Man is both creature and molder of his environment, which gives him physical sustenance and affords him the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth. In the long and tortuous evolution of the human race on this planet a stage has been reached when, through the rapid acceleration of science and technology, man has acquired the power to transform his Environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale. Both aspects of man’s environment, the natural and the man-made are essential to his well being and to the enjoyment of basic Human rights–even the right to life itself. The protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue which affects the Well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world; it is the urgent desire of the peoples of the whole world and the duty of all Governments. Man has constantly to sum up experience and go on discovering, inventing, creating and advancing. In our time, man’s capability to transform his surroundings, if used wisely, can bring to all Peoples the benefits of development and the opportunity to enhance the quality of life. Wrongly or heedlessly applied, the same power can do incalculable harm to human beings and the human Environment. We see around us growing evidence of man-made harm in many regions of the earth: dangerous levels Of pollution in water, air, earth and living beings; major and undesirable disturbances to The ecological balance of the biosphere; destruction and depletion of irreplaceable resources; And gross deficiencies, harmful to the physical, mental and social health of man, in the man-made Environment, particularly in the living and working environment.
In the developing countries most of the environmental problems are caused by under-development.
Millions continue to live far below the minimum levels required for a decent human existence,
Deprived of adequate food and clothing, shelter and education, health and sanitation. Therefore,
The developing countries must direct their efforts to development, bearing in mind their priorities
And the need to safeguard and improve the environment. For the same purpose, the industrialized
Countries should make efforts to reduce the gap themselves and the developing countries.
In the industrialized countries, environmental problems are generally related to industrializations
On and technological development.
The natural growth of population continuously presents problems for the preservation of the
Environment, and adequate policies and measures should be adopted, as appropriate, to face
These problems. Of all things in the world, people are the most precious. It is the people
That propel social progress, create social wealth, develop science and technology and, through
Their hard work, continuously transform the human environment. Along with social progress and
The advance of production, science and technology, the capability of man to improve the
Environment increases with each passing day.
A point has been reached in history when we must shape our actions throughout the world with a More prudent care for their environmental consequences. Through ignorance or indifference we Can do massive and irreversible harm to the earthly environment on which our life and well-being
Depend. Conversely, through fuller knowledge and wiser action, we can achieve for ourselves and
Our posterity a better life in an environment more in keeping with human needs and hopes.
There are broad vistas for the enhancement of environmental quality and the creation of a good
Life. What is needed is an enthusiastic but calm state of mind and intense but orderly work.
For the purpose of attaining freedom in the world of nature, man must use knowledge to build,
In collaboration with nature, a better environment. To defend and improve the human environment
For present and future generations has become an imperative goal for mankind–a goal to be
Pursued together with, and in harmony with, the established and fundamental goals of peace and
Of worldwide economic and social development.
To achieve this environmental goal will demand the acceptance of responsibility by citizens and communities and by enterprises and institutions at every level; all sharing equitably in common efforts. Individuals in all walks of life as well as organizations in many fields, by their values and the sum of their actions, will shape the world environment of the future. Local and national governments will bear the greatest burden for large-scale environmental policy and action within their jurisdictions. International co-operation is also needed in order to raise resources to support the developing countries in carrying out their responsibilities in this field. A growing class of environmental problems, because they are regional or global in extent or because they affect the common international realm, will require extensive co-operation among nations and action by international organizations in the common interest. The Conference calls upon Governments and peoples to exert common efforts for the preservation and improvement of the human environment, for the benefit of all the people and for their posterity.
Even without having to contend with the devastating floods of the 1998 monsoon, Bangladesh faces serious problems of natural resources management. Its population of approximately 120 million exists at a density in excess of 850 people km2. Some 80% of the population is rural, though more than 50% are classed as functionally landless (owning less than 0.2 ha). The relentless pressure on land from a population growing at 2.17% per annum, land subdivision due to inheritance and crisis sales result in increasing landlessness. Unable to be self-sufficient in food, the livelihoods of these marginal rural families depend increasingly on share-cropping, agricultural wage labor, fishing, non-agricultural laboring, and remittances.
However, floodplain development has often poorly addressed these groups’ needs. This is recognized by both NGOs and the Bangladesh government in documents such as its new agricultural extension policy and draft water sector strategy.
Post-Green Revolution Bangladesh has managed to reach near self-sufficiency of food grains through intensification of agriculture by such mechanisms as floodplain modification/flood mitigation and development of small-scale irrigation for dry season HYV rice production. However, these achievements have been made at the expense of the more disadvantaged floodplain dwellers, such as those who rely on fishing. Critics of the Green Revolution have argued that these technologies largely benefited wealthier farmers, but have done little to address the NR constraints poor farmers face and may also be ecologically unsustainable in the longer term.
Farming systems research (FSR) is evolving towards participatory natural resources management (NRM) research as funding agencies drive projects towards the Agenda 21 goals of sustainable development. The World Bank, DFID, the US National Research Council and institutes within CGIAR recognize the complex nature of sustainable NRM demands research with a systems approach; i.e. research that is interdisciplinary – combining bio-physical and socio-economic dimensions, attempts to understand the interrelatedness of system components, and participatory.
Early FSR was criticized for tending towards structuralism and reductionism, i.e. conceiving of farms as ‘hard’ closed systems, and for studying them in a component-wise fashion. More recent systems thinking have introduced concepts of ‘soft’ systems and complexity. In the former, the positivist idea of a system objectively defined by privileged outsiders has given way to systems as objectively real but only knowable through constructs (paradigms, theories, and metaphors) and lived experience. Thus multiple interpretations or perspectives (including farmers’) are valid and to be sought. Indigenous knowledge (IK) studies offer insight into these different perspectives. Different perspectives on the opportunities and constraints in Bangladesh floodplain systems are produced by different stakeholders, such as farmers, fishers, and scientists, and go some way towards explaining the history of skewed floodplain development. Secondly, complexity theory involves concepts of non-linear causality and dynamic co-evolution, whereby floodplain production systems are complex adaptive systems which emerge from self-organizing behaviors of many individuals’ production strategies on the floodplain, coupled through feedback loops involving neighbors’ decisions.
A systems approach is taken by two current inter-linked research projects, one with an NR focus, the other with an IK focus, and both funded under DFID’s Natural Resources Systems Programmed. By investigating the livelihood strategies and NRM perceptions of key socio-economic groups on the floodplain, the projects aim to develop an understanding of the interrelationships between competing production systems, particularly agriculture and fisheries. This will lead to the production of a planning and evaluation framework highlighting the systems implications of development interventions, and helping to avoid win-lose scenarios. The NR project is interdisciplinary, and mainly uses quantitative approaches to study the bio-physical and socio-economic factors underlying different NR use patterns. Using tools such as GIS and relational databases, the result of this FSR-type investigation is an objective model describing production system outcomes. It is based on assumptions of linear causality and relies on a unified scientific perspective. The IK project, primarily collecting qualitative data which is also spatially, temporally and socio-economically referenced, seeks to provide insight into the decision making process that leads to the observed outcomes (how farmers and fishers respond to each other and their environment) and offers alternative, stakeholder, perspectives on particular NRM strategies.
The IK project also aims to reflect on the methods used and problems faced in incorporating IK into NR research, using the NR project as a test-bed. It seeks a generic methodology which will add value to NR R&D by incorporating detailed technical and NRM knowledge, experience and capacities of local people into the research process and, through participatory methods, gives primary stakeholder groups a voice in this process. In doing so it seeks a more interactive approach to ensure technical NR research is of practical value and more appropriate to client need. It is experiences in developing a methodology for incorporating IK into NR research which are reported below.
Our definition of IK is broad, it includes knowledge in its social and cultural context, going beyond stakeholders’ indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) to their NRM decision making. (See Sillitoe, this TAA Newsletter)
Acquisition of IK
There is increasing appreciation in NR R&D of the need to understand local peoples’ perceptions of NRM problems and their solutions to them. This information may be collected through a range of methods, with the greatest depth and contextualization of IK achieved through long-term ethnographic study at one end of the spectrum contrasting with rapid rural appraisal (RRA) techniques at the other. Our research uses a number of methods, but focuses on accessing IK by Bengali researcher’s resident at project sites for 12 to 18 months, and using open-ended interviews informed by the ethnographic technique but broadly constrained to the NR arena. The two researchers have received anthropological training, and have university backgrounds in formal anthropology and environmental science respectively. The qualitative data collected is triangulated against quantitative data generated through conventional scientific approaches of survey, monitoring and measurement.
Analysis and incorporation of IK
The output from the field anthropologists is interview transcripts in English, keeping key Bengali terms where possible. These are imported into a so-called CAQDAS (computer-aided qualitative data analysis software) package where they are stored, broken into ‘text units’ which are coded and indexed, and then searched for pattern and meaning. Coding, which can be automated, is done in three ways: i) on factual information about the respondent – using 5 age categories, 2 gender categories, 7 socio-economic strata, their village, etc., ii) on key words (English or Bengali) in the transcript, iii) manual interpretative coding.
Researchers other than those who have collected the data (eg. NR scientists) can access verbatim interviews and search and code them for themes relevant to their work. This can generate new lines of inquiry which can be followed up by both further scientific investigation and qualitative study of IK. This occurs as an iterative process.
Advantages of this approach include the NR researcher being as close to the original IK as possible, enabling it to be contextualized and reducing the tendency to extract ‘nuggets’ of ITK from their socio-cultural milieu. Additionally the IK can be either i) disaggregated (for example to compare knowledge held by women of different ages or socio-economic status about fuel types, or knowledge held by men with different primary occupations – fishing, land-owning, share-cropping – about water use in the dry season), or ii) cross-tabulated (for example to explore local land classification through a matrix of local terms for soil properties against local terms for landscape units). Furthermore this database approach to IK does make the analysis more explicit and less of a black art, and for the skeptical scientist, does at the very least give the impression of qualitative data being processed and analyzed in a ‘scientific’ way, which may in itself improve the acceptance of IK by scientists.
The potential benefits of utilizing IK in interdisciplinary research
There are considerable intellectual difficulties and practical problems in integrating scientific knowledge and IK. However, this activity is not academic introspection; the potential rewards are very great. There are arguments for a clear differentiation of local and scientific knowledge. Proponents of participatory research identify a cost-benefit of using local knowledge. Through using IK, cheaper baseline surveys may be possible, avoiding some of the expense of detailed scientific survey. They also recognize the likelihood of better uptake of research by target beneficiaries if the latter have been involved in the identification and resolution of the problem.
There are examples where a ‘nugget’ of IK can be taken out of context, possibly modified, and disseminated to other farmers to great effect. The success of integrated paddy-cum-aquaculture in Bangladesh, based on local South East Asian technologies is one example . However this is a technological, single-issue approach, and there are dangers in taking items of knowledge out of context due to privileging one stakeholder group’s perspective (and livelihood strategy) over others, and repetition of the reductive approaches which fail to consider systems impacts. We need to hold firmly to a systems understanding which is modulated through different (perhaps conflicting) stakeholders’ perspectives on the system. It is clear that there is great heterogeneity in what different actors do to secure a livelihood in the highly competitive environment of floodplain resource use. They differ enormously in terms of capacities, strategies and risk appetite. This diversity is reflected in their IK – although some knowledge is held in common, much of it is embedded in a particular social and cultural context and may be a closely guarded resource.
Our experience is of trying to integrate a heterogeneous IK in its local context into NR research. The benefits gained here are insights into different appreciations of the problem or alternative interpretations of potential solutions. This comes about because we have deliberately sought to ground both NR and IK data by reference to socio-economic indicators such as occupation, gender, age, and economic status, and have made the assumption that different primary stakeholders are likely to have differing needs, to hold differing perspectives on the NR base, and to have differing capacities for implementing solutions.
An example is the appreciation of factors underlying cropping patterns. FSR would normally indicate each farmer’s choice of crop is based on factors of soil, meteorology, economics, labor, and availability of inputs. This holds true in our studies, however the complex matrix of factors also includes a strong element based on neighbors’ choice of crops, which itself is based on observation and informal negotiation with other neighbors. In this way an agreed norm is established. Thus the option for growing onions in the dry season will depend on up-slope neighbors’ intentions to plant irrigated paddy (since seepage would make the soil too moist for onions) and whether down-slope neighbors can be denied the opportunity to plant irrigated paddy. The IK studies also reveal that farmers allude to benefits from reaching a negotiated cropping pattern that include risk minimizations, ‘free-riding’ (on seepage of neighbors’ dissolved fertilizer), division of labor, avoiding antagonistic combinations, and political solidarity.
The problems of incorporating IK into interdisciplinary research
Ethnographic field work traditionally yields a monograph or, after shorter field trips, an expert’s report. These may not be written in form accessible to the non-specialist, may be produced out of sync with the natural scientists’ demand for insight into IK, or may not directly address the issues of concern to NR scientists. The CAQDAS database approach aims to make IK more accessible to the NR scientist. However, there remain a number of problems to using IK in this way, and some fundamental problems relating to interdisciplinary teams of social and natural scientists:
- FSR is primarily concerned with quantitative analyses, whereas IK studies generate qualitative data requiring interpretative analysis.
- Scale issues – ethnography tends to be case specific, whilst the natural sciences strive for generic models from large statistically determined datasets.
