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about 64% of people in bangladesh are dependent on forest resources
Aivee Akther Bangladesh Environmental Economics

About 64% of people in Bangladesh are dependent on forest resources

About 64% of people in Bangladesh are dependent on forest resources


One-third of the world’s population is directly or indirectly dependent on forests and forest resources. In the case of Bangladesh, this rate is almost twice the global average.

Because the communities around forests in Bangladesh depend on the forest, the residents of other areas also collect resources from the resources outside the forest, such as rural forests, roadside trees, and private land plantations.

On the other hand, 31 percent of the world’s area now covers with forests. However, the amount varies more or less depending on the country.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target each country to have a forest cover of 30% of their total land area. However, it is challenging in a densely populated country like Bangladesh. The country’s forest land is now 14.1 percent of the whole land.

These data have emerged in the report titled ‘The State of World Forests-2022’ of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations  (FAO).

The report also said that 2.6 billion people worldwide use forest resources directly and indirectly. In Bangladesh, this number is about 100.80 million.

Experts say that besides being a habitat for wild animals, forests are crucial in maintaining natural balance. Forests are essential in dealing with natural disasters like storms and floods.

Sundarbans have been playing a role in reducing the speed and intensity of cyclones that hit the coastal areas from time to time. However, over-dependence on forests is one of the causes of deforestation in the country.

Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed, the former Country Director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)-Bangladesh, said, “The amount of forest land in Bangladesh is insufficient.

Many people in the country still live below the poverty line. One of the sources of their livelihood and fuel is collecting forest wood, vines, and other forest resources. We need to consider their helplessness as well.

According to the report, the resources that the people of Bangladesh use inside and outside the forest include wood, bamboo, tree leaves, fruits, and medicinal products. In other countries, various types of private and commercial organizations work in forest resource collection.

However, the situation in Bangladesh is different. Ninety-eight percent of the forest resources in the country collect by common people, which they use for their life, livelihood, and economic development.”

The report has been prepared based on the data obtained from the Forest Department’s “Bangladesh Trees and Forest Resources-2019” survey. It presents a financial account of forest resources collected in 2017-18. In that fiscal year, forest resources worth US$ 854 million have been collected in the country.

In this regard, Rakibul Hasan, Executive Director of

Arannayk Foundation, a private organization on nature and forest affairs, said, “There is a large part of tree plantations in the land of various government agencies outside the existing forests in the country.

The forest department plants and maintains the trees for a fixed period under the contract. In many areas, that agreement remains unrenewed. In addition to solving these problems, new areas need to create.”

The UN report also said that in 2014, Bangladesh had 12.8 percent forest area. In the 2018 field survey, it increased to 14.1 percent.

Amir Hossain Chowdhury, Chief Forest Conservator of the Bangladesh Forest Department, said, “Besides protecting the natural forest, more and more trees are planting outside the forest.

Planned plantation of trees has been done on vacant land in various areas of the country, including already deforested and coastal areas. ‘’ According to Bangladesh Forest Department sources, the government has planned to increase the country’s forest land to 16 percent.

The target is 2030. To achieve this goal, new forests have to create. Apart from this, the concerned persons feel it is necessary to afforest the land in various organizations.

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