Climatic Adaptation and Sustainability of Rice in Bangladesh

Climatic Adaptation and Sustainability of Rice in Bangladesh
Mohammed Ataur Rahman1* and Sowmen Rahman2
1Professor, College of Agricultural Sciences and Director, Centre for Global Environmental Culture, IUBAT—International University of Business Agriculture and Technology, Uttara, Dhaka
Email: *Corresponding author

2 Department of Environmental Planning, University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Published in IUT-JARD Vol 5 No 2, 2020

Rice is the most important grain crop of Bangladesh. There are thousands of varieties of rice were in Bangladesh. Over 5000 local rice varieties have become extinct in the country in the last few decades. To date, approximately 8,200 germplasm have been preserved by the BRRI genebank. From the available data of Digital Herbarium of Crop Plants only 135 varieties are in cultivation now. According to climatic adaptation in the tropical monsoon four Ecotypes or Landraces of rice are grown in Bangladesh. These are Aus, Aman, Boro and Jhumia which are grown in different climatic seasons of tropical monsoon. The characteristics of these landraces are studied in detail in this paper. Special emphasis was given on adaptability and sustainability; residue management and biomass recycling of rice.

Keywords: Monsoon seasons, Agroecological niches, Landraces, Sustainability, Biomass recycling

Bangladesh is located between 20°34´ and 26°38´ North latitudes and 88°01´ and 92°41´ East longitudes. It is a part of the Ganges and Brahmaputra delta which lies to the south foothills of the eastern Himalayas; west to the Arakan and Lusai folding ranges and in the south, the Bay of Bengal. Hundreds of rivers and tributaries from the upper north, northwest and eastern zones travel towards the Bay. There are few hillocks in the central zone of Bhawal and Madhupur, Lalmai and some high flats in the Barendra region. Besides these, there are scattered patches of hills and hillocks which are mainly the extensions of Himalayas and Lusai-Arakan ranges. The remaining areas are alluvial plains, flood plains, deep and shallow depressions or wet lands. Geologically, Bangladesh is a part of the Bengal Basin and the floor consists of quaternary sediments deposited by the GBM river system, and their numerous tributaries and distributaries. Over 92% of the annual runoff with huge sediments generated in the GBM catchment area flows through Bangladesh, which is only about 7% of the total catchment (Rahman and Rahman, 2015).
The climate of Bangladesh is humid subtropical nature with warm humid summer and cool dry winter under Indian Monsoon region having distinct four seasons. The Climatic Seasons are Pre-Wet Monsoon, Wet Monsoon, Post Wet Monsoon and Dry Monsoon (Shahid 2010). The Pre Wet Monsoon starts in March and prevails in the whole May. During this season, the southwest maritime wind starts, temperature rises up to 35°C, day and night temperature variation is very high often exceeds 20°C. Windy weather with increasing humidity, often with tropical cyclones called Nor’wester or Kal-Boishakhi. The Wet Monsoon starts in June and continued throughout September with high humidity, high temperature and high rainfall. Floods often cause serious damage to lives, crops and structures. Day and night temperature difference is comparatively low, seldom exceeds 10°C. The Post-Wet Monsoon starts in October till the end of November with high day light intensity and decreasing humidity. Often causes strong cyclones especially in the coastal region. During this period, water recedes from the floodplains like Baed, Kuri and edges of the Beels. The Dry Monsoon starts from December and prevails in February, dry weather with low temperature. Temperature often drops below 10°C usually with foggy nights and mornings.
The weather condition varies with the locations. While the eastern and southern districts have more moisture availability, which in the western is comparatively less. Although the average rainfall in Bangladesh is high but its distribution over time and space is not uniform. The period from December to February is virtually dry having only 65.9 mm rainfall. Among the districts, Natore receives the lowest rainfall (1556 mm) while Sylhet the highest (3876 mm). The mean annual temperature is 24.82° C, with maximum 29.79 and minimum 14.79° C averaged from 1796 until 2015. The average solar radiation indicates that the radiation interception is only 36 – 38% of the sunshine hours during June to August owing to continuously overcast sky. Flood is a regular feature affecting rice production in Bangladesh. On an average four percent of rice are annually damaged by flood (Paul and Rasid, 1993).
The average pH of Bangladesh soils could be taken on the acidic side of the pH scale, between 5.5 and 6.5. The Gangetic alluvium soils, particularly the calcareous one, have pH greater than 7.5, reaching at times up to 8.3. These contain free carbonates and bicarbonates. Soils in plateaus, raised lands and hills are usually acidic in nature. Organic matter (OM) status of Bangladesh soil is one of the lowest in the world. About 3.7 million hectares of land contain’ 1.75% organic matter; soils of the low-lying areas contain’ 5.5% organic matter with the exception of peat soils which contains not less 20% organic matter; and rest of the soils contain medium to high amounts of organic matter (Banglapedia).
Variation of climatic factors in different seasons and undulated landscapes provided distinct wet, semidry and wet phases of soil with variable fertility. These wide spectrum of fertility status of the region, in turn, results in vegetative growth potentials in general and cropping pattern in agriculture pattern in particular, especially for rice, attributing to inherent diversity traits of the region. It is roughly estimated that during the past more than 30,000 rice cultivars were grown in the eastern and north eastern parts of India. The indigenous rice varieties cultivated by traditional farmers may contain a considerable genetic diversity that can serve as a source of germplasm for genetic improvements of cultivated varieties of rice. In general, diverse landraces traditionally cultivated by farmers around the centers of diversity and domestication of crops are considered as key natural resources important for maintaining the future food security in light of the changing climate (Pusadee et al. 2009 and Choudhury et al. 2013).
Rice is the most important grain crop of Bangladesh. There are thousands of varieties of rice were in Bangladesh. Over 5000 local rice varieties have become extinct in the country in the last few decades (Rahman, 2013). Nearly I 0,000 landraces are considered to exist in Bangladesh (Cai and Morishima 2000) and it is estimated that about 120,000 varieties of rice exist in the world (Khush 1997). To date, approximately 8,200 germplasm have been preserved by the BRRI genebank (Islam et al. 2018). These germplasms are not only the basis of providing food security but also essential for saving the biodiversity. From the available data of Digital Herbarium of Crop Plants only 135 varieties are in cultivation now; this situation is very alarming both for food security and biodiversity. The ongoing rapid changes in agricultural practices that favor agronomically improved varieties have become a serious threat for the persistence of indigenous rice varieties. Thus, conservation and management strategies are urgently needed to prevent further loss of genetic diversity inherent to indigenous rice varieties in the region. A detailed understanding of the genetic structure and diversity is needed for the planning and implementation of effective conservation, management and utilization of rice germplasm in the whole region (Choudhury et al. 2013).
Therefore, along with the genetic forced crop improvement, climatic adaptation and improvement of environmental factors through climatic manipulation and aggregate farming using multiple varieties of crops, pets and aquatics etc. are utmost essential for food and nutrient security in this climate change situation. Considering these, climatic adaptation of rice has been studied under Bangladesh condition.