- These contrasting approaches, predicated on very different epistemological assumptions, professional norms, training and working practices, and very different knowledge bases can lead to mutual skepticism about the ‘validity’ of each others’ research and understanding of the situation.
The risk is team members will retreat into the familiar – usually manifest as unidisciplinary and mutually incomprehensible studies. Today’s multifarious demands can push the researcher back to single focus study – to science without the complications of IK. Interdisciplinary research in which disciplinary boundaries are blurred can be threatening, but team members must make the effort to learn each other’s key terms and paradigms. Interdisciplinary systems research demands time and commitment and combined NR-IK research needs to be properly resourced.
Finally, while computer-based approaches may assist in making IK available to NR scientists, they have drawbacks. Once farmers’ knowledge is placed in a database it risks becoming reified, losing its grounding and its dynamism, while it places someone, and probably not a farmer, in the powerful position of gatekeeper. It may encourage analysis ex situ, counter to participatory methods, while coding may structure IK inappropriately. Despite these challenging problems, there is a need for a methodology by which NR researchers and social scientists can share IK in an open and easily comprehensible manner, and research into these issues continues on the Bangladesh floodplains.
Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
States the common conviction that:
Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations. In this respect, policies promoting or perpetuating apartheid, racial segregation, discrimination, colonial and other forms of oppression and foreign domination stand condemned and must be eliminated.
The natural resources of the earth, including the air, water, land, flora and fauna and especially representative samples of natural ecosystems, must be safeguarded for the benefit of present and future generations through careful planning or management, as appropriate.
The capacity of the earth to produce vital renewable resources must be maintained and, wherever practicable, restored or improved.
Man has a special responsibility to safeguard and wisely manage the heritage of wildlife and its habitat, which are now gravely imperiled by a combination of adverse factors. Nature conservation, including wildlife, must therefore receive importance in planning for economic development.
The non-renewable resources of the earth must be employed in such a way as to guard against the danger of their future exhaustion and to ensure that benefits from such employment are shared by all mankind.
The discharge of toxic substances or of other substances and the release of heat, in such quantities or concentrations as to exceed the capacity of the environment to render them harmless, must be halted in order to ensure that serious or irreversible damage is not inflicted upon ecosystems. The just struggle of the peoples of all countries against pollution should be supported.
States shall take all possible steps to prevent pollution of the seas by substances that are liable to create hazards to human health, to harm living resources and marine life, to damage amenities or to interfere with other legitimate uses of the sea.
Economic and social development is essential for ensuring a favorable living and working environment for man and for creating conditions on earth that are necessary for the improvement of the quality of life.
Environmental deficiencies generated by the conditions of under-development and natural disasters pose grave problems and can best be remedied by accelerated development through the transfer of substantial quantities of financial and technological assistance as a supplement to the domestic effort of the developing countries and such timely assistance as may be required.
for the developing countries, stability of prices and adequate earnings for primary commodities and raw materials are essential to environmental management since economic factors as well as ecological processes must be taken into account.
The environmental policies of all States should enhance and not adversely affect the present or future development potential of developing countries, nor should they hamper the attainment of better living conditions for all, and appropriate steps should be taken by States and international organizations with a view to reaching agreement on meeting the possible national and international economic consequences resulting from the application of environmental measures.
Resources should be made available to preserve and improve the environment, taking into account the circumstances and particular requirements of developing countries and any costs which may emanate from their incorporating environmental safeguards into their development planning and the need for making available to them, upon their request, additional international technical and financial assistance for this purpose.
In order to achieve a more rational management of resources and thus to improve the environment, States should adopt an integrated and co-ordinate approach to their development planning so as to ensure that development is compatible with the need to protect and improve environment for the benefit of their population.
rational planning constitutes an essential tool for reconciling any conflict between the needs of development and the need to protect and improve the environment.
Planning must be applied to human settlements and urbanization with a view to avoiding adverse effects on the environment and obtaining maximum social, economic and environmental benefits for all. In this respect, projects which are designed for colonialist and racist domination must be abandoned.
Demographic policies which are without prejudice to basic human rights and which are deemed appropriate by Governments concerned should be applied in those regions where the rate of population growth or excessive population concentrations are likely to have adverse effects on the environment of the human environment and impede development.
Appropriate national institutions must be entrusted with the task of planning, managing or controlling the environmental resources of States with a view to enhancing environmental quality.
Science and technology, as part of their contribution to economic and social development, must be applied to the identification, avoidance and control of environmental risks and the solution of environmental problems and for the common good of mankind.
Education in environmental matters, for the younger generation as well as adults, giving due consideration to the underprivileged, is essential in order to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in protecting and improving the environment in its full human dimension. It is also essential that mass media of communications avoid contributing to the deterioration of the environment, but, on the contrary, disseminate information of an educational nature on the need to protect and improve the environment in order to enable man to develop in every respect.
Scientific research and development in the context of environmental problems, both national and multinational, must be promoted in all countries, especially the developing countries. In this connection, the free flow of up-to-date scientific information and transfer of experience must be supported and assisted, to facilitate the solution of environmental problems; environmental technologies should be made available to developing countries on terms which would encourage their wide dissemination without constituting an economic burden on the developing countries.
Example Of strategy
Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) is an independent, non-profit, non-government, policy, research, and implementation institute working on sustainable development (SD) at local, national, regional and global levels. BCAS addresses sustainable development through four interactive themes: (a) environment-development integration, (b) good governance and people’s participation, (c) poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods, and (d) economic growth and public-private partnership. It was established in 1986, and over the years has grown to become a leading institute in the non-government sector in Bangladesh and South Asia. It works on the above issues using interactive approaches and multiple methodologies. BCAS has been registered with Social Welfare Department as well as NGO affairs Bureau of government of Bangladesh
At present BCAS has over hundred full-time and some part-time staff working in different capacities. It has a core active management unit guided by a board of directors. BCAS has two dozens of senior professionals and scientists, more than three dozens of mid-level professionals and researchers. It has ten active divisions working on Natural Resources Management (NRM), Environment and Development, Renewable and Conventional Energy, Social and Economic Issues, Trade and Sustainable Development, Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction Strategies, Global Change and Human Dimensions, Policy Analysis and training, Governance and Advocacy, Publication and Outreach.
Knowledge Integration for Sustainable Development
Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) is a knowledge based institution. One of its key products is a series of publications. Over the years BCAS has recognized that for effective
Implementation of sustainable development policies, plans, programmed, projects as well as rights and advocacy, the scientific knowledge behind each action must be appropriate and based on sound methodologies.
From its inception BCAS committed itself to develop good publications, become a centre of excellence of knowledge management in sustainable development, integrating environment and development, natural management sustainable livelihoods, good governance, global – local linkages in decision making and conflict resolution
Though the focused geographical courage in Bangladesh and South Asia, BCAS works and publishes all over the world.
Over the years BCAS has published over 50 books, many reports and monographs, several newsletters and hundreds of scientific publications in journals and books.
BCAS has a general policy of maximizing communication of knowledge and experiential gains to the wider range of people. Though most of the publications are in English, there are quite a few publications in Bangla. There are very few BCAS programmers and projects which have dedicated funds and allocation for publications. But almost every programmer and project is encouraged to bring out their output in some form of publication and put into the public domain as books, reports, monographs, articles or website content.
It has been often seen that the scientific knowledge dominated by paradigm of science need better understanding explanation and communication. Further, much of the scientific knowledge is in disciplinary context and often compartmentalized. Thus BCAS operates in the relationship between Science-Policy-People as the critical nexus of sustainable development.
Importance of Local Knowledge
People’s knowledge and experiential knowledge of local communities has much to contribute to the successful implementation of the sustainable development efforts. But there is an urgent need to integrate the dominant theoretical, analytical and applied knowledge represented by Cartesian scientific approach and the experiential knowledge of peoples and communities. Thus BCAS often works in the interface between “scientific” knowledge and “peoples” knowledge.
Integrating Knowledge at Different Levels of Decision Making
BCAS has also recognized that sustainable development decision making takes place at different levels from individuals and local communities (micro level), sub national ecosystem, planning administrative units based (meso level), national level (macro/ multi country regional level (super macro- semi mega) or at international and global levels (mega level). Knowledge of information developed at different levels need to be integrated to make knowledge useful and effective.
Integrating, Multi Level Decision Making
Eco-specific Participatory Management
Over the years BCAS has learnt that one of the best, most effective and successful approaches to understand and implement environment-development activities with particular emphasis on poverty alleviation, is to adopt the principle the methodology of Eco-specific. Participatory Management, VCAS has developed, improved and successfully implemented several policies, programmes and projects using this approach. In this approach communities are engaged and involved in defining the problems, identifying root causes, suggesting solutions, identifying actors to solve the problem and also encourages communities to volunteer to take actions attributed to them in a participatory way. The focus is often on an ecosystem or a defined and confined geographical or policy domain with clear objectives.
BCAS has been using this approach quite successfully at the different level of decision making indicated above.
BCAS envisions to promote people-centred sustainable development by applying and advancing scientific, technical and local knowledge through research, by developing models, demonstration, policy advocacy and project implementation. To achieve the goal, BCAS gives great importance to integration of environment and development, promoting people’s participation and good governance, encouraging rapid economic growth, and facilitating public-private partnership for poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods. BCAS is committed to develop southern perspectives, ensure north-south dialogue and environmental justice and access to resources and knowledge for the poor.
BCAS believes that exchange of knowledge and people’s wisdom are the most cost effective agents to bring about changes for sustainable development. Maximizing knowledge among different actors and stakeholders, generation of innovative ideas and approaches adaptive to socio-cultural, economic, and bio-physical systems and, initiation of community actions through participatory research and effective policy advocacy can promote people-centred sustainable development for local, national, regional and international communities. Following are the key missions of the institute:
· to develop ideas and models aiming at resource management, environment and development as an approach towards sustainable development;
· to ensure people’s and community participation in planning, implementation and management of resources to enhance resilience of natural and human system;
· to direct and formulate policy and programmes through gathering and updating information and knowledge by empirical researches and actions;
· to undertake collaborative research with scientists in both national and international organizations to share knowledge, innovation and experience;
· to motivate and facilitate private sectors in cleaner production, pollution management, sustainable trade for improving inner and outer environmental conditions;
· to strengthen and build capacity of civil society, private and public sectors in the areas of natural resource management, environment, trade, human resource development and sustainable development through enhancing knowledge and access to resources;
· to provide advise to various agencies and departments of the Government of Bangladesh, development partners and international institutions on NRM, SD, energy, Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), environment and poverty;
· to upgrade public awareness and influence policy decisions through information dissemination, policy dialogue, lobbying, networking, training, workshop, seminar and symposium etc.;
· to bring out publications including books, newsletters and monographs and to disseminate the results and findings of various research and initiatives;
· to undertake inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research activities using a series of methodologies.
Field of Specialization
Natural resource management (land, water, fisheries, forestry, agriculture and biodiversity)
· Enhance resilience of natural and human systems
· Livelihood analysis, poverty reduction strategy and food security
· People’s participation, consensus building and conflict resolution
· Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Participatory Learning and Action (PLA)
· Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA)
· Clean technology and pollution management
· Energy (conventional and renewable)
· Environmental education and health
· Public-private partnership
· Global climate change, and human dimension of global change
· Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)
· Trade, environment and sustainable development
· Social justice, equity and fairness
· Good Governance and Policy Advocacy
NATURAL GAS IN BANGLADESH
Natural Gas produces heat, light and power. That is why it is useful in the factories very much; it is use for fertilizer and pesticide use for lighting. So that some places there are use of gaslights. For different research components gas is easy cheap to exercise. Even these days it is being used as fuel of cars.
In our country, we have quite a few gas fields and all are super quality, without refinement it can be used. The quantity of the reserves gas is about 10.5 trillion cu ft.
In the following the places where are the gases fields are
Here we can see our overall report about gas production.
|PRODUCTION IN 2002-03 BY FIELDS|
|Daily Average||1240 mmcfd|
|* During July 2003 to June 2004|
|Overall Current Gas Production Capacity in 2004-05|
Natural gas is very important, so that we should be cautious regarding of use of this resource.
This is our national resource that’s why it is our moral duty to take care of this.
Forest Planning and Management
Forest planning and management is a planned interference in forest systems to achieve or maintain desired forest patterns. The forest planning designs the capacity of forest systems to satisfy social, political and economic needs of the landscape. The forest management builds and maintains that capacity. This chapter presents information on the forest planning and management in Bangladesh.
The forests of Bangladesh have been under planned management for over a hundred years. The forest department prepared new working plans to meet the new challenges and opportunities after independence of Bangladesh in 1971. The most of the forest areas of Bangladesh face immense demographic pressure and have crossed resiliency limits. The rigidity in the public management systems and lack of financial resources continue to limit the ability of the forest organization to develop and sustain existing forest resources.
Main Problems for Sustenance
Exponentially increasing use and dependence on forest goods and services by the fast growing population, and poor enforceability of forest regulations are the main problems faced by the forest resources of Bangladesh. The crux of the problem, therefore, lies outside the forestry sector. All other problems including those within the forestry sector like declining productivity and sustainability of forest resources are manifestations of the “main problem”.
