Sustainable Landscape Management of Bangladesh

Landscape management is an integral part of natural conservation, food security and biodiversity; provides livelihoods and influences the climatic factors like humidity, temperature, precipitation and wind, and acts as an important component of disaster risk reduction. Landscapes provide safety against adverse conditions like cyclones, storms, droughts and floods etc.Cheap Jerseys free shipping Undulated surface keeps the natural systems moving and provides increased surface area. Nature has its own laws and change is universal; still humans often govern the natural systems and their biased activities accelerate the changes including landscape. With rapid industrialization, urbanization and road transportation systems etc., many changes have occurred and most of the natural systems are being disturbed. Thus, climate change effects have accentuated the disasters like cyclones, tornadoes, tidal surges, floods, droughts and erosion. The landscape and the soil phases of the great Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna basins have been changed due to expansion of flatland irrigation-dependent agriculture destroying hills and hill forests, wet bodies; construction of dams and embankments, roads and highways across the floodplains and natural flows of streams and rivers. Traditional floodplain management systems were also destroyed for irrigating crop during and after the Green Revolution. The ponds were common in every home and the houses were built on the raised land and there were a nice synchronization for livelihoods and survival.
Therefore, to secure the lives, livelihoods need to manage natural systems wisely and logically. It is essential to conserve and maintain the significant or characteristic features of a landscape, which is greatly valued on account of its distinctive natural or cultural configuration. This paper reflects on the importance of the landscape in environmental sustainability and for a comprehensive disaster risk reduction (DRR) policy. It also analyzes the related issues ahead to achieve an effective landscape management policy for adoption of appropriate disaster risk reduction strategy.
For more please contact Author

Tornado in Brahmanbaria 2013

Case Study: The Brahmanbaria Tornado-2013
Introduction: Professor Dr Mohammed Ataur Rahman, Director, CGEC

Severe local storms including tornadoes frequently occur in Bangladesh in the pre-monsoon season from March to May and kills and injures several thousands peoples in a year. Therefore, severe local storm is one of the most important natural hazards in Bangladesh (Hayashi and Yamane 2010, Yamane et al. 2010). The affected area of the severe local storm and the damaged region is concentrated in the very small region. Therefore, the meteorological data such as pressure and wind cannot be obtained because the weather observatories are not distributed in a fine spatial resolution. wholesale jerseys Fujita (1971) introduced the estimating scale of severe local storms, especially tornadoes, applying the tornado damages in the past of reports of NOAA, USA. This scale was made up on the basis of relationship between the wind speed and the damage in the tornadoes. This Fujita scale is utilized for the estimation of the intensity of the tornadoes in USA and other counties. According to Fujita scale the Brahmanbaria Tornado falls under F0.
The Brahmanbaria tornado 2013 was a deadly tornado that took place in the Brahmanbaria District of Bangladesh on March 22, 2013. The tornado struck 20 villages with a diameter of 8 km traveling at a speed of 70 km per hour; killed 31 people and injured approximately 500 when the tornado moved through the villages of Ramrail, Basudeb, Chinair, Sultanpur union of Sadar Upazila and North Akhaura union of Akhaura upazila in Brahmanbaria district on last Friday at 17:30 LST (The BD, The Daily Star Bangladesh, The Zeenews, The ABC News).

The worst damage occurred in the Bijoynagar and Akhaura Upazila. Thousands of trees and utility poles were toppled down and thousands of people were left homeless. The tornado disrupted both train and road communication which interrupted rescue operations. Part of the prison house of the district had been collapsed resulting in a death of a guard. Many crops, mostly paddy, were damaged as well. (The New Age, The Anchorage, Daily News, The BBC and The CNN)
Many houses and standing crops on a huge swathe of land were badly damaged by the tornado. Many people of tornado-ravaged villages took shelter in the school buildings. According to a local lawmaker, Mr. Rabiul Moktadir Chowdhury, 1000 families were affected by the Friday afternoon twister, which also pulled out around 3,500 trees besides damaging crops.
The major affected villages are: Patirhata, Urshiura, Chandi, Chinair, Kodda, Radhika, Bashudev, Badshala in Sadar upazila; Azampur in Akhaura and Merashine in Bijoynagar upazila. Among them, the worst affected villages are Urshiura, Jarurtola, Patiarhata, Sultanpur, Jibontola, Chinair, Machirhata, Chaldpur and Paghachang.

