Bangladesh

An assessment and strategy to conserve the Bengal tiger population while improving livelihoods for people in and around the Sundarbans region

  • Client: Smithsonian Institution
  • Partners: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Project Duration: July 2015 – December 2015

Project Overview

Solimar provided support to the Smithsonian Institution for their work on the USAID-funded Bengal Tiger Conservation Activity (BAGH). The overall objective of the activity was to strengthen the relationship between the Sundarbans and surrounding communities by training and encouraging local populations and institutions to lead the fight to protect the Bengal tiger and its magnificent forest mangrove ecosystem. From spreading conservation awareness in communities living adjacent to the Sundarbans to increasing vigilance against wildlife crime, USAID’s Bagh Activity will unite people, institutions, and policymakers together in contributing to tiger conservation.

To support the livelihoods component of the BAGH program Solimar undertook a seven-step approach to supporting and mentoring the BAGH livelihoods component leader, creating a livelihood activity assessment report, SOWs for implementation and workplan enhancements. As a result of this program, Solimar will help develop eco-friendly livelihood options for people who depend on the Sundarbans for food and income.

Major Activities

  • Working with program leaders to review existing livelihoods information, studies and plans for the region as well as the conservation threat analysis and other information available relating to alternative livelihoods for people in the region.
  • Conducting a value-chain field assessment, based on Solimar’s destination assessment tool and worksheets, to analyze existing and potential products in the region, including diversification of ecotourism, craft and other products.
  • Conducting a strategic analysis of potential livelihood activities and enhancements
  • Developing a Bagh Livelihoods Strategic Plan to guide implementation of the livelihood component of the project

Results

  • An enhanced understanding of the support systems, regulatory environments and distribution channels for potential products in the region
  • A comparative and competitive analysis through identifying potential models and best practice examples from the region to help provide real life examples for others in the area.
  • A strategic plan to support the growth of tourism in Bangladesh and develop eco-friendly livelihood options for people who depend on the Sundarbans for food and income.

 

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