Projects Intervention on Climate Change in Coastal Areas of Bangladesh
Sultan Mohammed Giasuddin
Director New Strategies, CODEC
Community Development Centre (CODEC)
Plot-02, Road-02, Lake Valley R/A, Foy’s lake Khulshi, Chittagong, Bangladesh
The devastating Cyclone in the year 1970 took not only thousands of life in the coastal belt in Bangladesh but also destroyed the livelihood of the fishing communities in the coastal villages. Bangladesh and Danish Government agreed to establish a boatyard in Chittagong to produce 36 feet 550 motorized wooden fishing boats to be sold on installment to the fishermen by the Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation (BFDC). During the project’s implementation of the Boat distribution policy of BFDC was a matter of repeated conflicts between BFDC and DANIDA, as DANIDA found the extensive sale of boats to wealthy businessmen against the intensions of the project. To rectify the setback of the Boat Building Project, DANIDA started a project called as “Boat Rental Pilot Scheme”.
Boat Rental Pilot Scheme was initiated in October 1980 as a pilot project under the Danish assisted Boat Building and Mechanization Project in Chittagong with 23 boats. From its initiation, the project was conceived as a pilot project where experiences could be gained in fishing villages in the vicinity of Chittagong town. The pilot scheme has proved that the target group oriented project as Boat Rental Pilot Scheme cannot change the lives of the poor fishermen during one or two years of activities, as the emphasis of that project was placed on mobilization but a steady follow up among the fishermen was needed for a longer time. It was also concluded in the year 1984 that community development work can be done only through Non-Government organization (NGO). Existing reputed NGOs were reluctant to take over the community development program with the fishing communities, may be lack of experience or may have very negative experience working with the fishing communities.
The Community Development Centre (CODEC) was registered in April 1985 under the Voluntary Welfare Agencies with economic support from DANIDA. The aim is to initiate an integrated development program for fishing communities in Bangladesh. The mobilizing program is ranging from villages organizations (Male, Female & Children), training and education (children and adults). A savings and credit program to provide mechanized boats and fishing gears to the fishing groups as well as to provide credit to women groups for income generating. Furthermore a health and nutrition program and a water and sanitation program are included.
CODEC Vision: CODEC dreams of coastal and riverine communities that earns, enjoys and shares the pride of Bangladesh in becoming a middle‐income country by 2021.
CODEC Mission: CODEC sees its existence for coastal communities, in which people individually or
collectively embrace new and differentiated forms of institutions, utilize the resources for safe and
sustained livelihood and become rights demanding citizens in a climate change affected physical, social and economic setting.
Up to September 2016, CODEC has been working in 03 Divisions, 12 Districts and 78 Upazillas of coastal areas with 800 Unions with multifarious projects in holistic approach. CODEC operates its savings and credit programme activities in 12 districts are Chittagong, Laxmipur, Noakhali, Cox’s Bazar,Bandarbon,Patuakhali,Barguna,Barisal,Jhalakhati,Bagerhat,Pirajpur & Khulna.The main trust of the programme into provides integrated support to each family to ensure the best possible utilization and enhancement of their existing resources and capacities. Enrich works through different interventions, which are carried on through different program such as health and sanitation, education, community development, youth employment and homestead vegetable cultivation etc.
- Major Accomplishment of Projects in Terms of Climate Change & Affect
1.1. Post Flood Rehabilitation of Flood Affected Households Project
- Overall Objectives: To support the rehabilitation of flood affected landless, marginal and small households by providing material and financial assistance for house rebuilding, sanitation and income generating activities related to crops and poultry production. Project Areas: Laxmipur, Barguna and Patuakhali district. Project Period: Six months from November 1998. Target Population: The project will directly assist about 10,000 flood affected households, approximately 50,000 people. Manpower: 06 Budget: Tk. 12,979,042/-Donor: DANIDA.
- Achievement: Provide assistance for repairing damaged houses through cash money support. However, sanitary latrines and inputs for production like seeds, fertilizers, day-old chicken and vaccines for poultry are provided in kind wherever feasible. The community centers, which are meeting places of the local people and used as adult education centers, are repaired through joint efforts of the local groups under supervision of the CODEC staff. Households that receive grant for house repairing or sanitary latrines also qualified to receive another grant for production purpose.