The pictures of severe local storm of March 22, 2013: Affected area: 23°38.74N-24°16.16N, 90°43.36E-91°19.77E

Fig. 1 Tornado affected Brahmanbaria Fig. 2 Damaged structures and houses

Fig. 3 An injured mother with her child in a local hospital

Fig. 4 Uprooted Trees Fig.5 Broken tree due to devastating the storm
Table 1 Detailed information about the damage
District Affected Upazila Nos.
Affected Unions Nos.
Affected Families Nos.
Total Death Nos. Total Injured Nos.
Affected households Nos. Affected Crops Acres Cattle (Death) Nos.
Brahmanbaria 3 6 1667 31 388 2552 1285 299

Other Damages:
• Electric transmission lines and poles were disrupted and the whole Brahmanbaria city was seriously affected.
• Besides the Katcha houses, 175 meter boundary wall of the district prison collapsed.
• Women ward, kitchen, security wall and partition including main gate of the prison collapsed.
• Road Communication, especially Sylhet-Chittagong Highway collapsed due to fall down and uprooting of numerous trees.

Immediate Action Taken
Since the occurrences of tornadoes are unpredictable therefore, prior awareness and preparedness practices are absolutely little or nil. However, an immediate rescue operation carried with the help of Police, Fire Brigade, Paramilitary, Red Crescent RCE Volunteers, Paramedics, Roads and Highways, Public Welfare Department and local people.

Two medical teams from Comilla cantonment were engaged for rendering medical services to the victims. Injured persons were admitted and taken treatment from Brahmanbaria Hospital and other local hospitals and clinics. The Disaster Management Information Centre, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief has allocated each families of the dead to receive BDT 20,000, BDT 5,000 for the injured and two bundles of corrugated iron sheet along with BDT 6,000 to rebuild damaged houses. Moreover, 300 tents were supplied to the affected area to build temporary shelter. Two emergency pick-up motorized vans with two officers from the Department of Disaster Management have been deployed to help and carrying relief goods within the affected villages.
Dry food distribution among affected people has been arranged by UP chairman and local leaders. Two medical teams from Comilla cantonment were engaged for rendering medical services to the victims. The Rural Electrification Samity restored the electric lines and poles were replaced within three days.

In Bangladesh, tornadoes are confused with cyclones in the literature. Many tornadoes occur and damage structures, lives and livelihoods every year. Some of the tornadoes struck with hails and lightening and damage life and properties. The coastal zone and the central low-lying areas are more vulnerable to tornadoes as the inland water-bodies contain less water and become very hot and local depressions cause the severe cyclones. The typical and traditional houses in the rural area in Bangladesh are made with straw roofs and bamboo walls. Recently, the house with tin board roof and walls are prevailing. This house is keeping good for the water proof condition during heavy rainfall in the monsoon season. However, when the high wind blows in the severe local storm in the pre-monsoon season, those tin boards are flown away immediately and become dangerous knives to cut and kill a body. Many persons were injured by these flying tin boards in that severe storm. Therefore, structural improvement may reduce the damages. However, natural and traditional defense mechanisms especially plantations with bamboos, Palmyra palm, Fish-tail palm, areca nut and coconuts etc. are the important plants those break the wind speed, protect and reduce the damage.

1. FujitaT.T. 1971: Tasumaki (in Japanese), kyoritsu Publication, (1973), pp.228.

2. Hayashi, T. and YamaneY. 2010: Meteorological Characteristics of Tornadoes in Bangladesh Shimoadachi-cho, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan

3. The BD “Brahmanbaria tornado death toll rises to 31″. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 27 March, 2013

4. The Daily Star (Bangladesh). 25 March 2013. Retrieved 27 March, 2013.

5. The Zeenews “Tornado in Bangladesh kills 20, more than 200 injured”. 24 March 2013 retrieved 26 March, 2013

6. The ABC News “Tornado in Bangladesh Leaves 20 Dead, 200 Injured”. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013