This work has been started in 2010 with a self-funded initiative to collect information from different sources like research publications, government and public research institutions, offices, books and journals, periodicals and also from the news media. Physical investigations were made visiting most part of the country meeting people of different ages and levels. Many changes are also shared from the author’s experiences at different work places and compared them by revisiting. Since, there are marked changes of landscape are found but not scientifically documented or studied, as it was less understood or overlooked in the past, so little data is available. However, this study has been done with care and given utmost importance on its scientific needs.

Ecotypes and Landraces of Rice in Bangladesh
According to climatic adaptation in the tropical monsoon four Ecotypes or Landraces of rice are grown in Bangladesh which are Aus, Aman, Boro and Jhumia.

Aus: In BRRI genebank, there are 1,500 varieties of Aus rice are available. Growing period Pre-wet monsoon (March-April) to wet monsoon (July-August) Since Aus rice group has shorter duration and capabilities to address biotic and abiotic physiologically stress condition, so this particular group is being drawn attention to rice scientist for extensive research activities. There is very limited information on the above comparative study on physicochemical properties of these selected HYV and local Aus cultivars. These cultivars are being grown in the country and may have some useful characteristics, which would be helpful for developing improved new rice varieties (Hosen et al. 2016). It is interesting to note that seeds of Aus rice do not need any pre-germination wetting or soaking. Seeds are broadcast in well-ploughed dry field and they are happy to germinate and grow in the film moisture of the soil. They have well-developed root-system penetrate deep into the soil. Heavy rainfall at the early life is harmful for the plants, stagnancy hampers root aeration even plants get rotten. Beside this, heavy competition faces with other grasses and hamper the growth. Aus rice is tolerant to drought at the vegetative stage and to high temperature at the reproductive stage.
He quoted from Khona as saying on Aus rice something like as:
“Drought in May followed by a heavy rain,
Dry stalks grow green to yield better grain”.
Generally, drying up of the growing shoots of the plant at its early vegetative stage due to the severe drought helps to break the apical dominance to regenerate new tillers profusely immediate after the monsoon rain. Though Aus rice prefers to grow better under upland conditions, the reproductive and maturity stage of the crop has to encounter the rainy season. Even in the lower topography or in the charland farmers have to harvest their Aus crop in a knee to waist deep water (Biswas 2017).
Aus allows mixed cropping, traditionally amaranth, musk melon and sesame used to grow in the Aus field. Although the yield of Aus rice is low 1.83 tons per hectare (BBS 2012) but the aggregate output is very high.
Aus is very important for maintaining the dry phase of the soil and its microflora.
Some examples of local Aus varieties are: Haitta, Kotoktara, Goria, Porangi, Kala Manik, Hasi Kalmi, Balam, Vaduri, Aguli, Begun bitchi, Rang mahal, Laxmijhota, Katar, Chiknal, Manikmendal, Baismugur, Dal Kaisha, Kali Bori, Garia, Panock , MarikMandu , Chiknal , Shoni , Ingra , Nayan Tara , LangraBeni, LalGalong, Bolium , Holat , Noroi, Kamini Sail,, Laxmilota, Mele, Saita ,GoriSaita ,Porangi , Goyal , Manikmoda , Saita, Paik juta, Kala manic, BenaFul , KoeJuri , Tepakain , Kautukmoni , Hasha , Korchamuri , Ajabbeti , Boilam , Bnamka , Parangi , Baturi , HaitaiSaeta ,MorySaita , Manikmendal RangMahal, Baismagur , LaxmiJhota , Sribalium , Pankhira (Siddique et al., 2016).

Aman: Also called Baoa in Greater Mymensingh region. Cropping period for Broadcast method: Pre-wet monsoon to late Post wet monsoon; for Transplanted: early Wet monsoon to Post wet monsoon. Usually Aman is adapted to grow in the floodplains and seasonal wetlands like Baed, Kuri and edges of the Haors and Beels. Flood free upland flats are also used by terracing to keep required water for their growth and development of Aman rice. Vegetative growth needs longer photoperiod but flowers in short days. As Aman plants are water loving they have special adaptation with the environment. Their root system is comparatively not well-developed as they do not need to search for water. Usually with the rise of water, quick elongation of internodes and develop adventitious roots in the nodes for respiration. Some of the varieties of deep water rice are highly adapted even growing in deep monsoon water especially in the Beels and Haors. There are more than 2,000 deepwater rice cultivars in Bangladesh and almost all the deepwater cultivars are strongly photoperiod sensitive (Catling 1992). Photosensitivity fixes flowering time at a favourable point in the flooding period, enables the plant to escape the adverse effect, of low temperature in the reproductive phase, and usually ensures crop maturity as soon as floods have receded. Deepwater floating rice has three special adaptations: (i) ability to elongate with the rise of water levels; (ii) develop nodal tillers and roots from the upper nodes in the water; and (iii) the upward bending of the terminal part of the plant called ‘kneeing’ that keeps the reproductive parts above the water as the flood subsides (Yamuna and Ashwini 2016). Deepwater rice grows under rainfed dry land conditions for 2-4 months before the onset of flood, when plant produces basal tillers. With inundation the plant becomes an emergent macrophyte and grows in an aquatic environment for the remaining 3-5 months of its life. Nodal roots absorb nutrients from floodwater. Stem elongation is stimulated by partial submergence; it results from cell division and elongation of cells in the intercalary meristem due to an interaction of the plant hormones, under the control of two complementary genes. There is an increase in number of elongated internodes with the increase in water depths. Majority of deepwater rice cultivars in Bangladesh is of strong elongators. Stem may reach 5-6 m in very deepwater situations (Banglapedia). Unlike Aus, from the initial period viz. germination, seedling and growing stage till flowering it needs huge water. However during the ripening season excess water delays the development of grain and hampers ripening.
A few common Aman rice are Nazir Shail, Loti Shail, Raja Shail, Balam, Binni, Kataribhog, Digha, Kartik Shail, Birui, Kali Jira, Nuinnya, Chinigura, Beti Balam, Horkhuch, Britichikon, Tilok Kajol, Chengai Dhan, Sal Kele, Bet, Bilbadai, Modhusail, Lalmota, Sadamota, Rajushail, Patnai, Nonashail, Jhingashail, Indrashail, Kataribhog, Tulsimala and Kalijira.etc. Varieties like Jotabalam, Ashfall, ghunshi and Benapol are salinity tolerant.
According to land-water availability and climatic seasons Aman rice can be grouped into three which are Sali, Asra and Bao (Ngachan et al. 2011).
Sali usually grow in flood free terraced land and temporary flooded plains like Baid and Bandha; traditionally transplanted during the Wet Monsoon July to August. The essential rainwater is usually managed by Ails or raised boundaries through opening and closing channels or Nala. With the recession of rainfall, grams and pulses are often sown as mixed crops in most of the rice fields. Black gram (Mash Kolai) and Mung bean (Mug Kolai) are in the flood free and raised terraced land and Lathyrus (Kheshari) in the temporary floodplains. The rice used to harvest in late Post Wet Monsoon November and December.
Asra is shallow water rice usually grows in 1-2 M deep water, traditional sowing season Pre wet monsoon March-April and harvesting in Post wet monsoon November-December. For transplanted one: early Wet monsoon to Post wet monsoon.
Bao is deep water of floating rice grows in 2-5 M deep water traditional sowing season Pre wet monsoon March-April and harvesting in Post wet monsoon November-December. For transplanted one: early Wet monsoon to Post wet monsoon.