- Challenges: River erosion and disappearing the households and assets are the common and regular challenges, which make the life and livelihoods uncertain. There is a shortage of food, and farmers are facing the challenges of planting fresh crops. According to mobile medical teams deployed in the flood affected districts, malnourishment is still widespread, with many suffering from water-borne diseases.
- Learning: “Social uncertainty and confusion” was the most prominent challenge of return to the normal life after, which was categorized into six concepts of social vulnerability, lack of comprehensive rehabilitation plan, incomplete reconstruction, ignorance of local social capital, waste of assets, and psychological problems.
- Evaluation: CODEC organized and developed the Village Organizations (VOs) members, identified the most affected people both from the VOs and outside of the VOs from the command areas. CODEC contracted out the production of Sanitary Latrine production to the Public Health Engineering Department and private enterprises and productions and distributions of latrines are efficiently done.( Source: Monitoring of Post – Flood Rehabilitation Project, February 1999, Danida)
- Disaster Management Project
- Goal: Minimize the impact of disaster on livelihood security of vulnerable households. Overall Objective: Enhance the capacity of the organization and the community about disaster preparedness and management. Project Areas: In case of preparedness, initially CARE/DMP will work in all vulnerable Thana (Police Station) among which CODEC will implement the project activities in eight Thana of Patuakhali and Barguna districts over the life of the project. Project Period: 1990/91-1994/95. Target Members: Women for preparedness activities. Manpower: Not Applicable Budget: Not Applicable Donor: CARE Bangladesh
- Accomplishment of staff training of CODEC on disaster and it’s management to enable them for effective response when require;
- Reactivated the Union Disaster Management Committees at all target Unions under the project areas;
- Prepared local level action plan for the target Unions and Thanas;
- Capacity development of enlisted volunteers at project areas;
- Challenges: Human responses to natural hazards are assumed to be rooted primarily in the way individuals think, behave, and interact in the environment. Disasters that are unexpected, occur suddenly, causing widespread damage, and are understood to be traumatic and associated with a high degree of psychological disturbance. The survivors are most often seen as having significantly disrupted lives, which require lengthy periods of recovery.
- The rescue phase: This is the period immediately after the event and lasts about two weeks. People, victims and others alike, join hands to do whatever they can to prevent loss of life and property in a spontaneous display of altruism. There are many accounts of people who have been in the forefront of relief work, often working 48 to 72 hours at a stretch, and have sometimes risked personal injury and suffering to help save lives of others. However, there is a dark side to relief efforts too and care must be taken to ensure that there is no looting, plundering or exploitation of the vulnerability of the victims.
- The relief phase: This is a period lasting approximately two to three months after the disaster. This is the period when a huge outpouring of relief supplies and support from the community, voluntary agencies, and government result in a high level of optimism about problems being dealt with and the situation improving. There is a wave of compassion, goodwill, and care.
- The rehabilitation phase: This period continues up to one to two years after the disaster. Disillusionment about the efficacy of the relief efforts sets in at some point in time during this phase. Victims realize that they have to give up the wait for help and solve their own problems and return to their normal life and livelihood activities.
- The rebuilding phase: This will facilitate to continue the life and livelihood activities. Disaster preparedness, especially for high-risk and vulnerable areas, is also an integral part of this phase. NGOs and communities work together to restore normal life and livelihood.
- Evaluation: Under this project, DMP targeted women for preparedness activities at the community level by recruiting female field workers to match the number of male workers, forming participatory female community group, and training women on local disaster management and preparedness initiatives. DMP targeted its activities in the disaster prone areas of Bangladesh where 20 partner NGOs are currently active and cooperating with CARE/DMP. The target is to train 20 PNGOs, who will in turn organize and assist disaster management committee in 220 high risk Thana covering 40% of the vulnerable population, which is around 14,000,000 peoples.
- Sanitation Improvement of Five Fishing Villages of Sitakunda
- Project Areas: Cyclone (1991) affected Five Fishing Villages of Chittagong: Latifpur, Noapara, South Selimpur, North Selimpur, North Selimpur South Para, North Selimpur North Para. Project Period: 1991
- Target Population: Jaladas fisherfolk community, Manpower 05, Budget Tk. 402,000/- Donor: Radda Barnen.