Many of the problems within the forestry sector are ubiquitous. Inability of the forest resource to satisfy demands both at local and national levels is increasing all over Bangladesh. Forest are fragmenting, shrinking, and getting deforested. Most of the forest areas are drifting towards lower limits of resiliency.
National Forest Policy
Bangladesh has adopted a new National Forest Policy (NFP) in October 1994. The NFP among its objectives lays emphasis on people oriented programs to manage environment, preserve existing values, conserve plants and animals, and maximize benefits to local people. The NFP specially focuses on protection and management of resources (natural forests, protected areas, and plantations) and
Accommodation of needs of local people through participatory arrangements.
NFP provides a basis for legislation, plans and prescriptions, and a framework to continuously correct institutional inadequacies for maintaining dynamic growth patterns of forests. It provides an important means to achieve goals considered essential and desirable by society. The effectiveness of a policy will however depend on its success in achieving the defined goals.
Bangladesh has adopted a three dimensional approach to realize the vision of NFP through development of three major type of programs, (a) People -oriented forestry programs, (b) Forest Production-directed programs, and (c) Institutional strengthening programs including development of appropriate legal framework.
Bangladesh has also adopted two other national policies (national policy of economic growth, and national environment policy) related to the forestry sector. The “policy of economic growth” within the broad framework of its Twenty Year Perspective Plan (1990-2010) covers acceleration of economic growth, alleviation of poverty, generation of employment opportunities, and increased self-reliance. The “national environmental policy” stresses maintenance of the ecological balance, protection against natural disasters, prevention of pollution and degradation of the environment, environmentally sound development, and sustainable long term and environmentally congenial utilization of all resources.
Policy directives from all the three policies favor ecologically sound and biologically sustainable
Development of forestry, support economic improvement through appropriate measures of expansion, conservation, management and utilization of resources, advocate cross-sectoral linkages, and promote people participation at each stage.
Modern forestry involves interrelated activities that go far beyond the limits of forest land, and affect the welfare of all living beings. The fundamental issue is how to plan forests to sustain their essential ecological functional roles, and to provide maximum societal and individual satisfaction. Bangladesh follows two (National and District) level planning system for its forest resources. At national level, it has a long-term macro forest-planning model (Forestry Master Plan, 1992) and at district level it has working or management plans and schemes. The basic objectives of forest planning in Bangladesh are to optimize the contribution of forest resources for environmental stability, economic improvement and social development.
At the national level, the 1992 Forestry Master Plan (FMP) serves the purpose of macro forest plan. It deals with various policy issues, institutional reforms, and environmental concerns. The resource
Management framework aims at balanced and sustainable land use and focuses on the basic needs of the rural people. The FMP, 1992 identifies following five pre-conditions for sustainable development in the forestry sector,
(a) Satisfaction of basic human needs through increases in vital commodities and services such as firewood, housing and shelter materials, animal forage, medicinal plants, soil conservation and biodiversity.
(b) Continued socio-economic growth with enhanced equitable distribution of benefits to rural areas and prospects of a better future for those who depend on trees and forest land.
(c) Participation in decision-making and benefit sharing by tree growers, forest users and others whose livelihoods depend on trees and forest.
(d) Sustained commitment of the government to systematic long-term approaches to issues such as tenure.
(e) Sustainable utilization of forest resources within carrying resiliency limits accompanied by conservation of eco-systems and biodiversity.
The FMP, 1992 has developed four main themes to achieve its objectives; (a) environment management, (ii) people oriented forestry, and (iii) production directed programs, and (iv) institutional restructuring and development. The environment management provides for conservation of forests of natural origin, protected area development and community resource management. The people oriented forestry includes forestry on privately owned land, social forestry, participatory management of government controlled forest land, tree plantations on non-forest public (“Khas”) lands and unclassed state forest (USF) in the hill tracts. The production directed programs provide for industrial plantations, wood harvesting, and promotion of industry and technology. Finally, the institutional restructuring and development will focus on entrepreneur-based infrastructure and maintenance, industrial support, training and transfer of technology, institutional change, research and development.
Forest planning at divisional and district level in Bangladesh is simply a technical resource planning in isolation of other sectors. The plans weakly address new concerns of forestry development – soil conservation, watershed protection, environmental and conservation values, local participation, gender issues, and non-wood forest products. The name of the planning document has changed from Working Plan to Management Plan. The plan period varies from 10 to 20 years. Very few forest divisions have current working / management plans and provisions of these plans are not strictly followed. The moratorium on extraction from natural forests issued in October 1989 has further complicated the picture. A computer based Resource Information Management System (RIMS) supports Bangladesh forest department in its forest planning and management activities. It needs major up-gradation (hardware and software) to meet challenges of the next century.
Forestry and Five-Year Plans
Bangladesh follows the system of Five Year Plans for planning its economic growth and development. The past Five Year Plans (FYP) has treated the forests as a sector of investment for production and revenue. However, the recent FYPs treat forestry development not only as resource for economic development but also as an integral part of the rural development process, by providing a multiplier effect through forest resource based processing activities and creating additional employment and income. Such interrelated development activities requires detailed planning and designs balanced with capabilities of natural resources and people, and with directives of national policies. Currently inter-sectorally coordinated and integrated forest planning is not present in Bangladesh. The forest planning at micro level is a technical resource planning.
Forest Management Plans
The forests of Bangladesh have been under planned management for over a hundred years. The forests of Sitapahar and in Sundarbans were the first to be notified as reserved forests in 1875 under the Forest Act, Act VII of 1855. The first working plan came into force in the Sundarbans during 1893. The Forest Department started plantation activity by planting Teak at Sitapahar in 1871. The greater part of the Hill Forests was initially on a care and maintenance basis. In plains, the Sal forests came under management and planning of the forest department during 1950’s.
The forest department prepared new working plans after independence of Bangladesh in 1971 to meet the new challenges and opportunities. The forest department adopted clear felling followed by artificial regeneration as main system of forest management. The Teak was identified as the main species for plantation with an agro forestry system “taungya”. The aim was to convert large parts of the high forest to plantations within the rotation period.
The forest management planning model of Bangladesh is traditional that considers only technical aspects and plans forest resources that vary over space in type and area (Table 50 at Appendix). The felling moratorium of 1989 covers most of the forest area but its implementation is not effective (FMP, 1992). The productivity of forests is low to due inadequate financial resource for forest development, rigidity in the management system, exponential population growth, and poor enforceability of forest regulations. A large proportion of the hill forests have been planted. The remaining forest area needs conservation and development. The commercial timber extraction levels in Hill Forests are unsustainable. The Sal plains
Forests have been heavily encroached and the present growing stock has almost lost its capacity to regenerate by itself. The coastal fringe plantations and tree cover on embankments are supplementing the declining natural capacity of coastal forestlands to deal with the cyclones.
Management of Hill Forests
The Hill Forests consists of tropical evergreen and tropical moist-evergreen forests. These forests are most important watershed areas in the country. Scientific forest management of these forests began in the 1870s under a system of selection felling and natural regeneration. In 1930s, the system of management was modified to clear felling supported by artificial regeneration or plantation, while the system of selection-cum-improvement felling also continued. The prescriptions for plantations include establishment of natural regeneration plots of six to ten meters width around every 40-hectare plantation.
Hill forests were heavily exploited during the Second World War. Subsequent management emphasized on raising long and short rotation plantation on a large scale, and abandoned the natural regeneration plots. Delays in revision/reformulation of management plans (working plans) including plantations, and the need for ensuring timber requirements of led to development of “adhoc” treatment. Yield regulation by area was changed to one of predetermined volume. This lead to larger felling areas and consequently a larger plantation program. Better and higher yields motivated for the large scale conversion of Hill forests into plantations. The sustained principles of forest management were not applied in practice and adequate information to establish annual allowable cuts does not exist (FMP, 1992).
As regards Bamboo, the contribution of public forests is estimated at about 194 million culms against 528 million culms from village forests (FMP, 1992). The present system of annual auctions and permits does not encourage investment in infrastructure such as roads and cableways. As a result, part of the bamboo areas remain inaccessible and the prescribed cutting rules are not consistently followed, resulting in high waste and unnecessary damage.
Management of Sal Plains Forests
Most of the Sal forests originally belonged to feudal landlords and were not under scientific management for a very long period. The forest department gradually assumed their responsibility for management after nationalization in 1950s. The silvicultural prescriptions included clear felling with regeneration mostly from coppice; simple coppice and coppice with standards on a rotation of about 20 years. Thinning was prescribed on a 10-year cycle to improve the Sal crop. The plan provided for taungya system to afforest the blanks. Due to immense pressure from growing population, none of these practices could sustain the
Sustainable development of these forests, which has continued to deplete in size and stocking. Sal forests areas have maximum encroachment and most of the rootstock of remnant Sal forests has lost coppicing power suggesting use of plantation for re-afforesting such areas. FMP, 1992 observes that in most cases, the land in the remnant Sal Forests are not suitable for permanent agriculture without irrigation, However, if such Sal stands are provided adequate protection and tending then they can still respond and grow.
Management of Mangrove Forests
The Sundarban forests were declared as a Reserved Forest in 1879, and are managed under a selection system. Early management consisted of a selection system with fixed exploitable girth limit for the main species and a felling cycle of 40 years. Subsequent working plans reduced the felling cycle to 20 years. The forest management intensity was increased after construction Khulna Newsprint Mills Ltd (KNM) in 1959, and other Khulna-based forest industries. All age gradations of trees are not available due to improper marking and inadequate regeneration (FMP, 1992). Ecological changes taking place in the Sundarbans are evident, apparently from extensive changes in river flow and increased salt content. Besides Golpatta palm leaves exploitation takes place on the basis of collection permits. Scarcity of information and inability to enforce regulations are the two main problems in sustainable management of Sunderbans.
Management of Unclassed State Forests (USF)
The USF do not have any forest management plans. The district administration controls the large amount of the 700,000 ha of hill land called Unclassed State Forests (USF). Most of this land is bare, lacks forest cover, and losing topsoil. Its capacity to sustain shifting cultivation, the past major land use, is declining. Social, political, tenurial, and institutional constraints limit the development of such USF lands. Chittagong Hill Tracts contains one of the largest and most concentrated blocks of these unproductive lands in the country that have remained undeveloped for decades. Most of these lands are now only suited for raising forests species. Marketing problem restricts use of some of these lands for horticulture. Ambiguity about land tenure checks new investment in these lands.
Management of Protected Areas (PAs)
Management plans for the PAs have been developed for the first time in 1997 (Rosario, 1997 a, 1997b). Five National Parks, seven Wildlife Sanctuaries and one Game Reserve are within public forests in Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Wildlife Preservation (Amendment) Act of 1974 provides legal protection to these areas. These 13 PAs occupy an area of 164,660 ha, or about 1.11 percent of the land area of Bangladesh. The World Commission on Environment and Development well below the target of 5 percent established by the Wildlife Task force in 1986 and the target of 12 percent recommends this.
Management of Private or Village Forest
There is no forest management planning for the village forest, which are mostly homestead forests and extend over 270,000 ha in about 10 million households covering over 85,650 villages. The private forests annually supply about 5 million M3 of wood (about one million m3 of logs and about four million m3 of fuelwood) and 0.53 million Air Dry MT of bamboo. The homestead forests are the most important source
Of wood, bamboo and other non-wood forest products in the villages. A national survey (FMP 1992) shows that the average growing stock has remained almost unchanged since 1980-81 but has much higher proportion of smaller diameter trees. There are no formal plan or management guidelines for these forests.
Public Management of Forest Industrial Activities
Bangladesh government has direct interference in forest based industries sector. For example, Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation (BFIDC), a government undertaking, began in 1960, as a state owned company, for developing timber-based activities in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. It is now a semi-autonomous agency under the MOEF, owning 16 enterprises (two timber extraction units, 11 wood-based industrial units, and three board manufacturing plants). Many are inoperable or not profitable. BFIDC employs some 4,000 persons. It also has 11,700 hectares of rubber plantations spread over 12 estates of which over 5,000 hectares are in production.
Mainly due to raw material shortage and operating inefficiency the BFIDC is incurring losses. Government is considering resolving this problem through public enterprise reforms encompassing dis-investment, financial restructuring, institutional improvement, and better pricing policies.
Management of Forestry Research
Financial, human, infrastructure, and equipment resources for forestry research are very less. Stability of core funding is an important issue in forest research. Since core funds for research come from revenue budget, they are often small and inadequate. Scientific manpower in forest research is weak in number and skills.
Bangladesh Forest Research Institute “BFRI” is responsible for all aspects of forestry research covering silviculture, forest management, forest protection, forest products development, environmental conservation and agro forestry. Many research positions remain vacant and nearly half of these are senior level positions. The professional skills of the majority of the scientists need up gradation. The dissemination of research information and technology transfer processes are weak in BFRI and there is no formal institutional mechanism to promote technology transfer.
The present mechanism of setting forestry research priorities is weak and unsatisfactory. Participation of stakeholders is almost negligible. Client’s identification and priority for forestry problems are critically important for ensuring research relevancy and success.
The forest management started in 1864 with appointment of a Conservator of Forests for Bengal and Assam and with establishment of a reserved forest in 1875. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) was created in 1989, and Bangladesh Forest Department (BFD), Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation (BFIDC), and BFRI were brought under its control.