Boro: cropping period starts in Dry monsoon and harvest in Pre-wet monsoon. The boro rice is commonly known as winter rice. The term boro is Bengali originated from the Sanskrit word “Borob”. Boro has traditionally been cultivated in the river basins, deltas, chaurs or saucer shaped depressions, where water accumulates during the monsoons but cannot be drained, thus providing ideal settings for boro rice cultivation during the winter season. Rainfed swampy ecologies occur in depressed land conditions where the soil remains either submerged or saturated for a substantial period of the year. These areas are generally saucer-shaped and have various levels of soil saturation or submergence – the central low-lying zone generally remaining saturated or submerged throughout the year while the periphery shows gradual moisture depletion after the monsoon finishes, making it ready for rice transplanting in December or January. Being very low-lying, swampy ecologies are chronically flood-prone during the monsoon, rendering them unusable for crop cultivation from June to November (Pathak et al. 1999).
Although, boro rice cultivation has been an old practice in deep water areas, it is only recently that it has emerged as a major breakthrough in enhancing rice productivity, not only in traditional, but also in non-traditional boro rice areas with assured irrigation and modern inputs. The credit primarily goes to the farmers’ own initiatives in adopting its cultivation in a big way. With the increased availability of irrigation facilities, boro rice technology has also moved to non-traditional flood-free irrigated areas (Singh and Singh 2000). Traditional Boro rice is adapted with low temperature and low humidity. Boro rices are photoperiod insensitive and are adapted to mild winter conditions (Zaman, 1980) and cold adaptive (Choudhury et al 2013). They are similar to transplanted Aman both in their method of cultivation and crop habit. The boro crop is sown in October -November, transplanted around December-January and harvested in the spring. Traditionally, they have only been grown on land which retains sufficient water throughout the rabi season to support crop growth. However, with improved irrigation, these high yielding varieties are increasingly being adopted by Bangladeshi farmers (Parsons et al. 1999).
Few examples of local Boro rice are: Tepi boro, Jagli Boro, Kili Boro, Nayon moni, Tere bale, Bere ratna, Ashan boro, Kajol lata, Koijore, Kali boro, Bapoy, Latai balam, Choite boro, and Sylhety boro etc .

Jhumia or Jhum rice is also called Hill Rice: Cropping period: Sowing in Pre-wet monsoon April and May and harvested in Post wet monsoon September to November. They are grown on sloppy hills mixed with other crops after slash and burn method also known as shifting cultivation. There are thousands of Jhumia landraces in Northeast India. More than 300 local Jhum rice landraces have been collected from various locations in Chittagong Hill Tracts and conserved in Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) Genebank (Source: BRRI Genebank accession book). Jhumia rice is also cultivated on the hills of Moulvibazar and Sylhet districts but very scant information is available on genetic divergence there. This collection is an invaluable genetic resource that can be used for varietal improvement (Islam et al 2017). Both red and white sticky (glutinous) and non-sticky (non glutinous) rice are grown in Bangladesh. Jhumia rice is adapted with high humidity and they cannot tolerate standing water at any phases of their life. Jhumia show adaptations to a wide range of ecological conditions including low levels of soil moisture in areas at high altitudes reaching over 3000 m above sea level (Choudhury et al 2013). They are mostly grown on the uplands covered extensively by Ultisols characterized by acidic reaction and the dominance of variable charge clays (Kyuma 2009). Jhumia rice usually cultivated with 30-40 other alley crops viz. maize, sesame, chilli, basils, arums, ginger, gourds, cucumbers, pumpkin, melons, string bean, Marpha, cotton and banana etc. which are traditionally grown by the local people. This multiple cropping systems provides the opportunity for livelihoods of other animals like wild fowls, pigs, wildboar, Monitor lizards, deer, wild dogs, porcupines, snakes, monkeys, jackals, hares, frogs and mongoose etc.
Some examples of locally cultivated Jhumia rice are: Kamarang, Koborok, Helong, Guri chinel, Bandar Bini, Horba Bini, Horin binni, Gellong, Lonka Pora, Uttose, Laxmi binni, Dop Chodai, Guri, Tarkee, Angu, Marry, Pattiya, Modhumaloti, Mon ange, Ame dhan, Badheia, Longur dhan, Biralbinni, Binni, Sonamukhi, Meli and Jhummalati etc.