- Achievement: CODEC constructed hygiene sanitation latrines and community cenNter cum cyclone shelters at five Jaladas fisherfolk villages under Sitakunda Upazilla, Chittagong. Social mobilization, campaign and training took place within this community. Health and sanitation related information and knowledge had been improved through dissemination of Poster, Audio Visual & Cassette equipment and discussion forum.
- Challenges: It was tough to select and acquire the lands for sanitation latrines inside the thick populated villages of Jaladas fisherfolk communities. The inherent habitual practice of this community was to defecate at open place instead of confined room of latrine. As per study of CDC 21st December, 91% respondents among 100% wash hands after defecation with mud and water and remaining 9% wash with water only. So it took long days and series of motivational and health related education to change their beliefs and practice.
- Learning: Social campaign, education and training are the major approaches to promote the changes of traditional beliefs.
- Evaluation: From the finding of the investigation, it was identified that the five Jaladas fisherfolk villages need to be improved with installation hygiene latrines and sanitation. The project constructed and established five hygiene latrines and sanitation and community center cum cyclone shelter at five Jaladas fisherfolk villages.
- Fund Support of Norwegian Santal Mission (NORAD) for House Construction & Rehabilitation of Cyclone Devastated Fisherfolk Villages.
- Project Areas: Cyclone (1991) affected Fishing Village of Premasia, Banshkhali, Chittagong, Project Period: July 1992 – June 1994, Target Population: 84 fisherfolk households those who lost their houses and assets, Manpower: 03, Budget: Tk 200,000, Donor: Norwegian Santal Mission (NORAD).
- Achievement: Total 84 fisherfolk families had been rehabilitated with 84 new constructed house those were devastated in cyclone 29 April 1991.
- Challenges: Mobilize the cyclone affected people those were scattered and suffering from psychosomatic trauma frighten of cyclone.
- Learning: Devastated life settled with housing is the first step to return in normal life. After settling with ownership of house, the people start to find the source of income and food security.
- Evaluation: Total 84 fisherfolk families had been rehabilitated with 84 new constructed houses those were devastated in cyclone 29 April 1991. It was the major support to settle their life and livelihoods.
1.5. Participatory Forest Development Project
- Goal: To work in socio-economic development of underprivileged people as well as forest resource development are the key aspects of CODEC interest in Participatory Forest Development (PFD) Project.
- Objectives: To develop replicable models that can generate a broad-based participation of local people in forestry activities. Improve the degraded condition of the forest resources through beneficiaries’ development. Create employment opportunities for poor people, both men and women, through forestry activities and other activities like cottage industries. Improve and formalize the partnership between FD and local communities in forestry activities.
iii. Project Areas: One in Uhalapalong, Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar district. Another one at Sadhanpur, Banshkhali, Chittagong. The other selected sites were Napitkhali, Kalichara, Panerchara, Whekong and Ukhiya beats under Cox’s Bazar Forest Division.
- Project Period: 1999-2001.
- Target Members: Extreme poor and daily labour.
- Manpower: 06, Budget: 22, 49,625. Donor: GoB/World Bank.
vii. Major Achievement:
- Socio-economic upliftment of the poor villagers who depend on the natural resources.
- Degradation of the land, which was thought the recovery of the ecosystem.
- Very poorly managed resources were managed in the proper way.
- As it was a Participatory Agro Forestry project, the benefit from the agro-crops went to the participants (that of bamboos and cane) in this ratio-70% went to the participants and 30% went to the Forest Department.
viii. Challenges: Deforestation has been a serious ecological problem in Bangladesh for the past four decades. Illegal logging, demand for fuel wood and farmland encroachment are the principal causes of dwindling biomass resource. Such violations are committed mostly by poor, landless people for a mere drive to survive and by some greedy local elites in collaboration with some local leaders.
- Major Learning: The PFD project in forestland was a new venture. It is a pilot project for introducing agro forestry cum social forestry in Forest Department (FD) owned land. Participatory forestry is a benefit-sharing scheme in which the landless and the marginal farmers are employed in tree plantation work.