The current structure is hierarchical with department headed by a Chief Conservator of Forests. Four
Deputy Chief Conservators, responsible for forest management planning, forest extension, development planning, and Environment Management assists the CCF. An Assistant Chief Conservator supports each DCCF. The Conservator of forests heads seven circles concerned with field operations and territorial forestry, and directly reports to the CCF. Each circle is in charge of several forest divisions. The boundary of each division normally coincides with administrative district boundary. There are 37 forest divisions. Each forest division consists of forest ranges, controlled by Forest Rangers, who in turn are in charge of several beats, each under a Deputy Ranger or Forester.
Fig. Current Structure of Forest Department
In past the major function of the Department was to protect the forests and to raise revenue for the state and it worked under a centralized and closed administrative system. The current national development plans and programs consider forestry as an important sector impacting social, economic and environmental conditions and ask for more socially oriented forestry planning and management.
Different technical missions of ADB, FAO and UNDP have recently examined the strength and weakness of the current legal and institutional structure of forest department to satisfy current social, political, economic and technical needs. These missions have made various recommendations that are under active consideration of the Government of Bangladesh.
The forests of Bangladesh have been under planned management for more than hundred years. During last few decades, the socio-economic conditions have minimized the utility and use of forest planning and management. The unplanned biotic pressures have far exceeded the planned conservation efforts and have shrunk, degraded and fragmented the forest resources. However, the national development plans have developed a better perception about forestry as an important sector impacting social, economic and environmental conditions and ask for a more socially oriented forestry institution. Accordingly, Bangladesh has adopted a new National Forest Policy in 1994 and the issue of institutional reform in its forestry sector is under active consideration of the government. The new policy lays emphasis on people oriented programs to conserve natural resources, preserve existing values and to maximize benefits to local people.
ON THE SUSTAINABILITY OF WATER USE
Since the 1992 International Conference on Water and the Environment(ICWE) in Dublin at the latest, there has been a great deal of intensive and serious thought on very different levels about the limited availability and the possibilities of exploiting and managing the earth’s fresh water resources. In
June 1992 the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, building on the results of the Dublin Conference, brought out the need for worldwide reforms within the water sector.
Sustainability of food production increasingly depends on sound and efficient water use and conservation practices consisting primarily of irrigation development and management with respect to rain fed areas, livestock water supply, inland fisheries and agro forestry. Achieving food security is a high priority in many countries, and agriculture must not only provide food for rising populations, but also save water for other uses. The challenge is to develop and apply water saving technology and management methods and, through capacity building, enable communities to adopt new approaches, for both rain fed and irrigated agriculture.This was followed by a series of initiatives. The World Bank, for instance, published a long Policy Paper in 1993 defining new goals for the water sector. The FAO set up an International Action Programmed on Water and Sustainable Agricultural Development (IAP-WASAD). Other UN agencies such as UNDP, WHO, UNICEF, WMO, UNESCO and UNEP
Started programmers or coordinated, or took part in, programmers dealing with the problem of fresh water resources.
The donor organizations, including NGOs, have recently increased the irrelevant activities. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) brought out a sectoral study in
Entitled “Water as a matter of survival – a resource becomes scarce”. This study is the basis for sector concepts on the subject of water which arecurrently being revised, and it shows the problem areas, the general conditions and the most important areas of action (BMZ, 1995).The message of all these activities is that water is an increasingly scarce and extremely valuable resource, without which sustainable development isimpossible. They therefore call for everything humanly possible to be done
to guarantee sustainable use of fresh water. The present paper examines whether sustainable use of water resources is possible and what theconsequences of the increasing water shortage are for water management.
World-wide water use has increased more than tenfold since the turn of the century. Water exploitation has risen particularly sharply in the second half of the 20th century. Disproportionate increases in water exploitation have taken place during this period in Asia and Europe If the renewable water supply is compared with current water exploitation, then water seems to be abundantly available for use.
Unfortunately, however, the water is unevenly distributed over the world and it is certainly not abundant where the mass of people live. There are also large seasonal differences. For example large parts of Bangladesh suffer flooding during the monsoon period, which is then always followed by a
period of extreme water shortage. Water shortage is thus not a general problem but is a regionally, locally and seasonally specific problem. Germany for example, with a long-term average precipitation of 837 mm in the western part and 662 mm in the eastern part (the former GDR), is a country rich in water, all the more so if the inflows from the Rhine and the Elbe, for example, are counted on the supply side. For the public drinking water supply just 2-3 % of the naturally available water from precipitation
and feeder rivers are used. In Germany as a whole, even in future, there should not really be any problems of shortage in the water supply. And yet even in Germany, as a result of dense population and a high degree of industrialization, the supply in some places does not always balance the demand. Water storage and long-distance transport from water-rich areas will certainly make it possible to sustain a seasonal and a regional balance, but this does require putting an end to the degradation of the water resources. Such action to achieve a balance also entails high costs. With a share of almost 70 % of the water exploited, Agriculture is currently the largest water-using sector worldwide. Within this sector by far
The largest share is used by irrigated agriculture, which in some regions at least has contributed to the rapid rise in the amount of water used in the last40 years. The gross irrigated area has increased world-wide from 94 million hectares in 1950 to about 270 million hectares today. More than 70 % of the
Irrigated area is located in the developing countries. It was only the increasing irrigated area, though, that made it possible in densely populated countries for food production to keep up with population growth in the past few decades. Over 30 % of the world’s food production takes place on irrigated areas, which account for 17 % of the arable areas. In Asia irrigated agriculture accounts for 60 % of food production and in some countries, such as Pakistan, the figure is 80 %.Industrial water use is estimated at 24 % over the whole world. The share of the developing countries varies widely depending on the level of economic development, the particular economic structure and the technologies used. It lies between 10 and 30 %, compared to 60-80 % in the industrial countries. The share of households etc. in the total worldwide use of water is about 8%, though 4 % of the world’s population uses a disproportionate amount of
300-400 liters per day, while on the other hand water consumption of two thirds of the world’s population is less than 50 liters per day. Another important sector of water use is nature and environment protection. In terms of quantity, water use in this sector is not documented and is certainly difficult to record. Water is particularly important in this area for preserving wetlands as a habitat for plants and animals. Tropical wetlands for example, which currently cover an area of 2.64 million km2 world-wide, are being increasingly threatened by drainage or the discharge of contaminated water.
Development of demand
According to Clark (1993) worldwide water use will probably increase to5189 3 km a year by the year 2000. Regional increases are estimated at 3187km2 for Asia, giving Asia the largest volume of water extracted; 317 3 km for Africa; 796 3 km for North America; 216 3 km for Latin America and 673
3 km for Europe. A further increase in the use of water is to be expected beyond the year 2000, corresponding to population growth. In relation to other sectors, the percentage rise in water use in agriculture until the year 2000 is likely to be modest. The World Resource Institute (1990) forecasts a global increase in demand in agriculture by the year 2000of 17 %, based on the situation in the 1980s. This is explained by the expected increase in irrigated area of less than 1 % per year. The use of water
for irrigation, according to these estimates, will decrease proportionately from 68 % at present to 52-62 % in the year 2000.Because of the impending population increase, especially in developing
countries, a further significant increase in demand for drinking water is expected until well into the next century. The cause given for this is the likely rise in population by 3.06 billion in the developing countries. In addition to this, the increasing urbanization is giving rise to a concentration of demand, which can only be covered by the expensive transfer of water from more and more distant areas or by the overuse of local water resources. The rise in living standard, which is clearly illustrated historically by the example of today’s industrial countries, is accompanied by a rise in expectations regarding the supply of water and a change in consumer behavior. Consumption data from developing countries show that the percapita consumption in households connected to the public water supply is comparable to corresponding specific consumption figures from industrial countries.
The guaranteed sustainable supply of water, the quality of which is also good enough to meet requirements of people, is an enormous challenge to the governments of many countries, especially in the developing world, because that is where in many cases the existing water shortage is increased or even caused by a number of problems. These problems include among other things the rising costs of tapping new water reserves, the wasteful use of those already made available, soil degradation in irrigated areas, the overuse or exhaustion of groundwater resources, the release of harmful substances into
the water with negative effects on the health of water users and massive subsidies for providing water, which militates against the sustainable use of water resources.
Rising costs of exploiting water resources
Water resources which are usable and can be exploiting at reasonable cost are limited in practically every country. In many cases the water reserves which can be opened up easily, in other words at little cost, have actually been opened up, so the development of so far unused water reserves will become more and more expensive in the future. Even for there cent past enormous cost increases for the supply of water have been reported (Rose grant, 1995). A study in 1993 of local administration water supply projects financed by the World Bank came tothe conclusion that water costs in the next generation of projects will betwo or three times more than today’s cost per cubic meter (Biswas, 1993).Examples of such inevitable cost increases are Amman, Jordan;Shenyang, China; Lima, Peru; Mexico City, Mexico, etc.
Wasteful use of water
One of the most important challenges of the immediate future is to introduce economies in agricultural, municipal and industrial water use. The efficiency level of water use in irrigation in the developing countries is often only 25 to 40 %.Water losses in the cities of developing countries are usually about 50 % and above. These high losses could be turned into a great savings potential in water use and thus a clear improvement in sustainability. But the savings potential is far less dramatic in practice. The water lost in one part of the system is very often used somewhere else. For the system as a whole or for the catchments area this results in a quite acceptable efficiency level. Nevertheless there are still considerable possibilities of saving, which should be put into practice during periods of water shortage.
Soil degradation in irrigated areas
Soil degradation by paludification, Stalinization and alkalinization is manage-old problem of irrigated agriculture. In the past few years the problem has worsened dramatically with the expansion of irrigated areas. Figures available on the size of the areas which become unsuitable for production
each year due to water logging, Stalinization and alkalinization vary between 160 000 and 1.5 million hectares. The figure for total area worldwide under saline influence also varies considerably between 20 and46 million hectares. The differences in area figures can be explained among other things by the fact that ideas differ widely about when soil starts becoming degraded and damaged.
Notwithstanding such problems of definition these soils are usually extremely fertile soils whose yield potential, because of the degradation, cannot be used to the full or breaks down altogether. The reduction in fertility of these soils not only reduces their area productivity, however, but also the productivity of water use, since the use of water in irrigating salt-influenced soils is usually much greater than in irrigating soils not influenced by salt, because of the eluviations requirement. Lower area productivity and higher water use must inevitably lead to lower production for the amount of water used.
The degradation of irrigated soils, regardless of area figures given, is a serious and growing problem of sustainability. Even worse, there is not only a onside but also an offside problem involved, because the salts accumulated in or on the soil are occasionally leached out and enter the receiving body via the drainage water. This leads to deterioration in water quality and to contamination of the underlying bedrock. According to Glazovsky (1989; cited in Golubev, 1993) two billion tonnes of salt enter the running waters of the world each year via the drainage water from the irrigated areas. This salt is the major part of what the running waters in the arid regions carry.
Soil degradation as a result of Stalinization can also be seen under conditions of rained agriculture. One example of this is the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. Here, in the wake of the conversion of tree/grass savannah into arable land there was a significant increase in groundwater levels, in the
Capillary rise and thus in the soil Stalinization. To this is added the influx of highly saline groundwater into the surface waters, which has meant an impairment of the quality of the water to the detriment of the surface waters and their bedrock.
Overuse and exhaustion of groundwater resources
Overuse of groundwater occurs when the exploitation of water exceeds supply in the medium and long term. Overuse leads to lower groundwater levels and increasing costs of supply, and, under certain circumstances also to subsidence and landfalls. The latter usually results in irreversible damage to
the water-bearing bed. In near shore areas it is not unusual for the sinking of the water level to allow saline seawater into the water-bearing bed, thus leading to its degradation. Overuse of groundwater is today a widespread phenomenon, from the High Plains in the United States to the North China Plain, and can be seen in practically all dry regions. There is also a sharp increase in the use or exploitation of fossil water resources, especially in eastern North Africa (Libya and Egypt) and on the Arabian Peninsula. Three quarters of the water used in Saudi Arabia comes from fossil non-renewable groundwater resources
Groundwater exploitation there exceeds the rate of renewal by a factor of five, and the underlying trend is rising. In all the regions where there is continual overuse of water and there is no economically viable alternative way to provide water, medium or long-term sustainable development can be ruled out.
Contamination of water with harmful substances
Contamination of water with harmful and pathogenic substances, as mentioned above, is not only a problem of the industrialized countries. In developing countries too contamination can be observed with an underlying sharp upward trend. The contributing factors include untreated or inadequately treated waste water from settlements, industrial waste, diffuse contamination from agriculture and the usually isolated contamination by mining. A large part is also played by the deposit of settlement waste on the slopes of Water-courses and its disposal via water ways. In India, for example, only eight out of 3119 cities are equipped with waste water treatment plants. The Yamuna River, which flows through the Indian capital New Delhi, is contaminated with 0.2 million 3 m of untreated waste water every day. This leads to a 3200-fold increase in the coli form organism content in the river’s water within New Delhi. It is no rare occurrence to have 24 million coli form organisms per ml there. The unsatisfactory amount of drinking water available in combination with inadequate sanitary conditions at the domestic and municipal levels is one of the main causes for the high incidence of disease, especially among children, in the developing countries. On a worldwide scale about one billion people have to manage without access to water of satisfactory quality; 1.7 has inadequate sanitary facilities. In the developing countries each year there are an estimated one billion cases of diarrhea. The World Bank has found that in the developing countries, given a significant improvement in the quality of drinking water and water used for other needs there would be about 2 million fewer deaths from diarrhea among children. These figures illustrate clearly the importance of the sustainability of water supplies of sufficient quality for development in the countries of the Third World.
