The effect of participatory forest management on the livelihood and poverty of settlers in a rehabilitation program of degraded forest in Bangladesh

  • Mohammad Samaun Safa


The sal forest is the only plainland forest in Bangladesh, and is of national economic and environmental importance. High population and ever increasing poverty has stimulated exploitation of the forest alarmingly and brought it near extinction. In facing this situation, the Bangladesh Forest Department implemented a participatory management approach, involving the householders living in and around the forests, for forest maintenance and protection. This study examines the effectiveness of practicing participatory forestry on the settlers’ livelihood in the encorached area of the sal forest. The settlers were given degraded and encroached forest land through the program. Two major social forestry models — namely agroforestry and woodlots — are included in the study. Participation in the resettlement increased household income, employment opportunities and financial and non-land assets. It was found that the participatory management regime could attain the sustainability of the forest and accelerate the standard of settlers’ livelihood, hence the program is an efficient management option towards sustainability of the forest resources. These findings suggest that there is a role for extending the approach to rehabilitate other degraded and encroached forest lands in Bangladesh.


Participatory forest management livelihood poverty impact ratio rehabilitation of degraded forest 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohammad Samaun Safa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forest Management, Faculty of ForestryUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdang, Selangor DEMalaysia

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