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Economic valuation of provisioning and cultural services of a protected mangrove ecosystem: A case study on Sundarbans Reserve Forest, Bangladesh

Title of Research : Economic valuation of provisioning and cultural services of a protected mangrove ecosystem: A case study on Sundarbans Reserve Forest, Bangladesh

Authors : Uddin, M.S., van Steveninck, E. de R., Stuip, M., Shah, M.A.R.

Year of Publication : 2013

Publisher : Journal of Ecosystem Services

Link to online sources : https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212041613000491

Abstract : The Sundarbans Reserve Forest, the world's largest mangroves covering 6000 km2 in Bangladesh, provides a variety of ecosystem services. The real contribution of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest to the national economy has not been evaluated so far. This study aims to provide an economic estimation of the provisioning and cultural services of the Sundarbans. Official records of revenue collected by the Forest Department were the sources of information used in the economic valuation of the forest. The major provisioning services of the Sundarbans are timber, fuel wood, fish, thatching materials, honey and waxes. And the main culture service is tourism. The provisioning and cultural services provided by the Sundarbans contributed to revenue of the Forest Department on an average US$ 744,000 and US$ 42,000 per year respectively during financial year 2001–2002 to 2009–2010. The revenue collection from the forest products and tourism showed increasing trend over the study period, except for the timbers. The Forest Department produces economic benefits out of the ecosystem services without knowing the optimum limits and how long they can harness the economic benefits. A comprehensive economic valuation of the total stock and potential of all the ecosystem services of the Sundarbans as well as defining limits of sustainable yield of the services under different socio-economic and climate change scenarios would be necessary to enhance sustainable management of the forest.

Contact Email : smaminur@yahoo.com

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With the growing concerns for environmental protection, climate change and sustainable development, the necessity of environmental education and environmental profession have been well established around the world including Bangladesh in recent decades. While education in environmental science-related subjects has been initiated in Bangladesh since 1996, the environmental graduates are facing huge challenges for positioning their professional careers within mainstream government and non-government sectors due to the lack of professional institutions that can raise voice for all. A collective effort to overcome those challenges has been felt by the environmental graduates of Bangladesh for a long time, which led to the formation of the “Bangladesh Poribeshbid Society” in 2020. The society will act as a leading national platform for all environmental graduates in Bangladesh. From the beginning, we will put every effort to provide support to our graduates for developing their academic excellence and professional career at home and abroad. In addition, we will promote environmental awareness in every sphere of society and will support government and non-government organizations for strengthening policies and environment-friendly practices in Bangladesh. I welcome all environmental graduates from different educational institutions to join “Bangladesh Poribeshbid Society” and strengthen our collective endeavor.