Adaptability and Sustainability of Rice
Rice has the wide adaptation ability under different agroecological niches of Bangladesh. It can be cultivated on the slope of the hill, plain lands, floodplains, semi-dry to very deep flooded areas. Widely adapted with different climatic seasons; can be cultivated throughout the year. Rice is the best-adapted cereal crop in the lowland soil in the wet season. No other crops have this ability to cope with the situation. When the vast areas of our country go under flood water for considerable time in the wet season, or when intermittent flash flood affects majority of the lowlands, or when tide water rises up and falls down twice a day, rice is the only crop option to be suited in those conditions. Thus rice enables to bring these vast areas under cultivation in unfavorable conditions (Nasim et al. 2017).
An extremely high density of human population in Monsoon Asia has been supported by paddy rice cultivation developed on exceptionally extensive lowlands that have resulted from erosions of uplifting Himalayas and erupting volcanoes under heavy monsoon rains. A native grass, Oryza Sativa, has many outstanding merits when cultivated in submerged soil, thus making paddy rice/soil system highly productive and, at the same time, highly sustainable. High productivity and high sustainability are the outstanding merits of rice cultivation, while upland cultivation in Monsoon Asia for dry footed crops has been handicapped by low soil fertility and high susceptibility to soil erosion. In the future, rice would remain as the most important crop in Monsoon Asia and further intensification of rice cultivation should be attained. To nourish the region’s increasing population, upland cultivation must also be intensified with adequate measures for soil amendment and conservation (Kyuma, 2009).
Traditionally in Bangladesh, Jhum or shifting cultivators had been paying careful attention to soil resilience by practicing short cultivation following long fallow system with minimum of disturbance to the surface soil to avoid soil erosion and to help facilitate forest regeneration thus Jhum cultivation as a means of slopeland utilization has traditionally been quite sustainable.
According to variation of climatic seasons and topography there evolved different kinds of rice with many characters and specialties. Aromatic, non-aromatic, glutinous and non-glutinous, coarse and fine grain, long medium and short grain rice with varied colors: brown, white, red and black etc.
Perhaps rice is the most sustainable food crop in the world in providing energy and nutrition, has versatile food preparations, preservation and regeneration opportunities. Comparing to vegetable crops, other grain crops, tuber and root crops and even fruit crops rice is cheaper and handy.
Rice is considered to be an auspicious symbol of life and fertility. Starch is the most important source of carbohydrates in the human diet and accounts for more than 50% of our carbohydrate intake. It occurs in plants in the form of granules, and these are particularly abundant in cereal grains and tubers, where they serve as a storage form of carbohydrates. We often think of potatoes as a “starchy” food, yet other plants contain a much greater percentage of starch (potatoes 15%, wheat 55%, corn 65%, and rice 75%). Commercial starch is a white powder (LibreTexts 2019). Although potatoes are cheaper than rice but it is one-fifth efficient to rice therefore costlier than rice.
Boiled and cooked rice, viz. Bhat, Polao, Biriani, Khichuri, fried and puffed rice: Chira, Muri, Khoi and Moa, fermented Bini Bhat, wine, bear and vinegar, rice bran oil, soup and many kinds of cakes and preparations with fruits, sugar, milk, chili and spices e.g. Pitah, Payesh, Kheer, Semai, banana leaf Puli, and bamboo Pitahs, different seasonal Pitah preparations like Taler (Palmyra palm) Pitah in Vadra, Vapa Pitah in Poush, Kolar (Banana) Pitah in Magh, Katal (Jackfruit) Pitah in Jaista and Ashar and coconut pitah throughout the year. Cooked rice is usually consumed with diverse recipes prepared with meat, fishes, prawns and vegetables and fruits as curries, Vorta and salads etc.

Residue management and biomass recycling
Residue management practices affect soil physical properties such as soil moisture content, temperature, aggregate formation, bulk density, soil porosity and hydraulic conductivity. Increasing amounts of rice residues on the soil surface reduce evaporation rates and increased duration of first-stage drying. Thus, residue-covered soils tend to have greater soil moisture content than bare soil except after extended drought (Mandal, et al. 2004). The straws are very good fodder for cattle used both green and dry conditions. Straws contain cellulose lignin and many minerals which decompose in the field or recycled via cattle through enzymatic and microbial process enriching food chain adding value with protein, fat and minerals. The cellulose is the carbohydrate like starch with similar basic unit glucose. Therefore both rice and straw are contributing in energy conversion and nutrient supply chain and in biogeochemical cycle more efficiently than any other crop.
Usually the yield of the vegetable crops is high and consumed whole plant parts; thus all nutrients are ingested by human, very little portions are recycled through involvement of other animals. As a result, short-cycled recycling of the human faeces or excreta is not easy especially from the quickly growing urban areas. Therefore, the nutrients are not getting back to their sources of origin and the soil nutrition status is declining sharply mainly from the vegetable fields. Practically in the urban and peri-urban areas, the huge faeces are remained unutilized years together in the septic tanks; the black water overflows to the rivers or wet-bodies through sewerage system. Unfortunately, most of the wet bodies are deadly polluted with the chemicals, oils and other pollutants discharged from the industries, transports, hospitals and tanneries etc. As a result, the productivity of fishes and other aquatics is also very poor from those wet bodies. On the other hand, urban green garbage is rarely recycled rather dumps for landfill. Other than the faeces, according to Waste Concern (2006), average per capita urban waste generation rate is estimated as 0.41 kg/capita/day of which food and vegetable comprises 67.65% i.e. about 0.28 kg/capita/day and for present urban 40% of the total population of the country producing 20,160 tons green waste everyday by the urban people of which a very negligible quantity is recycled. Thus the soil fertility status of the country has been declining very sharply and the farmers are becoming increasingly dependent on chemical fertilizers. Therefore rice-based home centered farming system for short cycled biomass recycling is utmost essential. The diversified landraces of rice have the ability to supply the necessary energy and nutrients to human and other animals associated in the cropping circle in this region.

Since rice is the most adaptive crop grown in versatile conditions like hill slopes, flatlands, floodplains, wetlands in varied weather conditions especially of monsoon regions, tropical and equatorial zones of the world providing food and nutrients to almost half of the population of the earth it should be remembered that if there is no rice to eat, the whole civilization will collapse. It must be investigated whether the flourishing Indus Valley civilization collapsed as a result of adverse climate change. Climate is of crucial importance in rice production. A change in the climate regime can cause to end a civilization. Therefore, extensive climatic research in the country with emphasis on agro-climatology (Choudhury 2011) is urgently needed. To save the biodiversity and for regaining of the soil health by enriching the soil micro and macroflora and nutrient recycling the diverse landraces of rice are essential. Large variation of its color, smell, grain-size, texture and chemical composition etc. indicate the richness of its sustainability.

