Title: An empirical analysis of conservation practices, management and sustainability in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, Bangladesh

Authors: Anjan Kumer Dev Roy; Khorshed Alam; Jeff Gow

Addresses: School of Commerce, Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia; Ministry of Planning, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh ' School of Commerce, Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia ' School of Commerce, Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia; Department of Agricultural Economics, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Abstract: This article examines the factors that influence conservation practices in the world's largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. It explores the relationship between tree density reductions and management practices. 412 households in forest-dependent communities (FDCs) were interviewed. Their overwhelming view is that the Sundarbans is being over exploited through overharvesting. Results show that FDCs who engage in resource harvesting under the current property rights regime have less participation in and lower motivation for the conservation of forest resources. Current management by the forest department results in lower commitment by the community to conservation. Conservation of resources could be achieved by the allocation of expanded property rights to give management roles to communities. With the granting of these rights they would engage in conservation practices. The results suggest that constructing effective strategies to promote mangrove conservation require these two factors to be addressed to achieve sustainable forest management.

Keywords: Bangladesh; mangrove forests; forest conservation; Sundarbans Mangrove Forest; forest-dependent communities; FDCs; conservation practices; conservation management; sustainability; sustainable development; tree density reduction; overharvesting; resource harvesting; property rights; forest resources; community involvement; mangrove conservation; sustainable forest management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESD.2015.072081

International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 2015 Vol.14 No.4, pp.332 - 350

Accepted: 15 Nov 2014
Published online: 12 Jul 2015 *

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