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An overview of mangrove management strategies in three South Asian countries: Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka

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Mangroves in South Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka are unique in terms of their extent, variability and biodiversity. The world's single largest mangrove ecosystem, the Sundarbans, is present in this region. These countries are also exposed to catastrophic events such as tsunami and tropical cyclones against which mangroves can act as a barrier depending on their location and condition. The countries also share a common forest management history and face similar socio-economic challenges of protecting the remaining natural mangroves. Perhaps due to these factors the countries have some common elements in mangrove management, such as choice of silvicultural system, protection of existing natural forests, people's participation, ICZM approach, biodiversity conservation, zoning, promotion of non-exploiting uses, plantation for land reclamation and water infrastructure protection. In this paper, an overview of these management strategies has been provided in order to identify the main legal and management challenges. Changes in the silviculture system, adoption of ecosystem management approaches, revision of forest laws, and regional cooperation have been advocated to improve mangrove management.
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Keywords: Bangladesh; India; Sri Lanka; forest management; mangrove

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009, Australia.

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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