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Climatic Manipulation in Agriculture- A Thousands-Year-Old Practice in Bangladesh: Mohammed Ataur Rahman

Climatic Manipulation in Agriculture- A Thousands-Year-Old Practice in Bangladesh: Mohammed Ataur Rahman
Professor, International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT), Uttara, Dhaka Email:, Mobile: +8801820425191

Climatic manipulation is thousands year old practice in Bengal Basin. Climatic manipulation means alteration, changing, or adjustment of climatic factors to provide an appropriate environment for growth and production of crops according to their adaptation.
Nowadays for improvement of crops, selection, hybridization, and introduction of new varieties or species are followed but the most important way, the climatic manipulations are not well discussed or understood in the present day’s so-called modern industrial agriculture although climatic manipulation has been following here for thousands of years.
Climatic factors influencing the growth and production of crops are light, temperature, precipitation mainly rainfall, humidity, and wind. As the crops are adapted with these factors in different climatic zones of the earth, the genetic properties are also influenced by them.
Human are the best observer, selector, and manipulator and domesticated wild plants into crops. During the advancement of the time period, humans learned adaptation behavior. Traditionally crops have been improved with long-run trial and error method respecting the environment and thus improved production and quality obeying the huge variation within and among the species, the biodiversity, till the beginning of industrial agriculture. Before industrial agriculture, crop election and climatic manipulation are the methods followed by the farmers. The introduction of different crops to other regions was mainly respecting the environment: soil and climate and climatic manipulation was only the tool to grow crops to provide the required environment according to their climatic adaptation especially of the respective centers of origin.
Climatic manipulation in agriculture is older than that of the origin of the Caste System in Bengal. The working-class ‘Shudra’ has 37 subclasses according to their work responsibility. Among the 37 subclasses, three belongs to Betel leaf production, processing, and service-related activities and they are Barui, Tambul, and Chaurasia. The Barui are the working class for betel leaf production in the Paan boraj. The Paan boraj is the classic example of manipulation of climatic factors for the production of Paan or betel leaf, a Tropical rainforest flora.
For Paan, a unique climatic manipulation is done to give an optimum condition for luxuriant growth throughout the year. Paan boraj or betel vine house is usually having a thatched roof for protection from the sun, heavy rainfall and hails; fence around the Boraj for protection of winds and storms, humidity control and also from predators; nice drainage system for the drainage of water and supports to climb the vines up to the roof. Besides these, unique cultural practices for propagation, upkeeping and maintenance and harvesting are followed. Traditionally women are not allowed to enter in the Paan boraj as they carry diseases that destroy the boraj. Although early people did not know the scientific reasons for damage of the boraj due to women’s engagement. But present science has investigated that the women carry harmful Monilia fungus that destroys the Paan boraj.
Cultivation of Amon rice in the uplands, and Boro in the littoral zones of Beels, haors, and Baors are also important examples of early day’s traditional climatic manipulations. Boro, a cold-tolerant and water-loving day-neutral rice usually grown in the drying-up edges or littoral zones of wetlands in the dry monsoon season. Climatic manipulation usually is done through pre-wet seed soaking, germination bed preparation, and frequent watering the plants traditionally by Dhoon and Ora, etc., and nowadays by motorized pumps.
Rupa or transplanted Aman usually the Shaili rice is another good example of climatic manipulation. Basically, Amans are broadcasted short-day plants needs a longer period: Pre-monsoon, Wet monsoon, and Post wet monsoon. By adapting climatic manipulation, cropping pattern of Aman has been changed to transplanted ones a long time back and shortened the cropping period early Wet monsoon to Post wet monsoon also extending Aman in the gradated flood-free uplands by terracing to facilitate holding and releasing water making Ails or boundaries to maintain dry and wet phases as required by the rice, especially, Shaili and Asra types. Presoaking wetting, seedbed (Jalapat) and land preparation for transplantation and water management, etc. are also manipulated by the farmers traditionally, as required by the crops.
Traditional mound agriculture is another unique example of climatic manipulation. In every homestead of the Bengal basin there was raised mounds (Mada) in the open corners of the homes. The mounds used to prepare annually collecting dry clods from the clayey loam Khetlands. The mounds were coated with fresh cow-dung and rice husk or chitas. The dome-shaped mounds usually of 1.0 to 1.5 meter high and at the flat top seeds of different vine or creeper crops viz. country bean, cucumber, Snake gourd, Ash gourd, Sweet gourd, pumpkin and bottle gourds, etc. were planted and allowed them to climb on trailers or to the rooftops of the thatch houses. The mounds with inter-clod airspaces used to protect the plants from waterlogging breaking the capillaries from the upward movement of water and thus saved the plants from stagnancy. This mound agriculture used to provide the opportunity to recycle the greywater to homestead crops and also the nutrients, especially from fish and meat washed water and dish cleanings.

Greenhouse agriculture through climatic manipulation in the developed world has now become a common practice both in Temperate and Tropical zones. Many crops are produced in the greenhouses in temperate counties within artificial structures maintaining proper light, temperature, humidity, and water; supplying required nutrients to the plants although in natural prevailing weather conditions it is quite impossible. Thus, manipulating climatic factors, many high input-based commercial farming is in practice. Even in the arid dry region, many crops are being grown in the greenhouses.
Therefore, climatic manipulation is a noble way to improve crop production without damaging the biodiversity and ecosystem. It is urged that the scientists and researchers should be more conscious about the importance of different species and varieties; should not destroy the biodiversity by forced hybridization or genetic engineering for crop improvement. Let nature run with its own speed with all its diverse heritage. We must not do any harm to nature which we cannot repair. We have already lost about ten thousand varieties or landraces of rice in the last fifty years to fulfill human greed and curiosity. Will we get them back?
Different varieties have different tastes, smells, and nutrients of course. We can get the energy and the nutrients from different varieties and kinds of plants or crops. We must not neglect the low yielding Jats as we do not know what hidden or unknown benefits they provide, maybe immunity for survival. During induced or forced hybridization plants lose their immunity, characters and thus become unable to uptake the necessary nutrients which ultimately affects human health. Therefore, do not destroy the genetic characters which developed through climatic adaptation for thousands of years. Let us understand the science behind the traditional agriculture of the great Bengal basin and improve it saving biodiversity and ecosystems. Let us come out of the hybrid and chemical input-based irrigation dependent agriculture; strengthen our immunity by nutrient-rich crop production and save our biodiversity.