Strategies for the future
There are in essence two strategies, which are used to help meet the challenges indicated above: supply management and demand management. Supply management seeks to take action to identify, exploit and utilize hitherto unexplored water resources. Supply management, besides optimization of operations and of the maintenance of water supply plants, is taken to include the reallocation of water resources among the various consumer and user sectors. In contrast to supply management, demand management tries by using special incentives and water-saving mechanisms to encourage economical and efficient use of water as a resource. Demarcation between the two strategies is not always absolutely clear. Action and legislation which influence the quantity and quality of the water outside an allocation system are today usually counted as supply management. By contrast, action which influences the use and wastage of water within the allocation system comes under demand management. A reallocation of water brought about by market economy measures, for example from agriculture to the municipal water supply, would thus be seen as a demand management measure. There is worldwide discussion and controversy over the practical application of these strategies, especially the application of the demand of the Dublin Conference “to regard water as an economic asset”. Taking a sober look at the situation, one would normally come to the
conclusion that, depending on the regional and/or local situation, it will be necessary in future to pursue both strategies. With economic growth, increasing competition for water resources and the increase in the value of water, demand management is certainly becoming more important than supply management.
Water supply management
Making available hitherto untapped water resources has declined significantly worldwide since the late seventies. The essential reasons for this may be seen in the sharp increases in the costs of building dams and the attendant infrastructure, misgivings and resistance by part of the public to massive intervention in the natural and water balance and the unsatisfactory solution for the resettlement of people from the flooded areas of dam projects. Then there has been the fall in prices on the international grain market, which has had a negative effect on, among other things, the economic viability of new irrigation projects. The standby credits for water prospecting from the most important development banks and donor countries and the provision by developing countries of funds of their own have shown a downward turn
Since the 1980s which has sometimes been dramatic. The decline in spending on exploring water resources can already be seen in the worldwide reduction of irrigated areas, which has been particularly
Sharp in the developed countries, because that is where the investment came
to a standstill much earlier. The developing countries are now following with a corresponding delay. In the world as a whole there has been another increase in irrigated area, albeit a very small increase. The rate of increase fell from 2.18 % in the period 1970-82 to 1.36 % in 1982-93. Rose grant (1995) is right in asking in this connection: “Is the era of building new irrigation and water supply capacity over?” In answer to this question he makes the following statement: Although we will not see a construction boom of the 1970s, some of the new demand for water must be met from carefully selected, economically
Efficient development of new water both through impoundment of surface water and sustainable exploitation of groundwater resources, and through expansion in the development of non-traditional sources of water. Taking account of all the pros and cons, this statement deserves full agreement. What gives rise to some concern is that the political decision makers, influenced by the critical public, are pursuing policies which tend rather to go the opposite way. If we take into account the long times for planning and implementation of water exploitation, the question arises whether the current hesitation will not unnecessarily worsen the crisis in regions of scarce water. Exploitation of new water resources is normally concentrated primarily on the surface waters by building dams. When the possibilities of their utilization are largely exhausted or become too expensive, then the exploitation of other water resources, especially groundwater, is considered. It is not until the possibilities of using renewable water resources as a whole are largely exhausted that recourse is taken to exploiting non-conventional water resources, for
Example by reprocessing human and industrial waste water, water transfer, the desalinization of sea and brackish water etc. The utilization of no conventional water resources is, however, considerably more expensive than that of conventional resources. As far as agricultural use is concerned, using no conventional water resources can seldom be justified economically. One exception is perhaps human waste water, especially when the ecological advantages of land treatment are taken into account.
Maintaining the balance between supply and demand by means of supply management does not always depend on exploiting new water resources. It can be done in many cases by improved management of the water resources made available. Since situations of shortage are not only a consequence of a general water shortage but are all too often the consequence of inadequate operation and maintenance planning, it is possible to overcome shortage situations by proper planning and application of planning. Reallocation of water made available from one user sector to another is today seen as one of the most effective ways of combating critical shortages. The idea is first and foremost reallocation between irrigation and other sectors of water use. Irrigated agriculture, as mentioned, is the largest water use sector worldwide, at 70 % of use. By transferring a relatively small part of the water used in agriculture, the water supply for the other sectors could theoretically be significantly improved. In Morocco, for example, by transferring
5 % of the currently used irrigation waters the usable water supply for communal drinking and general purpose water could be almost doubled. Whether such reallocation measures would be socially, politically, economically and technically feasible would have to be examined in detail in each
Individual case. In humid regions, where water use by irrigated agriculture is significantly lower than that for municipal, business and industrial purposes, corresponding reallocation measures are usually ineffective regarding the dement deserves full water supply situation and are at best only of local
Significance. Only few countries have so far considered reallocation measures, and only few have actually carried them out, although those with political responsibility know that such a reallocation is inevitable in the medium or long term. The reasons for this reserve differ, but the arguments are similar.
There are fears, especially in the arid and semi-arid regions, that limits on the use of water restricts or even destroys the opportunities of development in agriculture and rural areas and that they result in depopulation of the rural areas through migration to the urban centers. Then there are many countries in
The arid regions which suffer from an undersupply of food, have to rely more and more on imports and for political reasons do not want to accept the risks involved. For these and similar reasons many governments continue to call for the expansion of irrigated agriculture, although they are conscious of the Precarious water supply situation.
The effectiveness of water management, which has so far chiefly been carried out by government agencies, was judged in the past by how well the water demand was covered and in what time. With the rising demand there was and in some cases still is an attempt to maintain the balance between supply and demand by exploiting new water resources. It is still no rarity for this to be done through sometimes drastic interventions in water resources or natural ecosystems. Water shortage and drastically increased supply costs make changes in thinking more and more urgently necessary. In view of the usually inefficient water use the demand today is for a greater orientation to demand management. More efficient use of water is expected to produce not only more economic treatment of water as a resource but also less environmental impact and thus the creation of one of the important preconditions for sustainable development. In view of the highly energy-intensive water supply processes, saving water also means saving energy. In supplying drinking water in Germany, for example, it costs about 1/2 kWh per cubic water to meet the so-called pressure of public demand. Many different forms of demand management are possible. The corresponding direct measures range from control of water use to indirect measures
Which contribute to a change in behavior on the part of water users (introduction of market mechanisms, financial incentives, programmers for raising public awareness etc.). In view of the high water losses in all consumption sectors an increase in the efficiency of water use is seen as one of the most effective measures in demand management. This is indeed where all user sectors have a variety of
Technical possibilities available for improving the efficiency level of water use and thus of water saving. However, the necessary capital expenditure rises considerably with the rise in efficiency and in part rules out the use of water saving methods. One example of this is the use of drip irrigation with dense
Row crops. Compared with flood irrigation, drip irrigation makes savings of 50 % and more possible. The investments for drip irrigation, even on level ground, are quite often several times more than for flood irrigation. Another possibility of demand management is seen in regulatory measures, even if they are difficult to carry out in practice. They include restrictions on the quantity of water used, prohibitions on specific uses (washing cars, watering lawns etc.), water supply on a rotation basis, water saving
Crop rotations, regulation of groundwater extraction, restrictions on suspended matter in surface waters etc. High expectations of water saving are also placed in financial incentives.
Such considerations may be based on the “user pays” principle and the “polluter pays” principle. Although this makes sense generally, implementation in practice is extremely difficult and has only rarely met with success.
Since the International Conference on Water and the Environment (ICWE) in Dublin in 1992 there has been very serious and intensive thinking on various levels of the limited availability, possibilities of exploitation and the management of the earth’s fresh water resources. The United Nations Conference
On Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, building on the results of the Dublin Conference showed the need for worldwide reforms within the water sector. But there has been a very slow start to meeting these demands in practice. Over the world as a whole the supply of fresh water is far above mankind’s present and future needs. Regionally and locally, however, there are considerable
Deficits in providing fresh water of sufficient quality. This shortage of water will spread and worsen in future with the population increase and with urbanization. Conflicts between countries and between the provinces etc. within countries and between the sectors of a country will intensify, if they do
Not succeed in setting up a sustainable workable water management. Such water management must take account both of quantitative and qualitative aspects. A sustainable water supply which also satisfies people’s needs for high quality is an enormous challenge to the governments of many countries,
Especially in the developing countries, because in many countries the existing water shortage is worsened by a large number of problems or these problems themselves cause or have caused the shortage situation in the first place. These problems include the rising costs of exploiting new water resources, the
Wasteful use of resources already exploited, soil degradation in irrigated areas, overuse or exhaustion of groundwater, contamination of the water with harmful substances with negative effects on the health of the water users.
PETROLEUM RESOURCES IN BANGLADESH
Petroleum has been discovered at Horipur in Sylhet. Beside that, there are possibilities of discovering more petroleum in Chittagong, Sylhet and Borishal.
Total yearly (2000-2001) import of petroleum fuels is about 3.44 million tonnes of which about 1.34 million tones is imported as crude, while the import of refined products like Petrol, Diesel, Kerosene, Jet A-1 & Lubricating Base Oil account for rest. In comparison to this, indigenous production of liquid fuels (condensates) is only about 2.5% of total annual demand.
Oil reserve of Bangladesh is insignificant. The First oil field was discovered in December, 1996 at Haripur, in the district of Sylhet. After that trace of oil reserve has been detected at four different places – Kailastila, Fenchuganj, Patharia and very recently the US gas and oil exploration firm, UMC Bangladesh Corporation, has discovered oil reserves at Chhatrachhari by the side of Uttanchhatra hills, 20 km north east of Barkal thana under Rangamati district.
Table: Discovered Oil Reserves of Bangladesh:
|Location||Depth of Oil Reserve (meter)||Quality||Expected Reserve|
|Haripur Oil Field||2020 – 2033||Paraffin||10 million barrel|
|Kailastila Well # 2||3213 – 3225||Paraffin||Not determined|
|Fenchuganj Well # 2||3068 – 3083||Paraffin||Economic reserve has not been determined|
|Patharia Well # 3 and 4||800||–||Economic reserve has not been determined|
At present Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) and different companies under its supervision are responsible for managing the import of petroleum fuels, refining crude oil, distributing and marketing of
Petroleum products. In the foreseeable future Bangladesh will have to depend on imported petroleum fuels to meet the requirement of liquid fuels. There is an urgent need to replace the age old Eastern Refinery Ltd. At Chittagong with a new unit. Because of strategic reason, the second refinery should be established at Chalna area. However, environmental impacts of a new Refinery at Chalna on the Sunderbans need careful assessment National Energy Policy/Petroleum Policy has made provisions for private sector participation in the management and marketing of petroleum fuels.
In January 1997, Haripur started its production at natural well pressure. The Sulphur (harmful substance) content of Haripur oil is quite low, only 0.3 %. After processing in the refinery the following products were found from this oil –
Petrol = 18 %
Kerosene = 17 %
Gas oil = 35 %
Lubrication oil and rest = 30 %
Due to technical difficulty Haripur oil field could not continue its production after July 1994. Its year wise production is given below in tabular form.
COAL RESERVES OF BANGLADESH
Discovery of coal reported late fifties when an exploratory oil well was drilled through coal beds in Bogra. Subsequent explorations resulted in the discovery of the Jamalganj coal deposit at a depth of about 1000 meter from the ground level and having an estimated reserve of approx. 1053 million tons of coal. In 1984-85 Geological Survey of Bangladesh has located another coal deposit at Khalaspir (Pirganj) of Rangpur at a shallower depth, with an estimated reserve of 685 million tons of coal.
Besides the above, mine able coal deposit was also discovered in Barapukhuria area of Parbatipur, Dinajpur at a reasonably shallow depth with an estimated reserve of about 389 million tons. Based on this, a project for construction of an underground mine has been undertaken and an annual output of 1 million ton commencing from 2004-2005. The extraction of such indigenous coal deposits may be utilized as an alternative of gas fuel source in the installation of power plants similar to that as have already been considered to construct a coal-based Power Plant of capacity 250 MW at Barapukuria.
Use of Imported Fuels:
· In 2000-2001, total quantity of petroleum fuels consumed in the country was 3.40 million tonnes.
· Total amount of coal imported in 1997-98 was about 1,72,900.00 tonnes and was used mostly for brick
Coal Reserves of Bangladesh:
Bangladesh has substantial coal reserves in the northwestern part of country. Till today 7 coal fields have been discovered in the country. Among all the coalfields mining work has started only at Baropukuria, which will be used mostly for power generation.
Discovery of coalfields dates back to late fifties, when an exploratory oil well was drilled through coal beds in Bogra. Subsequent explorations resulted in the discovery of the Jamalgonj coal deposit at a depth of about 1,000 meter from the ground level a having an estimated reserve of more than 1,000 million tons of coal. Feasibility studies have indicated that the development of this deposit is not yet feasible under the prevailing international market price. However, with the increase in gas price, these deposits may become competitive. After evaluation of a detailed geological and geophysical survey, Geological Survey of Bangladesh (GSB) identified 13 locations in the region of greater Rangpur and Dinajpur districts as the prospective basins for coal exploration. Exploratory
Wells were drilled in 5 basins out of which high quality bituminous coal deposits were found in 3 basins. In addition, BHP, a foreign company, also discovered a coal deposit at Khalashpir (Pirgonj) of Rangpur district at a shallower depth (150 meter), with an estimated reserve of 450 million tons of coal. This deposit requires to be appraised in respect of its potential.
