Bangladesh is located on a huge delta, an area of high population density. The study investigates the situation of commonly used resources in rural Bangladesh, with case studies in two villages in different hydrological situations. In rural Bangladesh, most land is owned privately or by the government, and the common properties are very few. Instead, swamps were open to local communities and anyone has access to it. In addition, open access resources, such as the inland surface water in private land, various 'fallen resources' such as leftover of rice straws and cow dung were available where the private ownership was unaddressed purposely. Such open access resources supported the sustenance for resource poor people. The swamps were gradually privatized, and the construction of infrastructures and change of cropping patterns negatively affected the open access resources, while social plantation activities on the roadside increased the usable resources for resource poor people. Mainstream rural development in Bangladesh has been a training and loan program to generate more individual income, but communal approaches for increasing local resources and mutual help for setting minimum safety net are needed.
Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s):
Yoshino, K., Tokyo University of Agriculture (Japan)