Was a conspiracy to destroy Tambul or Paan culture: Mohammed Ataur Rahman

Tambul or Paan chewing is a very ancient custom of Indian tradition; it is older than the origin of the caste system in India. Among 37 Subclasses of Shudra, according to their work responsibility, three belongs to betel vine production, processing and serving related activities and they are Barui, Tambul and Chawrasia. In a larger sense, though it looks like one of our cultural rituals with an incredible health benefit. The traditional pan is made with betel leaves, areca nut, Khoir, and slaked lime. Other spices like clove, cardamom, mace and zinger etc. are also added to make more attractive flavorful and tasty.
According to Ayurveda, the betel leaves regulate the body while Khoir and Areca nut control Kapha and Pitta respectively; hence, managing all the tridoshas of the prakriti and keeping the body healthy. In balance, pitta promotes understanding and intelligence. Kapha is the energy that forms the body’s structure — bones, muscles, tendons — and provides the “glue” that holds the cells together. In ancient time, at night, the wife prepares special Tambula for the husband. It brings pleasant sensations in sense organs and strengthens them. It enhances sexual capacity even in old age.
Paan is ceremonious; eaten on formal, as well as, informal occasions in our everyday life. It is the symbol for love and sex. According to National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) of India, it contains essential nutrients such as iodine, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and nicotinic acid. Besides these nutrients, betel leaves contain essential oils and chemical components such as betel oil and chavicol, betel-phenol, eugenol, terpene and campene. These chemical components possess medicinal properties and help in the treatment and management of various diseases and disorders.
As an anti-diabetic agent, betel leaf lowers high cholesterol levels as it is a reservoir of phenolic compounds that possess antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, anti-proliferative and anti-bacterial properties. Studies have revealed the chemo-preventive potential of betel leaves against various types of cancer. Furthermore, betel leaves contain an array of phytochemicals that possess cancer-fighting benefits. Betel leaves are an excellent source of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and fight oxidative stress. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells and its spread to different organs of the body.

Moreover, the antioxidants of betel leaf act as a protective agent in wound healing by increasing the wound contraction rate and total protein content. Anti-asthmatic Agent Research has revealed that besides anti-depressant drugs, chewing betel leaves have been used since ancient times for its central nervous system (CNS) stimulant activity. It was further found that chewing betel leaves produces a sense of well-being, a feeling of happiness and heightened alertness. Furthermore, betel leaves contain aromatic phenolic compounds that stimulate the release of catecholamines. A strong link is present between low level of catecholamines in the body and increased risk of depression. Therefore, chewing betel leaves is an easy way to keep depression at bay and it improves oral health.

Areca nut or Supari is used for the treatment of a mental disorder called schizophrenia and an eye disorder called glaucoma; as a mild stimulant; and as a digestive aid. Some people use areca as a recreational drug because it speeds up the central nervous system (CNS)
Apart from its value as a masticatory agent, areca nut has considerable uses in medicine as well. Actually, it enters as a pharmaceutical drug in Indian and British pharmacopoeias. Paan chewing with betel nut is popularly believed to prevent tooth decay. Betel nut is considered a digestive agent and a diuretic, a strengthener of the heart, and a regulator of menstrual flow. It is used in overcoming swelling eyes, mental confusion, chronic urinary distress and pus formations. It also cures cancer.

Khoir (heartwood of Acacia catechu) is used in detoxifying the accumulated toxins in the body and works against cough, diarrhoea, skin eruptions, leucoderma and wounds. It is also good for treating diabetes, anaemia and intermittent fever.
Another ingredient, Slaked Lime or Chuna has many advantages which are seen in Ayurveda. Lime is a big and best source of calcium carbonate beneficial for bone diseases such as arthritis, joint pain, backache or tooth ache. Small amount of lime which is used with paan is beneficial.

Regarding cultivation, paan boraj is the most sophisticated cultural practice, the pioneer of modern greenhouse agriculture. In ancient, climatic manipulation practice in paan boraj followed by controlling all the climatic factors viz. light, temperature, rainfall, wind and humidity. Moreover, many unique practices are followed for propagation, upkeeping, maintenance and harvesting. Traditionally, women are not allowed to enter into the boraj as they carry diseases that destroy the boraj although early people did not know the scientific reason behind it. The whole cultivation practice was organic; oilcake and decomposed mulches are the sources of nutrients; with these, a boraj remained productive around twenty years.
Betal nut a unique plant used to cultivate in the coastal zone, plainlands and also even on the hills with high water-tables. They are unique windbreaks withstand against tornadoes and cyclones and are highly beneficial in climate change situation.

However, western industrial business technology had purposely destroyed our high technique and health beneficial famous traditional Tambul or Paan culture to introduce tobacco and beverages. Targeting the highly populated South Asia, a big market, they very cleverly did this during the colonial period. Due to religious sentiment they initially failed to market the tobacco and beverages: wine and beer. Then they spread them to the tribal populations and also targeted the lower classes. To get success and create wider market, they started to defame the Tambul culture by adding tobacco (Jarda) with Paan and thus gradually people became addicted with tobacco. Later on, our western-trained medical doctors began to blame Paan as carcinogenic and bad for health. Thus, affected the rich Tambul culture and become successful to market industrial beverages viz. wine, beer, tea, coffee, coke and lemonade etc. under the names of hard and soft drinks. etc. and tobacco (cigarettes) which are taking lives of hundreds of thousand every year.
Tobacco was first brought to India by Portuguese merchants 400 years ago. The trade boomed and tobacco quickly established itself as the most important commodity passing through Goa in the 17th century. Virtually every household in the Portuguese colony took up the new fashion of smoking or chewing tobacco. Later on, the British introduced modern commercially-produced cigarettes.
European-style beer was introduced in India by the British. By 1716, Pale ale and Burton ale were being imported to India from England. To protect the beer from spoiling during the long journey, it had to have high alcohol content and hops were added to it. This led to the invention of India Pale ale in about 1787 by Bow Brewery. In 1830, Edward Abraham Dyer set up India’s first brewery in Kasauli. It produced the beer brand Lion, which is still available. In 1835, the Kasauli brewery was shifted to Solan near Shimla. In 1885, it was incorporated as Dyer Breweries. Later, more breweries were built across India, Burma and Sri Lanka. In 1892, 4,831,127 gallons of beer was produced in India. Out of this, 2,748,365 gallons were purchased by commissarial and rest was left for consumption by the civilian population.
In 1689 Ovington records that tea was taken by the banias in Surat without sugar, or mixed with a small quantity of conserved lemons, and that tea with some spices added was used against headache, gravel and gripe. The tea leaves for such use may have come from China.
While experimenting to introduce tea in India, British colonists noticed that tea plants also grew in Assam, and these, when planted in India, responded very well. The same plants had long been cultivated by the Singphos tribe of Assam, and chests of tea supplied by the tribal ruler Ningroola.
In the early 1820s, the British East India Company began large-scale production of tea in Assam, of a tea variety traditionally brewed by the Singpho people. In 1826, the British East India Company took over the region from the Ahom kings through the Yandaboo Treaty. In 1837, the first English tea garden was established at Chabua in Upper Assam; in 1840, the Assam Tea Company began the commercial production of tea in the region. Beginning in the 1850s, the tea industry rapidly expanded, consuming vast tracts of land for tea plantations. By the turn of the century, Assam became the leading tea-producing region in the world.
From the first, Indian-grown tea proved extremely popular in Britain, both for its greater strength, and as a patriotic product of the empire. Tea had been a high-status drink when first introduced, but had steadily fallen in price and increased in popularity among the working class. The ‘Temperance movement’ massively promoted tea-drinking, from the early 19th century on, Tea was the dominant drink for all classes during the Victorian era, working-class families often doing without other foods in order to afford it. However, they influenced Indians to drink teas to extend their business using different business promotion techniques including propaganda of chewing paan as harmful.

