In a new initiative, USAID announced that it will partner with Bangladesh for the USAID Climate-Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods (CREL) program. Under the initiative, USAID will aim to help combat climate change by preserving the already shrinking wetlands and forests of Bangladesh by reducing stress that the populations who live in and around them put on these natural resources.
USAID aims to provide co-management between local communities and government in at least 25 out of the 35 protected habitats. By providing alternate trades “such as weaving, handicrafts and backyards ponds,” the sensitive wetlands and forests will not endure additional stress or deforestation. USAID hopes that this will also create new jobs throughout the region while maintaining development goals for the country for the future.
Although the CREL program is new, USAID has been collaborating with the government of Bangladesh since 1998 in order to encourage preservation of the country’s resources. The co-management strategy put into place for CREL has already proven effective in the past. In this model, communities play a large role in protecting their local environment and also see increased livelihoods from increasing tourism proceeds.
– Christina Kindlon