1.6. Co Management of Tropical Forests Resources in the Southern Bangladesh (Nishorgo).
- Goal: Sustainable Bio-Diversity Conservation and Poverty Eradication through co-management model. Project Period: June 1, 2003-May 30, 2008. Operational Areas: Teknaf Game Reserve under Cox’s Bazar District and Chunati Wildlife Sanctuary under Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar District. Target Population: Stakeholders residing around the forests. Manpower: Technical Support & Project Coordinator –1, Senior Accounts Officer-1, Communication and Outreach Officer-1, Senior Site Coordinator & Site Facilitator Incharge-2, Entrepreneur Development Officer & Site Facilitator Incharge-1, Field Organizer-20, Site Facilitator-2, Peon-5. Total 33 personnel. Budget: 24,109,920 Donor: USAID/IRG (Ministry of Forest and Environment).
- Achievement: Mutual cooperation and linkage established through support to the Forest Department as custodian of the respective Protected Areas and to key local and national stakeholders to ensure conservation efforts.
- Challenges: Transformation the habitual practice of forest surrounding inhabitants from forest destroyer to forest protector.
- Learning: Forest conservation efforts can be effective if the three key players are integrated and mutually cooperated. These are Forest Department, forest surrounding local inhabitants and building partnership between the Forest Department and key local and national stakeholders that can assist in conservation efforts.
- Evaluation: The Nishorgo Programme aims to protect and conserve Bangladesh’s forests and biodiversity for future generations. This programme is a comprehensive effort to improve the management of the country’s Protected Areas of all kinds-Safari Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, National Parks and Game Reserves. At the heart of Nishorgo is a focus on building partnership between the Forest Department and key local and national stakeholders that can assist in conservation efforts. This programme is designed to assist in achievement of the primary objective of conservation of biodiversity within the Protected Areas (PAs) of Bangladesh. This overall objective is to be achieved through support to the Forest Department –as custodian of these PAs – and to key local and national stakeholders.
1.7. Integrated Protected Area Co-management Project (IPAC)
- Over All Objectives: To promote and institutionalize an integrated protected area co-management system for sustainable natural resources management and biodiversity conservation that results in responsible, equitable economic growth and good environmental governance.
- Number of Target Members (Year 2008 to 2013): 49,081 (Male – 26994 and Female: 22087) including Total formed CMC (Co-management Council/Committee – 17 and VCF (Village Conservation Forum) – 542.
- Area of Project Intervention: Three clusters (Southeastern Cluster, Sundarbon Cluster and CHT-CTG Cluster) at the southern part of Bangladesh. It is covering 14 Protected Areas (SE Cluster: Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary, Teknaf Ecologically Critical Area, Inani National Park, Himchari National Park, Medhakachapia National Park, Fashiakhali Wildlife Sanctuary, Chunoti Wildlife Sanctuary. Sundarbon Cluster: Sundarbon East, West and South Wildlife Sanctuary and Sundarbon ECA. CHT-CTG Cluster: Kaptai National Park, Dudpukuria-Dhopachari Wildlife Sanctuary, Sitakunda Eco-park) under 7 districts (Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong, Rangamati, Bagerhat, Khulna and Satkhira), 17 Upzillas and 47 Union.
- Project Period: June 5, 2008 to June 4, 2013.
- Manpower: 67 (Male 65 and Female 02, Budget: 127,991,750 Donor: USAID
- Achievement: IPAC integrates increased economic benefits with strengthened governance to achieve improved conservation management of protected areas and more sustainable natural resources management in the landscapes encompassing these protected areas. Increased economic benefits (wealth) based on increased capacity to adapt to climate change include improved livelihoods through increased incomes as well as improved economic and ecological resilience based on increased capacity to adapt to climate change. IPAC strengthens governance (empowerment & rights) through more informed, transparent and inclusive approaches to co-management that involves government and a broad spectrum of civil society stakeholders.
- Challenges: Forest based project is seen in a multi-stakeholder scenario where various actors have different claims and entitlements. Major challenge for CODEC and respective donor is to ensure a balance of power between stakeholders at different levels. Major challenge for international development donors is to ensure a balance of power between stakeholders.
- Learning: Without considering socio-economic realities at micro (village) level, one cannot envisage the success of forest conservation and development interventions by considering only structural and national / regional) levels. Forestry should be seen in a multi-stakeholder scenario where various actors have different claims and entitlements over forest resources.