The Coca-Cola Company started operating in India in 1950 and Pakistan in 1953 but expanded their business everywhere and extracting billions of dollars from South Asian countries using their business propaganda.

Therefore, we should look behind our age-old sustainable traditional Tambul or Paan culture, study its properties: health benefits and immunity and reject the unhealthy introduced cultures. The so-called introduced refreshers tobacco and hard and soft beverages which are affecting everyday life damaging immune system of millions of people of South Asia. We must remember that our agriculture is thousands of years old but western industrial agriculture is only two hundred years, then how they are dominating over our culture. We are losing our crops, our traditions, our cultural practices in the name of development, food and nutrient security and we are trapped under technology business. We must come out from the traps of these technology business and develop our traditional cultures and practices. We should discover the ‘science behind the traditions’ to make the region rich and more sustainable.

Population and Biomass Recycling: Mohammed Ataur Rahman

According to Population Stat, the present population of Dhaka city is 20,951,446. Considering 5 to 6 million rural-urban migrants, the urban city population stands about 15 million. The annual mortality rate in Bangladesh is 5.4 per thousand and 81,000 people die in a year. Taking an average body weight 30 kg the total biomass stands at 2,430,000 kg i.e. 2,330 tons which is burying every year in the graveyards. This body-mass is generated by up-taking nutrients from the soil, water, and air through plants, animals and microbes and the ultimate media is soil. This huge biomass needs recycling to the place of origin instead of mere burying in the graveyard years together. To ensure soil health we must recycle the corpses after decomposition.

World Environment Day- A promise for Ecosystem Restoration: Mohammed Ataur Rahman

World population is now 7.79 billion which was about one billion only two hundred years back; the human population increased but biodiversity and ecosystems are damaged. Many animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes, insects; soil and water micro and macro flora, and fauna which used to balance the food chain and food web, are extinct now. Germs used to kill the germs, the great nature’s ecosystems use to run in a balanced way with a relation “enemies and friends” as food and feed. Moreover, industrial agriculture especially monoculture with preferred crops and domestics; hybrids, GMOs, excessive uses of chemical pesticides and fertilizers; extension of agriculture and industrial urbanization and unplanned road transportation and infrastructure, etc. have destroyed the forests and wetlands and changed the landscapes. These are all together have made a mess: the global environmental change, global warming, environmental pollution and are ultimately affecting human health and ecosystems where to live. Therefore, today’s World Environment Day, we must promise to restore the ecosystems for the smooth running of the earth systems.

To achieve SDG 2, biomass and nutrient recycling must be ensured: Mohammed Ataur Rahman

The human body contains as many as 61 chemical elements out of 94 naturally occurring known elements although little known about the remaining 33 elements. However, all these chemicals are needed for normal growth and development of the human body.
Most of the elements needed for life are relatively common in the earth’s crust. Human being used to get these elements from the soil, water, and air through plants, animals, and microbes and the ultimate media is soil. Unfortunately, conventional industrial agriculture still remains within the circle of 23 macro and micronutrients. However, in Bangladesh context the situation is very hopeless, the farmers use only the macro elements like nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, and some microelement viz zinc, manganese, boron, and molybdenum as suggested by the field officers or fertilizer companies. They seldom think for other nutrients which can be obtained from recycling biomass of plants animals including human being. This resulted in an acute nutrient crisis in the human body. As a result, malnutrition and diseases like diabetes, liver and kidney diseases, stroke, cancer, pregnancy disorder, early aging, and sexual disabilities, etc. are becoming more common although nowadays people are consuming more vegetables and proteins. This is, of course, due to insufficient, imbalanced and nutrient-poor diet. But we can get the nutrients from recycling biomass including plants, animals, and human beings.
Millions of tons of green garbage is being dumped for landfilling every year, which could supplement the need for other nutrients to satisfy the nutrient demands for optimum growth of the plants and animals. Moreover, human litter remains in the septic tank years together, sometimes overflows to the sewerage and drains into the rivers or lakes most of which get contaminated with industrial effluents although these human litters are great sources of nutrients. To achieve the target SDG 2 biomass recycling is an important criterion for Sustainable Agriculture; without ensuring it we will not be able to achieve SDG 2 within the target period. The government should immediately look into this. Every year the farmers are using huge chemical fertilizers as per recommendation for each crop but where these chemicals go? Certainly, uptake by the plants, adsorb by the soil-minerals and some may leach to the water. Leaching into the water gets worsen during flood and waterlogging situations. Since huge biomass drains to water bodies like rivers, canals, beels, and haors, etc., these must-have to be pollution-free to get the benefits from the aquatic resources viz. fishes, mollusks, crabs and prawns and of course planktons.
Therefore, to get the required nutrients, there are no alternatives other than biomass recycling, and nature is designed for it. We must think deeply and refrain from greediness and so-called technology business for earning money exploiting others.


Mohammed Ataur Rahman, PhD
Centre for Global Environmental Culture (CGEC)
IUBAT—International University of Business Agriculture and Technology
4 Embankment Drive Road, Sector No. 10, Uttara Model Town, Dhaka-1230, Bangladesh
E-mail: Website:
Presented in the International Conference on Solid Waste Management Waste Safe-2009 held on November 9-10, 2009, KUET, Khulna, Bangladesh Website:

Solid wastes are important components for recycling biomass to return the nutrients to their origin. Traditionally, the people of the Ganges and the Brahmaputra basins have been recycling solid wastes for centuries. The practices which are followed here have scientific merit but in most of the cases, the people are ignorant about those facts. The present study was conducted in 90 rural homes of Ishwarganj and Nandail Upazillas under the district of Mymensingh. The objectives of the work were to find out the scientific explanations of the recycling practices. The study showed that the traditional procedures which are being applied on trial-and-error basis got the effective result of supplementing organic materials to the soil. Although these effective practices have been used generation after generation, in-depth studies were not carried out. This study has uncovered the scientific reasons behind many of the traditional practices of solid waste management. Chemical analyses revealed that most of the macro-nutrients, namely potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen, calcium, sulphur, magnesium, iron and total organic matter contents were not depleted; rather, the total organic matter contents increased significantly after the recycling. This kind of rural home-based and short-cycled solid waste management ensures zero depletion of organic soil content.

