Is co-management a double-edged sword in the protected areas of Sundarbans mangrove?

Biology and Philosophy 37 (1):1-22 (2022)
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The overall objective of the study was to examine the pros and cons of the participatory approach adopted in natural resource management in the ecologically protected areas of the Sundarbans mangrove of Bangladesh. A comparative study was done between the people who are involved and non-involved in this approach. Empirical data was collected through personal interviews with a structured questionnaire. The Gini coefficient was measured first and then embedded with the Lorenz curve to draw a line between perfect equality and inequality vis-a-vis. The study revealed that the co-management built awareness in favor of biodiversity conservation and the efficient use of natural resources. Contradictorily, a segment of different hierarchical committees was involved in destructive activities like poisoning the wetlands for fishing. Therefore, a mixed outcome was found. The findings will help the policymakers in identifying the pitfalls and bottlenecks rooted in co-management. Hence, the study recommends revising the approach to ensure the community’s active participation on an equal basis and take action against them who degrade those resources. Exploring profitable alternative income-generating activities is warranted to narrow down the dependency on the Sundarbans mangrove’s natural resources. In order to address the tragedy of the commons, the study advocates for the unity of all knowledge ranging from science to humanistic scholarship for sound policymaking.

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