Goal Five: Ecological Conservation and Development (ECD)

Sectoral Summary and Highlights

Bangladesh is an agrarian country. Within the small territorial boundary of 147,570 square kilometer the country has three distinctly different land forms covering 80% floodplain, 12% hill terrains and 8% terrace land. Having population of 160 million the country represents 950 people per square kilometer. It has a little more than 0.15 acre per capita cultivable land. In Bangladesh, more than 70% people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. The large numbers of farming community living in the rural areas are small and marginalized poor farmers. They are exposed to inadequate food production and consumption, low income, malnutrition and social deprivation. Integrated agriculture productivity of Bangladesh has been threatened mainly for less amount of lands,  use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, excessive use of ground water, natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, drought, changes rainfall pattern along with recent challenges of climate change elements that has emerged as major threat of low farming productivity and increased risk of food security.

Considering the national context and Strategic Directions (July 2014-June 2019) of Caritas Bangladesh, the Ecological Conservation and Development (ECD) Sector focused three strategies such as strengthening natural resources management and bio-diversity conservation, enhancing adaptive capacity to climate change and improving food security and sustainable livelihoods. The ECD sector has been implementing 13 projects in 43 sub-districts under 32 districts. The major outcomes of the ECD sector are as follows:

  • A total of 11,250 extreme poor families under Chittagong Hill Tracts have been graduated from extreme poverty by on farm and off farm activities.
  • 26,023 families have ensured food and nutrition security by producing cereals crops/pulses/horticulture crops/fishery and livestocks.
  • The project participants related with agricultural projects have become aware on environment and ecology. They apply adaptive technologies to new climatic scenarios and play roles to conserve local natural resources and bio-diversity. They apply organic manure and bio-pesticides instead of chemical fertilizer and pesticides to minimize their production cost and contribute to eco-friendly environment.
  • Recently released short duration and saline tolerant rice varieties from Bangladesh Rice Research Institute and Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture are distributed among 3,803 farmers in the target areas. It contributed to increase cropping intensity.

The focus of ECD sector will remain on natural resources management, bio-diversity conservation, climate change adaption on agriculture, fishery, livestock and food security by sustainable crop production in all projects. Emphasis will be given on community participations, active Farmers Field Schools and obtain government resources for the resource less poor farmers.

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