Skip to main content

Resource degradation and livelihood in the coastal region of Bangladesh


A study was conducted in four selected upazilas under four coastal districts through participatory rural appraisal (PRA), household survey and monitoring, sampling, focal group discussions, personal interview, onfarm field visits, institutional consultations, and secondary information. The investigation revealed that the valuable natural resources of the whole region are at the verge of serious degradation. Various causes have been identified, which are responsible for degradation of both resources and production environments. These causes include human population growth, coastal embankment, upstream withdrawal of Ganges water, brackish water shrimp farming, salt production, use of agro-chemicals, industrial activities, commercial activities, over-exploitation, etc. The study also showed that the degradation of natural resources is the reason behind the squeezing of historically dominant livelihood opportunities of the coastal communities. The current scenarios of the coastal ecosystem urge necessary steps to be taken for sustainable management of valuable resources and to create alternative livelihood opportunities for the coastal communities.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • BSCIC (2009). Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation. Office records on salt production. BSCIC, Cox’s Bazaar

  • Hoque M M (1992). Strategies and measures to reduce cyclone damage. In: Proceedings of Disaster Management and Regional/Rural Development Planning: UNCRD and CIRDAP Seminar 1992, Chittagong, Bangladesh. Nagoya: UNCRD, 25–45

    Google Scholar 

  • Islam M R (2004). Where Land Meets the Sea: A Profile of Coastal Zone of Bangladesh. Dhaka: The University Press Ltd., 317

    Google Scholar 

  • Islam M R (2006). Managing diverse land uses in coastal Bangladesh: institutional approaches. In: Hoanh, C T, Tuong T P, Gowing J W, Hardy B, eds. Environment and Livelihoods in Tropical Coastal Zones. Wallingford: CAB International, 237–248

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Khan M H (2001). Biodiversity. In: Nishat A, Ullah M, Haque A K E, eds. Bangladesh environment outlook. Dhaka: Centre for Sustainable Development

    Google Scholar 

  • Miah M G, Bari M N (2002a). Sundarbans in Bangladesh: Land-use and its impacts. In: Ramakrishnan P S, Rai R K, Katwal R P S, Mehndiratta S, eds. Traditional Ecological Knowledge for Managing Biosphere Reserves in South and Central Asia. New Delhi: UNESCO and Oxford&IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. 247–264

    Google Scholar 

  • Miah M G, Bari M N (2002b). Ecology and Management of the Sundarbans Mangrove Ecosystem, Bangladesh. In: Sudha M, ed. Managing Trans-boundary Nature Reserves: Case Studies on Sundarbans Mangrove Ecosystems, Occasional Papers. New Delhi: UNESCO, 1–44

    Google Scholar 

  • Rahman A (1995). Beel Dakatia: Environmental Consequences of a Development Disaster. Dhaka: The University Press Ltd., 175

    Google Scholar 

  • Shamsuddoha M, Chowdhury R K (2007). Climate Change Impact and Disaster Vulnerability in the Coastal Areas of Bangladesh. Dhaka: Coast Trust, 60

    Google Scholar 

  • SRDI (2009). Soil and Water Monitoring Report. Khulna Barisal Division. Soil Resources Development Institute, Regional Office, Khulna, Bangladesh

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Giashuddin Miah.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Miah, G., Bari, N. & Rahman, A. Resource degradation and livelihood in the coastal region of Bangladesh. Front. Earth Sci. China 4, 427–437 (2010).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • coastal region
  • resource degradation
  • livelihood