Tuesday 6
Reconnecting culture and agriculture : community forests, ecosystem services and resilience of smallholder agriculture
Shonil A Bhagwat
› 15:45 - 16:40 (55min)
› JOFFRE 1-3
Resilience analysis through the lens of contribution of mangrove forest to local livelihoods – examples of Sundarbans in southwest coastal Bangladesh
Bishawjit Mallick  1@  
1 : Karlsruhe Institute of Technology  (KIT)
Kaiserstrasse 12, 76131 Karlsruhe -  Allemagne

Sundarbans, the biggest mangrove forest in the world, is a common-pull resource and very much essential to surrounding rural livelihoods. It has exceeded 300,000 cubic meters annually representing a major source of wood. About 300,000 people of Bangladesh are directly dependent on this mangrove ecosystems for wood, fish and honey (Bandaranayake, 1998). Management of this resource is considered as an important element in strategies for conflict prevention and longer-term social-ecological resilience (Ratner et al. 2013). Based on empirical evidence, this article focuses these issues using a conceptual framework derived from recent theoretical work of Ratner et al. (2013). Their framework simplifies the role of collective actions in resource-conflict and its outcomes on resilience analysis. Using four properties said to analyze the resilience as outcome – the initial context, action arena, patterns of interaction, and outcomes – this study explores the attributes of local individuals and communities that help in adapting and responding proactively to changes taking place in course of time. Literally the concept is translated as: the initial context influences an action arena, in which patterns of interaction are established, leading to certain outcomes. Data utilized are from an empirical survey, which was conducted during July 2011 to April 2012. A total of 1188 households from 35 surrounding villages were interviewed. Amongst them 269 were totally dependent on the resources of Sundarbans for their livelihoods, whereas the rest 919 were indirectly dependent. Using these data, factors have been identified that boost or drop the individual household's level adaptive capacity, and draw attention to issues of importance to community resilience in this socio-ecological context of southwest Bangladesh.

The forest fishers and small traders directly depended on forest resources, earning money from either selling or processing these resources. Most of the farmers and service holders depended on forest resources indirectly because they used forest resources for their households (for food, fuel-wood, building materials etc). It was a clear trend that the higher the household income, the higher the dependency on forest resources. Some people, however, extract resources beyond their needs; therefore, the natural resources are decreasing. Collecting resources in Sundarbans carries considerable risk, e.g. attacks by tigers or local criminal gangs. Other risks reported include cyclones, floods and heavy rainfalls during monsoon. Respondents had also reported about changes taking place in the last twenty years – like increasing salinity, less production of rice, heat stress, fewer fresh water fishes, and a perceived shift from six to three seasons every year. They were in need of more regular access to freshwater and greater diversity in their livelihoods, improved vegetable production with more variety, and at best the possibility of reducing the level of salinity intrusion. Therefore, an integrated and adaptive planning practice is important to sustain their livelihoods, which might also address the community resilience building and reduce the dependency on Sudarbans. 


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