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Sustainability of Sal (Shorea robusta) forest in Bangladesh: past, present and future actions

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Sal (Shorea robusta) forest is a threatened ecosystem in Bangladesh. Until the beginning of the 20th century Sal forests existed as a large continuous belt with rich biological resources, but increasing pressure has been placed on them since then due to the ever-increasing population. Most of the forest area at present is under occupation by encroachers and the remaining stands are stocked poorly. Biodiversity has declined rapidly and many animal species have become locally extinct. The Forest Department has established agroforestry and woodlot plantations as sustainable production system in the encroached and degraded forest area using a participatory approach. Some protected areas have also been established for conservation. Nevertheless, it is predicted that the present trend of management is inadequate and an intensive management policy is essential to restore the forest ecosystem. This paper explores trends of forest degradation, and past and present management initiatives, and recommends future management priorities.
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Keywords: agroforestry; change factors; encroachment; management; sustainability

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Management Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture, Kochi University, B 200 Monobe, Nankoku-shi, Kochi-ken 783 8502, Japan. 2: Department of Forestry, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet-3114, Bangladesh.

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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