7. The New Age “20 dead as tornado rips through Brahmanbaria”. 23 March 2013. Retrieved 27 March, 2013.

8. Yamane, Y.; Hayashi, T.; Dewan, A.M. and Akter, F. Severe local convective storms in Bangladesh: Part 1. Climatology, Atmospheric Research 95 (2010) 400-406

ESD Learning
With the climate change effect the frequencies of tornadoes are increasing. Since meteorological predictions of tornadoes are difficult then early preparedness is not possible. Therefore, natural and traditional defense mechanisms must be established. Plantations with strong wind breaking plants especially the bamboos, Palmyra palms, coconuts and areca nuts etc. should be established in tornado prone regions.
Proper windbreaks should be raised with recommended distances so that the wind can pass through and reduce the wind speed. Preference should be given with the strong plants those have high elasticity and strong root anchorage.
Shallow-rooted trees like, Mahogany (Swietenia macrophyla King, Swietenia mahagoni (L.) Jacq, Rain tree (Albizzia saman F.Muell.), and Raj-korai (Alibizzia richardiana King & Prain) etc. should not be planted in the tornado prone zones.
During the establishment of plantations, recommended safe distances should be maintained from the building structures, transmission lines, roads and highways, bridges, sewerage and water supply lines etc.
Immediate rescue operation with all out efforts can minimize life and property loss.

Grey Water Use can Reduce Huge Water Crisis in Dhaka Megacity

Water is an indispensable natural resource without which existence of life is impossible. On an average a minimum quantity of 200 litres of water is used by each person a day. Plants absorb millions of liters of water everyday and about 95% wholesale jerseys from china transpirate to the atmosphere by using 5% only. A single tomato plant transpirates 150 liters of water in its lifetime, i.e. 3 to 4 months period only. Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Sustainable Agriculture

Some Thoughts on Sustainable Agriculture
Mohammed Ataur Rahman, PhD, M.Sc. and DIC
Director, Centre for Global Environmental Culture (CGEC)
IUBAT—International University of Business Agriculture and Technology;
Agriculture is the most vital program for the livelihoods of the human being as well as of its dependents. It started with the date of civilization and is progressing very fast to feed and support the growing population of the world. Many early civilizations like Mohenjo-Daro collapsed due to adoption of inappropriate cultural practices, mainly agriculture. Now, conventional so-called modern agriculture has also been reached at its climax and ruining the biodiversity by polluting the habitat. Soil is being eroded continuously and its capacity is decreasing day-by-day. Agricultural pollutants are now one of the important causes of climate change and the plants and animals are loosing their capability to resist from the environmental vulnerabilities. Continue reading

Food-Trees and Food Security

Today Food Security is a widely- used common term and is often relating to Climate Change Effects. But it is a combination of many factors with the initial source of energy for all biological systems. In the process of photosynthesis, solar radiation energy is transformed into chemical energy; the later is then converted to mechanical and thermal energy through metabolism. Herbivorous obtains necessary energy by digesting plant tissue and reserves, while flesh-eating organisms digest animal food, through a number of links, called “food chain” which may be up to five and then the energy flow gradually abates as it passes through the ecosystem . However, the primary producers, the plants take carbon dioxide and oxygen from the air, and the other nutrients from the soil, the overall source, except a few exceptions of some aquatic plants where they can obtain nutrients from dissolved water.

Road side Mango Tree - Chapai Nawabgonj Bangladesh
Continue reading

Vulnerability of the Bay of Bengal Enclosed Coastal Sea due to Socio‐Economic Conditions of the Megacity of Dhaka

Dhaka, an enclosed coastal megacity of the Bay of Bengal, with an average altitude of four meters above sea level, is regularly impacted by tropical cyclones and flooding, and has a very low capacity to adapt to climate change. Increased migrants from the highly populated coastal zones suffering from geo-hydro-meteorological disasters like erosion, floods and tidal surges, cyclones and tornados, and salinity intrusion etc., a huge population has migrated to the capital city for their livelihoods and it is one of the fastest growing megacities in the world. The historical cyclones and tidal surges like the Bhola Cyclone-1970, Bangladesh Cyclone-1991, Cyclone Sidr -2007, Cyclone Nargis -2008 and Aila – 2009 killed and displaced millions of people. Millions of domestic and wild animals died; damage to crops, forests and plantations and structural properties like houses, roads and highways, embankments, transmission lines were huge, there were outbreaks of epidemics, water shortages etc., causing many people to become homeless and hungry and driving them in desperation to Dhaka for food and shelter. To meet up the demand of land of the growing population, the city has spread outwards in an uncontrolled manner with slums and has been ranked as the second most unlivable city in the World Livability Survey 2011 according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Continue reading

