Arua Wetland Centre
Management and funding
Nature Conservation Management (NACOM) is the pioneer non-government , pro-environment organisation in Bangladesh. Its goal is protection of nature for better human life. Its mandate relates to biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, poverty alleviation and sustainable natural resource management through research, information exchange and conservation activities. NACOM runs the centre in association with local community groups/resource management committee.
NACOM has links with various government agenicies and donors including the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Department of Environment, Canadian Development Agency (CIDA), Kaidern Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF), USAID-Bangladesh etc.
The mission of the centre is to create awareness among local people and policy makers towards sustainable wetland resource management for livelihood improvement.
Centre activities are:
- awareness raising among local people on the need for wetland conservation and wetland importance/roles etc.
- wildlife monitoring, especially dolphins, birds and other natural resources
- strangthening community groups who are the main stakeholders of the wetlands.
- organise fair, competition and plantation of indigenous plant species.
NACOM was founded in 1987 as the Nature Conservation Movement and renamed in 1998 with a broader remit.
The centre opened in 1998 under the Government/UNDP support. Support continued up to December 2005. A local committee has been formed and activated in the area who works under the guidance of the centre for the management of natural resources. There are about 26 groups containing 350 memberships who regularly meet to share and discuss wetland issues and deposit money for livelihood improvement.
The centre contains biodiversity conservation areas, fish sanctuary, wildlife sanctuary, bat colony, seed bank, indigenous plantation, reed plantation, wetland plantation, bio gas plant, improve earthen stoves, nature club, folklore drama performer group. The main habitat is floodplain.
There are many visitors to the area including government and UNDP officials, environmental journalists, university students and environmental activists.
The centre covers three unions of two sub districts. The area covers c. 23 km2 and 39 villages.
Ganges Dolphin, Pallas’ Fish Eagle, freshwater turtles, wetland plant species, deep water rice variety, Little Cormorant, egrets, hilsha fish, flying fox etc.
The centre aims to create awareness of wetland resource conservation and improve the livelihood of local people. It aims to:
- mobilise local people and improves their capacity to sustainably manage resources upon which they depend.
- arrange awareness meetings, school programmes, essay competition, nature club etc.
- organise environmental debates, rallies, quiz, competitions.
Formal (school and university) learning
There are various school programmes University students do work as part of MSc theses.
Informal (general public) learning
Nature walks are organised for different groups to understand the importance of wetlands and their needs. Staff and volunteers manager centre activities.
Training and meetings are organised for local communities and stakeholders.
Five staff manage the centre. CEPA is the main centre activity., implemented by staff and occasional volunteers.