Besides, minable coal deposit was also discovered in Barapukuria area of Parbatipur, Dinajpur at reasonably shallow depth (240 meter) with an estimated reserve of about 300 million tons. Based on this, a project for construction of an underground mine has been undertaken at an estimated investment of Tk. 8,873.60 million to produce an annual output of 1 million tons commencing from 2000/01. Recently, another coal deposit has been discovered by GSB in Dighirpara area of Dinajpur district covering an area of about 15 sq. Km. As only one well has been drilled, the actual deposit of coal could not yet been determined.
The GSB has planned to conduct comprehensive exploration activities by the year 2000 in the following seven basins:
Badargonj-II (Rangpur District)
Basudevpur (Rangpur District)
Barapukuria-I (Dinajpur District)
Barapukuria-II (Dinajpur District)
Daudpur (Dinajpur District)
Dangapara (Dinajpur District)
Shamnagar (Dinajpur District)
Table: Coal Fields of Bangladesh:
|Name||No. of Well dug||Depth of Coal Layer (meter)||No. of Layers||Average Thickness of the layers (meter)||Type||Area (Sq. K.m.)||Reserve (million metric tons)||Year of Discovery||Discovered By|
|Kuchma, Bogra District||1||2381 – 2876||5||51.82||Bituminous||Not determined||Not estimated||1959||Standard Vacuum Oil Company|
|Jamalganj, Jaipurhat District||10||640 – 1158||7||64||Bituminous||11.66||1053||1962||Geological Survey of Pakistan|
|Baropukuria, Dinajpur District||31||118 to 506||7||51||Bituminous||5.25||300||1985-87||Geological Survey of Bangladesh|
|Khalashpir, Pirganj, Rangpur District||4||257 to 451||8||29||Bituminous||5.75||400||1989-90||Geological Survey of Bangladesh|
|Dighipara, Nawabganj, Dinajpur District||–||250||7||61.67||Bituminous||15||–||1995||Geological Survey of Bangladesh|
|Phulbari, Dinajpur District||150 – (?)||–||31.41||Bituminous||–||–||1997||B H P, UK|
|Takerhat, Sunamganj District||45 – 97||–||2.60||Lignite||–||3||–||Geological Survey of Bangladesh|
Table: Chemical Composition of Indigenous Coal
|Coal Field||Moisture (%)||Fixed Carbon (%)||Volatile Matter (%)||Ash (%)||Sulphur (%)||Heat Value (Btu / Lb)||Type|
|Jamalganj, Jaipurhat||–||33 – 54||30 – 42||10 – 60||0.6||11,780||Bituminous|
|Baropukuria, Parbatipur, Dinajpur||–||44.93 – 54.66||28 – 65||12.4||0.43||10,547 – 14,439||Bituminous|
|Khalashpir, Rangpur||0.57 – 0.51||32.09 – 66.55||6.02 – 28.83||7.60 – 50.51||Negligible||7,388 – 13,591||Bituminous|
|Dighirpara,, Dinajpur||2.9 – 3.07||49.76 – 52.73||30.01 – 39.27||8.0 – 14.19||0.54 – 0.65||11,500 – 13,000||Bituminous|
Barapukuria Coal mine Project and Power Plant:
Barapukuria Coal Field was discovered by Bangladesh Geological Survey Department in 1985. It is situated in the Northwestern part of the country under the district of Dinajpur. Petrobangla completed the necessary survey with the financial help of ODA (UK) in 1990. About 390 Million Metric tons of high quality coal is recoverable from the coalfield, which cost about 22400-core taka. This project able to save 203 core taka annually.
Barapukuria Coal Mine Development Project at a glance:
· Project name: Boropukuria Coal Mine Development Project:
· Location: Vill: Chowhati, Thana: Parbatipur, District: Dinajpur.
· Total Budget: 251.08 Million US $
· Local Contribution: 123.59 million US$
· Foreign Loan: 127.49 Million US $
· Feasibility Survey conducted: 1985
· Total Volume of coal reserve area: 6.68 Sqm
· Coal Layers: 6
· Total Reserve: 390 Million Metric Ton
· Coal Type: Bituminous
· Composition: Moister: 10%, Ash : 12.4%, Volatile Matter : 29%, Fixed Carbon : 48.4%, Sulpher : 0.53 %
· Temperature Producing Capacity : 11040 BTU/Pound
· Mode of Access : Vertical Shaft ; a) Main Shaft 326 m and b) auxiliary shaft 320m
· Mining Process : Long wall Multi Slice
· Producing Coal : 64 Million Metric Ton
· Production Capacity at preliminary Stage : 30 million Metric ton
· Total age of Coal mine : 64 Years
· Annual Production : 1 Million Metric Ton (3300 Metric Ton/day)
· Uses of Coal: 700000 ton power production, 300000 ton in Brick Field, Industrial and commercial and other uses.
· Technical Support : CMC, Peoples Republic of China
· Employees: 2674
Jamalganj Coal Reserve:
High quality bituminous or gandsana coal was found in Jamalganj of Naogaon and Rajshahi districts. The coal is comparable to that of the coal of Raniganj in India. There are a total of seven layers of coal lying between 2,800 and 3,800 feet below the surface. According to a survey report of Krupp Company, the exploration of the coal is commercially viable. The report says, the daily coal production from the Jamalganj mine may exceed 10,000 MTs and the coal may be extracted for the next 60 years. Another preliminary survey, made in 1980, by Ahmed and Zaher company says the total deposits of the coal in Jamalganj is 70.30 core MTs and the quantity may goes up after extensive survey. The chemical analysis shows that the coal is of high quality and its excavation is commercially viable.
Total reserve = 1053 million tons
Heat Value of Jamalganj coal = 11,780 BTU/Ib.
Composition of Jamalganj Coal (by proximate analysis)
|Fixed Carbon||33 to 54|
|Ash||10 to 60|
|Volatile Matter||30 to 42|
Phulbari Coal Reserve in Dinajpur District:
The huge deposit of high quality coal at Phulbari in Dinajpur district was discovered at a depth of 151 meters in January 1997 by BHP Minerals, a US-Australian company under an agreement with the government. The deposit of coal at Phulbari was estimated at about 400 million tonnes. The BHP later transferred the rights to develop the coal mine to the Australian company – Asia Energy Corporation (AEC).
Asia Energy Corporation (Bangladesh) Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary of AEC has conducted a preliminary study on the “Phulbari Coal Mine Project” in Dinajpur and found it both technically and economically feasible the. They’ve submitted the report to the government recently.
The report provides detailed findings of the study along with proposal to extract coal from the mine through the open-pit method and says it will be possible to extract nine million tonnes of coal annually while a coal-based 2100 MW power plant can be set up near the mine. According to a preliminary estimate, the development of the coal mine and the setting up of the 2100 MW power plant will cost about US dollar three billion. The AEC, which is working in Bangladesh under an agreement signed with the government, will invest to implement the project.
An agreement between the government and the AEC was signed in Dhaka on February 11, 1998 in the presence of visiting Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and the then Energy Minister . Under that agreement, the AEC has conducted the preliminary study on Phulbari Coal Mine Project.
As per agreement, the AEC will invest to develop the mine, extract the coal and sell it. The government will receive royalty, income corporate tax, import duty for equipment, VAT at existing rate, surface rent and other fees. Setting up of a power plant utilizing the coal extracted from Phulbari mine was not incorporated in the agreement signed between the government and the AEC
Places of Tourist Attraction-BANGLADESH
Places of Tourist Attraction-Dhaka
The Capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka with its exciting history and rich culture. Know the world over as the city of mosques and Muslim, it has attracted travelers from far and near through ages. However, according to recorded history it was founded in 1608A.D. As the seat of the imperial Mughal Victory of Bengal. Dhaka was the Capital of Bangladesh has grown into a busy city of about ten million people with an area of about 1353 sq. km. Having a happy blending of old and new architectural trends. Dhaka has been developing fast as a modern city and is throbbing with activities in all spheres of life. It is the Center of industrial, Commercial, Cultural, educational and political activities for Bangladesh. Motijeel is the main Commercial area of the city.
Some of the outstanding tourist attractions of Dhaka:
Dhaka has several hundred mosques. Prominent is the Seven Domed Mosques (17th century). Baitul Mukarram – National Mosque, Star Mosque (18th century), Chalkboard Mosque and Huseni Dalan Mosque.
it was built in 1678 A.D. by Prince Mohammad Azam. Son of Mughal emperor Aurangazab. The fort was the scene of bloody battle during the first war of independence (1857 A.D.) When 260 sepoys stationed here backed by the people revolted against British forces. Outstanding among the monuments of the Lalbagh are the tomp of Pari Bibi, lalbagh Mosque, Audience Hall and Hammam of Nawab Shaista Khan now housing a museum.
Central Shahid Minar
Symbol of Bengali Nationalism, this monument was build to commemorate the martyrs of the Historic Language Movement of 1952. Hundreds and thousands of people with floral wreaths and bouquets gather Eternal Flame to enliven the memory of the martyrs of our liberation War blown here recently.
Located at saver, 35 km. from Dhaka City. The memorial designed by architect Moinul Hossain, is dedicated to the sacred memory of the millions of unknown martyrs of the 1971 War of Liberation.
Established as Dhaka Museum in 1913 A>D> It has been renamed as the National Museum and was shifted to its new building at Shah bag in 1983. It is a four storied building and has forty galleries under four departments, namely, (1) Natural History (2) History and classical Art, (3) Ethnography and Decorative art and (4) Contemporary Art and Worlds Civilization. The museum contains large number of interesting collection including sculptures and paintings of the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim periods. It also has rich collection of old coins, metal images, books on art, ivory and silver filigree works, textiles including the world famous muslin fabric, embroidered quilt (Nakshi Kantha), arms and ammunitions of the bygone warriors, varieties of fine handicrafts and models of the village and town life, Contemporary paintings and sculptures. Above all, the valuable articles of the heroic liberation war of Bangladesh are also there. Open: Saturday-Wednesday, 10.00 a.m.-7.00 p.m. Thursday: Closed. Entrance Fee: Taka. 5.00.
Mukti Juddha Museum
Situated at Segun Bagicha area of the city. The museum contains rare photographs of liberation War and used by the freedom fighters during the period.
Ahsan Manzil Museum
On the bank to the river Buriganga in Dhaka the pink majestic. Ahsan Manzil has been renovated and turned into a museum recently. It is an example of the nation’s rich cultural heritage. It was the home of the Nawab (Ruler) of Dhaka and silent spectator to many events. The renovated Ahsan Manzil is a monument of immense historical beauty. It has 31 rooms with a huge dome atop which can be seen from miles around. It now has 23 galleries displaying portraits, furniture and household articles and utensils used by the Nawabs.
Flock Art Museum
The Flock Art Museum was established in 1975 to fulfill the dream of the celebrated painter Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin. The Museum has a very rich collection of folk objects of different materials and forms of aesthetics and utilitarian values. These undoubtedly reflect the sentiments, impulse, temperament, moods, idiosyncrasy, skill and expertise of the artists. It is a national institution, which represents traditional art, heritage of Bangladesh, exhibiting objects of exceptional design and skill.
Open: Saturday-Wednesday, 9.00 a.m. -5.00 p.m. Closed: Thursday, Friday & Govt. Holidays. Entrance: Free.
Located at Agargaon, the museum is a modern learning center related to the latest scientific discoveries.
Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (Parliament House) at Sher-e-bangla Nagar, designed by the famous architect Louis I. Khan, has distinctive architectural features. It may be called an architectural wonder of this region.
National Poet’s Graveyard
Revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam died on the 29 August 1978 and was buried here. The graveyard is adjacent to the Dhaka University Mosque.
the official residence of the President, located in the city. One can have an outside view of this grand place.
a vast stretch of green garden surrounded by a serpentine lake near the Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.
Unique creation of the late Narendra Narayan Roy, the landlord of Baldha Year of establishment was 1904. Located in Wari area of Dhaka City (opposite Christian cemetery), the garden with its rich collection of indigenous and exotic plants is one of the most exciting attractions for naturalists and tourist.
National Botanical Garden
spread over an area of 205 acres of land. It has a collection of nearly 100 species of local foreign plants. Outstanding attractions are 100 varieties of roses in the rose corner, 100 varieties of bamboos in the bamboo grove, varieties of sandalwood and old Banyan tree. Quiet place out of the main city to meet the nature.
