Bangladesh is rich in aquatic resources with extensive seasonal and perennial water bodies throughout the country. In the past, the expansive floodplains, oxbow lakes, beels, and haors were home to a vast range of fish species. Of the 260 fishes found in the inland waters of Bangladesh, 150 grow to a small size (maximum length of about 25 cm), and these are found in the wetlands.
Small indigenous fish species (SIS) are an important source of essential macro- and micronutrients that can play an important role in the elimination of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in the populations of many South and Southeast Asian countries. Of the 260 freshwater fish species in Bangladesh, more than 140 are classified as SIS and are an integral part of the rural Bangladeshi diet. As many SIS are eaten whole, with organs and bones, they contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, and iron and zinc. Some SIS, such as mola, are also rich in vitamin A.
The Integrated Protected Area Co-management (IPAC) project is a five year USAID contract working with the government and people of Bangladesh to establish a robust national protected area system on the principle of co-management. The introductory chapter gives an overview of the various papers presented in the book.
Aquatic agricultural systems in developing countries face increasing competition from multiple stakeholders over rights to access and use natural resources, land, water, wetlands, and fisheries, essential to rural livelihoods. A key implication is the need to strengthen governance to enable equitable decision making amidst competition that spans sectors and scales, building capacities for resilience, and for transformations in institutions that perpetuate poverty.
The Mekong River is one of the great rivers of the world and is characterized by high fish biodiversity. A number of organizations are working at observing and protecting aquatic biodiversity in this hotspot of global importance. Among them are international organizations such as the WWF, Wetlands International, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) but also regional institutions and national line agencies or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
Banchte Shekha is an NGO based in Jessore, south-west Bangladesh that has supported the development and empowerment of poor people, particularly women. In the CBFM-2 project they found it was possible to involve women in fisheries activities, despite initial opposition from conservative groups. Banchte Shekha was responsible for organizing 7 CBOs in CBFM-2 following their successful experiences with a single CBO in the first phase of the project.
Cambodia's wetlands cover over 30 percent of the country’s land area and support one of the largest, most diverse and intensive freshwater fisheries in the world. In the flood season (July-February), the flood waters from the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake catchments create a vast open water system on Cambodia’s lowlands. During this period, inundated rice fields become open access fishing grounds for local villagers and migrant fishers.
Co-management of natural resources entails sharing authority and responsibility among government agencies, industry associations and community-based institutions. Policymakers and development agencies have embraced the approach because of the potential to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of management efforts focused on common-pool resources such as forests, pasturelands, wetlands and fisheries.
The wetlands of the Yellow River delta face a situation common in many developing countries where the quest for rapid economic growth brings development to the doorstep of natural ecosystems and threatens their health and survival. This brief examines the several issues relating to wetlands in the Dongying municipality. Can the wetlands in Dongying coexist with the modern development that is creeping towards them? Is there sufficient appreciation that these wetlands are worth caring for?
The chapter begins with an overview of the water system in the Congo Basin, presents a synopsis of select hydrological goods and services, describes the relationship between forests and water resources in large river systems and concludes with a section on the state of knowledge and water resource management in Central Africa.