- Evaluation: Support further development of the natural resources sector and conservation of biodiversity; Develop a Protected Area strategy that can be applied to all ecologically and economically significant areas, including freshwater and forest eco-systems; Build technical capacity for Protected Area Co-Management; Expand the geographic area under Co-Management to ensure long-term success of the models developed for aquatic and forest ecosystems; Extend socio-economic benefits to surrounding communities addressing a series of short, medium and long term climate change mitigation and adaptation issues.
- Climate Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods (CREL) Project
- Overall Objective: The overall objective of CREL is to scale up and adapt successful co-management models to conserve ecosystems and protected areas (PAs), improve governance of natural resources and biodiversity and increase resilience to climate through improved planning and livelihoods diversification. Households Coverage including Khulna Target: 28535 HHs. Project Period: September, 2012 to September, 2017. Number of Total Staff: Male: 66 Female: 12, Total: 78, Approved Budget: 194,938,488. Donor: USAID.
- Achievement: As per Annual Report 2013-2014 in Chittagong Region, total 3 new sites namely Halda Rivers Basin, Hazarikhil and Nizhum Dip are now under co-management approach to better manage the natural resources. Established and reformed total 135 VCFs to be more functional and gender sensitive. Established total 11 Forest nurseries owned by target members through financial support of CREL. Completed 11 km Institutional and Roadside plantation (76,478 Plants). Provided 63 Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Trainings and 30 skill development trainings on specific crops to the target members. Established 20 demo plots to demonstrate new methods of agricultural farming. To measure the Forest Carbon Inventory, 171 plots are taken sampling basis. In Khulna Region, Completed plantation (17100 Plants) for institution, households and roadside. Identified total 227 Local Service Providers. Provided training on livelihood and aquaculture to 10,000 target members. Provided Capacity Building Training to 195 LSPs’. 214 Demonstration plots are selected for the target members’ learning about using improved technology in cultivation. In Cox’s Bazar Region, Identified total 8352 livelihood members from Village Conservation Forum (VCF) level. Total 1427 target members received skill development training. Given driving training to 9 Established total 5 Financial Entrepreneurs & Literacy Centre’s (FELCs).
- Challenges: Revenue sharing in Sundarbans. Program implementation in remote area particularly in rainy season. Implementing the NRM related demand by UP, UZ and other govt. institution due to UP desire fund from CREL. Fund leveraged from private sources (people are not educated considering conservation). Real-time data update in Crel Link as electricity insufficiency is a regular phenomenon in site. Round the year vegetables cultivation & fish cultivation is not practical due to high salinity & scarcity of sweet water in most of the places.
- Learning: Road site plantation is not appropriate in Sundarbans surroundings. Homestead vegetables cultivation is one of the best option for the forest users because ensure round the year income, less investment, support health local people as well as respective household. Buy-back mechanism is one of the proved best livelihood option in Sundarbans, like handicrafts production under Pebble umbrella. Financial Literacy Learning Centre (FLLC), Savings Loan Group (SLG) approaches are also strong livelihood options for them.
- Evaluation: Most of the Co- management Committee are functioning in the working areas. New IGAs are initiated at all those three areas. New areas of operation are opened in Nijum Deep, Hajarikhil and Halda. Total 560 beneficiaries are practicing new technology and methods in Agriculture cultivation in spite of traditional methods and technique. CREL activities reduce the tobacco plantation and massively introduce maize cultivation among the mass people. CREL engagement with Kaptai CMC successfully reduces the incident of forest fires in the Kaptai Nation Park area. CREL motivated school children in tree plantation program and thus they got inspired and collected saplings from CREL for homestead plantation which indicates the involvement of children in natural resource management.
- Homestead Agro Forestry through Improved Management Practices.
- Project Period: 01 May 2007 to 30 April 2012. Project Areas: Patiya & Chandanaish Upazilla under Chittagong district. Target Members: Especially farmer those having homesteaded to plant indigenous species. Manpower: Total 05 Budget: Tk. 35,00,000 Donor: The Arannayk Foundation (AF).
- Achievement: Total 16 groups along with 379 members (female 163, male 216) are functioning and mobilized 10 new groups with existing groups including other NGO’s group members and 06 IPM groups. Three awareness raising orientation programs on biodiversity conducted by the resource persons of BFRI. Total 7,808 different seedlings have been planted and 15% are rare species among of these. Monthly group meeting had been held in presence of resource persons of Upazila Forest, Fisheries and Medical Officers. Exchanged visit for observation of sustainable group activities and different plantation techniques with the medicinal plants and IGAs activities and Rangpur and Dinajpur districts. Some existing groups especially IPM groups are involved with different IGAs like cap (tupi) sewing, honey production, tailoring and road side plantation.
