Mangrove ecosystem and shrimp aquaculture in SW Bangladesh

Coastal livelihoods in SW Bangladesh are largely dependent on its natural resources of mangrove forest (timber, wood fuel, honey, fish and other aquatic species) agriculture and marine fisheries. Following construction of the coastal embankment and other development investment there have been drastic environmental changes. Loss of life in major flooding events have been reduced. However, this has not led to overall improvements in the living condition of the majority of people.

The study aims to develop and test participatory methods for gathering the data to populate a conceptual framework to understand decision-making in coastal resources. In Bangladesh the issue of the emergence of shrimp farming, associated land-use changes (where it comes into competition with paddy farming and encroaches upon mangrove areas), ecological changes and social contestation has been identified as an ongoing challenge for decision-making and policy formulation (linkage between ecosystem services (ES) and poverty alleviation (PA)).

The question of how to mitigate negative impacts of shrimp farming on other kinds of livelihood and obtain equitable benefits and alleviate poverty, should be understood as an intersection of individual, community and national-level decision-making. It must also be understood in the context of increasing pressure on resources, global market changes, climate change-related hazards.

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