POST TIME: 22 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Bay’s resources can reduce poverty, say experts
Staff Reporter

Bay’s resources can reduce poverty, say experts

Rights organisations and experts have demanded the government frame a policy to utilize the untapped resources in the Bay of Bengal to reduce poverty and achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The demand was made at a seminar titled “Blue Economy of Bangladesh: Context Poverty Reduction and SDGs” held at CIRDAP auditorium yesterday. It was organized by COAST Trust and chaired by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, economist and PKSF chairman.

The speakers focused on poverty reduction approaches through the blue economy and also made several recommendations.

They recommended that Bangladesh should be cautious in designing blue economy strategies for trade and resource capturing, as the country was seen an economic hub connecting inter-Asian states.

They also advised the government to emphasise coastal poverty, particularly fishermen, and create opportunities for them to access state resources in the Bay of Bengal. This will contribute to their growth and reduce socio-economic inequality as well, they added.

“The government has a policy, but there is a considerable gap between the policy assumptions and real data on the ground. This gap needs to be bridged and the government should prepare a plan that connects policy and information,” said Dr Sayedur Rahaman, a professor in the Institute of Marine Sciences and fisheries, Chittagong University.

Dr Aminul Hoque, director (marine) in the fisheries department, said a blue economy strategy required the engagement of multiple stakeholders. “We have considered the economic conditions of the coastal fishermen and the government has taken up a project with World Bank for ensuring alternative livelihood for them,” he informed.

“We can start cage aquaculture in the estuaries of Bay of Bengal during the period of ban on Hilsa fishing so as to benefit the coastal communities,” he added.

Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, another speaker, said, “We are revising the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) to include issues related to the blue


We have to set priorities for blue economy activities with pro-poor infrastructure development and institutional capacity building.”

Mr. Nurul Islam, chairman of Fisherman Association of Bhola, recommended saving fish breeding zones such as the Sundarbans and the estuaries of major rivers.

Md. KM Abdus Salam, director general of NGO Affairs Bureau, attended as the chief guest and the event was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, executive director of COAST Trust.