Situated at Bhawal, 40 km. north of Dhaka on Dhaka-Trisal- Mymensingha highway. An ideal spot for visitors, artists, photographers, ornithologists and tourists. A vast (16,000 acres) national recreational forest. Main flora is Gajari (Assam sal) and fauna includes small tigers, leopards. Small bears, monkeys, porcupine, foxes, pythons, lizards and many local birds. A 1000-metre long meandering man-made lake having angling and rowing facilities, the flower gardens inside are added attraction to natural beauty. Mere walking or lazing under the shade of tree is pleasant. 20 picnic sports, 6 rest-house of the forest department with comfortable bed and modern amenities are available inside the national park. Prior permission/booking may be obtained from the Divisional Forest office, Mohakhali, Dhaka,
About 29 km. from Dhaka, Sonargaon, of 13th century A.D. is one of the oldest capitals of Bengal. A Folk-Arts and Crafts Museum has been established here.
Other attractions in and around Dhaka include the Institute of Arts and Crafts with its representative collection of folk-arts and paintings, handicrafts.
Places of Tourist Attraction-Chittagong
With a picturesque hinterland of large hill forests and lakes Chittagong, the second largest city of Bangladesh and a busy international seaport, is a good vacation spot. Its find harbor, green hills forests and sea beaches and soothing sun shine attract holiday makers to swim in the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, bask in the sun, fish in the lakes and rivers and shoot with camera in the game filled forests. Described by the Chinese poet Traveer Hiuan Tsang (7th century A.D.) as “a sleeping beauty emerging from mist and water” and given nickname of Porte Grande (Grand Port) by the 16th century Portuguese seafarers, Chittagong remains true to both descriptions even to day. It combines the humming of a restless seaport with the pleasure of a hill town.
Chittagong is the country’s chief port & is the main site for the established of heavy, medium and light industries. Bangladesh’s only steel mill and oil refinery are also located in Chittagong.
Hazrat Sultan Bayezid Bostami
The famous Chilla of Hazrat Sultan Bayezid Bostami is situated on a low hillock at Nasirabad, to the extreme north of the city. He was born in 777 A.D. at Bostan in Iran. He came to Indian and it is said that hevisited Chittagong. There is no mazar of the saint in the shrine. It is an astana and chilla associated with the name of the great saint. A mosque built during the region of Emperor Aurangazeb stands on the bank of a big tank at the foot of the hillock on which the shrine is situated. There are several hundred tortoises in the tank. Tradition has it that these animals are evil spirits (Djinns) who were cast into this shape because they incurred the wrath of the great saint who visited the place about 1.100 years ago.
Hazrat Badar Aulia
The shrine of this illustrious saint is at Boxihat in the Chaittagong town on the badar pati road. There is a great controversy about the identity of Hazrat Badar Aulia. There are serveval places in Bangladesh, which are associated with the name of pir Badar and where either a dargah or a tomp exists. A tradition connects him with the spread of Islam in Chittagong and the people refer to him by different names, such as Badar Alam, Badar Mokam, Badar pir and Badar Aulia.
The Dargah of Hazrat Shah Amanat
The dargah Sharif of Hazrat Shah Sufi Amanat Shah lies to the central jail and east of the Laldighi. He flourished during the later part of the 18th and early part of 19th century. For a pretty long time he concealed his spiritual attainments by serving as a peon in the judge’s Count, Chittagong.
Qadam Mubarak Masjid
This is an old mosque in the Rahmatgonj area of Chittagong. It was built 1336 A.D derives its name from a slab which is said to bear the footprint of the Holy prophet of Islam.
World War ii Cemetery
In a well-preserved cemetery at a quit and picturesque place within the city lie buried in eternal peace over 700 solders from Britain, Australia, Canada, Newzeland, India, Myanmar, East and West Africa, the Netherlands and Japan who laid down their lives on the Burma front during the world war II.
Situated on one of Chittagong’s highest hills, the building which now houses the Islamic Intermediate College is no less than 300 years old. The main building was constructed by the Portuguese in the 17th century and used by them as an arsenal. It still has an underground chamber with a tunnel and trap doors.
Foy’s Lake (Pahartali lake)
Set amidst picturesque surroundings in the railway town-ship of Pahartali 8 km. From Chittagong, this is an ideal spot for outing and picnic thronged by thousands of visitors every week.
Lacated at Julia, the only training institute of its kind in Bangladesh, situated on the mouth of river Karnaphuli. Marine Academy was established on 3rd September 1962, in order to provide adequately for the manning of the merchant-ship of our country, by suitably trained and qualified officers.
this museum located in Agrabad is a treasure-house of a variety of tribal cultures and heritage of Bangladesh. This museum is recognized as one of the best-specialized museums in South East Asia.
About 24 km. From Chittagong, a hilly village famous for one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the subcontinent.
Chittagong lies an interesting place known as Sitakund, served by a railway station of the same name. Famous among the many temples in this place are the Chandranath Temple and the Buddhist temple. In the vicinity there is an also hot spring. The Buddhist temple has a footprint of Lord Buddha. These places particularly the Hilltops are regarded as very sacred by the Buddhists and the Hindus Siva-Chaturdeshi festival is held every year in February when thousands of pilgrims assemble for the celebrations which last about 10 days. There is a salt-water spring 5 km, to the north of Sitakund known as labanakhya.
Places of Tourist Attraction-Cox’s Bazar
Cox’s Bazar is charmingly situated on low range of sand hills between the Baghkhali and the Bay of Bengal with a long open beach towards the sea. The town is named after lieutenant Cox, who died here in 1798 after he had established a colony of Mogh who sought shelter in British territory after the conquest of Arakan by the Burmese two third of the population of the town are descendants of these refugees. Miles of golden sands towering cliffs, pagodas, Buddhist temples and tribes, delightful seafood this is Cox’s Bazar, the tourist capital of Bangladesh. Having the world’s longest (120-km) beach slopping gently down to the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. Cox’s Bazar is one of the most attractive tourist spots in the country.
10 kilometers by speedboat to the North West of Cox’s Bazar and standing on a hill is the Moheskhali Island. There is a 165 years old temple known as Adinath temple. With the interesting history of its discovery, it is a most attractive spot especially during the festive month of falgoon (march-April) when sea fishing near the Moheskhali Island is a rewarding experience.
Just opposites across Cox’s Bazar, this island is a paradise of migratory birds like petrel, geese, ducks, curlew, spine, reshank, lapwing, whim bird and other birds and water fowls. The western side of the beach is sandy and different kinds of shells are found on the beach.
18 kilometers south from the Cox’s Bazar beach is a beautiful picnic and shooting spot. It is a continuation of the beach with background of palms and bamboo’s. the famous “Broken hill” is a rare sight. Angling in the streams and ponds in the adjoining valley provides a lot of fun and excitement another charms is the “Christnas trees”.
Inani about 32 kilometers to the south of Cox’s Bazar and just on the beach, with the sea to the west and a background of steep hills to the east, in 210-14′ N latitude and 920-03′ E, longitude. It is only half an hour’s drive from Cox’s bazaar and an ideal place for hunting, sea bathing and picnic.
80 kilometers south of Cox’s Bazar is a pleasure spot on the West Bank of Naf river. A small town, it has arrangements for picnic hunting and boating. A trip by jeep to Teknaf from Cox’s Bazar at dawn, is a rare experience.
St. Martin’s Island
13 kilometers south west of the southern tip of the mainland is a small coral island being fringed with coconut palms, varieties of rare sea shell, lime stones corals, and marine life like flying fishes, dolphins and sea tortoises.
About eight km. To the west of Comilla town, which is situated 114-km, south-east of Dhaka lies a range of low hills Known as Mainamati-Lalmai ridge, an extensive Center of Buddhist culture. On the slopes of these hills lie scattered a treasure of information about the early Buddhist civilization (8th -12th century). At Salban in the middle of the ridge, excavations laid bare a large Buddhist Vihara (monasterv) and central shrine which flourished valuable information about the rule of the Chandra and Deva dynasties which flourished here from the 8th to 12th century A.D. The whole range of hillocks run for about 18 km, and is studded with more than 50 sites. A site museum housed the archaeological finds which include terracotta plaques, bronze statues and casket, coins jewellery, utensils, pottery and votive stupas embossed with Buddhist inscription. Museum is open Sunday-Friday and closed on Saturday. Bangladesh academy for Rural Development (BARD) established nearby in 1959 is known for its pioneering role in co-operative movement.
Places of Tourist Attraction-Sylhet
Nestled in the picturesque Surma valley amidst scenic tea plantations and lush green tropical forests, it is a prime attraction for all tourists. Its terraced tea gardens, eye soothing orange groves and pineapple plantations and hills covered with tropical forests from a beautiful landscape. The Sylhet valley has a good number of haors, which are big natural wetlands. During winter these haors are vast stretches of green land. But in the rainy season they turn into turbulent seas. These haors provide sanctuary to the millions of migratory birds that fly from Siberia across the Himalayas to avoid the severe cold. Srimangal in Sylhet, known as the tea capital of Bangladesh, is the main tea center of the area. For miles and miles around, the visitor can see the tea gardens spread like green carpet over the plain land or on the slopping hills. A visit to the tea plantation in Sylhet is a memorial experience. Sylhet, the granary of Bangladesh, not only has over 150 gardens but also proudly possesses the three largest tea gardens in the world both in area and production. A stay in one of the rest houses of the tea gardens is a fascinating one.
ylhet is also known as the land of the famous Muslim saint Hazrat Shah Jalal (RA), the great torch bearer of Islam to this region. The shrine of this great saint is located at Sylhet town. Another famous shrine of this town is the shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran (RA). Colorful Monipuri, Khasia and Garo tribes live in Sylhet. Monipur tribal maidens are famous for their dance. Sylhet is also well known for its wide variety of exquisite handicrafts of cane
and bamboo. Sylhet is linked with Dhaka by rail, road and air. About 3 km. from Dakhinbagh railway station there is the famous waterfall of Madhabkunda. It attracts number of tourists every year. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation offers restaurant, retiring room, picnic and parking facilities for the visitors there.
Situated amidst splendid panorama, Tamabil is a border outpost on Sylhet – Shilong road, about 55 km. Away from Sylhet town. Besides enchanting views of the area one can also have a glimpse of the waterfall across the border from Tamabil. Jaflong is also a scenic spot nearby amidst tea gardens and rare beauty of rolling stones from hills. Other places of tourist attraction in Sylhet include Moulavibazar, Jaintiapur and Haripur gas field.
Places of Tourist Attraction-Kuakata
A rare scenic beauty sports of the southernmost tip of Bangladesh in the district of Patuakhali. It has a wide sandy beach from where one can get the unique opportunity of seeing both the sunrise and sunset. It is located at a distance of 70 km. from the district headquaters of Patuakhali. Parjatan Holiday Homes at Kuakata offers a number of facilities for the tourists.
This sandy beach has gentle slopes into the Bay of Bengal and bathing there is as pleasant as is walking or driving. Kuakata is truly a virgin beach-a sanctuary for migratory winter birds, a series of coconut trees, sandy beach of blue bay, a feast for the eye. Green forest, Playing boats in the Bay of Bengal with colorful sails, fishing, towering cliffs, surfing waves everything here touches every visitor’s heart. The unique custom and costumes of the ‘Rakhyne’ tribal families and Buddhist Temple of about hundred years old are reflecting the ancient tradition and cultural heritage.Kuakata is the place of pilgrimage of the Hindu and Buddhist communities Innumerable devotees arrive here during the festival of ‘Rush Purnima’ and ‘Maghi Purnima’ On these occasions they take holy bath and traditional fairs are held here. All these extraordinary events in addition to panoramic beauty make the beach more attractive to the visitors.
Places of Tourist Attraction-Sundarban
Sundarban is the home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Located about 320 km. South-west of Dhaka and spread over an area of about 6000 sq. km. Of deltaic swamps along the coastal belt of Khulna, is the biggest mangrove forest. These dense mangrove forests are criss-crossed by a network of rivers and creeks. One finds here tides flowing in two directions in the same creek and often tigers swimming across a river or huge crocodiles basking in the sun. Other wildlife in this region are Cheetahs, spotted deer, monkeys, pythons, wild bear and hyeanas. The forest is accessible by river from Khulna and Mongla. There are rest-houses for the visitors to stay and enjoy the unspoiled nature with all its charm and majesty. Spending sometimes inside the forest can be rare treat for the lovers of nature. It has been declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Main tourist sports inside the Sundarbans include Hiron Point (Nilkamal), Katka and Tinkona island to view tigers, deer, monkeys, Crocodiles, birds and natural beauty. Aother major attraction inside the Sundarbans is Dublarchar (island) mainly a fisherman’s village. Herds of spotted deer are often found to graze here. Water transport is the only means of communication for visiting the Sundarbans from Khulna or Mongla port. Private motor launch, speed boats, country boats as well as mechanized vessel of Mongla Port Authority might be hired for the purpose. From Dhaka visitors may travel by air, road or rocket steamer to Khulna – the gateway to the Sundarbans. Most pleasant journey from Dhaka to Khulna is by paddle or Steamer Rocket presenting a picturesque panorama of rural Bangladesh. Day and night-long coach services by road are also available. The quickest mode is by air from Dhaka to Jessore and then to Khulna by road. Journey time varies depending on tides against or in favor in the river. Usually it takes 6 to 10 hours journey by motor vessel from Mongla TO Hiron Point or Katka. Permission from the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO). Khulna is required to visit the forest. Cholera vaccine is to be taken well in advance. Anti-malaria, anti-diarrhoeal, insect repellent cream, drinking water, green coconut, medical kit, light tropical dress, thick rubber soled boots etc. are to be carried with the tourist. It will be wise to take the help of an experienced guide to make the journey fruitful. BPC offers package tours to the Sundarbans for the tourist.
