CBA Bangladesh: Community-Based Wetland Management Project (BIRAM)
The indigenous Chakma peoples (pop. ~2,000) in the five villages of Borkona Godabanne Chora Adam face declining rainfall, rising temperatures, and decreased water levels under climate change. The nearby Godabanne Chora stream is the main source of irrigation and fish farming in the area, but climate change forecasts predict that current climate shifts will continue towards warmer and drier conditions—with negative consequences to both ecosystems and livelihoods.
This project will increase the community’s capacity to adapt to adverse climate conditions and sustainably manage the wetland area. It focuses on promoting sustainable crop varieties, improved agricultural practices, and improved water collection. The project will also train community members in alternative income-generating activities to reduce pressure on natural resources and diversify income sources. Conservation of biodiversity is a strong component of this project and a community committee will be established to protect and care for the ecosystem.
* This project is part of Bangladesh's Community-Based Adaptation portfolio. *
Borkona Godabanne Chora Adam is a hilly region in the southeastern part of Bangladesh where most households depend on rice cultivation as their main source of income. While there are some communities that engage in animal husbandry, vegetable cultivation, business, and fish culture, agriculture remains the primary occupation. The region is notable for its rich biodiversity, including numerous native bird, fish, and plant species. The Godabanne Chora stream plays a critical life-supporting role to the local population (2,000 people) and ecosystem. It is the main source of irrigation during the dry season, and it is the primary water supply for fish farming.
However, the stream’s water levels are lowering due to climatic and anthropogenic pressures, and the area’s wetland habitat is suffering from excessive exploitation and improper management. Increasingly, farmers are experiencing reductions in yields due to degraded soils, lack of irrigation and rudimentary farming technologies. These impacts are prompting migration amongst farmers, resulting in neglected fields, and leaving many families without income. Climate change will worsen the situation by bringing a shift towards warmer and drier conditions, further imperiling the livelihoods of local communities.
During its implementation period (July 2011 – December 2012), this project will strengthen the resiliency of these communities through an emphasis on sustainable land use practice, ecosystem services, natural resource conservation, and biodiversity. An awareness campaign will highlight the threats posed by climate change, as well as the importance of sustainable natural resource management as an adaptation strategy. Community stakeholders will be deeply involved in improving water collection services, crop and livestock production, and diversified income-generating opportunities. They will also help to ensure a properly functioning ecosystem by creating a boundary for protected wetland areas, repopulating fish and bird species in the area, and developing a planted area to restore wildlife habitat.
Key Results and Outputs
Outcome 1: Increased community capacities and awareness about sustainable wetland management
Raise awareness of the climate change threat and adaptation strategy (Output 1.1). Establish a committee (Output 1.2), hold a stakeholder workshop (Output 1.3), and provide training in modern natural resource management technology (Output 1.4) to facilitate sustainable management of the wetland.
Outcome 2: Reduced community vulnerability to climate change
Improve dam’s use for water collection (Output 2.1) and introduce sustainable crop varieties to marginal wetland areas (Output 2.2) to provide income support to community. Provide training and promotion of diversified livelihood activities (e.g. livestock rearing, fruit gardening, pest and disease management) (Output 2.3), aquaculture (Output 2.4), aviculture (Output 2.5), and wetland conservation activities (Output 2.6).
Outcome 3: Partial protection of watershed and wetland to conserve biodiversity
Conduct baseline survey report on socio-economic and biodiversity status of proposed project area (Output 3.1) and delineate protected area boundaries with community involvement (Output 3.2). Plant endangered species to provide habitat for wildlife (Output 3.3), engaging the community in their future protection and maintenance.
Reports and Publications
Monitoring and Evaluation
The community has initiated the adaptation strategy by themselves to meet their needs and carry out their livelihoods. Information transfer also varies from community to community as well as social hierarchy basis. Consequently, the most vulnerable people also vary by community. Considering this, information will be collected for initial VRA analysis through different participatory methods (e.g. focus group discussions, key informant interviews, predefined household surveys). As women are involved in the overall rural economy, implementation of the project’s gender equality goals will be of great concern during participant selection. Households with different vulnerable livelihood types will also be considered during the selection process.