Center for Research on Land use Sustainability

Noakhali, Bangladesh

Center for Research on Land use Sustainability

Noakhali, Bangladesh
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Mukul S.A.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,University of The Sunshine Coast | Mukul S.A.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Saha N.,Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
Land | Year: 2017

Competing interests in land for agriculture and commodity production in tropical human-dominated landscapes make forests and biodiversity conservation particularly challenging. Establishment of protected areas in this regard is not functioning as expected due to exclusive ecological focus and poor recognition of local people's traditional forest use and dependence. In recent years, multifunctional land-use systems such as agroforestry have widely been promoted as an efficient land-use in such circumstances, although their conservation effectiveness remains poorly investigated. We undertake a rapid biodiversity survey to understand the conservation value of four contrasting forms of local land-use, namely: betel leaf (Piper betle) agroforestry; lemon (Citrus limon) agroforestry; pineapple (Ananas comosus) agroforestry; and, shifting cultivation-fallow managed largely by the indigenous communities in and around a highly diverse forest protected area of Bangladesh. We measure the alpha and beta diversity of plants, birds, and mammals in these multifunctional land-uses, as well as in the old-growth secondary forest in the area. Our study finds local land-use critical in conserving biodiversity in the area, with comparable biodiversity benefits as those of the old-growth secondary forest. In Bangladesh, where population pressure and rural people's dependence on forests are common, multifunctional land-uses in areas of high conservation priority could potentially be used to bridge the gap between conservation and commodity production, ensuring that the ecological integrity of such landscapes will be altered as little as possible. © 2017 by the authors.

Sohel M.S.I.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Chicharo L.,University of Algarve | Chicharo L.,FARO
Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology | Year: 2015

Ecohydrology provides a framework for aquatic ecosystem management based on the interplay between different biota and hydrology. Bangladesh being situated in the world's largest delta is suffering from rapid degradation of its aquatic ecosystems. The ever increasing population pressure and intensive agriculture together with diversion of upstream water flows by India and climate induced changes make this ecosystem even more vulnerable. Using information from diverse sources, this paper explores the current state of the art on aquatic ecosystems of Bangladesh, their management, key problems, and introduces a new ecohydrology-based management approach for sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems in the country. Integration of both physical measures and policy actions are indispensable for greater ecosystem service provision from country's aquatic ecosystems. A cross-disciplinary action plan and appropriate strategies to bring policies into action is also essential for the sustainable management of aquatic ecosystems in the country. © 2014 European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology of Polish Academy of Sciences.

Alamgir M.,James Cook University | Alamgir M.,Chittagong University | Mukul S.A.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Turton S.M.,James Cook University
Applied Geography | Year: 2015

The Asian elephant (. Elephas maximus) and Hoolock gibbon (. Hoolock hoolock) are two globally endangered wildlife species limited to only tropical Asian forests. In Bangladesh both species are critically endangered and distributed mainly in the northeast and southeast hilly regions bordering neighboring India and Myanmar. Using existing distribution data, land-use/land cover, elevation and bio-climatic variables, we modeled the likely distribution of Asian elephant and Hoolock gibbon in Bangladesh for 2050 and 2070. We used the IPCC's Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) - RCP6.0 and RCP8.5 and Maximum Entropy algorithm for our modelling. Our study indicated that the Asian elephant will be more resilient to climate change compared with the Hoolock gibbon. Habitat loss for the Asian elephant is also expected to remain constant (i.e. 38%) throughout the period, whilst Hoolock gibbon habitat will be more sensitive to climatic variations, with the species predicted to be extirpated from the country by 2070. Being highly exposed to climate change with ever increasing land use pressures, we believe our study in Bangladesh can be used to enhance our understanding of future vulnerabilities of wildlife in a rapidly changing climate. A trans-boundary conservation program with greater attention to the species that are less resilient to climate change is also essential. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Sohel M.S.I.,University of Queensland | Ahmed Mukul S.,University of Queensland | Ahmed Mukul S.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Burkhard B.,University of Kiel | Burkhard B.,Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape Research
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2015

