Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 147–156 | Cite as

Natural resources depletion in hill areas of Bangladesh: A review

  • Shampa BiswasEmail author
  • Mark E. Swanson
  • Harald Vacik


Hilly or mountainous terrain occupies around 12% of the area of Bangladesh. Natural resources associated with Bangladesh’s hill are forest resources, biodiversity, minerals, and agricultural crops. Natural resources have been exploited in the recent four decades due to excessive clearing of hill forest cover, resulting in loss of species richness, impacts related to increased water flow variability, increased hill slope erosion and flooding intensity, and a gradual decrease in the extent of hill area in Bangladesh. This review explores the major causes and effects of depletion of natural resources by linking drivers, pressures and the related impacts. A review has been conducted to structure the effects on the hilly areas and describe the responses to minimize them in the associated DPSIR framework. Population growth has been identified as a major driver contributing to high deforestation rates. This may negatively effect agricultural productivity and increase the frequency of serious flooding. Slash and burn cultivation also impacts the regeneration of evergreen forests, which may accelerate soil erosion. Due to this and other factors, local people are facing a deficits of natural resources (food, fodder, fuel wood and water), which exacerbates the effects of poverty. Future research should try to facilitate decision making for sustainable utilization of natural resources management in the hilly areas of Bangladesh. Additional conservation measures should be developed to increase the resilience of ecosystems at national and regional levels.


Hill environment Deforestation Land degradation Hill restoration and conservation DPSIR 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shampa Biswas
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mark E. Swanson
    • 2
  • Harald Vacik
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Environmental Sciences and ManagementIndependent University, BangladeshDhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.School of the EnvironmentWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA
  3. 3.Institute of Silviculture, Department of Forest and Soil SciencesUniversity of Natural Resources and Life SciencesViennaAustria

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