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Convention on Biological Diversity

Bangladesh is also party to this convention commonly called "CBD". To implement this commitment Bangladesh is making efforts to develop national plans for biodiversity conservation and management, identification and monitoring of biodiversity and establishing a network of protected areas. Bangladesh is also attempting to include biodiversity as essential component in environmental impact assessments.

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)

Bangladesh is a signatory to this trade agreement. GATT puts limits on the manner and justifications member nations may use to limit exports of natural resources. Such restrictions become very crucial for country like Bangladesh that suffers from the scarcity of forest resources.

International Convention to Combat Desertification

This convention is particularly for those countries that experience serious drought and/or desertification like Africa. Bangladesh is a member of this convention and its guidelines apply to some of her northern and western parts that relative to other parts of the country face regular drought.

The UNCED Forest Principles

Bangladesh has accepted these non-binding principles on forest regulation and management that include public participation, respect of indigenous cultures and rights, empowerment of women, comprehensive valuation of forests, sustainable management of natural forests, extending forest cover, conservation of biodiversity, and pre-project environmental assessment.

Agenda 21

Bangladesh is also implementing "Agenda 21", which is a non-binding international statement of goals and principles. It desires countries to take up all activities that are dear to Bangladesh like alleviation of poverty, improved land use, conservation of biodiversity, public participation, empowerment of women, respect of indigenous cultures, working with NGOs, and development of human resources etc.

8.12 Other Institutions Dealing With Forest Resources

Bangladesh has delegated authority to many of its local governments and institutions to plant trees, develop and support forests. For example, at district level, the Paurashava (a generic term for governments at the district level or below) Act, 1977 empowers the local administration to plan, develop and support forest resources and trees. Similar powers have been given at the city level to city corporations like the City Corporations for Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, and Rajshahi. At village level, the Local Government (Union Parishads) Act, 1983 entrusts the Union Parishads (the lowest governmental level at group of villages) with the responsibility to create and develop for various sectors including forests.

Some government development corporations have been entrusted with limited authorities regarding forests. For example, the Agricultural Development Corporation has the authority to undertake afforestation, restrict clearing of land and cutting of trees, developing forests, penalize for destroying trees on Corporation land. Similarly, Bangladesh Water Development Board has the authority to undertake watershed management, salinity control measures, soil conservation measures, prohibit clearing of land, regulate activities such as tree planting on embankments within its jurisdiction.

8.13 Summary

The high incidence of poverty coupled with high population density and other socio-economic conditions make the existing institutional structure of the forest department inefficient in enforcing the legal rules and regulations pertaining to the forests and wildlife. Bangladesh government is attempting to improve the enforceability of the legal provisions through changes in the acts, rules, regulations, and institutional structures of the forest department. However, the main problem lies outside the forestry sector and much will depend on the success of development of local institutions and human resources for conservation of natural resources.

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