- Challenges: The project put emphasis to endangered species but most of the nurseries do not produce endangered specific. Sometimes they even do not know the names of some rare species. It is found that those who are extreme poor do not have any idea about the concept of bio-diversity.
- Learning: Many endangered species have been found by the base line survey and FGDs and especially young participants are being introduced with the rare species. Identified some potential participants those who are familiar with the improved management practices in tree plantation, organic fertilizer and integrated pest management. In future, these participants will help to implement these types of activities in right way.
- Evaluation: The main activity of the project is to develop homestead agro forestry through improved management practices. The main approach of the activity is to enable the local community organization members to operate the activities and enhance their alternative income generation to develop their live and livelihood opportunities towards poverty reduction.
- Experiences and Learning CODEC Acquired through Implementation of different Projects
2.1. Disaster Risk Reduction Experiences of CODEC
CODEC has been experienced in different dimensions including DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) issues in its journey, which can be describes through the following points.
2.1.1. Experience of CODEC on Disaster Responses and Management:
- CODEC played a national coordination and information center and vital resource in the period of post cyclone of 29 April 1991.
- CODEC organized and facilitated numbers of meetings, workshops and seminars on disaster preparedness and management at different coastal Upazillas and Districts on disaster preparedness and management through participations of Union Parisad’s (UP) members and chairmen, GoB officials and concerned coastal communities.
- CODEC mobilized the communities as well as capacity enhancement of local government and DRRCs (Disaster Risk Reduction Committees) through training on Disaster Preparedness and Management in its working areas.
- CODEC organized and facilitated disaster preparedness and management training programme for the 1500 UP members and chairmen of coastal districts through fund support of Disaster Management Bureau of Bangladesh [DMBB].
- CODEC is an active Networking Member of NIRAPAD with the linking of activities of Disaster Preparedness and Management.
2.2. Linkage with Government and area coverage on DRR related issues:
CODEC has been operating multi-dimensional disaster management related projects in the coastal areas of Bangladesh, which is covering 78 Upazilas of 11 Districts of 3 Divisions. The remarkable interventions by linking with government of through these projects are as follows:
- CODEC has been attending at Chittagong Regional Public Administration Training Center as a Resource Organization on “Role of National and International NGOs on Disaster Preparedness and Management” through participation of Government’s Class-I Officers.
- Staff and group members training and contingency plan preparation on Disaster Management Programme with technical and fund support of Disaster Management Unit, CARE Bangladesh.
- Cyclone SIDR Relief and Early Recovery Programme with establishing functional coordination and coalition with GoB under fund support of Save the Children UK & USA in the year of 2008.
- Promoting Child Protection in Emergencies and Empowering Children and Adolescents for Disaster Risk Reduction and Response in Cyclone and Flood Prone Areas through coordination with GoB and fund support of Save the Children UK from 2008 to 2009.
- Enhancing disaster preparedness among the fisher-folk communities and institutions in coastal areas intervened in 2009 to 2010 through fund support of Action Aid Bangladesh.
2.2. Experiences of CODEC about Implementing PRODIP Project:
- Overall Objectives: Strengthening ties between MPs, civil society and constituents in coastal areas and increasing participation of citizens and sub-national stakeholders in the national policy making process and improve the performance of MPs in their legislative, representative and oversight roles: form and operational District Public Policy Forum (DPPFs) as effective platforms for sub-national level actors to engage with MPs and other national level decision makers on development policy issues. Area Coverage: Bagerhat, Barguna and Patuakhali District. Target Population: Members of Parliaments & coastal communities. Duration: From August 2011 to July 2014. Manpower: 09. Donor: Asia Foundation.
- Achievement: Strengthening the capacity of civil society to conduct effective advocacy on national policy issues by working with area MPs to organize a Coastal Cacuse within Parliament. Confidence of the MPs increased in the ability of civil society to assist them in a multiplicity of ways in performing their legislative, representative and oversight functions in Parliament more effectively.
iii. Challenges: It is difficult to get long involvement of MPs due to occupied with other social and political activities in respective constituency.
