Chinese Team Visit to Tanguar Haor

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Chinese Team Visit to Tanguar Haor

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A team from China visited Bangladesh from November 28 to December 03, 2015. This was an exposure visit programme sponsored by The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and particular purposes of the visit were to observe and learn the wetland management in Bangladesh as well as interact with the key stakeholders. A total of 12 foreign participants including 10 Chinese and 2 Nepalese arrived Bangladesh on 28 November 2015.

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Meeting at IUCN Bangladesh Country, Dhaka

The team sat in a meeting at the IUCN Bangladesh Country Office to exchange ideas on wetland conservation in Bangladesh and China. The Country Representative (CR) of IUCN Bangladesh welcomed the visiting team to the Bangladesh Country Office. Mr Laxmi Dutt Bhatta, Ecosystem Management Specialist, Nationality: Nepal International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) introduced the team members and briefed about the purpose of this visit. Dr. Mihir Kanti Majumder, Former Secretary and currently, advisor of CBSMTHP, Dr. Hasseb Md. Erfan-ullah, Programme Coordinator of IUCN-B and Mr. Sayeed Mahmud Riadh, Project Manager of CBSMTHP were also present at the meeting on behalf of IUCN-B. The meeting discussion started with a presentation by the Programme Coordinator, IUCN-B who mainly highlighted organizational goal, structure and thematic activities of IUCN as well as it’s Bangladesh Country Office. After presentation, the visiting team put few issues relating to IUCN’s current activities for biodiversity conservation, particularly in Bangladesh. The Chinese team also shared it’s experience in China. In that case, Dr. Li Zhuoqing, Director of Ecological Environmental Protection Center in Yunnan Institute of Environmental Science, presented some successful cases of wetlands management in different provinces of China. Particularly, he talked about the wetland management in Yunan province of China and offered IUCN to take advantage of the good practices there. As he mentioned, the most distinctive factor in wetlands management was conversion of agricultural land into water bodies for earning ecosystem services from the wetlands of China.

Meeting with Forest Department, Dhaka

On the same day the Chinese team visited the headquarter of Forest Department (FD) in Dhaka. Mr. Yunus Ali, Chief Conservator Forest (CCF) presided over a meeting there to share some good cases of forest resources management in Bangladesh. Mr. Ashit Ranjan Paul, ACCF of FD introduced the visiting team with a successful story of forest co-management in Madhupur. Participants other than the Chinese team mainly included Mr. Shamsul Alam, DCCF of FD, Mr. Md. Faruque Hossain, PA to CCF, Mr. Sayeed Mahmud Riadh, IUCN and Dr. Mihir Kanti Majumder, IUCN, who, the later, played an important role towards accomplishment of the discussed programme in Madhupur. The meeting was followed by few observations from the Chinese team regarding the presentation. The CCF concluded the meeting with vote of thanks to everyone. Mr Laxmi Dutt Bhatta, ICIMOD, on behalf of the Chinese team greeted Forest Department for organizing this interaction event.

City Tour, Dhaka

Despite a hectic schedule, the Chinese managed to roam around Dhaka for exploring this city. But the most entertaining part of the tour was spent on shopping local products at the city market. Infact the visiting guests took lot of enjoyments there, though for a very short period of time.

Visit to Tanguar Haor,Sunamganj

The most important part of the visit was followed by a field trip to Tanguar Haor in Sunamganj, where IUCN has been implementing a project titled ‘Community Based Sustainable Management of Tanguar Haor’ (CBSMTH) on behalf of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. After a brief orientation on CBSMTH project at the Sunamganj town, the team went out for Tanguar Haor on 1st December 2015. The day started with visiting Zanjhail to meet the Village Co-management Committee (VCC) as well as to observe mat weaving by the women members. Then the Chinese team visited Dakshin Sripur Union Co-management Committee (UCC) office and sat in discussion with the community leaders. The team also travelled to the hillside village Banghalvita and exchanged views with the VCC leaders there. However, the whole field trip was largely entertained by site seeing at Tanguar Haor especially it’s fish sanctuary, migratory birds, and afforestation, etc.

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Feedback and observations

At the end of field visit to Tanguar Haor, the Chinese team shared their learnings, and placed few issues to be considered while managing wetlands in Bangladesh as well as in Tanguar Haor.
1. IUCN and China may be engaged in collaborative work towards wetland’s management and biodiversity conservation.
2. A South-South dialogue on wetlands participatory management could benefit the both countries.
3. There is good opportunity to conduct school programme for children in the coastal area of Bangladesh.
4. The Government of Bangladesh may be more involved (directly) in wetlands resource management and biodiversity conservation.
5. The implementing project in Tanguar Haor has a large scope for improving its ecosystem other than the co-management activities.
6. The unhygienic sanitation around Tanguar Haor area needs to be properly addressed.
7. Adequate initiatives require for improving water quality of Tanguar Haor as well as for protecting water from being polluted.
8. IUCN Bangladesh may visit Yunan province in China to make best use of the good cases there.