Mangrove Training Centre for Community Based Education Courses

Provide the region with a major institution of learning to research the mangrove tree.

By

Bangladesh Environment and Development Society (BEDS)

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Social causes

Beneficiaries

SDGs covered

Endorsed by

Give2Asia

Give2Asia is a U.S.-based organization that connects corporations, foundations, and individuals with charitable projects and social enterprises across Asia.

Market of Implementation

  • Bangladesh

Problem

The Sundarbans is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest single mangrove forest in the world. The forest is home to many rare and endangered flora and fauna, including the estuarine crocodile, the Indian python, and the critically endangered royal Bengal tiger. The entire Sundarbans ecosystem is dependent upon the mangrove tree, which acts as a natural safeguard against cyclones, tidal surges, and sea water intrusion, but the area is increasingly at risk due to climate change and illegal activities such as tree-cutting and agricultural expansion. There is not currently a center dedicated to the study and preservation of this essential ecosystem, and if it is left outside of the educational spotlight it will remain vulnerable to ongoing attrition.

Solution

_mg_0638The creation of the Mangrove Learning Centre will provide the region with a major institution of learning to research the mangrove tree, and will be designed with the help of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. The Mangrove Learning Centre will provide a variety of services to the community and visitors which include:
  • Courses for national and international students, as well as professionals, with learning materials and a research facility for academics to study the ecosystem.  These courses will be jointly taught by BEDS, Khulna University, and the Centre for Integrated Studies on Sundarbans (CISS). BEDS has signed a memorandum of understanding with Khulna University, and it is anticipated that these courses will eventually be counted towards a degree at Khulna University.
  • A museum where visitors  can learn more about the key wildlife and plants in the Sundarbans.  This museum will inform visitors about the 334 species of trees, 165 species of algae, 13 species of orchids, 291 species of fish, and nearly 400 species of wild animals living in the Sundarbans (this includes 35 species of reptile, 315 species of birds, and 42 species of mammals).
department-of-forest-fd-government-of-bangladeshThis project will also create an enormous opportunity for sustainable economic development for the local communities.  Tourism is under-developed in the region, as the local communities are not equipped to engage in tourism services for visitors to the Sundarbans.  The Learning Centre will train members of the local community to offer safe, responsible tours of the Sundarbans, as well as teach the communities how to sustainably harvest certain products from the forest that can be made available to visitors.  This includes collecting wild honey (which can be used to create honey-scented chocolate, soap, sweets, and candles), as well as pickles made from the Keora fruit of the mangrove trees, and mangrove leaves to create baskets, hats, and mats. When completed, the centre aims to preserve the Sundarbans by providing mangrove education to at least 700 teachers, students, professionals, and tourists every year, as well as provide an ecologically-responsible economic boost to the local communities.

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