Places of Tourist Attraction-Others
The town-ship, the focal point of Rangamati Hill District is located on the western bank of the Kaptai lake. Rangamati is a favorite holiday resort because of its beautiful landscape, scenic beauty, its flora and fauna, homespun textiles, bamboo handbags, flower vases and silver jewellery and the tribal men and women who fashion them, are other attractions. The tribal handicraft factory and sales center run by Bangladesh Small Industries Corporation produces many varieties of souvenirs made by bamboo, cane, straw, textile and leather. For the tourists the attractions of Rangamati are numerous-tribal life, fishing, speedboat cruising, water skiing, hiking, or merely enjoying nature as it is. Other places worth visiting include, tribal museum, Bein textile factory and sales center, kalpataru, lvory product shop, Hanging bridge, tribal village, Chakma Rajbari (kings palace), weekly hat (market). Above all tribal dance and music will captivate visitors, which can be organized by Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation if prior notice is given.
A pleasant and picturesque drive of 64km. From Chittagong City brings you to huge expanse of emerald and blue water ringed with majestic tropical forests. It is the famous man-made Kaptai Lake (680sq km) formed by damming the Karnaphuli River. Only 3 kilometer from Kaptai along Chittagong road, lies the ancient Chit Morong Buddhist Temple having beautiful status An annual Buddhist festival is held here on the last of Bengali year (Mid-April).
48 km from Chittagong on the Kaptai road is Chandraghona where one of the biggest paper mills in Asia is located. Close to the paper mill there is a rayon factory which products synthetic fibers from bamboo.
92 km from Chittagong by metalled road, Bangladesh is the district Headquarters of the Bandarban Hill district. Bandarban is the hometwon of the Bohmong chief who is the head of the Mogh tribe. The Mogh are of Myanmar origin and Buddhist by religion. Jovial and care free by nature, the Mogh are simple and hospitable people. Bandarban is also the home of the Murangs who are famous for their music and dance. Far into the interior there are several other tribes of great interest for anyone who cares to make the journey. The highest peak of Bangladesh-Tahjindong (4632ft) is located in the Bandarban district. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, the national tourism organization has created a number of facilities for the tourists at Rangamati holiday resort.
From the foot of the Garo hills in the north down plans of Dhaka in the south lies greater Mymensingh. Along the northern frontier of the distinct aboriginal tribes such as Garos, Hajongs and Kochis who ethnically quiet distinct from the people around them. Mymensingh has earned a notable position in Bengali literature as the birth place of rich folklores and songs. On the road from Dhaka to Mymensingh there is a national park and game sanctuary at Madhupur about6 160 km. from Dhaka. There are a number of reserve forests in the area with rest houses and picnic sports. World famous painter Zainul Abedin’s Art Gallery at Mymensingh town is worth visiting.
Shilaidaha Kuthibari, Kustia
Carries memory of the Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore who made frequent visit to this place and used to stay in Connection with the administration of his Zamindari and enriched Bengali literature through his writings during that time. It is located at a distance of about 20 km. from Kustia town.
About 75 km. from Pabna town. It is also a historical place connected with the frequent visit of poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Located at a distance of about 7km. from the town of Meherpur. First provisional revolutionary Government of Bangladesh was declared here on the 14 April during the liberation war in 1971. A monument has been built to commemorate this historical occasion.
A milestone in the history of modern development of Bangladesh. It is the single largest projects Bangladesh has ever implemented. The bridge was constructed on the river Jamuna connecting east and north-western region on the country. The 4.8 km. long bridge was constructed at a cost of US $ 950 million thus creating an uninterrupted surface transport facility from Teknaf, southernmost tip of Bangladesh of Tetulia, the northern tip of Bangladesh. Construction of this bridge ushered in a new vista to national integration, economic rejuvenation of the northern region, specially tourism development of the country. The Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge Authority (JMBA) has a plan to build an international resort on the eastern side of the bridge by turning surplus infrastructure and constructing new ones and recreational facilities.
Situated about 23 km. north-west of Choumuhani town and 2 km. east of Chatkhil at Jayag in Noakhail district. This asram was established in the memory of historic visit of the Mahatma Gandhi to Noakhali and devoted to his ideology. In 1946-47 Mahatma, the protagonist of Ahimsa ideology visited this region with a view to preach peach. Historical Charka and other Valuables used by Mahatma are preserved in this asram and those evoke deep respect to the unique memories of the great soul.
Is the place where innumerable boyhood memories of our national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam are found around. It is situated 20 km. away from Mymensingha town. Nazrul was a student of Darimpur High School under Trisal police Station. Here a Cultural Organization styled as Nazrul Academy has established in memory of the great poet. Rebel poet Kazi Nazrul is in eternal sleep beside Dhaka University mosque.
Sri Chaitanya Temple
About 500 years old famous temple of Sri Chaitannya Dev is located at Dhaka Dakhin nearly 45 km. south-east from Sylhet town. The place is revered for being the ancestral home of the famous vaishnava saint. Yearly fair is organized on the fullmoon day of the Bangal month Falgun. Hundreds and thousands of devotees from home and abroad attend this colourful fair.
Located at a distance f 18 km. Bogra town. Mahasthangarh is the oldest archaeological site of Bangladesh on the western bank of river Karatoa. The spectacular site is an imposing landmark in the area having a fortified ling enclosure. Beyond the for field area, other ancient ruins fan out within a semicircle of about 8 km. radius. Several isolated mounds, the local names of which are Govinda Bhita Temple, Khodai Pathar Mankalir kunda, Parasuramer Bedi, Jiyat Kunda etc. surround the fortified city. This 3rd century B.C. archaeological site is still held to be of great sanctity by the Hindus. Every year (mid-april) and once in every 12 years (December) thousands of Hindu de4votees join the bathing ceremony on the bank of river Karatoa. A visit to the Mahasthangarh site museum will open up for one a wide variety of antiquities, ranging from terracotta objects to gold ornaments and coins recovered from the site. Also noteworthy are the shrine of Shah Bulkhi Mahisawary and Gokul Medh in the neighborhood of Mahasthangarh.
Rajshahi has seen the most glorious periods of Bengal’s Pala dynasty, it is famous for pure silk, mangoes and litchis. Attractive silk products are cheaper. A visit to Varendra Research Museum at the heart of the city would be most rewarding. There are also a number of ancient mosques, shrines and temples in and around Rajshahi. Connected with Dhaka by road, rail, river and air. Rajshahi is located on the bank of the river Padma. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation offers comfortable accommodation and restaurant facilities at Rajshahi.
Paharpur is a small village 5 km. west of Jamalganj railway station in the greater Rajshahi district where the remains of the most important and largest Known monastery south of the Himalayas has been excavated. This 8th century A.D. archaeological find covers approximately an area of 27 acres of land. The entire establishment, occupying a quadrangular Court, measuring more than 900 ft. and from 12ft. to 15ft. in height with elaborate gateway complex on the north, there are 45 cells on the north and 44 in each of other three sides with a total number of 177 rooms.
PEAT RESERVES IN BANGLADESH
Peat deposits found at shallow depths in different low lying areas of Bangladesh. The reserve of dry peat is about 170 million tons according to the Geological Survey of Bangladesh. The major deposits are in greater districts of Faridpur (150 million tons), Khulna (8 million tons) and Sylhet (13 million tons). Peat requires drying before making briquettes for use as fuel. A pilot project for extraction of peat and making briquettes was implemented by Petrobangla, but currently the results were not encouraging and extraction was assessed as economically not viable. The scenarios of this resource may be viable in future.
Peat Resources of Bangladesh:
In 1953, a team of Geologists headed by Mr. F. H. Khan discovered for the first time in their endevours to find peat deposit in the country. In the territory of Faridpur (presently Madaripur and Gopalganj) district of the then East Pakistan (presently Bangladesh) a considerable peat deposit was confirmed as a result of scout drilling in the Baghia and Chanda Bill areas in 1954 and 1955 which extends over an area of more than 200 sq. miles. The drilling was done by hand augers. The peat deposit averages about 6 feet in thickness and overburden ranges between 0-12 feet with an average of 5 feet there.
In a follow up attempt to locate more reserves in the neighboring areas of the industrial centers near Khulna, peat fields were discovered in the Kola-Barasat bill area by the Geologists of the Geological Survey of Pakistan in 1960. Geographically the south western center of Kola mouza is about 3.5 miles north-east of Khulna railway and steamer stations and is about 1.5 miles east of Newsprint Mill. The peat field is accessible from Khulna by water transport only. The Kola mouza is about 5.5 miles long and 3.25 miles wide in size. Peat is present through out the prospected area but the major concentration has proved in the central portion of the Kola mouza where peat thickness ranges from 5 to 9 feet. The deposit is 2-9 feet thick in the north south and west side and 5-7 feet in the east of the area. Average thickness of the Kola mouza peat deposit is 5 feet.
Most of the area of the peat deposits remain submerged under few feet of water but in the dry season, the land is mostly drained of water and the water table drops at some place up to 4-6 feet bellow the surface. Alluvium is overlying the peat deposits and ranges from 0-12 ft which averages about 5 ft.
Apart from the peat deposits of Faridpur and Khulna, few more peat reserves were located at bill Dakatia of Khulna, Maulavibazar (approximately 2.86 million tons of reserve), in Sylhet (approximately 3 million tons of reserve), Mymenshingh, Rangpur, Barisal, Comolla and Dhaka districts.
Peat located in different areas of Bangladesh is soft when wet but it becomes fairly hard when dry. It can be molded into briquettes that adhere without the addition of binder. Samples analyzed from Faridpur peat’s show the average results as follows*:
As received Air dried for one week
Fixed carbon : 4.1% 24.0%
Ash : 2.8% 16.6%
Moister : 85.4% 17.1%
Volatile matter : 7.7% 42.3%
(Source : F.H. Khan, Investigation of Peat in the Faridpur District, East Pakistan, June 1957)
The peat is brown in colour usually when extracted but becomes black on exposure. It is fibrous, owing to presence of unrecompensed plant materials. The specific gravity of peat ranges from 0.50-1.30. The peat discovered in Bangladesh is a low grade fuel that may be used both for domestic and industrial purposes. For domestic heating briquettes can be made from the peat using simple technology to permit easy handling and storage. It can also be used in brick and lime burning and in generation of power in small plants.
Since the peat field are underlying of water for about 6 months during the wet season each year, mining of peat is relatively a difficult issue. Most of the peat underlies in lands which are good for agricultural purposes and are used for growing paddy and vegetables. Also making the extracted peat moisture free is another time consuming and cost involving issue.
A feasibility study for extraction and utilization of peat resources of Bangladesh was carried out by M/S SNC W. P. London under the CIDA Technical Assistance Program in Bangladesh during 1985-1986 periods. The final report of the study was submitted to the government of Bangladesh in 1986. Recommendation made by the report suggested that peat from Baghia and Chanda bill have total reserves of 46, 23 million tons of peat within 41950
Acres of land, Bill Dakatia (Khulna) deposit has estimated reserve of 6.23 million tons within 4447 acres of land; Kola mouza deposit has estimated reserve of 8.8 million tons within 4375 acres of land. Total reserve of peat of Faridpur and Khulna areas was estimated as 62.26 million tons at average 50772 acres of land and extraction of the peat was considered commercially viable. The study recommended for setting up of a pilot briqutting plant and installation of a 10 mw peat fired power plant for using the peat from the reserves.
The Consultant in their study report also considered that a briquetting plant and power plant based on the peat in the area would create job opportunities and would enable to ease the existing energy crisis of the south western region of the country.
Petrobangla the designated government organization took over a pilot project in the name of ‘Peat utilization and demonstration project’ at a cost of Taka 112 lac (112.00 x 105). The initial target area of extraction of peat was 1500 tons and 5000 tons in the first and second phases of the project from the Bill areas of Madaripur district. During March-June 1993, about 300 tons of peat have been extracted. Further 2000 tons of peat weat were extracted in the following season and a pilot briquette plant was installed under the project at Madaripur to produce 8´´ x 4´´ x 2´´ size briquette. Efforts have been made to commercially market and familiarize peat briquettes as domestic and brick field fuel source. Due to poor management and inadequate costing of the peat briquettes, the objective of the pilot project could not reach its target. Finally the project was closed due to lac of further fund flow. But the concerned experts consider that the peat could still be used as commercially viable fuel if appropriate entrepreneurs take initiative to develop the resources.
Hard rock and Limestone:
Hardrock was discovered by GSB in Madhyapara area of Dinajpur District in 1964 at a depth of 285 metres from surface. An agreement was signed with North Korea in 1993 for the opening of an underground hardrock mine with a target production of 1.6 million tons per annum. The hardrock mine is expected to come into operation by the year 2000/01. Madhyapara hardrock will be used for river training, heavy construction work, railway ballast, highway, etc. The granite slabs excavated from this mine can also be used as polished tiles and pavings. Presently these are imported. Considerable import substitution and increased revenue earning may, therefore, be expected from this rock. Limestone has been found at Joypurhat and some other places of Sylhet district. The production of sub-surface limestone of Joypurhat is yet to materialise