Land uses/land covers (LULC) are closely related to the integrity of ecosystems and associated provisioning, regulating and cultural ecosystem services (ES). Anthropogenic activities continuously influence ecological integrity and ES through changes in LULC. An integrative approach is essential to understand and measure the relations between ecosystem functioning, associated ES and the relative contributions of the different system components. Here, using a locally justified ES scoring matrix, we linked different LULC types to ecological integrity and ES supply in the Lawachara National Park of Bangladesh. The results were used to compile spatially explicit ES maps. Our analysis revealed relatively high capacities of mixed tropical evergreen forests to supply a broad range of ES and to support ecological integrity, followed by tea (. Camellia chinesis) gardens and rubber (. Hevea brasiliensis) plantations. Other LULC types located on the edge or on the periphery of the park showed comparably lower ES supply capacities. Our study is the first of its type carried out in Bangladesh and can be seen as a first screening study of available ES and their supply capacities. The results can be used to form the base for ES based landscape management and future conservation priorities in the area. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Uddin M.B.,University of Bayreuth | Uddin M.B.,Shahjalal University of Science and Technology | Steinbauer M.J.,University of Bayreuth | Jentsch A.,University of Bayreuth | And 3 more authors.
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2013

Introduction of exotic plant species in the tropics has occurred since the colonial period, and has mostly been for timber production. However, due to uncontrolled distribution and lack of awareness, many of these species became invasive, and have been increasingly reported as a source of threats to native ecosystems. We investigated the exotic species richness, their traits, and biogeographic origin in the Satchari Forest in the north-eastern region of Bangladesh, one of the very few intact terrestrial ecosystems remaining in the country. Boosted Regression Trees and Detrended Correspondence Analysis were performed to determine the contribution of various environmental attributes, protection regimes, and disturbances to explain the distribution of exotic species within Satchari Forest. Among the environmental variables, native species richness, elevation gradient, and soil nutrient parameters were found as good predictors of both exotic species' presence and richness in the area. In our analysis, number of exotic species showed a unimodal relationship with native species in the reserved forest, where the relationship was negative in the surrounding area. An increase in exotic species with the presence of higher anthropogenic disturbance events, thereby with lower conservation restrictions as well as with lower protection status, was also evident. Our study suggests that enforcing greater protection status and preventing human use can be the best ways to protect native species composition in forest ecosystems with greater conservation values in tropical developing countries. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Mukul S.A.,Copenhagen University | Mukul S.A.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability
Small-scale Forestry | Year: 2011

In the last decade non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and their associated goods have received much attention from researchers and development workers for their perceived socio-economic importance and potential, particularly in developing countries. It has been increasingly recognized that promoting the use, production and sustainable harvesting of such kinds of products could also contribute to forest conservation in the long run. However, since the development process has progressed in most regions, alternatives or substitutes of such products have become available on the markets, and it will be difficult for these nature-based products to exist without additional product values. A market survey was conducted in an urban fringe of north-eastern Bangladesh to investigate NTFP-based product diversity, and marketing patterns and challenges. Further information was collected from sellers and consumers to understand their views on probable future strategies to sustain the markets of these products. A total of 38 NTFP and NTFP-based secondary products were recorded from 25 NTFP shops, including 16 permanent, 7 temporary (or semi-permanent) and 2 mobile shops. The greatest demand was observed for bamboo and cane-based products, for which supply suffered due to the scarcity of raw materials. A decreasing trend in the consumption of NTFP-based articles for urban domestic use was also reported from the sellers. To cope with the competitive markets, sellers were found to place more emphasis on creative marketing, durability and appearance of their products. The study concluded that active government support is needed for the sustenance of this industry in a changing global perspective. This could be in the form of technical advancement in the production process, improvement of existing product supply chains and skill development of the workers which will not only secure the future of these products but also provide an essential means for the survival of this industry and for thousands of people living from it. © 2010 Steve Harrison, John Herbohn.