Study on the Changes of Coastal Zone: Chittagong to Cox’s Bazar along the Bay of Bengal

This 25 years study on the changes of coastal zones from Chittagong to Cox’s Bazar along the Bay of Bengal studied changes of water-flow and the flora and fauna of the estuaries of the Karnaphuli, Halda, Sangu and Matamuhuri rivers, which flow down from the adjacent Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) and Arakan Lusai Hills. The hydroelectric dam on the Karnafuli River damaged 700 km² of hill forests and caused mass migration of tribal people.

Human pressure, deforestation, pollution, upstream dams, flatland cultivation practices, shrimp culture and unplanned infrastructures cause major causes to the coastal zones and adjacent hills. Destruction of mangroves of Chokoria Sundarbans and Cox’s Bazar are the result of shrimp culture. About 91% of the perennial streams of the Chittagong and CHT have lost their dry season flows, resulting in a serious water crisis. Discharge of effluents from the shrimp hatcheries, digging of shrimp ponds and hill-cuttings have caused erosion. The sea current has already damaged 3.4km of sea shore from Kolatoti to Himchari in Cox’s Bazar. Continue reading

Organic Culture and Prospects of WWOOFing in Bangladesh

The fertile alluvial plain of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers of Bangladesh and Eastern India is densely populated and very rich with diversified flora and fauna having specific association and adaptation. The river systems have provided great opportunities with fertile land, mangroves, biodiversity, scenic beauty, ports, industries, tourists’ spots, coastal resources, minerals and transportation. Evergreen and semi-deciduous forests, wetlands; estuaries of this tropic have wet and dry monsoons enriched with the biodiversity and scope for wide range adaptation. The rural home-based multidisciplinary farming is traditionally maintained for thousands of years. Homes are specially designed for all activities; having houses, cowshed, a pond, forest-grove and a garden, the basis of present “permaculture” worldwide. In Bangladesh, about 70% of 165 million people living in the rural areas are dependent on agriculture. Villagers are simple, warmhearted but hardworking; lead nice and coordinated organic life. Multiple and multi-storied cropping culture is being maintained traditionally according to their habit, habitats and adaptation to maximize production and land-use. Short-cycle biomass recycling is practiced to maintain the soil health. WWOOF Bangladesh provides scope for the volunteers and host-farmers, can share knowledge and create bondage of organic minds.

The paper was presented in the 17th IFOAM Organic World Congress and WWOOF International Conference in South Korea in September 26-October 1, 2011

Permaculture on the Highways and Roadsides – a new dimension for Food Security

Roads and highways comprise 20,947.73Cheap Jerseys free shipping km of which national highways: 3,478.42, regional highways: 4,221.52 km and roads 13,247.79 km have occupied a significant arable land of the country. Roads and highways are constructed mostly above the normal flood level. Considering width 2 m X2 for the highways and 1 m X2 for the roads, the total available land area along the roads and highways stands 5,730 hectare can be utilized with Permaculture. Other than these, there are huge road networks throughout the country where we can grow some crops for the benefit of our livelihoods and food security.

Permaculture means intensive cropping without disturbing or damaging the natural habitat and biodiversity and is widely practiced in the modern world for growing crops with little or no disturbance of the soil and landscape using little or no tillage practice. It is also called as sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and very recently Climate-smart agriculture. Continue reading

Opportunities for Permaculture in the Rural Homes of Bangladesh

Permaculture is a widely used termed by the modern world. Permaculture means permanent culture especially, cropping without disturbing or damaging the natural habitat and biodiversity. It is the practice for growing crops with little on no disturbance of the soil and landscape by little or no tillage practice. It is also called as sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and very recently Climate-smart agriculture. Continue reading