Civilization began when nomads first took shelter in permanent homes and started cultivating the earth. Home became their centre of all activities. They used to collect their livelihoods from the surroundings, learnt to process and store them for their use in their homes. During the processing and utilization, the un-utilized remaining called the ‘wastes’ were left, thrown away or stored for degradation and recycling.
From the experience, people acquired knowledge for easy and safe recycling methods for better utilization of wastes in favor of natural environment. Home is a microenvironment and fulfils an ecosystem.
Traditionally, the inhabitants of the Ganges and Brahmaputra Plains were more conscious about hygiene, natural resources and agricultural practices and they were used to practice simple methods in their homesteads knowingly on unknowingly, which are really important and scientifically rich even during this advanced technological era.
However, with the advancement of mechanization and industrialization and the influences of western culture, many of the traditional cultural practices have lost their importance and are not in use by the common people. Therefore, it is essential to collect the age-old practices used by the common people for waste management and biomass recycling. These should be studied to investigate their scientific merit and re-establish their positive roles in the present complicated situation aroused by the modern cultures, especially, by the chemicals and shortcut cultures. With this aim, Centre for Global Environmental Culture (CGEC) of IUBAT—International University of Business Agriculture and Technology along with Homestead Cropping and Ecoagriculture Research Center for Sustainable Rural Development
(HCERCSRD) conducted the present study in a few villages of Mymensingh in the Brahmaputra Basin.

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‘Grow Sack Plants’ is a Noble Cultivation Practice in Climate Change Situation

‘Grow Sack Plants’ is a Noble Cultivation Practice in Climate Change Situation
Mohammed Ataur Rahman and Anil Chandra Basak
Professors, College of Agricultural Sciences
IUBAT—International University of Business Agriculture and Technology
Uttara Model Town
Dhaka-1230, Bangladesh


Densely populated and agriculture-dependent Bangladesh has been facing serious climate change disasters like flood, water-logging and droughts etc., every year in the recent decades. As a result, the agriculture, especially the food production has been badly affected. Considering the increasing frequencies of climate change disasters this study was conducted to find out sustainable coping up methods, especially for vegetables, spices and fruit crop production. This project established a Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) for the national interest especially for the areas with adverse environmental condition as well as urban and peri-urban areas. A pilot project was developed in IUBAT campus. Different types of sacks: Hessian bags, jute, polythene; earthen and plastic pots and containers were used. For hanging sack plants, bamboo, wooden and polyvinyl posts and racks were erected. Crops were selected according to their growing habitat and season. Selected species were: tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), Yard long bean (Vigna unguiculata L.), chili ( Capsicum annuum L.), Eggplant (Solanum melongena L.), Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L. ) mint (Mentha piperita L.), Country bean (Lablab purpureous L.), Lady’s finger (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench), spinach (Basella alba L.) and Sweet and Lemon basil (Ocimum basilicum L.). Soil and compost were collected and sacks were filled under recommended proportion. Soil and plant parts analysis were done to ensure maximum production and to maintain optimum soil nutrient status. Greywater was used as per requirement. Organic pest control methods were applied against pests and diseases. Routine observation and management were done for recording data. Students of the College of Agricultural Sciences of IUBAT were engaged to complete their practicum for graduation. A luxuriant growth was observed and yield was similar to conventional cultivation practice of all the crops. This cultivation practice is organic and environment-friendly, ensures biomass and greywater recycling. Undergraduate students also built up their capacity through this project. The findings of the project provide fresh and green edible plants/crops to prevent malnutrition and to supplement food and nutrient security. This practice will build up capacity in the family level and thus ensures human resource development. It will promote international and regional collaboration with scientific and civil societies, as well.

Keywords: Grow sack plants, Climate Smart Agriculture, Greywater, Cow-dung slurry
Published in the IUT Journal of Advance Research and Development, Tripura, India, Volume-4, No. 2 October 2018 – March 2019 ISSN: 2455-7846
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EfS Handbook of Education for Sustainability

EfS Handbook of Education for Sustainability
Professor Dr Mohammed Ataur Rahman
Professor Dr M Alimullah Miyan
Professor H Eric Frank

Centre for Global Environmental Culture (CGEC)
IUBAT—International University of Business Agriculture and Technology
4 Embankment Drive Road, Sector No 10, Uttara Model Town, Dhaka-1230, Bangladesh
March 2009

Present Earth and Need for Sustainability

As the human activities are progressing, competitions for exploitation are accelerating for economic growth but aggravating the imbalances of natural resources which in turn degrading the normal habitat of lives and the planet earth is at great risk. Under these circumstances, control of such imbalances to conserve the nature faces urgent tasks: the improvement of the quality of the environment, which is necessary for man’s very survival and as the source of all his material benefits; as far as possible, to completely reproduce organic and inorganic natural resources; to control natural processes for the steady and sustainable progress of social production and for comprehensive development and to safeguard peace on earth.

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Importance of Landscape Management in Bangladesh

Importance of Landscape Management in Bangladesh
Sowmen Rahman1, Selina Nargis2 and Mohammed Ataur Rahman3*
1 Department of Environmental Planning, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand Email:
2 Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, IUBAT Dhaka Bangladesh Email:
3 Professor, Department of Environmental Science, IUBAT Dhaka, Bangladesh Email: * Corresponding Author

Published in Proceedings of the 13th International Knowledge Globalization Conference: Theme: Sustainable Development Goals – Success and Challenges: 23-25 February 2018, IUBAT, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Landscape management is an essential component 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 element of disaster risk reduction. Landscapes provide safety against adverse conditions like cyclones, storms, droughts and floods etc. Undulated surface keeps the natural systems moving and provides increased surface area. Nature has its own laws and change is universal; still human often governs the natural systems and their biased activities accelerated the changes including landscape. With rapid industrialization, unplanned urbanization and road transportation systems many changes have occurred and most of the natural systems are being disturbed. Moreover, climate change effects have accentuated the disasters like cyclones, tornadoes, tidal surges, floods, droughts and erosion etc. 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 etc. 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 was a nice synchronization for livelihoods and survival. Therefore, to secure the lives and livelihoods it needs to manage natural systems wisely and logically. It is essential to conserve and maintain the characteristic features of a landscape, which is greatly valued on account of its distinctive natural or cultural configuration. This paper reflects the importance of the landscape in environmental sustainability and for a comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policy. It analyzes the related issues ahead to achieve an effective landscape management policy for adoption of appropriate DRR strategy.

Keywords: DRR, green revolution, landscape management, ponds, traditional floodplain management.

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