Mukul S.A.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Rashid A.Z.M.M.,Shahjalal University of Science and Technology | Uddin M.B.,Shahjalal University of Science and Technology | Khan N.A.,University of Dhaka
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management | Year: 2015

People in the developing world derive a significant part of their livelihoods from various forest products, particularly non-timber forest products (NTFPs). This article attempts to explore the contribution of NTFPs in sustaining forest-based rural livelihood in and around a protected area (PA) of Bangladesh, and their potential role in enhancing households' resilience capacity. Based on empirical investigation, our study revealed that local communities gather a substantial amount of NTFPs from national park despite the official restrictions. Twenty seven percent households (HHs) of the area received at least some cash benefit from the collection, processing and selling of NTFPs, and NTFPs contribute to HHs' primary, supplementary and emergency sources of income. NTFPs also constituted an estimated 19% of HHs' net annual income, and were the primary occupation for about 18% of the HHs. HHs' dependency on nearby forests for various NTFPs varied vis-à-vis their socio-economic condition, as well as with their location from the park. Based on our case study, the article also offers some clues for improving the situation in PA. © 2015 University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Mukul S.A.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Rashid A.Z.M.M.,University of Western Sydney | Rashid A.Z.M.M.,Bangladesh University | Uddin M.B.,Bangladesh University
Biodiversity | Year: 2012

The conservation of biodiversity is developing into one of the biggest challenges of the century. Rapidly declining forests and the degradation of wild habitats are a direct result of a lack of public awareness and participation in the process of conservation. However, in small land areas in undeveloped countries characterised by high population density and poor public awareness, local religious and/or spiritual beliefs favour conservation of biodiversity at both species and habitat levels. This paper attempts to explore this practice based on case studies from Bangladesh where for generations some local beliefs have been protecting important wildlife species such as the Black Soft-shell Turtle, Mugger Crocodile, Rock Pigeon and Rhesus Macaque. The paper also offers a SWOT analysis of the potential role and challenges of these religious shrines as a refuge for biodiversity. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Mukul S.A.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Herbohn J.,University of Queensland | Herbohn J.,University of The Sunshine Coast | And 2 more authors.
International Forestry Review | Year: 2014

SUMMARY Enforcement of the law is the most widely practiced strategy to prevent illegal logging in tropical developing countries, though the efficacy of such practice has often been questioned. We examined the effectiveness of forest law enforcement and different forms of economic incentives to curb the activities of illegal loggers. Thirty households, both with and without economic incentives, were interviewed in 2007 and 2009 in two protected areas of Bangladesh, namely the Lawachara National Park and the Satchari National Park. The enforcement of customary forest law appears to have very little ability to tackle illegal logging, whereas different alternative income-generating options designed to influence the livelihoods of illegal loggers are revealed to be very useful because such initiatives were found to have considerably reduced both the number of illegal loggers and the frequencies and amount of timber harvested illegally in both sites. Interestingly, illegal loggers responded most positively when they found themselves much closer to forests with clearly defined rights and responsibilities. Securing development of local forest users with tenure rights and greater access to alternative income-generating options, market regulation, and institutional and regulatory reform are critical to control illegal logging and to guarantee the sustainability of declining forest resources.

Mukul S.A.,University of Queensland | Mukul S.A.,Center for Research on Land use Sustainability | Rana P.,University of Eastern Finland
International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystems Services and Management | Year: 2013

Bamboo is one of the most important non-timber forest products in Bangladesh. Previous research, however, has focused mainly on its silvicultural aspects, with its socio-economic aspects remaining underexplored. In a study conducted between January and March in 2008, we surveyed 30 randomly selected bamboo-based entrepreneurs in a regional market in southern Bangladesh to identify employment and trade patterns, financial contributions, and marketing of bamboo and its products. Bamboo was found to be important in generating profits for entrepreneurs and employment for low-skilled rural workers. Bambusa balcooa, Melocanna baccifera, Bambusa tulda, and Bambusa vulgaris were found to be the most traded species, with Bambusa balcooa constituting 39% of the market. Major uses of (secondary products from) bamboo were found to be construction, fences, mats, and domestic baskets and utensils. Operating costs varied across the enterprises according to their sales, workforce size, and purchases. Estimated net average incomes of the large, medium, and small enterprises were around Tk. 43,000 ($625), Tk. 30,000 ($435), and Tk. 19,300 ($280), respectively, during the year 2007. Medium-sized enterprises earned the most (32%) from the sale of secondary products. Three marketing channels were identified, with most of the bamboo in the area being found to be collected through intermediaries. Our discussion highlights the importance of bamboo and its secondary products in generating employment and profits in the area and also the presence of problems such as income variability throughout the year. Promoting the trade of bamboo and bamboo-based enterprises through appropriate technical and financial assistance to growers and entrepreneurs could be an effective strategy to improve local economies in Bangladesh. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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