- Lessons Learned from intervention of this Project
- Quarterly meetings of DPPF and UzPPF are very effective. They share knowledge and information.
- MPs are interested to be involved at Coastal Caucus and take leadership role and initiative for policy promotion on coastal issues.
- MPs communicate with CODEC for information on development of coastal communities. They raise coastal issues in parliament.
- “Citizen Society Driven Advocacy” training enhances understanding of UzPPF members on arts of advocacy, helps to clarify present status of Upazila Public Policy Forum (UzPPF) and its future role.
- Women Leadership Training is very helpful for political empowerment of women leaders. It inspired women leaders for more involvement in social work and political space.
- Participants suggested conducting research in their locality and sharing research findings with MPs, media, and other actors through Public Policy Forum (PPF).
- Representatives of electronic and print media were informed more about project activities through press conference.
- Participatory Action Research (PAR) is helpful for MPs, media, and other actors.
- Public hearing should be arranged at national level rather than local level.
2.3. Experiences of CODEC with the Forest Department (FD) Protection of Embankment
CODEC was primarily concern in coordinating all the persons and activities concerned to the project. It was supposed to manage the implementation processes of the project as per the schedule and plan depicted in the extensive management manual prepared on behalf of the Government by the expatriate participatory agro-forestry specialist. CODEC accomplished the following responsibilities where implementing the pilot intervention:
- Based on the socio-economic and bio-physical survey carried out by the specialist on behalf of the implementing agency, CODEC was to appraise itself to the study, findings, and socio-economic parameters etc. to be used in implementing the participatory forest development component.
- In collaboration with FD and local leaders (UP Chairmen and Ward Members), it selected the potential participants for the project in accordance with the approved guidelines set by the FD.
- Assessed the detail of the participants needs for formulating the benefit sharing, agreement for fitting it with their aspiration.
- Evaluated and analyze the socio-economic and bio-physical data for formulating appropriate participatory agro-forestry models.
- Determining the quantity and unit values of inputs and outputs needed for financial and economic analysis of proposed agro-forestry models, and in the formulation of management plan for the recommended agro-forestry models.
- Group formation of participants and fixation of group functioning norms where one of the missions, which was accomplished.
- Review and assess the agro-forestry models designed and practiced in different terrain condition in the country including those schemes tested in previous social forestry, community forestry or participatory forestry projects with the end in view of comparing the performance different models, their strengths and weaknesses, comparative economics and farmers references or acceptability and generate lessons from this modules for further development and recommending improve agro-forestry practices in the pilot project area.
- Preparation of work plan covering the period of assignment within the first month of the assignment having the due consensus with the team leader and forest department.
- In consultation with the forest department review the design/model recommended by the expatriate consultant and suggest refinements specially on the agricultural crop components.
- Lead in the agricultural crop component of the project including livestock component, in terms of crops selection, seed quality sourcing, cropping patterns, crop production, technologies to increase income of farmers and meet their basic needs while at the same time conserving soil and water.
- Liaison with the concern agencies for assistance especially extension assistance related to new, improved technologies on crop production and utilization.
- Identifying training needs and conducting training for the participants and the every staffs especially those related to project.
- Examine the views of local people towards wage and means of sustainable forest management and potential of participatory forest management in the project areas, the minimum condition of the prospective participants for active cooperation in the program.
- Identify the potential beneficiaries for the participatory pilot project and assess the social impact of the program from the perspective of traditional rural leadership and in the backdrop of curtailment of certain privileges enjoyed so long by the surrounding people.
- Assess local constraints in proper forest management and protection, and determined how such problems could be overcome both from legal and cooperative approach.
- Develop and recommend an appropriate monitoring and evaluation system and mechanism for the project and it’s continuance in the subsequent project.
2.3.1. The Major Impact of the Green Plantation on Coastal Belt and Embankment:
- Safeguard for the life, assets, crops and livestock from cyclone.
- Protection from tidal bore and devastation.
- Develop and maintain coastal bio-diversity.
- Rehabilate the marginalized families with livelihood.
- It will accelerate the growth of forest.
- Plantation of coconut, palms and other feasible plants will enhance the capacity of land security against the erosion.
- On the other hand these plantations will create potential sources of income for the disadvantaged households.
- Lastly and very important that due to these sorts of plantation we can protect the embankment permanently, which discard early maintenance huge costs.