aspirations of communities living in and around PAs of the country. However, in designing future forest and PA regimes the concern of the external aid support and attached conditions remain a reality that needs to be addressed. Adequate attention should be given to our vanishing biodiversity, culture and community livelihoods through devising an appropriate governance mechanism recognizing and supporting local rights, access and participation in the environmental management. It is now time to mainstream the adhoc nature of governance according to our national conservation strategy and policy frameworks in order to achieve the goals and objectives of the Bangladesh NRM sector addressing the human and community right of people in the specific context of forest protected areas management.

Subject Areas

co-management; livelihoods; conflicts; biodiversity conservation; sustainable development

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