“Environmental, forestry and climate change challenges in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world with approximately 150 million inhabitants. The high population density and people’s strong dependency on natural resources to sustain their daily livelihoods are severely contributing to serious environmental degradation. The intensive and poorly managed use of wetlands, floodplains and (ground) water for example is compromised through water contamination, soil nutrient depletion, desertification and biodiversity loss. Forests, which provide many goods and services like fuel, food, shelter and clothing, are under severe pressure from environmental degradation and pollution as well as deforestation.
In addition, Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change due to high poverty levels, low level of adaptation capacities and intensive agricultural activities. Due to low elevation levels in combination with a dense network of rivers, which is typical for deltaic systems, the country has a particular high risk for floods. In addition, expected sea level rise may pose severe risks for floods as well and may contribute to further salinization of agricultural lands. In contrast, northern areas of the country may suffer from (extreme) droughts.
Reducing livelihood vulnerability from environmental degradation and effects of climate change is vital to the progress and prosperity of the country. A capacity need assessment study revealed that the capacity of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) & its Agencies should be enhanced to address these issues effectively. In this MoEF Support Project, the capacities of the MoEF and its Agencies will be enhanced to better address present and future environmental, forestry and climate change challenges in Bangladesh.”