Who decides floodplain multiple resources management and how? Ten years experience in Bangladesh.
Rahman, Mokhlesur1, Islam, Anisul1, Rahman, Matiar1, Suman, Abu1, 1 CNRS, Dhaka, Bangladesh
ABSTRACT- Bangladesh floodplains are rich, diverse and productive have been supporting livelihoods of millions of rural households. Being multiple production systems having strong seasonality dimensions and used by different stakeholders, improved floodplains management still remain as a complex task that has been further aggravated due to the absence of an appropriate & pro-poor policy and enforcement of regulatory regimes at the national level. Farming people view floodplains as rice production fields while fisheries people see it as fish production grounds thus conflicts amongs various resource users are common features as observed in dry and wet seasons. Often the farming communities and leaseholders win and snatch the major benefits as they are wealthier and influential, whilst the poor fishers and landless, who make a substantial part of their livelihood from floodplains, loose and excluded. Considering the necessity of improved floodplains management for maximizing joint benefits of fishers and farmers, DFID's Natural Resources Systems Programme funded a series of research programs. This paper reports results of adaptive testing of consensual and improved management of floodplains through rationalizing use of dry season water, changing cropping patterns, selecting less irrigation-demanded crops than water-hungry HYV winter rice varieties, enforcing locally suitable fishing effort control measures like closed seasons, closed area, gear restrictions, and developing community institutions around integrated floodplain management systems comprising of fishers, farmers, women and poor. The paper presents the methods and approaches undertaken for uptake promotion of integrated floodplain management to influnce the policy stakeholders and meso level actors for wider practice of integrated floodplain management. This paper highlights methods of building consensus among the different resource users around integrated resources management for sustainable supply of food and other benefits from floodplain wetlands upon which the poor are most dependent.
Key words: floodplains management, bangladesh, livelihoods, consensus building
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