Wetland Management in Bangladesh: A Study on Beel Bakar
Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries
Being a riverine country, Bangladesh maintains a large volume of water by its different channels like river, canal, beel, haor, baor, lake and so on. Beel is one of the ancient types of water body in the context of Bangladesh. Among all the types of water bodies existing in Bangladesh, beel is obviously a fascinating one due to its biodiversity and ecological importance in local and national perspective as it contains and passes significant amount of water connecting with river channel which
... er channel which ultimately goes to the sea. The Beel Bakar is a small beel in the southern part of Jessore District of Bangladesh. This study initiated to reveal the existing situation of the aquatic biodiversity of the Beel Bakar along with identifying the past and present water management system, the socio economic aspect of the beel dependent fishermen and possible future steps. The study was carried out through mix group discussion, focus group discussion, key informants interview, direct observation and household survey. The study revealed that once this beel was rich in biodiversity and important for local fisheries. Though a considerable part of the beel and its floodplain is under gher culture, still there is scope to ensure protection and to enhance livelihoods of fisher community. In spite of the degradation of natural habitats of fishes, still 19 species of fishes were observed in the beel as well as some non fish organisms like snail, crab, mussel, frog, migratory and native birds. The study also found that excessive gher culture practice and possession of non fishermen over the water body are the main constrains of the beel. Most of the fishermen live in semi concrete house and vast majority of them have debt to bank or cooperatives. Experts and local fishermen both suggested ensuring the access of real fishermen in Beel Bakar and the Mukteswari River to improve their circumstances.